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The Heart's Charge

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For years they've been nomads for justice, but a final mission may just lead their hearts home. Members of the legendary Hanger's Horsemen, Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks arrive in Llano County, Texas, to deliver a steed, never expecting they'd help deliver a baby as well. Left with an infant to care for, they head to a nearby foundling home, where Mark encounters the woman For years they've been nomads for justice, but a final mission may just lead their hearts home. Members of the legendary Hanger's Horsemen, Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks arrive in Llano County, Texas, to deliver a steed, never expecting they'd help deliver a baby as well. Left with an infant to care for, they head to a nearby foundling home, where Mark encounters the woman he nearly married a decade ago. After failing at love, Katherine Palmer has dedicated her life to caring for children, teaming up with Eliza Southerland to start Harmony House. Eliza understands the pain of not fitting society's mold, being illegitimate and of mixed ancestry. Yet those are the very attributes that lead her to minister to outcast children. The taciturn Jonah intrigues her by defying all her stereotypes of men, but there are secrets behind his eyes—ghosts from wars past and others still being waged. When the Horsemen hear rumors of missing children, they stay to investigate, sticking close to Harmony House and its beautiful owners. As they work together to uncover the truth, love and danger grow hand in hand until a final sinister scheme threatens to destroy them all.


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For years they've been nomads for justice, but a final mission may just lead their hearts home. Members of the legendary Hanger's Horsemen, Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks arrive in Llano County, Texas, to deliver a steed, never expecting they'd help deliver a baby as well. Left with an infant to care for, they head to a nearby foundling home, where Mark encounters the woman For years they've been nomads for justice, but a final mission may just lead their hearts home. Members of the legendary Hanger's Horsemen, Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks arrive in Llano County, Texas, to deliver a steed, never expecting they'd help deliver a baby as well. Left with an infant to care for, they head to a nearby foundling home, where Mark encounters the woman he nearly married a decade ago. After failing at love, Katherine Palmer has dedicated her life to caring for children, teaming up with Eliza Southerland to start Harmony House. Eliza understands the pain of not fitting society's mold, being illegitimate and of mixed ancestry. Yet those are the very attributes that lead her to minister to outcast children. The taciturn Jonah intrigues her by defying all her stereotypes of men, but there are secrets behind his eyes—ghosts from wars past and others still being waged. When the Horsemen hear rumors of missing children, they stay to investigate, sticking close to Harmony House and its beautiful owners. As they work together to uncover the truth, love and danger grow hand in hand until a final sinister scheme threatens to destroy them all.

30 review for The Heart's Charge

  1. 5 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    'The Almighty had his hands on this. He assigned the Horsemen this duty, and I ain't about to argue with him. Are you?' Karen Witemeyer kicked off this series last year with 'At Love's Command' and I was blown away by how wonderful it was! It made my top reads of the year for 2020. I absolutely loved it so much and was on pins and needles until the second book in the series came out. Now it's here and I am once again just amazed at her talent. This is Mark and Jonah's story. As they are headed hom 'The Almighty had his hands on this. He assigned the Horsemen this duty, and I ain't about to argue with him. Are you?' Karen Witemeyer kicked off this series last year with 'At Love's Command' and I was blown away by how wonderful it was! It made my top reads of the year for 2020. I absolutely loved it so much and was on pins and needles until the second book in the series came out. Now it's here and I am once again just amazed at her talent. This is Mark and Jonah's story. As they are headed home after a horse sale, they travel by a cabin where a lone woman is in the throes of childbirth. From there, they must head to a foundling home where Mark is shocked to see the woman who once turned down a marriage proposal. She and another woman run the home. Soon after, they discover some serious crimes are being committed, and being two members of Hanger's Horsemen, cannot turn aside without trying to catch the culprits. 'He'd battled raiding Indians, survived being shot by rustlers, and outsmarted deadly outlaws as part of an elite military squad. He could lay siege to a woman's heart and wear down her resistance.' Jonah also finds himself faced with a wonderful woman who truly acts as if she can't stand the sight of him. Eliza knows better than to trust a man and has determined she will remain on her own the rest of her life. But she hasn't figured on the absolute integrity of this man. Jonah's character was just done so incredibly well. And let me tell you, his horse, Augustus, was one of the true heroes of this story! I loved that horse so much! Well done! Karen Witemeyer has always been a favorite of mine, but this series is my total favorite of her work! I am proud to have her books on my shelves. There is so much to love about this book. It was captivating! Highly recommended. My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a copy of this book via Net Galley. I was not required to leave a positive review. The opinion here is expressly my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Grace Johnson

