The Heart of the Mountains by Pepper Basham ~ Book Review

July 1, 2022

About the Book 

Book: The Heart of the Mountains
Author: Pepper Basham
Genre: Christian Romance
Release Date: July 1, 2022

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?

My Thoughts 

Every time I pick up a Pepper Basham book I know I'm in for a treat. This book was no exception. It had all the right elements plus so much more. I loved the setting of this story. Set in the Appalachian Mountains it seemed so rustic and secluded but honestly I found it quite peaceful despite all that was happening. Basham does such a great job at describing the setting and gives you all the details to put you right in the midst of it all. Not only does she do that with the setting but also with her characters. Each and every one of them had something to bring to the story. They were so believable and you could connect with them wether in a positive or negative way. 

Cora and Jeb... (insert sigh). They were the perfect leading characters. Each had to learn something throughout the story about themselves and their journey with God. When they meet, you know there is going to be a slow burn romance happening and goodness you keep waiting for that first kiss scene that no one but Pepper can write! (I promise you it happens and totally worth the wait!)

Yes, the romance part of the book was amazing but what drew me in the most were the hard topics that Basham tackled in this story. I mean there was prostitution, alcoholism and abuse. She really writes about these in a tasteful manner but at the same time tugging at your soul and making you stop and think of God's redemptive grace while you read the words on this book regarding what these characters are going through. I love how this author doesn't shy away from her faith in her writing but rather holds on to it, breathes it, lives it and you can definitely see that in her writing and also in her life (which you can see if you follow her on social media). 

I feel like there is more to this story that can be told! I would like to know about Jeb's sister and her whereabouts but as always I am just a greedy reader wanting more! If you enjoy Christian Historical Fiction I definitely recommend you go grab this one! Oh, and although this is the second in the series it can be read as a stand alone. I did and had no problem following the story but that doesn't mean I will not be reading the first one!! 

My Rating: 5 Stars/Absolutely loved it!!

Favorite Musings:

"True, Life and death are in the hands of the Almighty." Her gaze met his "But sometimes our hearts are so much too broken to recognize the idea in our heads."

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

About the Author

Pepper D Basham has been telling tales ever since she was a little girl. When her grandmother called her a “writer” at the age of ten, Pepper took it as gospel and has enjoyed various types of writing styles ever since. A native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and lover of chocolate, Pepper enjoys sprinkling her native Appalachian culture into her fiction wherever she can. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC, where she works with kids who have special needs, searches for unique hats, and plots new ways to annoy her wonderful friends at her writing blog, The Writer’s Alley 


  1. I love her books and can't wait to read this one!! Cindy from Cindy's Book Corner (my account is being weird on certain sites and not letting me sign in).