I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing At Love's Command in June 2020, which is the first book in the Hanger's Horsemen series. I was very excited to have the opportunity to read and review the second in the series, The Heart's Charge. Both stories were very inspirational and exciting to read.
Finding a Safe Place for Their Hearts
In this second book in the Hanger's Horsemen series by Karen Witemeyer, we learn more about what happened to Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks after the events in the first book. The story opens with an exciting adventure as they come upon a woman alone needing help to deliver her first baby. Mark and Jonah are then left with the care of this infant. What exactly will they do?
The journey of Mark and Jonah takes us to a foundling home run by two independent women. One, Katherine Palmer, is already known to Mark. He had known her and actually proposed marriage to her ten years before. The second woman, Eliza Southerland, is determined that she does not need to be involved with any man and can do all the work at Harmony House with only Katherine's assistance. As you can guess, romance soon joins the tale of these four individuals.
Even with the blossoming romance between Jonah and Eliza and the rekindling of love between Mark and Katherine, there is more to this work of Christian historical fiction as two of the four Hanger's Horsemen seek to assist one young boy who says that children have been disappearing. We also see the lives of the children living at the foundling home and how Eliza and Katherine are helping them grow, learn, and love. To prevent any more of the boys who ride the rails from going missing, Mark and Jonah persuade them to stay at Harmony House. So, we see more of all the children interacting, helping each other and learning from the ladies who run the home and the men staying in its barn.
Trusting in God
At so many moments in The Heart's Charge, we see the different characters seeking God for help and either placing their trust in Him or being reminded to do so. The story was entertaining and suspenseful. Packed in between the scared Eliza riding a cavalry horse and Mark repairing Harmony House, I found many moments that reminded me that "we've all broken his (Jesus') heart with the poor choices we've made. Yet the Good Book teaches that God delights in showing mercy" (242-243). Personally, I find myself seeking God's mercy more and more every day. Seeing the reminder of God's compassion demonstrated in a wonderful work of fiction was most welcome. It is nice to read books that are both entertaining and uplifting.
I enjoyed the individual stories of Mark, Katherine, Jonah, and Eliza, all equally. It did not feel like any one character was neglected as we followed the four adults around with their daily tasks at Harmony House and in the pursuit to find evidence of who was kidnapping children. Sometimes when there are too many characters in a book, some get lost, but not in the case of The Heart's Charge.
I would recommend The Heart's Charge to those who enjoy Christian Romance, historical fiction, and an entertaining tale. It provides not only much-needed relief from the hectic world of today in a good story but is also a reminder that God can see us through even the worst moments.