Welcome to my review of Heart of the Ocean by Heather B. Moore. This review is part of a larger book tour – the link to the complete schedule can be found below.
Here’s a bit about the book:
A dark secret . . . a grieving ghost . . . a handsome stranger . . . What more could Eliza Robinson want? Except for maybe her life.
In Heather B. Moore’s enthralling 1840’s historical romance, Heart of the Ocean, Eliza Robinson has turned down the very pretentious Mr. Thomas Beesley’s marriage proposal. As a business partner of Eliza’s father, Thomas quickly discredits the family and brings disgrace to the Robinson name.
While her father scrambles to restore his good name in New York City, Eliza flees to the remote Puritan town of Maybrook to stay with her Aunt Maeve. Although relieved to be away from all- things-male and unforgiving gossip columns, odd things start to happen to Eliza, and she is plagued by a ghostly voice. Her aunt’s explanation? That Eliza is being haunted by a woman who died of a broken heart twenty years ago.
After Aunt Maeve is tragically killed, Eliza’s life is put in danger as she tries to uncover the mystery of her aunt’s death. She encounters Jonathan Porter in Maybrook, whose presence in the town seems suspicious, yet she finds herself drawn to him. When she discovers that Jonathan’s dark secrets may be the link between the dead woman who haunts her and her aunt’s murderer, Eliza realizes that Jonathan is the one man she should never trust.
Before I really get into my thoughts, I have to address one thing – the title. I don’t think Heart of the Ocean is fitting at all. It’s not misleading but I don’t see oceans having much to do with the plot. That being said, my grievance over the title did not ruin my enjoyment of this book at all.
I enjoyed this book. While not a bodice ripper, it does contain a bit more amorous activity than the other books I’ve been reading lately. At one point, one character wonders if his fiancee has lain with another man while supposedly betrothed to him. It seems about on par with what I know (or think I know) about 1840′s behavior.
One aspect of the book that I particularly liked was the talk of the customs and how things were done in that time period. It’s fun to read about how society and customs have changed over the past 150 years and how they’ve stayed the same way in some ways. The details of the trans-Atlantic journeys makes me want to book passage on a steamer to Europe. Also, the sending of notes to invite and accept dinner invitations and the like is a nice habit that has fallen by the wayside with the advent of the telephone.
Overall, I liked Heart of the Ocean. I’d like to read more of Moore’s work as I feel she did a good job weaving a somewhat ghostly story that takes place in a certain historical period, Also, she seems to have put much research into the lives of those who lived in Puritan villages so that the story was accurate.
You can purchase Heart of the Ocean by Heather B. Moore from various book retailers:
Author Heather B. Moore
Heather B. Moore is the award-winning author of ten novels, two inspirational non-fiction books, and two anthologies, including The Newport Ladies Book Club Series, A Timeless Romance Anthology, and Christ’s Gifts to Women (co-authored by Angela Eschler).
Her historical fiction is published under the pen name H.B. Moore. She is the two-time recipient of Best of State in Literary Fiction, two-time Whitney Award Winner, and two-time Golden Quill Winner for Best Novel. Her most recent historical novel under H.B. Moore is Daughters of Jared (2012 LUW Gold Award of Excellence & 2012 LUW Best Book Trailer).
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