    *Warnings* #1 This is a long review, so pull up a chair and grab a bowl of popcorn. You’ll be here awhile. #2 When I read a review, I want substantial information. So I will not skimp on the details. Which may mean some spoilers, so watch out. Stars: 5 Synopsis: Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks, one half of the infamous Hanger’s Horsemen, have found themselves in Llano County...delivering a stranger’s baby. Through an unlikely incident, war-hardened Mark and Jonah find themselves saving babies, carin *Warnings* #1 This is a long review, so pull up a chair and grab a bowl of popcorn. You’ll be here awhile. #2 When I read a review, I want substantial information. So I will not skimp on the details. Which may mean some spoilers, so watch out. Stars: 5 Synopsis: Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks, one half of the infamous Hanger’s Horsemen, have found themselves in Llano County...delivering a stranger’s baby. Through an unlikely incident, war-hardened Mark and Jonah find themselves saving babies, caring for orphans, and even falling in love. Favorite Quote: “Regrets are heavy, son. The fewer you cart around, the better off you’ll be. But when they come, and they will, remember you got a Father who will carry them for you if you let him.” Karen Witemeyer is actually one of my first and forever favorite authors—up there with Roseanna M. White and Kristi Ann Hunter—and even though this is technically my first time ever reviewing any of her books, I have loved her for years! Why? Well, probably because (1) her writing style is so well-balanced and yet she has such a unique voice; (2) all of her books are chock full of humor and wit; (3) her plots are always so smoothly paced, intriguing, suspenseful, action-packed, and just plain fun; (4) despite having some action and suspense in almost every single one of her books, the romance is always very well-developed and super sweet and swoony; (5) her characters are different without being outlandish, and so easy to love! So that sums up the kind of expectations I have whenever I pick up a Witemeyer Western, I guess. (Ooh! That should totally be a genre: Witemeyer Westerns. Yep, I’mma start writin’ me some o’ those! Anyway…) I had extremely high expectations for The Heart’s Charge, both because I absolutely loved the previous book in the series, At Love's Command, and because this time Witemeyer was full-on writing TWO romances in ONE book! Now, I know she can do it—she’s the master of well-developed novellas that are never rushed or skimpy; and she pretty much did the same thing before in Heart on the Line with Grace and Amos and Helen and Lee. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t worry about how much I’d enjoy this book… That being said, I didn’t hesitate one second (I’m honestly not sure if I even read the full blurb) before picking up this book. The day I got this puppy in the mail was a glorious day for me, and I hadn’t even cracked it open yet! I cracked it open two seconds later, though, and thanks to being down with a cold, I’d read clean through this here book by the end of the day! Definitely worth a case of the sniffles. Anyway, enough jawing. Let’s get into all the reasons why I loved The Heart’s Charge specifically (as in, not for all the reasons why I love Karen’s fiction...those are automatically applied). #1 I ADORED the characters. I mean, I love all of Witemeyer’s characters (except for Amos and Grace; they were definitely my least favorites), but Mark and Jonah and Kate and Eliza were just...well, adorable! Mark was such a cutie-pie. I remember him being hilarious and flirtatious in At Love’s Command, but oh. my. word. Seeing (or reading, I guess) him care for baby Sarah and hanging out with the kiddos at Harmony House and get all flustered around Katie was just pure enjoyment for my little romantic heart. But Jonah? Yep. Jonah was mah man. I think I loved both him and Mark equally, but there was a part of me that was (1) super excited to read about a black hero and (2) falling in love with his serious, macho demeanor. Seriously. I does not get any better than that. (Can I just say that although I love the cover, they really should’ve gotten a different model for Jonah? I just imagined him taller and brawnier and darker and frownier and...stuff. That may’ve just been me, though.) As for Kate, she was great. (Yes, that rhymes on purpose.) I rarely ever get too attached to heroines, and that was still the same for THC, but I did like Kate’s personality and her loving nature. It always pleases me to read about a historical heroine who actually likes children, and even more so do I love reading about characters (especially girls) who follow God’s will for their lives and seek Him in everything, no matter the sacrifices they have to make. So, on a side note, that right there—the underlying theme of sacrifice and missions—was one of my favorite parts of this novel. Then there was Eliza. Y’all, that woman was a hoot! Throw Jonah in the mix, and woo-wee! I guess it comes from being a Southerner (as in, being around a lot of black women with thick heads, stubborn hearts, and smart mouths), but reading about Eliza was like making a new best friend. She was so real to me, and that was one thing I really appreciated about both hers and Jonah’s characters—that they were so realistically portrayed in ways that hardly any character is these days. Anyway, all four of the main characters had such strong personalities and were just plain awesome. So there’s that. #2 I guess I’ve already covered this (but then, doesn’t a five-star rating say enough as it is?), but I just want to drive the point home that, yet again, Witemeyer has effortlessly pulled off two stories and four POV characters in one average-sized novel. Her developmental skills are quite possibly the best of anyone author I’ve ever read—and that’s saying a lot right there. #3 And here’s the point y’all have all been waiting for… I loved how racism was portrayed. I make it a point not to read stories strategically focused on racism, because seriously, y’all—I get enough of that from the news. So I’m always a wee bit concerned when going into a book with colored characters (or, shoot, even female characters—y’all know I can’t stand a feminist agenda) that the author is going to turn the story into an argument against racial injustice. That’s all well and good for nonfiction, but I don’t read fiction for that reason. I read fiction to escape from this whacked-out world I live in. Anyway… That’s why I loved how Witemeyer handled the issue of racism in this time. It wasn’t the main focal point, where the story was all about wallowing in self-pity, behaving as a victim, or dealing with gobs amount of hate. Instead, the story was about two individuals who persevered, made a good life for themselves, and showed love to others, no matter their race. That right there is what I want to read—even from books about racism. Same goes for how she tackled sexism—what with Eliza and Kate running the orphanage all by themselves. They didn’t establish an orphanage to prove themselves or cause controversy—they did it to help others and follow the Holy Spirit’s prodding—so never did they cause a stir or make a fuss about their gender or any restrictions they had because of it, you know? They were truly strong, independent women—especially considering they showed respect to their authorities, love to their persecutors, and accepted help when it was genuinely needed and lovingly offered. So, all in all, Witemeyer did a commendable job handling these tougher subjects, for which I am exceedingly grateful. To sum my rambling up, y’all, this is a prime piece of fiction right here. Witemeyer rarely ever disappoints! The Heart’s Charge was on-par with her best novels (but, then, aren’t they all her best?) and full of heart-pounding suspense, swoon-worthy romance, and her signature wit and humor! I simply cannot wait for the next installment in the Hanger’s Horsemen series! (C’mon, Preach, it’s time to throw your hat in the marriage ring!) Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This dual romance gets ALL the stars!! Oh my goodness, I can't tell you how much I adored Mark, Jonah and the ladies that captured their hearts in this story, and don't even get me started on the adorable heart stealing kiddos. What fantastic characters make up this story, and what a story it is! This story pulled me in from the opening pages and it didn't let go once. Karen's stories are always amazing and this one is truly one of her best. The history between Kate and Mark, the mystery that Jo This dual romance gets ALL the stars!! Oh my goodness, I can't tell you how much I adored Mark, Jonah and the ladies that captured their hearts in this story, and don't even get me started on the adorable heart stealing kiddos. What fantastic characters make up this story, and what a story it is! This story pulled me in from the opening pages and it didn't let go once. Karen's stories are always amazing and this one is truly one of her best. The history between Kate and Mark, the mystery that Jonah stumbles upon and the chemistry between Eliza and Jonah help make this story incredible. Do not miss it!! I received this book from the publisher and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own. I also purchased the Audible edition of this book and it was very well done.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jocelyn Green

