The Heart's Appeal

The Heart's Appeal

Julia Bernay has come to London to become a doctor--a glorious new opportunity for women during the reign of Victoria. When she witnesses a serious accident, her quick actions save the life of barrister Michael Stephenson. He rose above his family's stigma, but can he rise to the challenge of the fiercely independent woman who has swept into his life?...

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Title:The Heart's Appeal
Author:Jennifer Delamere
Rating:

The Heart's Appeal Reviews

  • Paula Shreckhise

    A Heart’s Appeal by Jennifer Delamere is book two in the series London Beginnings, but can be read as a stand-alone. While some characters from book one revisit this story, it is not necessary to read it to understand the plot.

    A train wreck in London! Julia Bernay, a medical student, saves the life of Barrister, Michael Stephenson. Will this be the start of a beautiful friendship? Or will they find themselves on opposite sides of a controversial issue? Will Julia realize her dream of becoming a

    A Heart’s Appeal by Jennifer Delamere is book two in the series London Beginnings, but can be read as a stand-alone. While some characters from book one revisit this story, it is not necessary to read it to understand the plot.

    A train wreck in London! Julia Bernay, a medical student, saves the life of Barrister, Michael Stephenson. Will this be the start of a beautiful friendship? Or will they find themselves on opposite sides of a controversial issue? Will Julia realize her dream of becoming a doctor?

    This tale has much going for it! It is rich in historical detail. The author gives Julia a background of growing up in an orphanage run by George Mueller. The setting is a time when women were seeking the right to vote and to become doctors. There is even an appearance by the great comet of 1881.

    Julia Bernay has had a rough start in life but sets her sights high. She is determined to become a missionary doctor. She has a strong faith that she learned at the orphanage. On her way to a lecture, she is involved in an accident on the Metropolitan Underground Railway. She is in the right place to save the life of a young barrister, Michael Stephenson. Their paths continue to cross but circumstances get in the way of their growing attraction. Julia’s theme seems to be: rely on God and prayer; then everything will turn out for the best. Julia has an affect on all who come in contact with her. She lives out her faith. There are many relationships that need fixing and Julia plays a part in rectifying many of them.

    The overarching message of the story is learning to forgive and thinking the best of people before making hasty assumptions.

    Miss Delamere is an expert at putting the reader in the story with her descriptions of the slums that Julia and her friends visit in order to give medical aid to a woman in labor. The scenes of childbirth are very realistic. Her knowledge of human nature adds depth to this novel.

    I am looking forward to the third book in this series.

    *I received this book from Bethany House for review. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  • Hannah

    Enjoyable story that was very easy to read. Minus one star for expecting me to believe that a girl raised on strong faith and going to be a missionary wouldn't have more of an issue falling in love with a man who's unsaved. Otherwise well written and good characters. Full review later.

  • Rebecca

    "She'd had an air of confidence and independence . . .Her unadorned clothing had only accentuated, rather than minimized how attractive she was."

    A first impression of the woman who had ended up saving Michael Stephenson's life following an unfortunate accident on the Metropolitan Underground Railway. Her quick thinking and calm demeanor would leave him with merely a scar; and a distinct feeling that he would enjoy seeing this woman again, if only to determine why she would ever want to become a

    "She'd had an air of confidence and independence . . .Her unadorned clothing had only accentuated, rather than minimized how attractive she was."

    A first impression of the woman who had ended up saving Michael Stephenson's life following an unfortunate accident on the Metropolitan Underground Railway. Her quick thinking and calm demeanor would leave him with merely a scar; and a distinct feeling that he would enjoy seeing this woman again, if only to determine why she would ever want to become a doctor.

    Julia Bernay will not be dissuaded from her life's calling, to become a physician and travel to Africa as a medical missionary. First things first; she must pass the entrance exam into the only London institution training female medical students; the London School of Medicine for Women. Latin has managed to be her Achilles heel, so when she visits the young aspiring solicitor whose life she saved on the train, she accepts a gift; a gift of Latin tutelage. If only Michael Stephenson wasn't on the legal team trying to shut down the very program that would ensure her future.

