A Worthy Heart by Susan Anne Mason {book review}

Maggie Montgomery and her brother, Gabe, came from Ireland to visit their older brother, Rylan in New York City in 1914.  Maggie’s jilted fiancé follows her to New York, creating an element of mystery to the story.

Will Maggie listen to the warnings of those who love her or will she follow her heart?

A Worthy Heart by Susan Anne Mason {book review}

A Worthy Heart is the second in the Courage to Dream series by Susan Anne Mason.  The first is Irish Meadows, a place which plays a big part in A Worthy Heart.  This is my first read by this author.  


The answer to Maggie Montgomery’s dream of seeing America has arrived at just the right time. Not only will she be reunited with her beloved brother Rylan, but she’ll finally be able to escape Neill Fitzgerald and his increasingly unwanted attentions. She’s intent on never returning to Ireland, hoping to build her future in the land of opportunity and perhaps find the love of her life.

While visiting Irish Meadows, she meets an intriguing man she thinks is a stable hand. Only when her brother demands she stay away from Adam O’Leary does she learn he’s Rylan’s brother-in-law, recently released from prison. Nonetheless, Maggie can’t seem to make her stubborn heart conform to her brother’s request.

Adam O’Leary has never felt worthy of his place in the family. Now a free man, Adam’s only desire is to earn back his family’s trust. Falling in love with the newly arrived Maggie, however, was never in his plans. Despite everyone’s efforts to keep them apart, the two develop a bond it seems nothing can break–but they soon discover the past isn’t easy to overcome.


Having not read Irish Meadows first, at times I was lost in the sea of characters, most of whom have similar descriptions, such as silken hair, swishy skirts or a mustache.  The characters were distinguished by name and association only, which is too bad because the rest of the writing is wonderful.

The story moves along well, with plenty of excitement, danger, character building (and failing) and faith.  Most all the characters were faith driven except one (no spoilers) who turned from one extreme to the other, or so the story said without showing the reader.  I prefer more showing than telling.

Most of the book lacked historical details, but in the end they were plenteous.  This was confusing to this reader who prefers more historical description and explanation.

The book is written from the almighty narrator point of view, which limits its depth.  There are times when the reader is privy to several characters’ thoughts, and there were many characters in this book.

Notwithstanding I really liked the book.  It is squeaky clean and the romance, which outweighs the historical part of the story, was tastefully done.  I recommend this book to readers of any age or gender.  I give it a four star rating.

My favorite character is Adam.  The author noted in the back of the book that she did not like Adam at first.  I don’t know if he was in the first book, Irish Meadows, which is the name of his family’s horse farm, but I suspect so.  His character development in this book was superb, yet sadly I have no picture of how he looked in my mind from reading the book.

This is a mixed review, yet the power of the story, and the development of a few relationships, particularly involving Adam, won the day.  This reader thinks it was an ambitious work to involve so many characters throughout the entire book (they were consistently present for the duration of the story).

The Author:


Susan Anne Mason describes her writing style as “romance sprinkled with faith.” She loves incorporating inspirational messages of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness into her characters’ journeys. 

Susan lives outside Toronto, Ontario, with her husband, two children, and two cats.  In addition to writing, Susan likes to research her family history online.  


I received this copy of A Worthy Heart from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own.

My rating: four stars

Susan Anne Mason’s website

My review is on Christianbook.com

I reviewed A Worthy Heart for Bethany House


My review is on Goodreads

Vessels for the Master’s Use {325/612}


February 1

Daily Proverb

It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy,

and after vows to make inquiry.

Proverbs 20:25


Daily Bible Reading:

1 Samuel 19

Psalm 13



Inspiring Hymns #325

How Firm a Foundation

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!  What more can He say than to you He hath said, to you, who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

“Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed, for I am thy God, I will still give thee aid;  I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.

“When thro’ the deep waters I call thee to go, the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;  For I will be with thee thy trials to bless, and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

“When thro’ fiery trials thy pathway shall lie, My grace, all-sufficient shall be thy supply;  The flames shall not hurt thee, I only design thy dross to consume, and thy god to refine.”  Amen.

Words:  George Keith

Music:  Anne Steele

Copyright 1951

Singspiration, Inc.