    I loved this book! With a diverse cast of strong characters, the stakes are high and the plot moves at a good clip, with enough action to keep things exciting but enough reflection and soul-searching to keep two heroes and two heroines developing throughout the story. With skill and heart, Karen Witemeyer has given us double the romance and double the personal journeys with this pair of couples that readers will want to root for. Faith plays a big role in their choices, and is always naturally i I loved this book! With a diverse cast of strong characters, the stakes are high and the plot moves at a good clip, with enough action to keep things exciting but enough reflection and soul-searching to keep two heroes and two heroines developing throughout the story. With skill and heart, Karen Witemeyer has given us double the romance and double the personal journeys with this pair of couples that readers will want to root for. Faith plays a big role in their choices, and is always naturally incorporated, never preachy or forced. Even though this is the second in a series, I read it as a stand-alone and it worked just fine. I didn't feel like I was missing anything, but I do want to go back and read book 1 now, just so I can spend more time with Hanger's Horsemen. Bravo!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    I just knew it could happen again , Karen Witemeyer's books keep my attention from the moment I crack them open until I turn the last page wishing for more. The author writes fast paced stories with great character development. We have a double story line going here with the story line focusing on two couples rather than one so it's double the fun. This can be read as a stand alone but I recommend the first book first to get the full benefits of the series. Pub Date 01 Jun 2021 I was given a complim I just knew it could happen again , Karen Witemeyer's books keep my attention from the moment I crack them open until I turn the last page wishing for more. The author writes fast paced stories with great character development. We have a double story line going here with the story line focusing on two couples rather than one so it's double the fun. This can be read as a stand alone but I recommend the first book first to get the full benefits of the series. Pub Date 01 Jun 2021 I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Harris

    Ooh, oooh, ooh! I've been longing for the next Hanger's Horsemen book for a while now and finally, it's here! I loved getting to see two main couples' points of view. It really made The Heart's Charge unique and gave si much more to the story, however, there were many backstory things they were spoken of and they were only used as back story and I would have liked to see a bit of reconciliation in at least one of them though I understood why one was impossible with the choices of the father. My onl Ooh, oooh, ooh! I've been longing for the next Hanger's Horsemen book for a while now and finally, it's here! I loved getting to see two main couples' points of view. It really made The Heart's Charge unique and gave si much more to the story, however, there were many backstory things they were spoken of and they were only used as back story and I would have liked to see a bit of reconciliation in at least one of them though I understood why one was impossible with the choices of the father. My only wish was that the whole of the Horsemen would have been together more. References to prostitution, a word associated with a prostituted child, and other like mentions, And a few other things so I would recommend 18+ read this. I voluntarily received and reviewed a complimentary e/copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    I enjoyed this story so much! It was packed with characters who truly cared about the children that society liked to forget about. Two couples find love in this story, as well! I loved the second chance at love that Katherine and Mark had. After a painful experience ten years earlier, they decided to take a chance on love and a life together when given the chance. Jonah and Eliza were such a fun couple, too! They were both such strong people who had overcome many things already in their lives bef I enjoyed this story so much! It was packed with characters who truly cared about the children that society liked to forget about. Two couples find love in this story, as well! I loved the second chance at love that Katherine and Mark had. After a painful experience ten years earlier, they decided to take a chance on love and a life together when given the chance. Jonah and Eliza were such a fun couple, too! They were both such strong people who had overcome many things already in their lives before they even met each other. I loved watching Eliza soften toward Jonah. There was danger aplenty involved in locating the missing children and some wild west action to satisfy fans of western fiction. This was such a great story to read from start to finish! I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. You can read this review on my blog: https://brittreadsfiction.wordpress.c...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    4.5* Oookay, this was really really really good. I'll be honest, Jonah and Eliza were my favorite. And the kids. And Mark and Katherine. ;) It felt like I was reading a novella type love story for the two couples, and their progression was just 😍 and the romance so heart-melting!! I wish I could have more of all of them! The four POVs were split so perfectly and consistently that I never felt that I was lacking any of them. And the whole plot got me so engaged! *happy sigh* Preacher, I'm waiting 4.5* Oookay, this was really really really good. I'll be honest, Jonah and Eliza were my favorite. And the kids. And Mark and Katherine. ;) It felt like I was reading a novella type love story for the two couples, and their progression was just 😍 and the romance so heart-melting!! I wish I could have more of all of them! The four POVs were split so perfectly and consistently that I never felt that I was lacking any of them. And the whole plot got me so engaged! *happy sigh* Preacher, I'm waiting for your story. :p

