Review of A Place in His Heart by Rebecca DeMarino

Leah Courtney
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I'm a fan of historical fiction and historical romance. So I really wanted to love A Place In His Heart which is set in 17th century England and America. The premise of the story is a good one also. Mary Langton doesn't want to be pushed into an arranged marriage by her father and sister. But she needs to marry before she is considered a spinster and a burden to her father. Barnabas Horton thinks he'll never love again after the loss of his beloved wife. But he needs a mother for his two young sons. When the two end up together, Mary is willing to settle for Barnabas's kindness only. But as years go by and the couple move away to the New World, Mary longs for Barnabas's love.

Two main things kept me from really enjoying this book. I like the historical 17th century setting. But when the conversation is written authentically with lots of thees and thous, I have some trouble getting into the dialogue. This is probably a problem on my part, and the author was attempting to remain true to the time period in doing it, but it still made the book difficult to read.

The other thing that I had a hard time with was the fact that the book, although not a very lengthy read, covers such a long span of time. The book begins in 1630 and ends in 1640. But the fact that the book isn't very long means that the story seems rushed. Events seem to change abruptly. And because there are large gaps between chapters, I was left with an unfinished feeling, not knowing what the characters had been doing all those years. And their feelings and emotions never seemed to have changed in the interim. While in real life, people are always changing and wouldn't remain static over a span of two or five years.

At the end of the book, the author shares information that lets us know that the story is based on the true account of some of her ancestors. Her writing is based on what she found out when researching their story. I love those connections between actual history and historical fiction. But I just couldn't love the book.

I give this one three stars and a G rating for content.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Place in His Heart
Revell (June 3, 2014)
Rebecca DeMarino


Rebecca DeMarino was born in Pensacola, Florida, the daughter of a Navy pilot. Her mother made a home for the family of six all over the map, including Virginia, Nevada, California, Washington, and Guam, before her parents put down anchor on a ranch in Oregon.

As the wife of a young Air Force officer, married life brought more travel. She relied on her mother’s example of how to make a home anywhere. Her three beautiful daughters were born in Florida, Alaska and Nebraska.

Retired after sixteen years with a major airline, she manages to fulfill her love of wanderlust with frequent family or research trips.

Rebecca grew up listening to her mother’s family lore of a great-grandfather from generations ago. Barnabas Horton sailed from England in the 1600’s, to Long Island, N.Y., on a ship called The Swallow. In 1999, after she found Horton Point, L.I., on a map, Rebecca and her mother made the journey to see the lighthouse named after their ancestor.

The legend goes that Barnabas brought a slab of blue slate with him from England, and had the epitaph he wrote himself engraved on it. The blue slate still exists in the Old Cemetery in Southold, L.I., with the Bible verse, “He being dead, still speaketh.” Much information was found about Barnabas, but none of his wife, save a mention in his will.

Her mother passed away in 2005, but Rebecca returned to Southold many times, drawn by her Puritan roots and English heritage. Each time she wondered about her ninth great-grandmother, a young woman who married a widower with two young boys and then followed them for the wilds of Long Island, leaving behind her home and family. What were her dreams? Her motivations? Her fears?

Rebecca’s historical romance novel, A PLACE IN HIS HEART, debuts with Revell, a division of Baker Publishing House, in June of 2014.


Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Puritan Barnabas Horton is still in love with his deceased wife and needs only a mother for his two young sons. And yet these two very different people with very different expectations will take a leap of faith, wed, and then embark on a life-changing journey across the ocean to the Colonies. Along the way, each must learn to live in harmony, to wait on God, and to recognize true love where they least expect to find it.

This heartfelt tale of love and devotion is based on debut author Rebecca DeMarino's own ancestors, who came to Long Island in the mid-1600s to establish a life--and a legacy--in the New World.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of A Place in His Heart, go HERE.

Rebecca is hosting a Giveaway worth over $300.00 in prizes. There will be 8 winners! Scroll to the bottom of the post HERE to enter!!!!!

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Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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