‘Within My Heart,’ by Tamera Alexander

November 16, 2011 3 Comments

STORY: Growing up a Southern belle, she enjoys and lived a happy life with her beloved husband and their two young sons, but that’s before the Boyd’s move West to give their sons a better life; to escape the horrors of a post-era Civil war. That’s before her husband dies from a bear mauling in the rugged Colorado wilderness. It’s before anger and bitterness take root in her life…  

‘Within My Heart,’ by Tamera Alexander. Review of the 2010 third novel in the Timber Ridge Reflections series. Text © Rissi JC / RissiWrites.Com

Now, as a young widow and single mother, Rachel Boyd tries to hold onto the dream she and her husband built. Not about to ever love someone again, Rachel sets about discouraging the advances of the local bachelors, and most especially the kind gestures of Timber Ridge’s handsome new doctor. Rachel’s late father was a physician and she isn’t about to let another man of that profession into her safe life, or her heart. 

Within My Heart, by Tamera Alexander | Book Review

REVIEW: First off, let me just say, I really do like Tamera’s writing. But I think she lingers too long at times, which then causes the reader to lose interest. This is how this novel reads, and I think it’s true of our first impression of Tamera’s style. I think of the three, this is her best, but that may just be because I read about these two characters in each book leading up to this final novel. One such example comes when the heroine hurts herself and is then forgotten for a chapter and a page or two. (Additionally, the parallel event to one character’s past which climaxes the novel is an unoriginal way to end the novel I think.) I know that the author wants to keep a reader curious, but sometimes it doesn’t work.  

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Though I didn’t share thoughts on the first two books, I’ll encompass my conclusions here with a focus on Within my Heart. The trilogy is best read in order because Rachel and Rand appear in all three novels, and the attraction between their characters subtly builds, which creates the foundation for this novel. Plus the first novel (From a Distance) sets up Rachel’s back-story and her pain. Then the middle title (Beyond this Moment) is about Rachel’s older brother, James. In this saga, her story ties, almost obtrusively so, up in heartbreak which leaves us with something of a sour taste.

Despite my gripes, Tamera develops every character richly, and she creates a great amount of setting detail. I like how steadfast the majority of the characters are. There’s still characters with flaws, and I find it interesting to see how Alexander uses the town drunk character; he has positive influences. If anyone would ask me for book recommendations in historical settings, I would recommend this series, but let’s just say I am more curious about Tamera’s newest series.

About the book:

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2010 
Author: Tamera Alexander
Series: Timber Ridge Reflections – Book 3
Shop the Book: Amazon | Bookshop.org | Goodreads
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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  • Ruth November 22, 2011 at 6:53 PM

    I still haven't finished this one — I loved the first two books but Rachel and I just aren't clicking.

  • Rissi November 24, 2011 at 2:09 AM

    Yeah… something about this series just… wasn't my cup of tea. I like Tamera's writing but yet there just wasn't that "spark" that encouraged me into thinking the series was great. Rachel is an o.k. character but she has a lot of issues making her a heroine who is deeply flawed.

    Hope you can get through this, Ruth!

  • Deanne Patterson February 9, 2019 at 4:45 PM

    I really enjoy reading this author. Just finished her newest recently.

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