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Heart Land

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A story of reconnection, lost love, and the power of faith, Heart Land follows a struggling fashion designer back to her small Iowa hometown as she tries to follow her dreams of success and finding true love. Grace Klaren has finally made her dream of living in the Big Apple and working in the fashion industry a reality. But when she’s unexpectedly fired and can’t afford th A story of reconnection, lost love, and the power of faith, Heart Land follows a struggling fashion designer back to her small Iowa hometown as she tries to follow her dreams of success and finding true love. Grace Klaren has finally made her dream of living in the Big Apple and working in the fashion industry a reality. But when she’s unexpectedly fired and can’t afford the next month’s rent, Grace does something she never thought she’d do: she moves back home. Back in Silver Creek, Iowa, Grace is determined to hate it. She rails against the quiet of her small town, where everything closes early, where there’s no nightlife, where everyone knows each other. She’s saving her pennies and plotting her return to New York when she almost runs over a man who’s not paying attention at a crosswalk. It turns out to be Tucker, her high school sweetheart whose heart she broke when she left ten years ago. They reconnect, and Grace remembers why she fell for him in the first place. And her career begins to turn around when she finds a gorgeous but tattered vintage dress at a flea market. She buys it, rips it apart seam by seam, and re-creates it with new fabric, updating the look with some of her own design ideas. She snaps a picture and lists the dress online, and within a day, it sells for nearly $200. Suddenly, Grace has her ticket out of here. But Grace can’t fight her growing feelings for Tucker. Sometimes when they’re together, Tucker paints a picture of what their future could be like, and it feels so real. And when she finally gains the funding to move her new business back to New York, Grace must decide where home really is—will she chase her long-held New York dream, or find a new dream here in the heartland?


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A story of reconnection, lost love, and the power of faith, Heart Land follows a struggling fashion designer back to her small Iowa hometown as she tries to follow her dreams of success and finding true love. Grace Klaren has finally made her dream of living in the Big Apple and working in the fashion industry a reality. But when she’s unexpectedly fired and can’t afford th A story of reconnection, lost love, and the power of faith, Heart Land follows a struggling fashion designer back to her small Iowa hometown as she tries to follow her dreams of success and finding true love. Grace Klaren has finally made her dream of living in the Big Apple and working in the fashion industry a reality. But when she’s unexpectedly fired and can’t afford the next month’s rent, Grace does something she never thought she’d do: she moves back home. Back in Silver Creek, Iowa, Grace is determined to hate it. She rails against the quiet of her small town, where everything closes early, where there’s no nightlife, where everyone knows each other. She’s saving her pennies and plotting her return to New York when she almost runs over a man who’s not paying attention at a crosswalk. It turns out to be Tucker, her high school sweetheart whose heart she broke when she left ten years ago. They reconnect, and Grace remembers why she fell for him in the first place. And her career begins to turn around when she finds a gorgeous but tattered vintage dress at a flea market. She buys it, rips it apart seam by seam, and re-creates it with new fabric, updating the look with some of her own design ideas. She snaps a picture and lists the dress online, and within a day, it sells for nearly $200. Suddenly, Grace has her ticket out of here. But Grace can’t fight her growing feelings for Tucker. Sometimes when they’re together, Tucker paints a picture of what their future could be like, and it feels so real. And when she finally gains the funding to move her new business back to New York, Grace must decide where home really is—will she chase her long-held New York dream, or find a new dream here in the heartland?

30 review for Heart Land

  1. 5 out of 5

    Reading.Between.Wines

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 / 5 rounded up I think that Heart Land by Kimberly Stuart is quite possibly one of the sweetest books I have ever read and I adored it! Heart Land is about Grace, a twentysomething from Iowa who has been working at a premier fashion house named Milano in NYC for the past 6 years. She has been a design assistant the entire time, but her hope is to earn a promotion to her dream job of designer. When the presentation with the head of design doesn't quite go according to plan, Grace finds herse ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5 rounded up I think that Heart Land by Kimberly Stuart is quite possibly one of the sweetest books I have ever read and I adored it! Heart Land is about Grace, a twentysomething from Iowa who has been working at a premier fashion house named Milano in NYC for the past 6 years. She has been a design assistant the entire time, but her hope is to earn a promotion to her dream job of designer. When the presentation with the head of design doesn't quite go according to plan, Grace finds herself back in her small town of Silver Creek, Iowa where she has yet to come to terms with a few things. She reconnects with a boy she dated named Tucker while there, and when things with her career start to turn back around she must decide if she will stay in her hometown or end up back in New York and break Tucker's heart... a second time. Even though the author blurb tells me that these stories Stuart writes are only intended to make readers cry once - maybe twice, that is not what happened for me. I teared up SO many times that I highly recommend having a box of tissues close by. Grace lost her parents as a teenager, and having lost my own mother, parts of this book regarding her loss hit me really hard. I also grew up in a farming community in Minnesota so being from the heartland was yet another connection I was able to make. Christianity and God are also woven into this novel, but not in a way that it will overwhelm you if that isn't your thing. Although I believe in God and I consider myself a Christian, I don't really enjoy reading books that discuss god. I like to keep my fiction fiction and stay away from books that discuss religion too much. The bit that is in this book didn't bother me at all, and really did add to the story since Grace's faith was tested (and kind of lost) when she lost her parents. There is VERY minimal discussion about God, faith and the Bible; something I think someone could glance over if they aren't interested or it makes them uncomfortable. I seriously think that Heart Land would make THE perfect Hallmark movie; that's what it read like to me and since I love those movies I think it just gave me yet another reason to love this book. It actually also reminded me a little of Sweet Home Alabama in the aspect of big city girl goes back to her small-town roots, and a boy - now man - from her past. It's not exactly the same, but I got a similar vibe. The imagery that Stuart creates in this book is breathtaking, and I could picture absolutely everything being described right down to the colors of the sky. She is such a fantastic writer, and the flow was simply wonderful. So wonderful in fact that I finished the book in a day, under 4 hours to be exact! So, this is definitely a fast read as well. The only reason I didn't give it a full 5 stars was because I found Grace to be a bit dense sometimes even though she is almost 30 years old. Final Thought: Heart Land is positively endearing, and I think anyone from the heartland is going to be able to appreciate it. I especially recommend if you are a fan of Hallmark movies - if you hate them this might not be the book for you. Beautiful story, fast read, and a gorgeous cover make this a winner for me and I cannot WAIT to read more of Stuart's novels.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Heart Land Kimberly Stuart Grace Klaren can't believe she is back in Iowa! She worked so hard in the fashion world and made her way to a new life in New York City and now it's all gone. She started at the bottom of the fashion ladder and worked her way up with years of hard work. Does she get rewarded for that? Nope, she finds herself unemployed with the bills that are piling up and she can't pay them! She figures she just needs to regroup and returns back home to Iowa to her grandmother who raise Heart Land Kimberly Stuart Grace Klaren can't believe she is back in Iowa! She worked so hard in the fashion world and made her way to a new life in New York City and now it's all gone. She started at the bottom of the fashion ladder and worked her way up with years of hard work. Does she get rewarded for that? Nope, she finds herself unemployed with the bills that are piling up and she can't pay them! She figures she just needs to regroup and returns back home to Iowa to her grandmother who raised her. I really like Grace as she is strong and brave and doesn't let anything hold her back. She's a fighter and keeps on keeping on no matter how hard life may seem at that moment. HEART LAND is a wonderful story of second chances in love and in careers. When Grace gets home, she is embarrassed and ashamed of how her life has ended up. She quickly runs in to Tucker, her high school boyfriend, thanks to her grandmother Gigi. While helping Gigi at a local flea market, selling dresses that Gigi made, they come up with a great plan. With the help of the the ladies in town, they develop a new fashion line that becomes an overnight sensation. HEART LAND is filled with life lessons as well as how a town gets behind one of its own and does anything to help. Kimberly Stuart really knows how to write about family drama, heartbreak, and forgiveness. I have never read anything by her before but now I can not wait to read more by this wonderful and heart tugging author. I have many of her older books to read and that makes me so happy. HEART LAND finds Grace trying to decide if she wants to stay in Silver Creek, Iowa or find a way to get back to New York City. She is torn and struggling, not just with this decision but also about her past and letting go of it. All of Kimberly's characters feel genuine and relatable and put your emotions on one heck of a roller coaster ride. As you are reading, you will find yourself cheering for all of them, praying they can work out their problems and be happy once again. Once I started reading HEART LAND, it was very hard to stop! The twists and turns made it impossible to put down, as I had to know what was going to happen to Grace and where she was going to end up. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Atria Books through Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Madison

