Historical Romance Book Review: The Heart of the Mountains

About the Book

Title: The Heart of the Mountains 

Author: Pepper Basham 

Genre: Historical Romance 

Publisher: Barbour 

Release Date: July 1, 2022 

Click here to purchase a copy of this book.

Publisher's Book Description

“Can True Love Weather a World of Differences? 
To escape marriage, Cora Taylor runs away from her home in England to join her brother in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, but not even her time as a nurse in the Great War prepares her for the hard landscape and even harder lives of the mountain people. With the help of Jeb McAdams, a quiet woodcarver, who carries his own battle scars, she fashions a place for herself among these unique people. But the past refuses to let go, and with dangers from within and without, can hearts bruised by war find healing within the wilds of the mountains?”

My Review

The Heart of the Mountains, by Pepper Basham, is beautifully-written, thoughtful, and uplifting. As a sequel to the novel, Laurel’s Dream, this book exudes warmth and heart while offering a touching story of purpose and perseverance. As with all her historical fiction set in rural Appalachia, in this book Ms. Basham shines as a writer bringing forth a story that is as unique as it is unforgettable.  

The Appalachian setting with its dusky mountains, rustic cabins, meandering trails, and wooded hillsides is essential to the story. It seems to thrive with a soul of its own, enabling the story to develop with a raw authenticity. It hums with vibrant significance offering purpose and motivation to the characters themselves.

And in this novel, Ms. Basham has created characters who are complex, captivating, authentic, and brave. Their needs and their insecurities are wholly believable and moving. The choices and challenges that the characters endure are intricately developed, and they add depth to a story that is thoroughly enriching and memorable. 

Page after page, this novel carefully balances hope and despair, perseverance and struggle, and faithfulness and uncertainty. The development of these themes is supported by meaningful moments of grace infused with gentle reminders that hope, restoration, and healing are made possible through God’s mercy, forgiveness, and unconditional love.

The Heart of the Mountains has imprinted upon me a deep appreciation for how truly talented Ms. Basham is as a writer and storyteller. This book is enjoyable, thought-provoking, and truly special. I am so glad to have read it, and I recommend it most sincerely.


*I was given a copy of this book by the publisher/author. A review was not required. The review I have written contains opinions that  are entirely my own.

About the Author: Pepper Basham

“Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with a southern Appalachian flair. Her books have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inpsys, and the ACFW Carol Awards, with The Thorn Healer selected as a 2018 finalist in the RT awards. Both her contemporary and historical romance novels consistently receive high ratings from Romantic Times, with Just the Way You Are as a Top Pick. Most recently she’s introduced readers to Bath, UK through her novellas, Second Impressions and Jane by the Book, and taken readers into the exciting world of WW2 espionage in her novella, Façade. The second novel in The Pleasant Gap series, When You Look at Me, arrives in October and her contribution to Barbour’s wonderful My Heart Belongs series hits the shelves in January 2019 with My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge. Her books are seasoned with her Appalachian heritage and love for family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.” --Biography from Pepper Basham's author page on Amazon.com.

Click here to visit Pepper Basham's website. 


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