  9. 5 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    Great Cowboy adventure! Ms. Witemeyer usually highlights heroines in her stories but this series happily zeros in on a brotherhood of heroes. After encountering a gun toting pregnant lady, Mark and Jonah are questioning what they got themselves into. As half of Hanger’s Horsemen, they are on their way from a job. Honorable men who retired from the Army, the Horsemen take on jobs to help the helpless. Little did they know that Mark would reconnect with old friend Kate and Jonah would have his int Great Cowboy adventure! Ms. Witemeyer usually highlights heroines in her stories but this series happily zeros in on a brotherhood of heroes. After encountering a gun toting pregnant lady, Mark and Jonah are questioning what they got themselves into. As half of Hanger’s Horsemen, they are on their way from a job. Honorable men who retired from the Army, the Horsemen take on jobs to help the helpless. Little did they know that Mark would reconnect with old friend Kate and Jonah would have his interest piqued by the intriguing, independent headmistress of a foundling home, Miss Eliza. Kate and Eliza have a heart for orphans and encounter a band of rail-riding boys. “As much as she appreciated cleanliness, Kate also realized that feral boys were about as fond of bathing as feral cats.” The witty exchanges and internal dialogue are never lacking as the two couples get to know each other amidst a scary mystery. Kate muses about Mark: “After spending several hours in his company today, her urge to explore had expanded to Lewis and Clark proportions.” The faith element is strong, showing how the characters live out their Christianity. “Leave tomorrow alone, girl. The Lord is the only one strong enough to carry the future. You will wear yourself out trying.” “Satan uses loneliness to isolate and depress. But God uses it to build compassion.” This has been a great series. I am anxious to see how the story plays out for Preacher, the remaining Horseman. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dana Michael

    What a fun read!! This had two cowboy romances in one book! This may be my favorite Karen Witemeyer book ever. I highly recommend for anyone who likes adventure, humor and romance. *I was given a copy of this book by the publisher and this is my honest opinion.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    Llano County, Texas 1894 What a wonderful cast of characters in this series! The focus is on Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks in this second of the series about the Hangar's Horsemen. The beginning of the novel pulled me immediately. There is a lot to love about this novel including the warm hearts of all four main characters and honor of both Mark and Jonah. The multitude of young characters included were lots of fun. I especially cared for Al and Rawley. Llano County, Texas 1894 What a wonderful cast of characters in this series! The focus is on Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks in this second of the series about the Hangar's Horsemen. The beginning of the novel pulled me immediately. There is a lot to love about this novel including the warm hearts of all four main characters and honor of both Mark and Jonah. The multitude of young characters included were lots of fun. I especially cared for Al and Rawley.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cara Putman

    I loved this book and the way it featured two of Hanger's Horsemen. Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks find themselves in the middle of a mystery regarding missing children... or are they? No one seems to realize there are missing children. While they try to unwind what's really happening, Mark is confronted by the one who got away. Could this be his second chance at love? Jonah finds a woman who doesn't need a man. That indendepence tugs him to her. Overall, this book is a lovely blend of romance, m I loved this book and the way it featured two of Hanger's Horsemen. Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks find themselves in the middle of a mystery regarding missing children... or are they? No one seems to realize there are missing children. While they try to unwind what's really happening, Mark is confronted by the one who got away. Could this be his second chance at love? Jonah finds a woman who doesn't need a man. That indendepence tugs him to her. Overall, this book is a lovely blend of romance, mystery, and history. I loved it!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Toni Shiloh

    I had the pleasure of reading The Heart’s Charge in the draft stages as it was written. I offered my feedback as a sensitivity reader for Ms. Witemeyer, but I quickly became engrossed with the story as a reader. There are two romance plots in this book and I loved them each. Katherine Palmer is Mark’s old flame and from the moment they reconnect I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to see if or how their differences could be resolved. And Eliza and Jonah…swoon! Their romance had me smiling between the pa I had the pleasure of reading The Heart’s Charge in the draft stages as it was written. I offered my feedback as a sensitivity reader for Ms. Witemeyer, but I quickly became engrossed with the story as a reader. There are two romance plots in this book and I loved them each. Katherine Palmer is Mark’s old flame and from the moment they reconnect I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to see if or how their differences could be resolved. And Eliza and Jonah…swoon! Their romance had me smiling between the pages and snickering at some of Eliza’s snark. And I loved the wisdom Jonah shared throughout the book. Jonah and Eliza definitely became my favorite but Mark and Katherine kept pace pretty evenly. Did I mention their are children who often steal the show and weave a thread of mystery throughout? Their journey had me gripped and wanting to solve the issue of the missing children. All in all, I loved everything about this story and it was a pleasure to read and see the final product. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. My review was not required nor influenced.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    I've read and appreciated all Karen Witemeyer's wonderful books but her newest offering, The Heart's Charge has to be her very best! Witemeyer has really outdone herself with this compelling mystery and it's fantastic characters! I loved that there were two Hanger's Horsemen that found romance in The Heart's Charge. I didn't realize that would be the case and I really enjoyed watching each one play out. The well drawn descriptions of Horseman, Mark and Jonah along with their female counterparts, I've read and appreciated all Karen Witemeyer's wonderful books but her newest offering, The Heart's Charge has to be her very best! Witemeyer has really outdone herself with this compelling mystery and it's fantastic characters! I loved that there were two Hanger's Horsemen that found romance in The Heart's Charge. I didn't realize that would be the case and I really enjoyed watching each one play out. The well drawn descriptions of Horseman, Mark and Jonah along with their female counterparts, Kate and Eliza who run a home for children was fascinating. Reading their inner thoughts and perspectives and what drives each one made for a terrific story. The opening chapter's were full of excitement as Mark and Jonah find a woman in labor and the story goes back and forth between the stress of not knowing what to do for her and many a humorous anecdote. In fact the humor in this book is so good I found myself thoroughly amused throughout. Case in point, one of Mark's inner thoughts about finding a woman in labor: "Why God had chosen him to aid this woman was a mystery he'd never comprehend. The Almighty must not have had anyone else in the area." In addition to such great characters, Witemeyer writes a suspenseful mystery Jonah and Mark are committed to solving. Who is kidnaping homeless children and why? What a page-turner! I loved all the children at Harmony House, so charming, even with their hard early childhoods. Rawley's boxcar gang was pure delight and added so much to the story. There were plenty of inspirational moments and quotes too. I especially like this one: "Satan used loneliness to isolate and depress. But God uses it to build compassion." The Heart's Charge is going on my favorite books of the year list! I highly recommend it. I can't wait for the next Hanger's Horsemen book. I appreciate Bethany House Publishers via Netgalley, making a copy of The Heart's Charge available for review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    "There were some things a man just wasn't meant to do, and bringing another man's baby into the world topped the list." A baby changes everything. When Hanger Horseman Mark Wallace becomes inadvertently tasked with bringing a total stranger's baby girl into the world, he never imagined how far his axis would tilt when he and fellow Horseman Jonah Brooks sought refuge for the little one, whose mother was too overcome with grief to care for her. Knocking on the door of a nearby foundling home, Mark "There were some things a man just wasn't meant to do, and bringing another man's baby into the world topped the list." A baby changes everything. When Hanger Horseman Mark Wallace becomes inadvertently tasked with bringing a total stranger's baby girl into the world, he never imagined how far his axis would tilt when he and fellow Horseman Jonah Brooks sought refuge for the little one, whose mother was too overcome with grief to care for her. Knocking on the door of a nearby foundling home, Mark came face to face with the prettiest blue eyes he had ever seen . . . because he had seen them. . . . .on the lovely face of Katherine Palmer, his almost, would-have-been wife. Katherine Palmer couldn't believe her eyes, even though she wanted to. Mark Wallace . . . whew! . . the grown up version of the boy-turned-man generated enough heat to roast a turkey. What was he doing in Llano County, Texas of all places, with a newborn infant swaddled close to his chest? Evidently the towering, stoic man behind him, with the beast of a horse was doing a little studying of his own . . . taking in every detail of Eliza, her mission partner. Trying to push obvious complications from her mind, Katherine assumes the men will "drop and go". Oh, no. They end up sticking around. And it's a good thing they did, because there are kiddy-snatchers wreaking havoc on the local boxcar children and the community needs their help. This fun and flirty continuation of the Hanger's Horsemen series quickly changes into a fight for their lives, but not before the winsome duo adds a dollop of heart snatching into their investigation. Have two battle-worn cavalrymen finally found a place to call home? "With God - all things are possible." I received a copy of this book from the publisher. In addition, I purchased a copy. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)