    3.5 stars Heart Land is a sweet romance, a story of love given a second chance, the cost of following your dreams, and a touch of the glamour of high fashion. Grace Kleren has fought hard to follow her dreams of becoming a top fashion designer. After years of brutal, hard work on the lower rungs, Grace is on the verge of a promotion. But instead of being rewarded for her passion, Grace finds herself without a job and mounting debts she cannot pay. Giving herself time to regroup, Grace returns hom 3.5 stars Heart Land is a sweet romance, a story of love given a second chance, the cost of following your dreams, and a touch of the glamour of high fashion. Grace Kleren has fought hard to follow her dreams of becoming a top fashion designer. After years of brutal, hard work on the lower rungs, Grace is on the verge of a promotion. But instead of being rewarded for her passion, Grace finds herself without a job and mounting debts she cannot pay. Giving herself time to regroup, Grace returns home to a small town in Iowa, to the love and care of her grandmother, Gigi. But Grace left many people behind in her mad dash to the city, including her first love, Tucker. After a shaky reunion, Tucker and Grace quickly return to their strong friendship and growing romantic feelings. But when a new design opportunity presents itself, Grace will have to choose between the draw of the big city lights of New York or the simple but true love she could only find in Tucker’s arms. There’s nothing wrong with a good love story, and that’s exactly what Heart Land delivers. Love of family, love of a dream, love of a town or place, and, of course, romantic love. Grace didn’t think she would love being back in her little home town. She certainly left as soon as she could when she finished high school. But there is something about the big, open spaces that call to her. Or perhaps it is having the love of her grandmother and her amazing friends wrapped around Grace again. Even looking back on the memories of her mother and father, memories she has tried so hard to hide, bring a sense of peace she hasn’t felt before. Grace has always dreamed of becoming a fashion designer and she certainly has the skill. Despite her setbacks in New York, it isn’t long before Grace takes the opportunity to work with her grandmother to create a beautiful set of individually styled dresses. Gorgeous fabrics, embellishments, and flowing silhouettes, it’s fun to be drawn into Grace’s world of fashion. Heart Land really centres around the romance between Tucker and Grace. Theirs is a relationship that, despite the past, is strong and one that they easily fall back into. Tucker is incredibly sweet, continually giving of himself to help Grace follow her dreams. There are plenty of romantic moments - think wildflowers and fairy lights -so readers who want romance will not be disappointed. There are also threads of faith woven throughout the story. Faith doesn’t play a huge role in the story, but Grace who has previously doubted the love of God due to the hardships she has faced, comes to accept his presence in her life. Yet the depth of Grace’s hurt is never mined too deeply, instead the story remains relatively light. Heart Land is a simple and sweet romance, perfect for readers who enjoy books about second-chance love stories. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library

  4. 5 out of 5

    Clara

    This novel is the proof that simple is underrated. And I say this full of love, there was something about the story that reminded me of a favorite sweater - comfortable, cozy, enjoyable, the best place to be. If I don't sound convincing enough, let me say this, "Heart Land" reminds me of home. A constant, simple, straightforward word. Because it beckons much more than just a place, but people, memories, an embrace. On that note, let me tell you a bit about the story here. It is about coming back h This novel is the proof that simple is underrated. And I say this full of love, there was something about the story that reminded me of a favorite sweater - comfortable, cozy, enjoyable, the best place to be. If I don't sound convincing enough, let me say this, "Heart Land" reminds me of home. A constant, simple, straightforward word. Because it beckons much more than just a place, but people, memories, an embrace. On that note, let me tell you a bit about the story here. It is about coming back home (all of the above mentioned) and about rediscovering your dream where you thought once it might not fit. But, then, once you get there, you find faithful people knowing what you needed; seeing you and all your faults and still choosing to love you. Remember that word I mentioned: constant. Endearing, thoughtful, entertaining. I am very much looking forward to other books by this author. *many thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC; this is my honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Olivia-Savannah Roach

