A Matter of Heart (Lone Star Brides Series #3)

A Matter of Heart (Lone Star Brides Series #3)

by Tracie Peterson


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Texas born and raised Jessica Atherton is a wealthy young woman whose heart was broken when the man she intended to marry wedded another. But her world is upended when two new men come into her life, and both manage to stir her heart.

Harrison Gable is a successful young lawyer with ambitions that match Jessica's dreams. His warm, attentive manner and thoughtful gifts make her feel special.

Austin Todd, a former Secret Service agent, enjoys working now as a Texas Ranger cattle inspector. But after learning of forged gold certificates and missing printing plates, he's drawn back into the world of intrigue and agrees to help solve the case. Jessica is drawn to his kind nature and the unspoken pain she sees in his eyes.

If Jessica follows her heart, where will it lead?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764210600
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/07/2014
Series: Lone Star Brides Series , #3
Pages: 316
Sales rank: 195,012
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Belgrade, Montana. Learn more at www.traciepeterson.com.

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A Matter of Heart 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
LizR1990 More than 1 year ago
Jessica Atherton has lived a privileged life and is used to getting her way. However, after recently being rejected by the man she had thought to marry for a woman not as beautiful or well to do as she, Jessica has started looking inward and finding she doesn’t care for what she sees. With suitors still lining up at the doors, Jessica’s world is thrown for a loop when two distinctly different men find their way into her life. Will Jessica be able to follow her heart when she is not even sure who she is anymore? I wasn’t sure when I started this book how I would feel reading about Jessica. I haven’t had a chance to read the previous two books in the series but I know from reviews and back covers that she is not exactly a joy. I really enjoyed her character arc though and she grew so much throughout the story. Tracie Peterson certainly knows how to write a story and I always enjoy her work. With many series under her belt, some of which can be read as standalones, I would definitely suggest reading this one in order as a little of the story and character development was lost on me having started at the end. Overall I enjoyed this story and will definitely go back and read the first two books. ***I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own***
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Texas tale was a fun, romantic read. The country setting, love triangle, and life lessons create an entertaining story that naturally draws the reader in. Forgiveness, humility, love, honesty, and friendship are just a few of the issues written delicately within the pages. Jessica, Austin, and the rest of the gang are likeable characters from the start, even though their pasts aren’t exactly picture perfect. There is obvious growth in them by the end and some sweet moments between Jessica and her beaus. Harrison is quite the charmer, I will say! ;) However, I will admit I wasn’t entirely convinced why at the start of the book Jessica’s heart had so radically changed from her previous self-absorbed persona. I was glad she longed to be a better person, but I would have preferred to see the incident that opened her eyes and/or humbled her. I believe I would have understood her heart a bit better then. A few certain aspects throughout were rather predictable, but I still enjoyed the overall arc of the story. A Matter of Heart spins a sweet, lighthearted tale of new beginnings with a dramatic twist. Go ahead, follow your heart…. and pick up this book. It’s a cute one! This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publisher for my copy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this story and the characters. Jessica and Austin were wonderful.  It was nice reading about Texas and learning a little about what the secret service once worked on.  I look forward to more in this series and other books by Tracie Peterson.  I received this from Bethany House for a fair and honest opinion.
Faithful1 More than 1 year ago
Time period: Late 1800's in Texas--I've been a fan of Tracie Peterson books ever since I read her debut novel many years ago. A Matter of Heart had somewhat of a slow start for me, though. Also, it was difficult for me to keep track of all the minor characters. I found the main characters to be likeable. Jessica Atherton, a lovely young woman, is feeling left out of the circle of her now married friends, some already with children. She doesn't even have any prospects. Then all of a sudden she has two! First is Austin Todd. Austin is a Texas Ranger cattle inspector and retired Secret Service Agent. He is a good looking man with a kind heart. He is a private person and something from his past is haunting him. Jessica is drawn to him and he to her right away. Then a handsome young lawyer comes to town and sweeps Jessica off her feet. His name is Harrison Gable. I wish Jessica and the man she chose could've gotten together sooner. All in all, I liked the story and readers should too. **I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a public review.
JCMorrows More than 1 year ago
