Heart of the Ocean
by Heather B. Moore
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.
“Aunt Maeve?” Eliza called again in a shaky voice. “Can you hear me? Are you all right?” As she stepped into the room, a cold wind cut through her muslin nightgown. Shards of glass lay haphazardly on the plank floor. Eliza’s gaze moved to the broken panes of her aunt’s bedroom window.. And then Eliza looked toward the bed. Maeve lay motionless, her face turned away, hidden in the shadows.
Eliza gripped the skillet in one hand and walked to the bed. “Aunt Maeve?” There was no answer.
As she circled the bed, terror caught in Eliza’s throat. Maeve’s head was facing her, eyes closed. Eliza reached out and touched her aunt’s hand. It felt like cold clay.
Eliza felt as if she’d been punched in the stomach. She backed away from her aunt, staring in horror at the still figure.
Aunt Maeve was dead.
This was my first Heather B. Moore's book and I really hope it's not my last. Heart of the Ocean was a light, historical fiction read. It was also full of mysteries with different twists. I greatly enjoyed reading this book.
The story was very interesting. I liked how that it not only had a murder mystery in it but there was also a ghost involved. There were a few instances that I felt spooked out because of the ghost that haunted our protagonist, Eliza. I wanted to know more why the ghost was haunting the place, why it kept talking to Eliza, and I wondered if it was good or bad. Also, I liked how half of the book had me guessing in who the killer was and how he got away with killing. The story had me hooked.
I also enjoyed the romance factor in this book. Eliza and John's chemistry was well done. They were attracted to each other but were not able to partake in their feelings due to certain people that stood in each other's ways. I also appreciated that there wasn't any instant love but that these two characters slowly came to love each other for who they were. Though I do have to admit that John's insistence of staying with Apryl at first was annoying as well as Nathaniel's, a Puritan in love with Eliza, pursuit for Eliza to marry him. As much as I was irritated by this, I still enjoyed how it played out in bringing Eliza and John together.
Another factor that I enjoyed about this book was the description of Puritan life. It was an eye opener. Though it does not go too much into detail about these people, it did help me understand a little bit more on how Puritans lived. I really liked how their way of speech was integrated into the story. I loved the "thous" and "thys" that the Puritans used. It almost made me feel as if I were reading Shakespeare.
In all, this book was not perfect but was still highly enjoyable. I liked the ghosts, the murder mystery, and the romance between John and Eliza. I give this:
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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