    Life becomes complicated as Julia's faith and determination becomes a curious anomaly to an aspiring lawyer, who has considered sacrificing his own future happiness in order to elevate his family's name into good stead again among London's social elite. Not to mention, that a powerful earl will stop at nothing to thwart Julia's dream. . . . . ."Solvitur ambulando - It is solved by walking."

    What a lovely story; with its impressive mix of history and story line, unique and endearing characters, and a deep, authentic inspirational undercurrent.

  • Megan

    If you’re looking to be inspired by a strong heroine who is ahead of her time, this is the perfect book for you! I really enjoyed this second book in the “London Beginnings” series by Jennifer Delamere. I have read the first one, but this could easily be read as a standalone.

    As I stated above, Ms. Delamere writes a strong female heroine that women will love! Julia Bernay is a woman trying to become a doctor in Victorian England. Julia cares more about intellect than finding a suitable husband or

    If you’re looking to be inspired by a strong heroine who is ahead of her time, this is the perfect book for you! I really enjoyed this second book in the “London Beginnings” series by Jennifer Delamere. I have read the first one, but this could easily be read as a standalone.

    As I stated above, Ms. Delamere writes a strong female heroine that women will love! Julia Bernay is a woman trying to become a doctor in Victorian England. Julia cares more about intellect than finding a suitable husband or worrying over her personal appearance. Even though she is smart and determined, she also has a very strong faith. She is bold about her faith and really tries to live it out. Throughout the story she prays, remembers scripture, wants to be a medical missionary and boldly speaks God’s truth to others.

    Our hero, Michael Stephenson is an equally powerful man who is a barrister. He is skeptical of religion in the beginning and is challenged to think on where his heart and his treasure are. I love how Ms. Delamere shows, through several couples in the book, that couples can pursue different and individual professional careers and still have a happy relationship.

    “The Heart’s Appeal” has some great themes and lessons. It addresses the topics of women’s rights, class and gender. It was a bit slow at times for me, but it’s such a great story that it was worth it to read through until the end. There’s a great lesson about not always being true to oneself above all, but first being true to God and then finding one’s true self in Christ. I especially love the lessons Julia learns about her mission field and trusting God!

    Content: I give this book a PG rating for some content. Some examples of the content are: a lot about blood and wounds as the main character is studying to be a doctor; a husband says his wife doesn’t allow him to be as “affectionate” as often as he would like; mention of prostitutes and venereal diseases; talk of someone possibly committing suicide; people drink alcohol; talk of a man possibly being drunk; talk of people cursing, but the word is not written; a man suggests smoking Cuban cigars; a person is possibly illegitimate; mention of drinking in a person’s past; a person accidentally kills someone.

    Rating: I give this book 4 stars.

    Genre: Christian Historical Fiction; England; Romance; Victorian

    I want to thank Jennifer Delamere, Celebrate Lit and Bethany House Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

  • Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)

    I loved how this book started out with a bang! I was instantly enthralled and invested in Julia and Michael. They are both strong and intense characters so it was interesting to get to know them as their deeper layers were revealed and they grew closer together. They had good chemistry, but the romance felt like it happened suddenly and I missed some of the development. The pace of the book slowed a few times and I could feel my interest begin to wane throughout the technical descriptions, but I

    I loved how this book started out with a bang! I was instantly enthralled and invested in Julia and Michael. They are both strong and intense characters so it was interesting to get to know them as their deeper layers were revealed and they grew closer together. They had good chemistry, but the romance felt like it happened suddenly and I missed some of the development. The pace of the book slowed a few times and I could feel my interest begin to wane throughout the technical descriptions, but I was too curious how the story would come together in the end with so much conflict keeping them apart. I enjoyed many other characters in the book as well, even though some of them had sharp edges as they fight to make their way and follow their dreams. I appreciated learning more about the history of women in medicine and the struggle to be accepted as equals in a male-dominated field. The story wraps up nicely, but also leaves the reader with a bit of a cliffhanger, so I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, which I assume will be the youngest sister Cara's story.

    (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

  • Staci

    Continuing to enjoy this series about three sisters that grew up in an orphanage. In The Heart's Appeal, the main character is Julia. Julia has been trained as a nurse and wants to purse her education further to become a doctor. She wants to be a doctor in Africa.

