Grace Mallory is tired of running, of hiding. But when an old friend sends an after-hours telegraph transmission warning Grace that the man who has hunted her for nearly a year has discovered her location, she fears she has no choice. She can’t let the villain she believes responsible for her father’s death release his wrath in Harper’s Station, the town that has sheltered her and blessed her with the dearest friends she’s ever known.
Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His telegraph companion, the mysterious Miss G, listens eagerly to his ramblings every night and delights him with tales all her own. For months, their friendship–dare he believe, courtship?–has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intended for him. Yet when he takes the next step to meet her in person, he discovers her life is in peril, and Amos must decide if he can shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.
By now it shouldn’t be a secret that I’m a pretty serious Karen Witemeyer fan. I’m not a die-hard historical fan, but I love the unique situations the past creates, and Witemeyer has included all types of unique situations in her novels. Heart on the Line is no different – two telegraph operators who chat “online” after hours.
Like the other women in Harper’s Station, Grace has a tragic backstory, but has found hope on the women’s colony. She’s also found a bit of gumption, and learns/teaches herself how to face the difficulties confronting her. I really liked her character, and I liked Amos too. Another unconventional leading role, he’s not the ranch-hardened, muscled-up cowboy, but he’s a hero just the same.
An unexpected twist to Heart on the Line is Helen’s subplot. I won’t spoil it here, but I like how Witemeyer gave another character some attention (if you’ve read No Other Will Do and Worth the Wait, you’ll remember that there are quite a few characters in town!).
I’ll be honest, though – Witemeyer has become the standard by which I judge historical romances, including her own, and this one wasn’t my favorite. There seemed to be a lot more introspection in this story. I don’t know for sure that there was, but there was something about it this time that didn’t quite work – the pace dragged a bit compared to some other books. Don’t get me wrong – I still loved the book and I’ll recommend it and loan it out – but it didn’t live up to her other books (in my opinion). That being said, it’s still a fun, sweet read. If you enjoyed her previous books, or if you’re a fan of Mary Connealy’s work, you’ll enjoy this book.
*I received a free copy of this book. The opinions are my own.