    I read Heart Land in a single sitting. I had a five hour train journey ahead of me between two cities, and I tuned out to the person listening to music way too loudly next to me, and fell into the world where there is a small town girl who has big city dreams – but a love interest who part of that small town to stay. Heart Land was a simple, straight forward romance, and there is nothing wrong with that. It might not have been a mind-blowing experience for me. Yet, there is something lovely in a I read Heart Land in a single sitting. I had a five hour train journey ahead of me between two cities, and I tuned out to the person listening to music way too loudly next to me, and fell into the world where there is a small town girl who has big city dreams – but a love interest who part of that small town to stay. Heart Land was a simple, straight forward romance, and there is nothing wrong with that. It might not have been a mind-blowing experience for me. Yet, there is something lovely in a romance being sweet, simple and adorable as well! I absolutely loved Gracie’s creativity, and how she can work with whatever is thrown her way. If there is a job to be done, she will do it. Deadlines? Easy-peasy. Limited material? Somehow, she will figure something out. I’m all for people who are passionate about what they do and strive to be ambitious within that field. I know nothing about fashion at all, but I was able to enjoy it and get swept up in the rush of the fashion industry too. Gracie is the kind of girl who makes her dreams come true based on determination and hard work. I think the setting was done pretty well. The descriptions didn’t really come from describing the look of the city, but the atmosphere instead. The small town was established based on the speed of the gossip traveling, the number of lovely old ladies and how everyone knew everyone from birth to their current age. I felt like the city side of things could’ve been developed a bit more – we don’t really get to see the city lifestyle outside of the fashion industry. But that’s just a minor thing. A book can’t possibly have it all! Tucker was just the sweetest, most kind-hearted and lovely country man I could ever meet. He was a true gentleman. He was in fact, maybe a little too good at times. He was a bit too perfect to be real but hey, I don’t mind that in a nice romance from time to time. I felt like Gracie was sometimes undeserving of his wonderfulness, but that’s okay as well. She was busy figuring out what she wanted. He was just living his life, so he didn’t really have much room to steer as wrong as she did. The religious theme was interesting? I didn’t really expect to see it at all! Don’t fear about it being pushy or preachy or anything, because it really isn’t. It’s only mentioned briefly from time to time. I was surprised at it being mentioned at all, but I did like it. It was a nice minor inclusion, and kind of fits with this small town atmosphere. (I’m NOT saying religion is only for small towns, and not cities. Just to make that clear.) The writing style was nice and descriptive, but not overly so. It was simple and straightforward, quite like the story. I liked it, because it matched and worked well here. This was a lovely train journey read! Relevance to today: Relationships definitely aren’t easy, especially when there is one thing you want, and the other partner wants something else. You might be perfect for each other in every other way but want different things in your life. I think this book does a good job discussing what the possibilities are in that kind of situation and how it could affect the relationship you have. This review can originally be found on Olivia's Catastrophe: https://oliviascatastrophe.com/2018/0...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Suzie

    I love a small-town romance, and second-chance romances are also at the top of my favorite reads list (yeah, it’s a long list but there are certain tropes I don’t pass up). Kimberly Stuart delivers both of the above (and more) in her latest book. When Grace’s big plans for her future success in the design industry crash and burn, she returns to her Iowa hometown discouraged and disheartened. With the help of her grandmother and friends, as well as a man from her past, Grace fights to find her foo I love a small-town romance, and second-chance romances are also at the top of my favorite reads list (yeah, it’s a long list but there are certain tropes I don’t pass up). Kimberly Stuart delivers both of the above (and more) in her latest book. When Grace’s big plans for her future success in the design industry crash and burn, she returns to her Iowa hometown discouraged and disheartened. With the help of her grandmother and friends, as well as a man from her past, Grace fights to find her footing in this new reality. Grace annoyed me a little bit at times. She’s so focused on success and making a name for herself, she jumps right into an opportunity without taking any time to think about the repercussions. Perhaps that’s simply naiveté, but after her last experience in NYC, I would have liked her to be a little more gun shy before pulling the trigger on the next one that comes along. And why did no one else have any words of warning for Grace? Tucker tried to emphasize she was the shining star and hinted at his concerns but never outright stated them. That aside, Tucker is a calming presence among Grace’s tumultuous thoughts and emotions. I appreciated the guy liked to tease, showcasing his sense of humor, but also remained steadfast and confident around Grace. Then there are the grannies. These ladies are what made this book so thoroughly enjoyable with their playful bickering and sage advice. The epilogue is the perfect ending to this story. Overall a quick and fun read (perfect for a weekend or a day at the beach or pool) even if you’re wardrobe leans more toward Target and Kohls than designer. Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    I have never read anything by this author and I love discovering new authors. This book was absolutely delightful. Everything about it was good. The characters were great, even secondary ones. I loved the grannies especially. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to more by this author. Very well written. *My thanks to the publisher for a preview copy of this novel. The opinion stated here is entirely my own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Loved this book so much! Review to come...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Katy (Katyslibrary)

    3.5 stars, review originally from my blog Katy's Library Blog Thank you so much Atria Books for sending my a copy of Heart Land in exchange for an honest review! I enjoyed this one so much it was a quick, easy, light hearted read perfect for summer! Full of southern charm and big NYC dreams and a dash of romance I give this 3.5 stars. I immediately got Sweet Home Alabama vibes from this book and I love Sweet Home Alabama so that was a welcome treat. Grace was a spunky, strong, independent characte 3.5 stars, review originally from my blog Katy's Library Blog Thank you so much Atria Books for sending my a copy of Heart Land in exchange for an honest review! I enjoyed this one so much it was a quick, easy, light hearted read perfect for summer! Full of southern charm and big NYC dreams and a dash of romance I give this 3.5 stars. I immediately got Sweet Home Alabama vibes from this book and I love Sweet Home Alabama so that was a welcome treat. Grace was a spunky, strong, independent character and I really enjoyed watching her story progress. Her goals of being a fashion designer and fighting for her recognition and dreams was the best part of this story. I loved how her family and small town stood behind her. It made me want to be part of a small town! I also really liked Gigi and Goldie and all the grannies they made me smile so much through out the book. There were bits of religion thrown in which isn’t for me, but it never felt forced or out of place so it didn’t take away from the story at all. This book was very simple. That’s not a bad thing at all, it wasn’t overly dramatic or cheesy, it just was what it was and I really liked that about it. It was a book you could just snuggle under a blanket with or read pool side and finish in a few hours and not be mentally exhausted but still happy at the end all the same. I do have to say I think there could have been a bit more to the romance. I think the book was more focused on Grace’s career which was great but the romance part felt thrown together. I never felt the connection between Tucker and Grace like I would have liked too. I did still like Tucker and Grace I just didn’t get as involved with them as I did with finding out about Grace and her fashion career. I definitely recommend this book, its easy to finish and it’s such a feel good book that you really can’t go wrong giving it a go, especially if you like Sweet Home Alabama 🙂:)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stacie

