Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Her Heart's Desire by Shelley Shepard Gray

 Her Heart's Desire
Book Summary

Mary Margaret Miller needs an escape from her small Amish community. She boards a bus, all alone, for a vacation in Pinecraft, Florida. Meeting Betsy and Lilly on the way, she's amazed to find two kindred spirits. They become fast friends and determine to have the best two weeks of their lives. For Mary, it starts when she meets Jayson Raber. The handsome and charming carpenter is taken by Mary from the get-go, but he has responsibilities back home in Kentucky--including a girl he's supposed to marry.

When someone from Mary's past shows up in Pinecraft, it seems like her perfect vacation is ruined. But that's nothing compared to what's coming when she realizes what Jayson has been hiding.

Take a vacation with New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray as she explores what happens when we allow our pasts to define our futures in this story of friendship, romance, and new beginnings.

My Thoughts

Her Heart’s Desire by Shelley Shepard Gray is the debut of A Season in Pinecraft series.  I love that the author set this book in Pinecraft, Florida.  I enjoyed reading Her Heart’s Desire.  I like the author’s friendly writing style.  I was quickly drawn into story.  I enjoyed meeting Mary, Lilly, Betsy, and Edith. We also get to know Jayson and Michael.  Mary, Lilly, Edith, Betsy, and Jayson traveled from their respective hometowns to Pinecraft.  They each needed a break from their lives.  Jayson has an important decision to make.  This is his last chance at freedom before going down a path that will allow him to fulfill his familial duty, but it will not bring him joy.  Mary has been unhappy for some time.  The vacation is her opportunity to get away from the people who have taunted her and made her life miserable.  A storm in Georgia forces the bus to stop at a motel for the night.  Betsy, Mary, and Lilly share a room.  They discover that they are the wallflowers in their communities.  The three ladies quickly become friends and look forward to enjoying their vacation together.  Mary enjoys her first day in Pinecraft and then she receives a phone call that changes everything.  Mary learns that Edith is coming to Pinecraft and will be staying at the same inn.  Edith is one of the people Mary wished to get away from.  It seems that God has a different plan for Mary’s vacation. 

The characters are realistic and relatable thanks to their flaws.  I could relate to Mary and how she felt.  It is terrible to be picked on and bullied.  Each of the characters need to go on a journey of self-reflection.  They need to examine their past and decide what type of future they desire.  I can tell that the author visited Pinecraft and Siesta Key Beach from her descriptions.  Her word imagery took me back to this beautiful beach.  Her Heart’s Desire is about forgiveness, friendship, family, romance, and faith.  The characters need to be open to God’s plan for their lives.  They need to listen to His guiding voice.  Her Heart’s Desire is a touching story.  There are good life lessons in this book.  I am looking to the next A Season in Pinecraft novelHer Heart's Desire is a moving story with a sudden storm, fast friends, a tricycle trip, a discouraging call, a smiling innkeeper, and finding forgiveness.  

Her Heart's Desire is available from Amazon*.  The second novel in A Season in Pinecraft series is Her Only Wish which will be out on June 6, 2023 (It is Betsy's story).  You can find Shelley Shepard Gray's other novels here.  Thank you for joining me today.  Tomorrow I am featuring Fatal Fascinator by Jenn McKinlay.  It is the seventh A Hat Shop Mystery.   I hope that you have a pleasant day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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