  • Sarah Grace

    RTC Maybe . . .

  • Jessica

    I received this book for free from the Bethany House Blogger Review Program in exchange for an honest review.

    Full disclaimer, I did not read the first book in this series, which is about Julia’s sister but this did not affect my comprehension of this book. You could read this book as a standalone if you wanted to and still be able to enjoy it.

    I always love historical fiction novels about women forging their own paths, so naturally I liked this.

    I enjoyed the medical aspect of the book. At time

    I received this book for free from the Bethany House Blogger Review Program in exchange for an honest review.

    Full disclaimer, I did not read the first book in this series, which is about Julia’s sister but this did not affect my comprehension of this book. You could read this book as a standalone if you wanted to and still be able to enjoy it.

    I always love historical fiction novels about women forging their own paths, so naturally I liked this.

    I enjoyed the medical aspect of the book. At times it felt like I was watching a medical drama, which is a good thing!

    Character-wise, I liked Julia overall, but at times I found that she could be a bit annoying with her brutally honest personality. I really loved Michael and how his character developed throughout the book. I found Julia and Michael to be a very well-matched couple. I also loved that the author went with a dual POV for these two characters. You got to know each of them really well. For the supporting characters, I loved David and Mr. Anderson.

    I appreciated the discussion of women’s rights and hardships during this time period. At one point the female characters talk about coverture. Lisette brings up, “By the laws of England, you and everything you own will be his property with as he likes” (130). Later in that same scene another character, Mrs. Fawcett mentions, “Other women may decide to remain unmarried to pursue a career, and others will marry and prefer to focus on home and family. Can we truly fault any of these choices? What we must be advocating is simply for the right of women to be able to decide for themselves what is best for their lives” (131). Amen to that!

    As a side note, there was a description of a library that I wanted to share. Every time I encounter a library description in a book I always end up sharing it in my review. The books states, “Bookcases two stories high held hundreds of leather-bound volumes. A sofa and leather chairs were comfortably arranged near an impressive stone fireplace. Tall windows looked onto the expansive garden. Julia immediately thought that if she were ever asked to describe her idea of heaven, it would look just like this” (281). I agree 100%.

    Overall, this was a great historical fiction novel that focuses on a strong female making her mark on the world and finding love unexpectedly.

  • Joleen

    by

    : Historical Fiction

    : Kindle

    : 1881

    : London

    :

    : Main Character

    : Attorney whose life she saved

    : Michael’s sister and brother-in-law

    : Julia’s sister

    : Julia’s friend and daughter of an Earl

    When Julia's first encounter with David was assisting him after their train derailed. Because of her nurse's training she was able to save his life until a doctor came to

    by

    : Historical Fiction

    : Kindle

    : 1881

    : London

    :

    : Main Character

    : Attorney whose life she saved

    : Michael’s sister and brother-in-law

    : Julia’s sister

    : Julia’s friend and daughter of an Earl

    When Julia's first encounter with David was assisting him after their train derailed. Because of her nurse's training she was able to save his life until a doctor came to the scene. A friendship developed after she visited “her patient”. But what she didn’t know prior was he was one of the lead attorneys in a law suit against the college she was to attend on her way to becoming a doctor. The Earl of Westbridge had a grudge against the lecturers at that college and wanted it shut down.

    The friendship that developed between Julia and Michael was sweet, clean, and seemed to be quite platonic because of Michael's lack of faith. Her desire was to be an example of Christ. Julia’s goal and calling in life was to be a missionary in Africa as a doctor. Many talks of Christ with Michael seemed to fall on deaf ears. But in payment for saving his life he offered to teach her Latin, a language with which she had much difficulty, but essential to becoming a doctor. So they maintained a business-like relationship - until one day it wasn’t.

    Although it was such an easy fun read, that one issue brings the book down a notch… a big notch for me. Was it entertaining? Yes. Was it sweet? Pretty much. Was it clean? Yes. But I judge Christian writers by a different standard. If they know scripture, and they know what is right and biblical, why wouldn’t a lesson on why a Christian not be involved with a non-Christian be part of how it’s dealt with?

    As much as I liked all other aspects of this book, I cannot recommend it on that basis.

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