    Returning home to Iowa is not exactly what Grace Kleran had in mind. She never looked back after high school, only looking forward as she studied and realized her dream of living in New York City. The fashion industry is all Grace has ever wanted to be a part of and after six years of sweat and hard work, she has finally gotten her opportunity to be the lead designer. Her presentation was perfectly executed and her designs were some of her best. But, instead of getting the top job, she is fired. Returning home to Iowa is not exactly what Grace Kleran had in mind. She never looked back after high school, only looking forward as she studied and realized her dream of living in New York City. The fashion industry is all Grace has ever wanted to be a part of and after six years of sweat and hard work, she has finally gotten her opportunity to be the lead designer. Her presentation was perfectly executed and her designs were some of her best. But, instead of getting the top job, she is fired. With no money in her account and the bills piling up fast, she is forced to return home to small-town Iowa. Grace needs to confront her past, first her grandma and the memories of her parents’ accident. Then all kinds of emotions are stirred up when her high school sweetheart, Tucker, appears to still be available. She has some apologizing to do and some friendships to mend. But she also needs to find a way to make some money. She has no intention of staying in Iowa and is looking for the fastest way back to New York City. On a whim, she designs a dress to sell on Etsy. It sells so fast she may have found a way back to her dream sooner than she thought. What I love about Stuart’s books is that we can see ourselves in many of her characters. Stuart takes great care to show readers that real life can be messy and unpredictable, but with family, faith, friends, and determination we can get past the struggles and hardships. Grace has a talent that may be too big for small-town Iowa, but taking the girl out of Iowa is easier than taking Iowa out of the girl. Grace grapples with being true to herself and her designs while taking risks to make it big. Sometimes the mistakes show us what is truly important. The various characters, both the New Yorkers and the Iowans, are easily imagined right down to their choices of clothing, like the seersucker pants on Grace’s New York co-worker or Tucker’s jeans and work gloves. The fashion including Grace’s designs and what specific characters are wearing are part of the important details of the story. Stuart takes great care in creating characters that are likable and that the reader roots for. The romance between Tucker and Grace is realistic and builds slowly in the background while Grace tries to fit her way back into the lifestyle of her small town. The hard-working values of Iowans helping their neighbors and friends appear in the scenes. The book is full of heart, whether it’s in the designs Grace creates, the relationship with her grandma, her love for Tucker, or the feelings of home. Stuart’s wit and humor fill the pages along with her desire to share her love of family, faith, and small-town values. The novel feels like a warm hug and while there are sadness and anger around us, escaping in a book can remind us there is still goodness in others.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nadine Keels

    I made it close to the end of this book. Pretty pleasant reading for me most of the way, with some moments I found humorous. While I didn't dislike the story, though, it did lag at times. There wasn't much about the storyline or most of the characters that "popped" for me, that made me eager to keep reading on, except that I wanted to finish. Overall, the heroine is likable and relatable, but she leans toward being romantically wishy-washy. Plus, her ultimate naïveté about what professional succes I made it close to the end of this book. Pretty pleasant reading for me most of the way, with some moments I found humorous. While I didn't dislike the story, though, it did lag at times. There wasn't much about the storyline or most of the characters that "popped" for me, that made me eager to keep reading on, except that I wanted to finish. Overall, the heroine is likable and relatable, but she leans toward being romantically wishy-washy. Plus, her ultimate naïveté about what professional success in the fashion industry (in New York) would require seems unrealistic for her character, especially after she's already spent so many years working in the big city, as involved in fashion as she could get. Since I found both her career and romantic relationship choices/expectations to be unconvincing at the point when they're meant to be critical, I decided not to continue. Still, I think plenty of Christian Fiction readers will enjoy this novel. _________ I received a complimentary copy of this book, for which I've given an honest review, through a Goodreads giveaway.

  12. 5 out of 5

    The Blonde Bookworm

    Heart Land was a sweet and romantic story about second chances in life and in love. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I connected with the main character and I quickly came to love her personality as well as her grandmother's. The characters were well developed and the story was entertaining and full of romance. I was drawn in instantly and loved the pacing of the novel as well. Heart Land was a really cute and fun read. It kept me guessing and was full of emotional roller coasters. The cha Heart Land was a sweet and romantic story about second chances in life and in love. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I connected with the main character and I quickly came to love her personality as well as her grandmother's. The characters were well developed and the story was entertaining and full of romance. I was drawn in instantly and loved the pacing of the novel as well. Heart Land was a really cute and fun read. It kept me guessing and was full of emotional roller coasters. The characters from Iowa were by far my favorite portion of the novel because I just loved the camaraderie and joy that they brought to the story. I would highly recommend this to readers who enjoy contemporary reads. Thank you to NetGalley and Atria for sending this novel in exchange for and honest review. Rating 4/5

  13. 5 out of 5

    The Book Girl (Andrea)

    This book absolutely rocked. This is a simple novel and it is entirely underrated. I can say that it is full of love, there is this sense of familiarity with the story, it's like an old friend. I also can say that this book reminds me of the heartland and my home. It feels like home. This is the story of loss, love, redemption, reconnection, and the power of faith. The book follows a story we all can sort of relate to in some way, the struggle of making it. Heart Land follows a struggling design This book absolutely rocked. This is a simple novel and it is entirely underrated. I can say that it is full of love, there is this sense of familiarity with the story, it's like an old friend. I also can say that this book reminds me of the heartland and my home. It feels like home. This is the story of loss, love, redemption, reconnection, and the power of faith. The book follows a story we all can sort of relate to in some way, the struggle of making it. Heart Land follows a struggling designer of fashion who has had to go back to her small town in Iowa. She is trying desperately to be a success and wants to find her way in life. Maybe in the middle of it all find some love. Our main character is Grace, who is one of the best characters I have read. She is strong, brave, fearless, and completely developed. She has finally done it. She is living in the Big Apple and working in the fashion industry. Unfortunately, her dreams come crashing down when she is fired. This unexpected twist of fate is completely gut-wrenching. In the end, she has to give up her dream for a while and go back home. I won't dive too deep into the plot but this book has the perfect mix of protagonist and an ultimate antagonist. I just loved that fact. The author wrote a story that completely enveloped me and I couldn't help but fly through the story. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this through NetGalley and all thoughts are my own and do not reflect this fact.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    Heart Land's description was accurate and misleading all at the same time. I won't go into details on what was misleading because that will probably be too much information/spoilers. But I will say that I hate when this happens--when I read a book and realize the description wasn't entirely accurate. Just tell me the truth without trying to doctor it up. If there are details you don't want to put into the description then leave them out entirely without misleading me. Grace has been living in New Heart Land's description was accurate and misleading all at the same time. I won't go into details on what was misleading because that will probably be too much information/spoilers. But I will say that I hate when this happens--when I read a book and realize the description wasn't entirely accurate. Just tell me the truth without trying to doctor it up. If there are details you don't want to put into the description then leave them out entirely without misleading me. Grace has been living in New York and working at Milano for 6 years I believe. That's a long time to be doing a job without promoting even if one has been all but promised to you. And it is kind of a long time to be stuck in the denial stages about certain events of your past. Grace wasn't always the easiest character for me to read. I didn't relate to her in many areas. I've never been hugely fashionable. I don't fault those who are, but that's not me. I wear what I like and what I feel good in, but I'm never going to pay $700 on a handbag or a pair of shoes. I'm way too practical for that. I don't care how good they look, how nicely crafted, or what designer dreamed them up. And the issue that I usually take with fashionistas is their tendency to judge others for not being up to their standards. As an adult (no longer in high school), I am so far beyond caring about the clothes that others are wearing or what they think about the clothes that I wear. When you're in high school there's so much conformity and it is so important (or at least you think so) to wear the "in" thing, but after that you're thrown into a melting pot of people with completely different tastes. And everyone likes different styles and we're all okay with that. Until you stumble upon someone so absorbed with fashion that they feel the need to judge and look down upon what everyone else is wearing. It annoys me. So this part of Grace's character annoyed me as well. Another way that I don't relate is that I don't like the city. I grew up in a small town. But it isn't just that, so many people in such a small space drives me nuts. I even dislike traveling to major touristy places because I dread being surrounded by so many people. Grace's love for New York wasn't something that I understood or something I could commiserate with her. But her biggest reasons for wanting to be in New York were more about running away rather than running to anything. I hated her boss even early on. I liked Tucker, but I felt like too much of the blame for their relationship issues both now and in the past were placed on Grace. He could have made some different decisions then and now. I loved Gigi with everything in me. And most of the characters of Grace's hometown. However, I felt like Grace was really gullible and the conflict could have been seen from space. I wish there would have been more action on her part to salvage things when they went bad there at the end, but legally I guess I understand that probably nothing could have been done. Some of how things wrapped up was just a little too easy for story purposes and not entirely believable to me. Favorite quote: -"First of all, do not self-pity. It's unattractive in strong women,"... I was completely and utterly surprised to find a spiritual message in this book as it wasn't marked as Christian nor was that in the description. But I was beyond happy to see it included. The entire book wasn't about this message so you could still enjoy the book even if that's not your thing. There's something so appealing to me about a story with a moral that isn't preached at you. However, I did find Grace's lessons a little easily learned in the telling of them rather than showing her faith journey. Heart Land was a fun and quick read for me, but it wasn't without flaws. I found the description misleading. I didn't connect to the main character as much as I would have liked. But I can't say that I was surprised given the fashion stuff was a major part of the description. I enjoyed the Christian aspects thrown in. And I loved Tucker's generosity and personality even if I wish he'd done a bit more to step up when the conflict arose. All in, Heart Land gets 3.5 Stars. Have you read Heart Land? What did you think? Let me know!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shane

