A Heart's Gift by Lena Nelson Dooley ~ Book Review + Giveaway

January 13, 2021


About the Book

A Heart’s Gift
Author: Lena Nelson Dooley
Series: Love's Road Home, Book 1
Genre: Christian historical romance
Publisher: Wild Heart Books 
Release Date: January 12, 2021
Pages: 358

Is a marriage of convenience the answer?

 Franklin Vine has worked hard to build the ranch he inherited into one of the most successful in the majestic Colorado mountains. If only he had an heir to one day inherit the legacy he’s building. But he was burned once in the worst way, and he doesn’t plan to open his heart to another woman. Even if that means he’ll eventually have to divide up his spread among the most loyal of his hired hands.

When Lorinda Sullivan is finally out from under the control of men who made all the decisions in her life, she promises herself she’ll never allow a man to make choices for her again. But without a home in the midst of a hard Rocky Mountain winter, she has to do something to provide for her infant son.

A marriage of convenience seems like the perfect arrangement, yet the stakes quickly become much higher than either of them ever planned. When hearts become entangled, the increasing danger may change their lives forever.


Click here to get your copy!


My Thoughts

I am a sucker for the marriage of convenience trope and this was definitely one of those. I really enjoyed this story. The characters were very well done and so is the plot. The story is about Lorinda and Franklin. Lorinda is a sweet, innocent young woman living in the mountains of Colorado. She has past hurts of abuse from her father and marries Mike who although keeps his hands to himself but believes that women should not really have a say in things more of the barefoot and pregnant kind of man. When tragic news comes at her door she has to make a decision on what to do, especially since she is with child.  She decides the best thing to do is leave and stay with Franklin Vine in his ranch along his housekeeper. 

Franklin feels a pull towards Lorinda and he cannot explain it. I absolutely loved the conflict within him as he tries to figure out why he is feeling this way. (Also the way the author describes him, he sounds absolutely yummy... definitely swoon worthy material!) He has been hurt before and wants no part of it but at the same time he wants an heir for his ranch. Goodness the way he is with the baby is heartwarming. You definitely fall for him immediately and are rooting for him the entire time. Although there are times you want to bop him upside the head as he keeps his feelings for Lorinda inside instead of just letting her know. 

There are some surprising elements that I was not expecting in this story which were great! It definitely kept me reading. I loved how the author weaves faith through out the whole story but its not preachy. This is also one of the first books that I have read that addresses nursing/breastfeeding so openly. I enjoyed this aspect of the book very much as you don't see that very often. 

I wish that we would of read more of Lorinda letting Franklin know why she was so reserved and her back story with her father so that's the only thing that was missing for me. Despite that I thought the story was very good and I will definitely be reading more from this author. 

(I received a copy of this book from the author through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to post a positive review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

About the Author

Lena Nelson Dooley has been an author for 36 years. Her 51st book released in June 2020. Raised in Arkansas, she married a Texan 56 years ago. They have lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for decades. She is an active member of ACFW and one of the founding members the DFW local chapter. She’s often been a speaker for other writers’ groups and conferences, both as a keynote speaker and a workshop teacher. Her fans love reading her books filled with characters who grip your heart.


More from Lena

The Story Behind A Heart’s Gift

I’ve been a lover of history for decades. In college and graduate school, all my elective courses were history. Of course, I chose the countries and eras I wanted to learn about. When I began writing novels, my first one was a contemporary story. After that at least 75% or more of my novels have been historical, from 1805 through the early 20th century.

I’ve always been fascinated by the relationship between Joseph and Mary the mother of Jesus. The Bible doesn’t give us a lot of information about their relationship. But by his actions, we can assume that Joseph believed the angel and Mary about her baby. He didn’t do the usual thing and put her away quietly. Instead, he protected her, and from the day He was born, he became the earthly father of Jesus. I’ve often thought about what that meant for Joseph and for Mary. When I wrote a story of a marriage between a man and a single mother, I used the emotions that I feel God has revealed to me about their relationship.

The first time I read a marriage of convenience novel, I loved it. And I’ve read quite a few. I’ve also written a few. A Heart’s Gift is one of them. This book was an easy and interesting book to write.

I’m what’s called in the industry a seat-of-the-pants author, more or less. I do have the complete outline of the story in my head. When I sit down to write, I know where I’m going, but I don’t have every single scene plotted out as some authors do. And I pray a lot. During the time I’m writing a book, God drops ideas into my mind. Not just while I’m writing, but other times, too. That’s the exciting thing about writing. This keeps it fresh for me.

During the writing of A Heart’s Gift, there’s a place where I just stopped and said, “God, what am I going to do now?” When you get there, you’ll know what scene I mean, but I don’t want to give a spoiler.

I never dreamed that the book would turn into a suspense novel in the last quarter of the book, but God knew. And it made it a better book.

Blog Stops

Connie’s History Classroom, January 13

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14

Maureen’s Musings, January 14

Reviewingbooksplusmore, January 15

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 15

Inklings and notions, January 16

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, January 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 17

Writing from the Heart Land, January 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 18

Betti Mace, January 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 19

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 19

Artistic Nobody, January 20 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, January 20

Older & Smarter?, January 21

lalkesidelivingsite, January 21

For Him and My Family, January 22

Labor Not in Vain, January 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 23

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, January 23

Texas Book-aholic, January 24

To Everything There Is A Season, January 24

deb’s Book Review, January 25

Lis Loves Reading, January 25

Splashes of Joy, January 26

Pause for Tales, January 26

Mary Hake, January 26


To celebrate her tour, Lena is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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



  1. Thank you, Kelly-Ann, for featuring me and my book on your blog. I appreciate your comments on the book.

  2. Sounds like a great book to read.  Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway.

  3. Hi, James. I'm glad you stopped by. You know I love reading your books.

  4. I like the cover. The blurb sounds good. Thanks for the chance.

    1. Absolutely! Thank you for stopping by! It was a really good book!

    2. Lynn, thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a chance to read the book. It's available in Print, Kindle, and audio book formats.

  5. I've read Lena's books before and enjoyed them. Would love to read this one. Vivian Furbay jtandviv (at) q (dot) com

  6. Wonderful review, Kelly-Ann! Sounds like one not to miss. Thank you for participating in the tour.