    We get a two for one romance in The Heart's Charge! I loved both couples, but especially enjoyed Jonah and Eliza as they unexpectedly fall in love after believing it would never be in their futures. There is a great balance struck between the adventure, suspense, good humor, sweet romance, and spiritual growth. The pace was steady with spurts of acceleration as danger threatens the children of the community. Rawley, Abner, and the other kids in the story were a fun contrast to the adults, and co We get a two for one romance in The Heart's Charge! I loved both couples, but especially enjoyed Jonah and Eliza as they unexpectedly fall in love after believing it would never be in their futures. There is a great balance struck between the adventure, suspense, good humor, sweet romance, and spiritual growth. The pace was steady with spurts of acceleration as danger threatens the children of the community. Rawley, Abner, and the other kids in the story were a fun contrast to the adults, and contributed in their own special way to solving the mystery and making the story come to life. The way Mark, Jonah, Katherine, and Eliza interacted with the children showed deeper aspects of the adults' personalities in a way that was more impactful than simply telling. I admire the qualities of the men of Hanger's Horsemen that have them ready and willing to fight for those who need an extra measure of protection and assistance. I'm excited to see what the next book brings! Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Madison

    It is impossible to resist Karen Witemeyer's writing. Once again she absorbed me into this story of adventure, romance, strong female characters and the men of integrity who love them. The Heart's Charge provides us two stories in one. We readers first met the Hanger's Horsemen in the first book in the series and in this second book we join up with two members of the group, Mark and Jonah. Together, Mark and Jonah stumble upon a pregnant woman in labour. They, reluctantly, assist in the birth an It is impossible to resist Karen Witemeyer's writing. Once again she absorbed me into this story of adventure, romance, strong female characters and the men of integrity who love them. The Heart's Charge provides us two stories in one. We readers first met the Hanger's Horsemen in the first book in the series and in this second book we join up with two members of the group, Mark and Jonah. Together, Mark and Jonah stumble upon a pregnant woman in labour. They, reluctantly, assist in the birth and find themselves responsible for the care of the young infant. This then leads them to Harmony House, a place where children of any race or background can find a home. A surprise awaits them both. Mark finds the woman he once wanted to marry and who broke his heart. Jonah finds a strong and resilient Eliza who might just be the one woman who can work her way past his tough exterior. This is such a delightful story. There are diverse characters (yay!), incredibly strong female characters who work alongside the male characters to fight for justice for the children in their care. There is action, a touch of mystery and suspense. There is such sweet romance and two romance stories to enjoy. The book touches on some important themes, including depression, grief, postpartum depression, racism, and the discrimination faced by African-Americans. This is done well in the historic setting, acknowledging the time and views of that time but also allowing for today's more accepting and understanding approach, which is appropriate for modern readers. As all of Karen Witemeyer's books are, this is sensitive, beautiful, well written and thoroughly enjoyable. Can't wait for the third book in the series where we get the fourth Horseman's story. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own