    Heart Land is a cute story that while has its predictable moments, there are good life lessons you can take from it. One thing I liked the most is how it emphasized that home is truly where the heart is, no matter where you go or how much you may feel like that place isn't for you and that you need bigger things to fill a need. Character-wise, Grace came off rather naive to me, especially in how she maneuvered life in New York. It baffled me how quickly she was to trust, more specifically trustin Heart Land is a cute story that while has its predictable moments, there are good life lessons you can take from it. One thing I liked the most is how it emphasized that home is truly where the heart is, no matter where you go or how much you may feel like that place isn't for you and that you need bigger things to fill a need. Character-wise, Grace came off rather naive to me, especially in how she maneuvered life in New York. It baffled me how quickly she was to trust, more specifically trusting the same person that carried out her firing. That bit aside, she was relatable in the sense that some people just want more and want to experience greater things than their small town can offer. So it's understandable that she didn't want to limit herself to Silver Creek. Sadly, there were times she straight up shaded her hometown in the process, even failing to keep in touch with those closest to her. Gigi was a wonderful figure in the story. The way she'd always have open arms waiting for Grace was commendable because not many would do the same after Grace's continuous neglect of where she came from. I also liked her unwavering faith and the constant reminder that you'll rise after every fall in life. The romance aspect was also adorable. Tucker went through a lot with Grace and it's a wonder that he could still love her after everything, but he definitely held her in his heart and held on to the hope that one day she'd open her eyes and realize everything she wanted in life was already in front of her face. Again, a really cute story with some valuable lessons. For instance, I liked that Grace tried to help out members of her town by involving them in her business when things started to turn around for her. And the fact that she stood her ground and thought of them when faced with a horrible deal made her more likable and showcased growth. As I've said, a good story. It's just that it was a tad predictable. But overall, if you're looking for a short and sweet read about faith, self-discovery, and love, then you may enjoy this one.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gloria

    Heart Land is a delightful and sweet story of love and second chances-both of love and careers. Grace Kleren left her hometown in Iowa after high school for New York City and a career in the fashion world. After devoting her life and time in a fashion design company for several years, she is fired. Overspent and broke, Grace has no choice but to return to Iowa and her grandmother Gigi. She only has her grandmother since the death of her parents when she was a junior in high school. Grace was ash Heart Land is a delightful and sweet story of love and second chances-both of love and careers. Grace Kleren left her hometown in Iowa after high school for New York City and a career in the fashion world. After devoting her life and time in a fashion design company for several years, she is fired. Overspent and broke, Grace has no choice but to return to Iowa and her grandmother Gigi. She only has her grandmother since the death of her parents when she was a junior in high school. Grace was ashamed and embarrassed of her failure in New York. She planned on working long enough to make some money to get back on her feet and head back to the city-one way or another. Things had a way of changing her plans. She didn't plan to rekindle her friendship with her high school boyfriend Tucker that she hurt by leaving after graduation. After working with her Gigi and other grannies to develop a new wardrobe that became an overnight success, New York wanted her back. It seemed that she would be leaving Gigi and Tucker again, at least for a while. There are a lot of life lessons in this story that involve figuring out what is success by the world's view and what God has in store for us. What we deem important can give us tunnel vision and we miss out on who and what is really important and part of God's plan. This is a sweet story that had me smiling and pulling for Grace in her personal life and career. Tucker is such a great guy and looks out for Gigi and her friends. The ladies are all very supportive of Grace as is Tucker. A feel good story of love, faith and second chances. I received a complimentary copy from Howard Books through NetGalley. The thoughts and opinions stated are mine only.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    After a bit of a slow start, this book picked up some energy. This was a little of a roller coaster ride of emotional connection with Grace, the leading lady. There was times when I was routing so hard for her, to have me pull all sense of loyalty later on. Irritating you might say? No, it actually worked as you emotionally connect and disconnect with her. Small town Iowa is depicted well, with a true image of Midwestern camaraderie. It doesn't matter how long she has been gone, most of the town After a bit of a slow start, this book picked up some energy. This was a little of a roller coaster ride of emotional connection with Grace, the leading lady. There was times when I was routing so hard for her, to have me pull all sense of loyalty later on. Irritating you might say? No, it actually worked as you emotionally connect and disconnect with her. Small town Iowa is depicted well, with a true image of Midwestern camaraderie. It doesn't matter how long she has been gone, most of the town are happy to see Grace return, and she has their full support in her new endeavor. I enjoyed meeting Tucker, and all the history between him and Grace just embellishes the story. I have to say I was screaming 'contract' over and over later in the book.... I'm sure you'll know exactly what I mean when the time comes, and I just thought to myself how stupid could she be. At this point I was irritated with her anyway again, and rolling my eyes plenty! It keeps it real and plays into the naïveté she still experiences despite being a New Yorker for some time. Though I felt the conclusion worked, it did seem hurried. I was hoping for the money playmaker in NY to demand loyalty to Grace and Flyover, and somehow we'd get that big empty factory running again. That would have been a way better ending. Overall a lovely tale of going home to a place of memories, love and security - rediscovering your values and working together to find resolution and peace. I received a complimentary eARC from Edelweiss+ & Netgalley. This is my honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Pavlina Read more sleep less blog❤❤

    Excited to read this one soon!     