This is the third book in Tracie Peterson‘s Lone Star Brides series. I have now read all three of them now and let me just say… WOW! Each story is better than the last – not always how it works. A Matter of Heart is another great read! Such powerful emotions, such great stories, such strong characters – and how she comes up with so many different ones who are similar in some ways but still so very different… well, it’s only one of the things that makes her such an amazing author! Unlike my experience with the first book in this series; I didn’t even bother to read any of the other silly reviews for this book. And I do believe that Tracie’s sales speak for themselves! I have a whole new outlook on Texas and I have to say that…even though I absolutely detest heat, I just have to see it someday soon! Of course it won’t be the same… but worth it all the same, I’m sure! Once again I am thrilled to say that God is interwoven into the story in a perfect way! So many Christian fiction books are either too preachy or there’s not nearly enough of God in the story for it to truly work as a Christian fiction novel. And I know I’ve said it before but it has to be said again. It’s so much more believable for me as far as history goes because… Historically speaking… people were more religious. So it’s more believable, more accurate and it’s more interesting! The book is a new favorite of mine and I’m sad to see that it’s the last one. Although I’m hopeful she has more series in the works already! I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
The Lone Star Brides series has been so enjoyable to read. A Matter of Heart is the third book in this series and follows Jessica Atherton, a young lady we first met in book two of the series, A Moment in Time. The author tackles a difficult situation right from the start in this book. If you have read book two of the series, you know that Jessica is not a sweet, kind person. She is strong-willed, outspoken, stubborn, and spoiled. She behaves very poorly toward the heroine in book two. It is a challenge to turn this type of person into the focal character in a subsequent story, however, Tracie Peterson did a great job of just that. Jessica begins to understand in the story that she needs to make some changes in her life. Her heart attitude toward people and God is all out of whack and I was impressed with the way this character worked to try to figure out how to get her focus in the right place and the way she tried to rectify things with those people she had wronged in the past. There are two leading men that Jessica must choose between. Harrison Gable represents the worldly things, as well as the position in society that Jessica has always desired. Austin Todd does not. There is a sadness to Austin, some things he needs to work out in regards to his heart. His attitude toward God, and even toward himself, needs some adjusting. He carries much guilt and hurt. It is interesting to see things through the perspective of both men and there was not any question in my mind as to who Jessica was meant to be with. I felt that this was a good conclusion to the series and definitely recommend each book in this series to readers who enjoy historical fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
This wasn’t a book that grabbed me right away and I’m not even sure why. Tracie did everything right but I just had trouble connecting with the story…until about page 100 and then I had to see what would happen. Jessica is a young women struggling with the person she has been in the past and how people perceive her. She wants to change but change doesn’t come as easy as she thought. Who can’t relate to that? She finds herself falling back into old patterns of thought and gets frustrated at her fall backs. The two men in Jessica’s life make things much more interesting. I immediately liked Austin and his mysterious, quiet way. Harrison was a bit more bold and I could see why Jessica would be drawn that but something in me didn’t really trust him at first. You’ll have to read the book to see if there was a reason I couldn’t trust him:) This is a series but I didn’t feel like I had missed out on anything that wouldn’t allow me to enjoy this book, so I think this can be read as a stand-alone, since I haven’t read the other books. If you enjoy Tracie Peterson and historical romance this might be a book you want to take a look at. A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
barbjan10 More than 1 year ago
It came as a delightful surprise when I remembered that I had already read the first book in this Lone Star Brides Series, “A Sensible Arrangement.”  Now, having read the third book of this series, I definitely want to read the second book, “Moment in Time.”  Tracie’s well-honed prose that mixes mystery, romance, and humor during the late 1800’s creates a fascinating read. Jessica Atherton seems to be left behind when all her friends have married and having babies.  Jessica had imagined herself married to a wealthy handsome man and living a life of luxury in a large city.  She feels the sting of rejection from the man she had planned to marry, Robert Barnett, who married another.  She ponders why and decides the reason might be her own behavior toward others.  She realizes she is tactless, hurtful to others, spoiled and selfish and begins to work on changing herself.  The first of Tracie’s story is a bit slow until Jessica decides a change is in order and things begin to happen. Jessica feels she is being pitied during a gathering of friends and family at her parent’s home in Texas.  She could barely handle Robert Barnett arriving with his wife Alice and new baby.  She thought to herself “that baby should be mine.”  Inadequate is how she felt when she overheard comments being made.  Her own mother had urged her to draw closer to God and forget about her beauty.  