  18. 4 out of 5

    Caitlyn Santi

    An absolutely amazing second book in the Hanger's Horsemen series! After reading and absolutely loving At Love's Command I was super psyched to dive into The Heart's Charge, and what a fantastic ride this story is! I loved Mark and Jonah, they are both such fantastic heroes that I simply can't choose a favorite! In my opinion the only thing better than a Karen Witemeyer written romance, is TWO Karen Witemeyer written romances in the same book! I absolutely loved that we get both Mark and Kate's, An absolutely amazing second book in the Hanger's Horsemen series! After reading and absolutely loving At Love's Command I was super psyched to dive into The Heart's Charge, and what a fantastic ride this story is! I loved Mark and Jonah, they are both such fantastic heroes that I simply can't choose a favorite! In my opinion the only thing better than a Karen Witemeyer written romance, is TWO Karen Witemeyer written romances in the same book! I absolutely loved that we get both Mark and Kate's, and Jonah and Eliza's love stories, it added a whole other level of amazingness to this story! And I LOVE that Ms. Witemeyer chose to feature an African-American hero and heroine, Jonah and Eliza brought to this book a beautiful diversity that, in my opinion, we need more of in Christian fiction! Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn't mention just how much I love that gorgeous cover! I could stare at it for hours, and I wish there was a way I could frame it and hang it on my wall! I've been absolutely mesmerized by this cover since the moment I first saw it, and it's one of my favorite covers of all time! I absolutely adored everything about this book, and most highly recommend it! The Heart's Charge is a fast paced read that will take you on a thrilling ride and leave you blissfully grinning, and eagerly anticipating Preach's story! I received an ebook copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. My review was not influenced in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Aminata Coote

    The Heart's Charge started with a bang and drew me into the story. From the opening pages, you could see the kind of men Jonah and Mark were: they helped even when the person they chose to assist didn't understand how much they needed assistance. Things really got interesting once the two men got to the Harmony House foundling home. There, Mark came face-to-face with the woman he'd almost married 10 years earlier and Jonah met a woman who made him consider settling down. What I loved about the H The Heart's Charge started with a bang and drew me into the story. From the opening pages, you could see the kind of men Jonah and Mark were: they helped even when the person they chose to assist didn't understand how much they needed assistance. Things really got interesting once the two men got to the Harmony House foundling home. There, Mark came face-to-face with the woman he'd almost married 10 years earlier and Jonah met a woman who made him consider settling down. What I loved about the Horsemen was that they truly wanted to help people. When they saw a need, they met it and they did so without making the person feel inferior or helpless. They didn't discriminate about whom they would offer their help to and considered the needs of everyone--adult and children alike. Mark and Kate had a rich history but it had been ten years since they had seen each other. As they rekindled their romance, you get a glimpse of what they may have had before. The reader is also left with the feeling that though their younger selves may have been good together, it was this more mature version that was destined to be. Jonah and Eliza's relationship was more complex as none of them had known each other before and they  each had complicated histories. I liked how well they complemented each other. Eliza thought any man who wanted to marry her would try to dominate her. She was pleasantly surprised to learn that Jonah wanted to work beside her rather than pushing her behind him. Woven throughout The Heart's Charge is the mystery of what happened to the missing children and where they had disappeared to. I have to admit: when the mystery unfolded, some bits of it surprised me. The Heart's Charge had several themes weaving through it but one of the most prevalent is that God is with us through every moment of our lives. He has a plan for us and He's weaving our pasts into a beautiful tapestry that may be used for His glory. The Heart's Charge is the second Hanger's Horsemen book but could be read as a standalone (I did). I received an advanced reader's copy from the publishers through NetGalley ; a positive review was not required.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kellyn Roth

    An excellent read! Full review to come.

  21. 5 out of 5

    LisLovesReading E.Espinoza

    The Heart’s Charge, by Karen Witemeyer, is the second book in the Hanger’s Horsemen series. With intriguing characters and a compelling plot, this novel is truly engaging and memorable. Elements of history, adventure, suspense, and romance meld together perfectly to create an inspiring story of hope and second chances. With an undeniable talent for beautiful storytelling, Ms. Witemeyer has once again written a novel that is as enjoyable as it is meaningful. The characters in this book are motivat The Heart’s Charge, by Karen Witemeyer, is the second book in the Hanger’s Horsemen series. With intriguing characters and a compelling plot, this novel is truly engaging and memorable. Elements of history, adventure, suspense, and romance meld together perfectly to create an inspiring story of hope and second chances. With an undeniable talent for beautiful storytelling, Ms. Witemeyer has once again written a novel that is as enjoyable as it is meaningful. The characters in this book are motivationally complex and unswervingly determined. With their unflinching loyalty and generous compassion, they seek redemption and pursue purpose. Cautiously, they open their hearts to forgiveness, grace, and unexpected longings. In their vulnerability, they are relatable, and they strengthen this story with their heart and authenticity. With thoughtfulness and skill, Ms. Witemeyer places these characters in situations that challenge them physically, emotionally, and spiritually. These events provide opportunities for the characters to lean into God's wisdom, his provision, and his promises. Therefore, as the plot unfolds, there are plenty of scenes that offer clever surprises as well as unforeseen moments that are truly thrilling, emotionally touching, and spiritually edifying. From beginning to end, The Heart’s Charge, is a captivating novel full of faith, courage, and heart. A wonderful piece of historical fiction, this novel is both entertaining and uplifting. It is a riveting story that is a pleasure to read, and I recommend it enthusiastically. *I was given a copy of this book by the publisher. A review was not required. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Doreen