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Davie

    A standalone novel of reconnection and rediscovering what's truly important in your life. This ARC was sent to me by NetGalley and Howard Books and Simon & Schuster for an honest review. My Take Oh, this was so, so lovely. I was riveted, especially with that opening hook, lol. Okay, part of the love may have been Grace's passion for design and sewing such beautiful creations, as it reflects my own love for clothing and creating, so fair warning *grin* Yes, it's a Christian novel, and the first o A standalone novel of reconnection and rediscovering what's truly important in your life. This ARC was sent to me by NetGalley and Howard Books and Simon & Schuster for an honest review. My Take Oh, this was so, so lovely. I was riveted, especially with that opening hook, lol. Okay, part of the love may have been Grace's passion for design and sewing such beautiful creations, as it reflects my own love for clothing and creating, so fair warning *grin* Yes, it's a Christian novel, and the first one where I didn't feel hit over the head with it. Absolutely lovely. The characters are amazing, and exactly the kind of people you want around you…even a few of those New Yorkers *more grinning* Stuart's descriptions of the setting and Tucker's fears were emotionally evocative. A good part of the inspirational is Grace's desire [and mission] to help the people of her small town, of the whole state, of Gigi's encouragement, Tucker's honesty and wholehearted support, and the help from their friends — and that's what truly makes someone a Christian. It was obvious what the "bad" guy's actions would be, and the journey to and through it was still a compulsive need on my part to follow the naive Grace's journey to enlightenment. It's a passage we all should pursue, of reflection on one's self, the good, the bad. I sure loved it when Gigi would point out the positives of all those negatives Grace focused on from her perspective in first person protagonist point-of-view! Another trick we should remember when we're thinking of all those personal negatives, is to try and list a positive for each negative. You'll be amazed how quickly the positives outweigh the other! LOL, Pete's comments about Tucker's disposition and appearance…omigod…I can't help but love the honest transparency. Disclaimer: These quotes may not end up in the final publication, but they're too good to ignore! "'Remember clogs and how we hate them"' 'I do remember. A sister never forgets.' 'I'm leaving the sisterhood. …" "You also remind me of her when you pout. That part isn't quite as sweet and precious." There are a number of small treats in here that add to the whole. How wonderful Grace's parents sound! Grace's enthusiam for food, lol, she is a treat! That subtle explanation of Gigi's 70s-era sewing — very nice. And Flyover, *laughing*; I love, love, love the inspiration for the name. The lesson Grace learned from her job at Milano, and how she tries to change that atmosphere. Oh, yeah… I also enjoyed that background on how those ad campaigns are put together. Hmmm… That twist in Grace's job hunt was brilliant, and the concept raised all sorts of excitement for me, thinking of where Grace and Gigi could go with it. Of course, the betrayals brought that necessary emotional conflict into the story. I was in tears at the end! Oh, wow, do take special note of Grace's "elevator speech" at the end. It was inspired and brilliant…I'm takin' notes! If you need a quality cozy romance with this blend of past history, current events, and future dreams…pick this up! The Story Grace knows this is the start of something big, of where her dream will finally be realized...until that dream is cut short. When Gigi calls with an invitation, being broke with no job sends Grace flying home, desperate to get back to that dream. One she realizes in a totally unexpected way that engages her grandmother and her friends. And Tucker. He was perfect, just not enough to override Grace's dream until he begins to share his own experience in trying out the big city, causing Grace to reflect, to compare.… The Characters Grace "Iowa" Kleren is from small town Silver Creek with big dreams that require New York City. The independent Georgina "Gigi" Hanson is Grace's wonderfully supportive and, lol, very sociable — oh yeah, baby, boom-shakka-lakka! — grandmother who runs an informal dress business. Nigel is Gigi's phone. Tucker Van Es, a successful building contractor, had been Grace's boyfriend for years before she up and left ten years ago. Pete Miller is one of his men. His uncle Sal is struggling with his cattle farm. Natalie Connors is an incredible defense attorney and his girlfriend. Goldie is Gigi's best friend and sidekick who is technologically savvy and quite the colorful *eyebrow waggle* lady who runs Goldie's Emporium at the flea market. Goldie's husband, Frank, has had his problems. Madge and Bev are widowed twins who finish each other's sentences. Myrna Hopkins, the front door greeter at church, has more important things on her mind. Edna Kuiken had been the English teacher. Sewing Club is every Tuesday night in the fellowship hall. Flyover is an amazingly successful business that adds Irma and Gert from First Methodist and Shirley from Silver Creek Reformed to the line. Small-town life means you know everyone, as Grace takes us on a nostalgic tour of the McCullough farm, the Williams' split-level, that repaint punishment at Jenna Gray's, the game at the Achenbachs' with the enthusiastic Alex Nichols, the home where she grew up, the Chickadee owned by Martin where Grace waitressed in high school, that lively Morrison barn. The school where Matthews was principal and that the bitchy Erin Jackson (her husband, Les, had an unfortunate event with his Harley), David Beloit's crayon habits, "Two-Ton Tillie" Markers who is trying to change her past, where Hunter Olsen had been the real valedictorian, and Dan DePhillips who got into a fight were fellow students. Mr Jenkins runs a portable donut stand. Roger runs the hardware store (I think he might be Goldie's nephew). Sofia works at La Condesa, a fabulous Mexican restaurant…sorry, I need to break for lunch…that food sounds too good! Beatriz Molina is either the chef there or the owner…or both. Miss Evelyn who runs the post office can't help but run the numbers. Callie Downing thinks cats love her. The Hardings had run a bookstore for three generations. Cassie Velton had run a clothes shop, while Marv's Hardware…well, 'nuf said. Old Mr McNeely has a grudge against Grace and Tucker. Pastor Simpson is with Gigi's church. The Anthem is a restaurant in LaGrange. Betty Lou's Window Show is closed now. Blanche works at Triad Fabrics and Textiles in Omaha where Lorraine is her sub. New York City Milano is a premier fashion house where Grace has slaved for the past six years as a design assistant. Isa is one of Grace's best friends whom she met at the Fashion Institute of Technology and who started as a junior visual merchandiser. Luca Beneventi is another friend, an Italian who is all about the clothes and…oops…I think his Yorkie, Yolo, is even more important than the clothes, lol. Anyway, Luca is the technical designer who puts the designs into action. James Campbell is Grace's Harvard Business School-educated boss and sweet on her. Nancy Strang is the formidable head of fashion design and James' boss. Buckley is Nancy's admin. Javi is a senior designer. Akeyo is a model. Saffron is a new fashion company where Moira will be an assistant, Chase and Eleanor are assistant designers, and the investors are Suzanne Billings, Michelle Epstein, and Max Grundwald (his wife, Julia, raves about the designs; her friends include Sophie/Sophia, Joyce/Joy, Maria, Janice, and Gwyneth). Hedda Lang is the formidable daughter of Lionel Lang, the owner of Solomon's, a venerated and fashionable department store chain. Agnes is her assistant; Claude is the accounting guru. Aaron De Castro is the senior fashion buyer for Solomon's. Noemi is James' personal chef and followed by Jean-Luc. Amelia had been the wonderfully inspirational nanny. Gianni, an old friend of James' mother, works at GQ. Tatiana works at Second to None, the best consignment store in the city. Catwalk is an online fashion magazine everyone wants into. The Gansevoort Hotel is too fabulous for words. The Cover and Title The cover is an intensity of color where a sweetly dressed Grace is holding hands with a casually dressed Tucker standing on a country road with their backs to us, absorbed by the view of the plains before them under a lightly royal blue sky with their own Midwest aurora borealis above them. The title is angled across the top third in a scripted white with the author's name at the name in a pale yellow that complements the three lit candle pillars, two at their feet and one in Grace's hand. Just looking at this cover is enough to soothe and bring peace to my heart. The title is where Grace finally finds herself, in her Heart Land.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kate Jones