She thought her mother simply did not understand – no one did.  It wasn’t as though she had not had suitors; she had turned down several proposals. We meet widower Austin Todd in the middle of a reoccurring nightmare.  He feels responsible for the deaths of his wife Grace, his stillborn baby, and his brother.  He sees them all in his dream plus the disapproving and accusing eyes of his mother and father.  He was a cattle inspector for the Texas Rangers and had formerly worked in Washington D.C. for the Treasury Department’s Secret Service.  Ironically, Robert Barnett was the first to visit him with an invitation to a gathering on the Barnett Ranch.  Robert’s father had plans to build a railroad spur and a new town and wanted Austin Todd to be the Marshall.  The Barnett gathering is where Jessica and Austin meet for the first time – pleasantly aware of each other, but afterward Austin kept his distance. Another newcomer to this large cattle area is handsome attorney Harrison Gable.  He immediately is attracted to Jessica, but there is something about him that seemed untrustworthy.  Jessica is drawn to Harrison, but really cares for Austin.  Now everything begins to get a bit messy – a lot of iniquitous and mysterious happenings need Austin to investigate. Some characters and situations have been carried through both novels in this series that I have read.  A Matter of Heart brings them altogether through this gifted author’s pen.  Ms. Peterson concludes this series cleverly and artfully.  You will enjoy the warm feelings tendered and watch a young woman face challenges that will renew her faith and maturity.  It is almost impossible for me to conceive the numerous books Tracie Peterson has composed…..she is definitely creating a reputation for herself!  (Notice the pun…..Jessica certainly made a new reputation for herself)  Now, go buy the series and see for yourself how Ms. Peterson can entertain you. I was provided this book by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing for my honest review. I have not received any compensation.  
tanyacb More than 1 year ago
My Reflections: I am a big fan of Tracy Peterson, and although I found this book to be entertaining this book did not get the expected reaction I had anticipated. Set in 1896 in a small town nestled in Texas, we meet Jessica Atherton, a self absorbed and pampered woman. Jessica is struggling to turn a new leaf, to change her very nature. Being raised with her well off family has done some serious damage, and Jessica is finding change to be elusive. Austin Todd is a man with a past, he is running to chase away his demons. Working for the Texas Rangers is a honest job that Austin truly appreciates, It keeps him too busy to remember... trying to to bury the past and move into the future he meets Jessica and is intrigued by her forthright and spunky demeanor. Will he succeed in moving on with his life, and burring the demons that haunt him? I enjoy a complex storyline, but this one had a few too many characters for me to really connect deeply with any one of them. I found the secondary characters to be a tad flat, one dimensional and not well developed. I did however appreciate how Peterson knit together a story rooted in faith and self discovery even though I may not have felt the same
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MNGringa1 More than 1 year ago
A Matter of Heart by Tracie Peterson warms the soul with adventurous characters and a hint of mystery. Jessica Atherton is a spoiled, rich girl who is concerned only with herself. She begins to take a good look at herself when her almost fiancee marries someone else. The girl was not as pretty as Jessica, and this confuses her. Taking a look at herself and finding out the truth sets her on a quest to change her inside beauty to be as beautiful as her outside beauty. This quest is not an easy one as everyone thinks that Jessica is only concerned with surface things. As time goes by, and her actions prove her desires to change, people see Jess's heart and warm to her changes. Austin Todd is a haunted man. He recently moved to Texas to get away from his tragic past. He worked for the Treasury Department and enjoyed his job, but when tragedies struck, he took on a different position working for the Texas Rangers. This position keeps him moving and rarely home to be haunted by memories. Through the love and kindness of neighbors, Austin finds that he wants to be home. He is fascinated with Jessica and her forthright manners. Can he leave his past behind and fall in love again? Peterson has once again created characters that you care about. This is her third book in her Lonestar Brides Series. I haven't read the previous books, but didn't feel confusion or loss for not having read them. This is a great stand alone title. The journey that Austin has leaving a painful past and starting a new life was beautifully written. Jessica's journey of self discovery was also fun to read. The mystery and intrigue with the safety deposit box was a great surprise in the middle of the story, but one that I enjoyed. Peterson does an outstanding job with her storyline. Her pacing is never rushed, and her attention to detail draws the reader in. The reader cares for the characters and then the mystery comes along to keep you reading. There are some cliffhangers that will leave you turning pages quickly to find out what really happened. This is a great read with a touch of sweet romance. Once again Peterson has hit her mark. My thanks to Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley for providing me with a free ebook to read and review.