Book Review: Close to His Heart by Leonora Pruner

In this eighteenth-century romance, a young and naive Grace Carstares plans a midnight elopement with a handsome stableman with suspicious motives. Their plans are thwarted, however, when Grace discovers a mysterious stranger lying guard at her bedroom threshold. All is explained the next morning when, to her dismay, Grace learns her nighttime guardian is young Lord Buryhill, a suitor approved by her father who caught rumor of her misguided romance and decided to protect her from ruining her life.

Determined to marry this particular young woman, Lord Henry Buryhill comes to deeply love Grace and hopes to win her love in return. Yet buried beneath this determination is his own abandoned hope that he would meet a woman who might share his commitment to God.

Henry wins Grace’s heart as well as her hand in marriage. But Henry cannot overcome his nagging fears that Grace clings to her affection for the stableman. His distrust darkly clouds their wedding night and shatters their hopes for a joy-filled union. Unaware of the reasons driving her husband’s suspicions and jealousy, a devastated Grace withdraws from Henry, busying herself in gardening and taking solace in God’s love.

An ensuing pony-cart accident, through which Grace loses all memory of former things, presents both Grace and Henry the opportunity to either abandon their shattered marriage or begin anew. A guilt-ridden Henry is determined to win Grace’s heart once again, but Grace must decide whether to accept the courtship of a complete stranger or continue her life in the small community among the people who found her and nursed her back from a head injury. Will Henry’s determination, forgiveness, and tender care be sufficient to rebuild a foundation for their marriage?

Publisher:  Nordskog Publishing
Release Date:  March 25, 2010
Age Group:  Adult
Pages:  368

My favorite genre is historical fiction, seconded by Christian fiction.  So, when I found out that Close to His Heart is historical Christian fiction I was really excited to read it.  

Close to His Heart is set in the 1700s and is about a young couple navigating the ups and downs of married life along with Grace's memory loss.  I really enjoyed this book!  The love story was sweet and touching, all of the characters were very well-developed and grew throughout the course of the story, and I can tell that Pruner did her research in keeping the story historically accurate.  

Grace and Henry spend most of the book attempting to overcome hurt feelings, disappointed hopes, and disillusionment over a huge misunderstanding the night they get engaged.  I like knowing more than the characters and having to wait for them to catch on!  

Don't judge Close to His Heart by the playful tone of the cover---it really is a deep, heartfelt read.  I would recommend it to all fans of historical and Christian fiction, and also fans of romance.  If you're looking for the bedroom scenes typical of romance novels, be aware that this is a very clean romance, which I find to be a nice change of pace. 

Just One Gripe: 
This is a third-person narrativeMy only complaint is that it felt repetitive at times.  We experience an event as the character goes through it, then we experience as that character reflects on it, and sometimes we experience it a third time when the character relays the event to another character.  Grace's memory loss was the only part where it really got to me---the rest of the time I appreciated the different perspective gained from the retelling.

The Best Thing About This Book: 
I just loved the development of the love story and the ending.

Appropriate for a younger audience: 

Characters: 4/5
Plot: 3/5
Setting/Imagery: 4/5
Originality: 3/5
Ending: 5/5
Total Score:  19/25


  1. aww I like the sound of this one! I would have definitely judged it by the cover, had you not told us not to haha brilliant review :)

  2. Thanks for the wonderful review of Leonora's book. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I love historicals and Christian fiction too, so I'm hoping to get to read it soon.

    So many books, so little time. :)

    Thanks again.


  3. I hardly judge a book by it's cover and judge it by the synopsis instead. and it works wonders. Great review. I would love to read it too ;p

  4. Ooo great review. I've contemplated this one before.


Word verification stinks--- but spammers are worse. Thank you for your patience!