    Stuart beautifully weaves characters of substance into a plot that is light yet rich at the same time. Grace, a small town Iowa girl flies from home to spread her wings as a NYC fashionista, only to return home 10 years later. It is there, that she grows and matures into who she is meant to be, as a professional and in love. Quick read with characters that lead me turning pages quickly. Love my Iowa writer, Kimberly Stuart.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    Sitting in my backyard after finishing Heart Land by Kimberly Stuart is a double dose of pure pleasure. The afternoon sun highlights just how my heart feels full of light and goodness as I shared the adventure of Grace Kleren's, the novel's creative protagonist, and the myriad people in both New York and her small town of Silver Creek, Iowa. Quick synopsis: Grace has worked diligently at Milan as an underling for six years, and she is ready to do her presentation of fashion to see if she will be Sitting in my backyard after finishing Heart Land by Kimberly Stuart is a double dose of pure pleasure. The afternoon sun highlights just how my heart feels full of light and goodness as I shared the adventure of Grace Kleren's, the novel's creative protagonist, and the myriad people in both New York and her small town of Silver Creek, Iowa. Quick synopsis: Grace has worked diligently at Milan as an underling for six years, and she is ready to do her presentation of fashion to see if she will be finally promoted to a designer instead of a glorified go-fer. Unfortunately, Grace is once again passed over, and facing financial ruin, she makes her way back to her dear grandmother in Iowa. Facing old friends, feeling like a failure, and finally succeeding are themes within the novel, as is a deep, abiding faith and love. Not a straightforward journey, just as people mess up more than once and hurt those they love, Grace has to grow and face who she is and who she wants to be. This book is a treasure chest of intertwined people who seem like those living in many small Midwestern cities sprinkled throughout the States. A former high school crush, a big city guy who acts entitled, a loving community, and a young woman trying to figure out what it means to 'succeed' in the world today. Grace is torn, as many young people in their twenties are, between life in a small town or a huge metropolis. Tyler, her old high school flame, is a young man with a kind, generous, and thoughtful heart. The author works to make the reader see who each character is, not merely focusing on their outward attractiveness, though each seems to be attractive. I appreciated how the author crafts characters rich with generous and stingy hearts, folks with faults, and the attitude of daily mercies. Points in the novel resonate with how a young person might choose a path far from home or return home with baggage. Tears, smiles, frustration at injustice, and romance. A perfect read for a sunny day! Grateful for the chance to read this book, I was given a preview copy through a Goodreads giveaway. I heartily recommend you getting a copy of this book to read!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I loved the characters. Their story was classic but genuine. What I didn’t love was the forced religious undertones. It felt out of place. The story would have been 4 stars if it just stuck to the characters and the celebration of them.

  23. 4 out of 5

    JaneReads

    Grace has spent years working hard to fulfill her dream of becoming a fashion designer in New York City and finally a promotion looks promising. However things don’t go as hoped and Grace is forced to move back home. She is now back in the small town of Iowa she grew up in and comes face to face with her first love, Tucker. Things are awkward between them at first but after a couple encounters they agree to be friends, it doesn’t take long for them to realize there are still romantic feelings be Grace has spent years working hard to fulfill her dream of becoming a fashion designer in New York City and finally a promotion looks promising. However things don’t go as hoped and Grace is forced to move back home. She is now back in the small town of Iowa she grew up in and comes face to face with her first love, Tucker. Things are awkward between them at first but after a couple encounters they agree to be friends, it doesn’t take long for them to realize there are still romantic feelings between them and they decide to give a relationship a second chance. Things are looking up on the relationship side for Grace, but she still has her dream. With inspiration from her grandma she begins a new journey in the world of fashion. Can she succeed and find love or will she be torn between the two? The characters were what really drew me into the story. When I first met Grace I did wonder if I would be able to connect with her but it didn’t take me long to start to care. The further I got into the story she began to grow on me, however there were a couple times that I did find myself annoyed with her wishing she would smarten up and make the decision I wanted her to make instead of the one that she was making. I loved Tucker, he is kind and generous, always putting other first. There were a couple of things he did for Grace made me melt. I hurt for him when he was going through pain because of Grace’s actions. I absolutely loved the relationship between Grace and Gigi (her grandmother). Gigi gives guidance to Grace while still allowing her to make her own decisions. All the other grannies included were entertaining and made me laugh so much. I enjoyed following Grace through her journey of reaching for her dreams and discovering what is really important to her. She grows over the course of the book and ends up not only reconnecting with her past, but reconnecting with God in the process. Even though I found the conclusion to be a little rushed I was satisfied with the ending. (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.) This review first appeared at: C Jane Read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Loraine

    Contemporary Christian romance from a new-to-me author that is heartwarming and delightful. Grace Klaren thinks she has finally made her dream come true. A small town girl with fashion on her mind finds her way to big city New York with plans to become a big name designer. She left her true love Tucker whom she'd known since childhood to chase her dream. But after six years of working at a top of the line fashion house her dreams comes crashing to an end when she is fired. Going back to Silver C Contemporary Christian romance from a new-to-me author that is heartwarming and delightful. Grace Klaren thinks she has finally made her dream come true. A small town girl with fashion on her mind finds her way to big city New York with plans to become a big name designer. She left her true love Tucker whom she'd known since childhood to chase her dream. But after six years of working at a top of the line fashion house her dreams comes crashing to an end when she is fired. Going back to Silver Creek Iowa is the last things she wants to do but at this point she has no choice. Filled with lots of laughter and few traces of tears, this was a touching story of learning that sometimes what we want isn't what we need or what will give us true happiness. Grace learned the hard way that there is no place like home. She also regained her relationship with God which she had lost when her parents died in a freak winter storm car accident. I loved Gigi she was exactly what every person wants their grandmother to be like. Gigi's group of elderly friends was a hoot and added a wonderful, supportive dimension to this romance. Tucker was the perfect gentleman, and he definitely knew how to romance a woman. Hoping to see more from this author. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from Howard Books through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Angy Potter - Collector of Book Boyfriends