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had a lot of action from the first moment to the last. I enjoy when independent females who don't have room for a man in their lives are flummoxed by a man who doesn't fit any of their categories. There was a ton of fun banter between Eliza and Jonah. The writing was witty. There were many poignant moments like when Mark gave a blessing over baby Sarah or when Jonah talked to Abner about his identity. There were a bunch of rascally boys who had formed a family I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had a lot of action from the first moment to the last. I enjoy when independent females who don't have room for a man in their lives are flummoxed by a man who doesn't fit any of their categories. There was a ton of fun banter between Eliza and Jonah. The writing was witty. There were many poignant moments like when Mark gave a blessing over baby Sarah or when Jonah talked to Abner about his identity. There were a bunch of rascally boys who had formed a family and worked to protect each other. There were moments of epic bravery and sacrifice as well as ingenuity. It was an all around great book. I can't wait to read the next one in the series. Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with a free copy of this book. I loved it! All opinions are my own.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    Having read the first Hanger's Horsemen book, At Love's Command, and very intrigued with the Horsemen (Captain Matthew Hanger, Luke "Preach" Davenport, Jonah Brooks, and Mark Wallace), reading The Heart's Charge was a must for me. Mark and Jonah are such a great combination of manly toughness encasing hearts that become tender in response to the right women. Kate and Eliza have committed to caring for unwanted children in their home, Harmony House, and were not looking for love any more than the Having read the first Hanger's Horsemen book, At Love's Command, and very intrigued with the Horsemen (Captain Matthew Hanger, Luke "Preach" Davenport, Jonah Brooks, and Mark Wallace), reading The Heart's Charge was a must for me. Mark and Jonah are such a great combination of manly toughness encasing hearts that become tender in response to the right women. Kate and Eliza have committed to caring for unwanted children in their home, Harmony House, and were not looking for love any more than the men were. Strong, courageous, compassionate, and full of faith are words that help describe these women. When children go missing from the area, Mark and Jonah are committed to finding them. There are some unexpected twists and action, words of wisdom between the men and boys, a strong faith message, and blossoming romance. I highly recommend The Heart's Charge. Now I can hardly wait for the third book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    I will read anything Karen Witemeyer writes, because she does her craft so well. In her newest offering of the Hanger's Horsemen, she writes of a love lost and found again; of unexpected love; of greed, abuse, and exploitation of children; and of heroes and damsels in distress, or maybe heroic damsels and heroes in distress. The characters in The Heart's Charge are strong, noble, and loving--and those are the female characters. This is book two of the Hanger's Horsemen series, and after this boo I will read anything Karen Witemeyer writes, because she does her craft so well. In her newest offering of the Hanger's Horsemen, she writes of a love lost and found again; of unexpected love; of greed, abuse, and exploitation of children; and of heroes and damsels in distress, or maybe heroic damsels and heroes in distress. The characters in The Heart's Charge are strong, noble, and loving--and those are the female characters. This is book two of the Hanger's Horsemen series, and after this book there is one more horseman to marry off. I can't wait to read his story. Mark and Jonah are traveling home after delivering a horse that Matthew had sold when they come across a woman in the throes of labor. She was also in the depths of grief and not wanting to continue living after delivering the baby. When Jonah comes back with the doctor, he helps the mother and then gets Mark and Jonah to take the baby to a foundling home not far away. At the foundling home, Mark meets his past in the person of Kate Palmer--the love of his teens whom he has never forgotten--and both of them meet their future. When Jonah and Eliza deliver the baby to a wet nurse, a child asks Jonah to help find the kiddy-snatchers. The era of this book is close to the turn of the twentieth century, and a recent stock market crash had the country in a depression. Many children were homeless and got around the country riding in box cars on trains. These are this children who were targeted for exploitation and were the prey of the kiddy-snatchers, because they wouldn't be missed by anyone. Karen has kept the plot moving at a steady pace to keep the reader involved. Often I am tempted to skip ahead to the end of the book and see how things end up, but this time I read straight through and was entirely satisfied at the conclusion of the story. Karen consistently writes five star books and this one is no exception. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and white knight on a gallant steed to rescue your day. Bethany House and NetGalley.com provided the copy I read for this review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lila Diller

    Another victory for Mrs. Witemeyer! I have never before liked a story told from more than 2 points of view – but this one was excellent! It was two love stories in one, and we got both heroines' and both heroes' thoughts and motivations -- for all 4 POV characters. I loved how Jonah's and Eliza's wounds complemented each other, and I loved how Mark's and Kate's wounds involved each other. I'm so glad we got further into Jonah's psyche. He was the one I knew the least about and therefore liked th Another victory for Mrs. Witemeyer! I have never before liked a story told from more than 2 points of view – but this one was excellent! It was two love stories in one, and we got both heroines' and both heroes' thoughts and motivations -- for all 4 POV characters. I loved how Jonah's and Eliza's wounds complemented each other, and I loved how Mark's and Kate's wounds involved each other. I'm so glad we got further into Jonah's psyche. He was the one I knew the least about and therefore liked the least in the previous story. It definitely needs to be read in order, though. The background for Hanger's Horsemen needs to be understood from At Love's Command before you start this one. The humor, the two different romances, the parental relationships with the adorable children of Harmony House and the ruffian boxcar children, the attention but not obsession with the race differences, and the faith woven throughout made this a truly enjoyable read. The only thing I didn't enjoy was the violence. It wasn't as bad as the first one with the prologue in a war scene, but it still had shooting and killing. I also didn't appreciate that the only Latinos in the story were all on the bad side. Though the black man and mulatto woman were heroes, the Latinos were not. Other than that, it was great, and I loved the ending! Favorite quotes: “Why God had chosen him to aid this woman was a mystery he'd never comprehend. The Almighty must not have had anyone else in the area.” “Mark knew it was probably nothing but coincidence, but the fact that the establishment chose to quote from the gospel of Mark instead of Matthew or Luke resonated in his soul like a signal from heaven. He was meant to come here. Meant to trust these people with his little lady's care.” “Until she [Eliza] understood his [Jonah] temperament, she wouldn't be able to manage him properly.” “Why couldn't he just fall into one of her tidy categories and cease being so intriguing?” “As if the babe understood him, she ceased her wailing and blinked at him. A team player. Good.” “He [Mark] conquered the tower of tubers heroically, determined to impress the fair maiden with his knightly knife skills.” “'Nice to meet you, Wart.' Somehow, Mark managed to pronounce the name as if it were a royal title and not an unsightly skin growth. But then, he'd always had a knack for makin' folks feel special.” “He'd [Jonah had] been trained for battle, after all, not cowardice. Besides, what man in his right mind wouldn't take a moonlight stroll with a lady he admired? Even in territory littered with verbal snares ...” “Katherine wiped her eyes and stood, mimicking Eliza's stance as if Eliza were some kind of pillar of strength to imitate, when Katherine was already one of the strongest women Eliza knew. Maybe not in the conventional way, but her soft heart had a core of iron.” “'...start workin' on getting' you outta here?' And back to Kate. So he could wring her neck. Or more likely kiss her senseless. Yeah, kissing was definitely the better option.” (I received a copy for free from the publisher on NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are my own, as was the decision to write this review.)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    The Heart’s Charge by Karen Witemeyer is the second book in her Hanger’s Horsemen series. After completing their mission in Llano County, Texas, Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks, members of the legendary Hanger’s Horsemen, are tasked with a new assignment. They help deliver a baby only to have to take it to a nearby foundling home. There Mark runs into his ex-fiance. Katherine Palmer has dedicated her life to loving children that are abandoned. When Mark walks back into her life the sparks are soon The Heart’s Charge by Karen Witemeyer is the second book in her Hanger’s Horsemen series. After completing their mission in Llano County, Texas, Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks, members of the legendary Hanger’s Horsemen, are tasked with a new assignment. They help deliver a baby only to have to take it to a nearby foundling home. There Mark runs into his ex-fiance. Katherine Palmer has dedicated her life to loving children that are abandoned. When Mark walks back into her life the sparks are soon flying. Hearing rumors of missing boys, Mark and Jonah stick around to help them. This was such a sweet story. I loved the different kids. Kate and Mark complimented each other so well. I loved the fact that Kate wasn’t some screaming, fainting heroine. When danger came her way, she said a prayer and acted in a rational manner. It was very refreshing. I can’t wait for the next book! I received this book from the author for my honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (Bookworm Lisa)

