A romance set in the Appalachians with an edge of danger... The Heart of the Mountains by Pepper Basham (Review & #Giveaway) @BarbourBuzz @Celebrate_Lit #christianfiction #christianromance #romancebooks #histfic #christfic

Welcome to my tour stop with Celebrate Lit for this author's
newest! Read my review and enter the tour giveaway below...

The Heart of the Mountains
By Pepper Basham
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 322 Pages
July 1, 2022 by Barbour Books


Can their hearts overcome the darkness of the mountains?

To escape a forced marriage, Cora Taylor travels from England to the Blue Ridge Mountains in search of her brother, who is working as a teacher in a mission school. She hopes to find a place where her nursing skills and independent ideas will be accepted and appreciated, but nothing prepares her for the wild mixture of isolation, community, brokenness, and hope within these mountains…or in the person of Jeb McAdams.

Returning from the devastation of World War 1 emotionally damaged, Jeb McAdams struggles against the rampant mountain alcoholism to soothe his nightmares. It’s easy to hide within the mountains, or it was, before Cora Taylor arrived. Now, she seems to show up at every turn, bringing her modern ideas, curiosity, and beautiful eyes with her.

Bound by their shared war history, the pair develop an unlikely friendship, which unexpectedly hints to something more. But when Cora’s desire to help the women of the mountains crosses an unspoken line, will Jeb be able to protect this feisty flatlander from the wrath of the mountain men or will he end up losing much more than his heart?

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My Review

THE HEART OF THE MOUNTAINS is a story where two worlds collide in the Appalachians, that between a properly raised English lady and a country man raised in the mountains. Readers will find complex characters, sweet romance, some danger, and a faith element to create a story full of heart. Definitely recommended to Christian historical romance fans and fans of the author.

I've read a handful of Basham's books and still find myself surprised with each new one. She has a way of bringing a story to life where the reader feels immersed in the setting and falling in love with the characters. This story is no different.

The Appalachians and its people came alive in this story as did the main characters. I couldn't help feeling like I was walking through mysterious, dark and dangerous woods along with Cora and feeling her fear and resolution as she faces challenge after challenge. Jeb was endeared to my heart as he struggled to honor his best friend, care for his family and do the best he could by Cora. They were both characters with their own strengths, struggles, and backgrounds who have to their own choices to make. Of course they find themselves thrown into each others' lives unintentionally until they can't help but find love. Along the way, they both deal with different aspects of faith as they learn to work through experiences they faced in the war and those they face in the mountains where prejudice and superstition runs rampant. Now to go back and read Cora's brother's story.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was an enjoyable story from the very first page to the end. It's evenly paced with moments of desperation, danger and sweet romance throughout. Another wonderful book from this author!

Content: Some violence, drunkenness/alcoholism, and sexual references pertinent to the plot, and one closed-door scene between a married couple. Would consider clean.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Celebrate Lit, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell’s Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

You can learn more about Pepper at her website http://www.pepperdbasham.com or connect with her on FB, IG, or Twitter.

More from Pepper

It’s so interesting how one idea can influence an entire series, or…how one person’s story can.

The idea for The Heart of the Mountains started in Laurel’s Dream with a hint of a family history story about a girl named Kizzie. (Someday, I hope to bring Kizzie’s story to the pages of a book). From there, the idea began to grow out of a love for my Appalachian culture into a series of books which highlighted (and fictionalized) stories from my family history.

The main story in The Heart of the Mountains is about Jeb and Cora, two different people with similar servant hearts, but the secondary story that touched me so much was the one based on my great grandfather’s life. I write about it in the Author’s Note at the end of the novel, so I won’t go into detail about it. However, what I loved getting to do is bring the truth of God’s redemption in my great grandfather’s life…to life again.

I never knew “Papa Rat”. I only knew the stories handed down to me by my granny and my mama, but in writing this story, I feel as though I had a tiny opportunity to “meet” him in these pages. He was a gruff mountain man with a broken past which led him to make a whole lot of broken choices, but his story is incredibly encouraging, because it points to the God of broken people. My great grandpa wasn’t left in his brokenness, but, after years of running away from God, he would later recount that God pursued him. The beauty of Sam McAdams’ journey in The Heart of the Mountains is only a little glimpse into what I imagine my great grandpa’s redemption story looked like.

Because my great grandpa was forever changed when Jesus saved him (as any of us should be).

I think that’s what my granny and her siblings (and even “Papa Rat” himself) would want most -that his story would point to Jesus. I hope that’s what you see when you read about Sam McAdams in The Heart of the Mountains.

Have you ever read a book based on family history? One of my favorites is Catherine Marshall’s Christy.

Tour Schedule

Bizwings Blog, July 28

Bigreadersite, July 28

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, July 31 (Author Interview)

Betti Mace, August 3

Remembrancy, August 4

By the Book, August 5

Wishful Endings, August 5

SodbusterLiving, August 7

Splashes of Joy, August 7

Pause for Tales, August 9

Miriam Jacob, August 10

Tour-Wide Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e- gift card and a paperback copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Are you a fan of this author? Have you read other stories set in the Appalachians?

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