    Sigh... Those Hanger's Horsemen! If I were in trouble I would want any one of them helping me, to have all four would be even better. Jonah and Wallace stumble upon a case where Box Car children are being taken. Their sense of right and wrong lead them to investigate and endeavor to save the children. Their adventure leads them to deliver a baby and Wallace to find the woman he intended to marry years ago. The romance in this book is tender and respectful. The best part is this is a two-for. Two Sigh... Those Hanger's Horsemen! If I were in trouble I would want any one of them helping me, to have all four would be even better. Jonah and Wallace stumble upon a case where Box Car children are being taken. Their sense of right and wrong lead them to investigate and endeavor to save the children. Their adventure leads them to deliver a baby and Wallace to find the woman he intended to marry years ago. The romance in this book is tender and respectful. The best part is this is a two-for. Two romances for the price of one. Harmony House is a place for parent-less children. It is not an orphanage because the children are taken care of as they would in a family setting. The founders love each child as if they were their own. The women do a fantastic job, but their place is in dire need of improvement. Both Jonah and Wallace rise to the challenge of helping and protecting the women and children. The four main characters are beautifully written. I could almost imagine myself on the homestead with them. Karen Witemeyer captured the old-west for me. I was lost in the pages of the book. The Heart's Charge is an inspiring book. There is one more Horseman to go. I really want to continue with the series and see what is in store for this group of heroic men. Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Korin

    The roughened-cowboy-helps-out-cute-kids storyline has been used a lot and I think sometimes it just doesn't work out. However, I love the way Karen Witemeyer utilizes it. The sort of orphanage that the ladies ran was really cool- they basically took in all the misfits God sent their way and gave them a place to belong. My first job involved lots of kids, nearly all if them missing a parent, or being raised by grandparents, and the way Karen Witemeyer showed the pain that these kids go through w The roughened-cowboy-helps-out-cute-kids storyline has been used a lot and I think sometimes it just doesn't work out. However, I love the way Karen Witemeyer utilizes it. The sort of orphanage that the ladies ran was really cool- they basically took in all the misfits God sent their way and gave them a place to belong. My first job involved lots of kids, nearly all if them missing a parent, or being raised by grandparents, and the way Karen Witemeyer showed the pain that these kids go through was relatable and honest. I really appreciated that. The characters themselves are fabulous as well. I love the split story, from Jonah and Eliza to Mark and Katherine. Both POVs were different, and yielded such unique perspectives. The first chapter had me smiling and already engaged with the characters, which for me is a win since it can sometimes take me awhile to get invested in stories- that wasn't a problem this time! Bravo, Karen Witemeyer! Cannot wait for Preach's story! I received this book from the author in order to write an honest review. All opinions are totally my own.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Andreasen

    This second installment in the Hanger's Horsemen series was phenomenal. I daresay I enjoyed it more than the first. (I know, impossible, right?!) I loved spending time with Jonah and Mark. Karen is great at weaving more than one love story into a book and making them work so well together. Honestly, I enjoyed this book so much I'm making my Old Western movie loving husband read it. This is a clean, Christian romance. I read it all in one day because I was enraptured and wanted to know what happe This second installment in the Hanger's Horsemen series was phenomenal. I daresay I enjoyed it more than the first. (I know, impossible, right?!) I loved spending time with Jonah and Mark. Karen is great at weaving more than one love story into a book and making them work so well together. Honestly, I enjoyed this book so much I'm making my Old Western movie loving husband read it. This is a clean, Christian romance. I read it all in one day because I was enraptured and wanted to know what happened next. It's been a long time since I've done that with a book!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jaye Knight

    This was a fun book. I enjoyed it more than the first one.

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