    Book Review: 4 Stars There are second chance stories and there are THE SECOND CHANCE STORIES!! Heart Land is a book about redemption and home and determination and true love. But most of all, Heart Land is a second chance story in all the sense of the word. In this book, Grace has to start over after having a great career in NYC. She felt ashamed of herself for her failures and tried her best to make everything right and get back in track. But sometimes one has plans but God has others and this Book Review: 4 Stars There are second chance stories and there are THE SECOND CHANCE STORIES!! Heart Land is a book about redemption and home and determination and true love. But most of all, Heart Land is a second chance story in all the sense of the word. In this book, Grace has to start over after having a great career in NYC. She felt ashamed of herself for her failures and tried her best to make everything right and get back in track. But sometimes one has plans but God has others and this is exactly what happened with Grace life. She made decisions when she finished high school and they affected them for good and bad. But they also affected Tucker, also in both ways. But 10 years later they are both more matured, have different dreams and goals, and despite the changes, there are certain things that never changes. Like the kind of feelings they have for each other. I love that in this book there is so many awesome elements full of great lessons for life. Both Grace and Tucker’s stories were heartbreakingly beautiful. I loved how much they had to grow up in order to become their better selves. I loved how their relationship and how supportive where with each other. Highly recommended.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Debi Lantzer

    Grace Kleren fought to achieve her dream of becoming a top fashion designer. She moved from small town Iowa and moved to New York City where she worked hard. She started off at the bottom and worked her way up the ladder and was ready for promotion. Instead of receiving the expected promotion, Grace finds herself without a job. Her bills are stacking up and she just cannot keep up. With the help of her grandmother and friends, as well as Tucker, a man from her past, Grace fights to find her foot Grace Kleren fought to achieve her dream of becoming a top fashion designer. She moved from small town Iowa and moved to New York City where she worked hard. She started off at the bottom and worked her way up the ladder and was ready for promotion. Instead of receiving the expected promotion, Grace finds herself without a job. Her bills are stacking up and she just cannot keep up. With the help of her grandmother and friends, as well as Tucker, a man from her past, Grace fights to find her footing as she returns home to restart her life. Grace needs to confront her past, first her grandma and the memories of her parents’ accident. On a whim, Grace designs a dress to sell on Etsy. The dress sells so fast Grace realizes that she may have found a way back to her dream sooner than she thought. Stuart shows readers how real life is messy and unpredictable. She also shows us that when we rely on our family, faith and friends, we can get past life's struggles and hardships. The ending was part what I expected and part surprise. I think Christian Fiction readers will enjoy this novel just as much as I did.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Great cover. Sweet story. This was just ok. But development in both character and story are shallow. You don’t get enough info to care about different aspects of this story - the “ but why” reader questions that attach a reader to the story are not answered beyond “Midwest” or “because you should” or because “this character is meant to foil both the romance storyline and the professional success storyline”. Even if you viewed this story as a jumbled mess of love triangles (1. Grace-Tucker-James, Great cover. Sweet story. This was just ok. But development in both character and story are shallow. You don’t get enough info to care about different aspects of this story - the “ but why” reader questions that attach a reader to the story are not answered beyond “Midwest” or “because you should” or because “this character is meant to foil both the romance storyline and the professional success storyline”. Even if you viewed this story as a jumbled mess of love triangles (1. Grace-Tucker-James, 2. Grace-New York-Iowa, 3. Grace-Personal Life-Career ... I could go on) it doesn’t balance because the details/development to garner reader investment simply aren’t there. The case could also be made that the inspirational story line was also under developed... and had it had a more developed religious component (and been labeled as an inspirational fiction - beyond carrying the Howard Books publishing label that doesn’t immediately scream InspFic to someone who ambiantly crosses this title in a bookstore or library) it would have been much stronger overall.

  28. 5 out of 5

    ErinMickC

    A charming book about a woman, Grace, who returns home to Iowa after her big design shot in NYC goes awry. Back in Iowa she catches up with family and friends and begins to see her high school sweetheart, Tucker again. It's a simple book about the good things in life and being grateful for what you've been given. Although I wouldn't categorize this book as romance (it leans more towards women's fiction), the relationship between Grace and Tucker had me entranced. At the outset of the book Grace w A charming book about a woman, Grace, who returns home to Iowa after her big design shot in NYC goes awry. Back in Iowa she catches up with family and friends and begins to see her high school sweetheart, Tucker again. It's a simple book about the good things in life and being grateful for what you've been given. Although I wouldn't categorize this book as romance (it leans more towards women's fiction), the relationship between Grace and Tucker had me entranced. At the outset of the book Grace wants a big city life and career but when she comes home Tucker has made a name and a home for himself in Iowa. She finds the joy in small-town living, the every day, and carefree way Tucker makes her feel. I found Stuart's representations of what it means to be "home" and "happy" so incredibly nuanced and relatable. She's a true wordsmith! The best part? The inspirational and Christian aspects of this book weren't overdone, but they weren't exactly subtle either. Tucker and Grace explored their thoughts on prayer and God slowly and continuously. Stuart wove the religious pieces of Grace's journey in seamlessly with the rest of the narrative. 4 stars for Heart Land by Kimberly Stuart!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Heart Land is a tender, sweet, loving, heart touching story. One that you will remember for quite a while. It is one of love that was lost and now that may have a second chance. It is a wonderful gift given to us the readers - from the author - it is a story of choices - will she make the right decision? Will they listen to what the LORD has for them? This book basically boils down to is where is home? Is home where the money is or where your heart is? Where is home for Grace? Where is your home Heart Land is a tender, sweet, loving, heart touching story. One that you will remember for quite a while. It is one of love that was lost and now that may have a second chance. It is a wonderful gift given to us the readers - from the author - it is a story of choices - will she make the right decision? Will they listen to what the LORD has for them? This book basically boils down to is where is home? Is home where the money is or where your heart is? Where is home for Grace? Where is your home? I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all of the opinions expressed in this review are all my own. if you would like to read more of my Christian book reviews go to christianlybookreviewers.blogspot.com

  30. 4 out of 5

    Michelle H

    This is the book version of a Hallmark movie, and not the guilty pleasure Hallmark movie. It was absolutely predictable from start to finish, and while that’s not necessarily something I mind, the writing didn’t rescue it. The characters were one dimensional, the settings were the same (as well as cliched). I have no idea how much time passed from start to finish because Stuart basically ignored that little detail. She seemed to throw in a spiritual theme, which might have actually glued this th This is the book version of a Hallmark movie, and not the guilty pleasure Hallmark movie. It was absolutely predictable from start to finish, and while that’s not necessarily something I mind, the writing didn’t rescue it. The characters were one dimensional, the settings were the same (as well as cliched). I have no idea how much time passed from start to finish because Stuart basically ignored that little detail. She seemed to throw in a spiritual theme, which might have actually glued this thing together, in an effort to pander to a certain set of readers. Stuart is basically a cheap imitation of Fannie Flagg. I’m actually going to go reread a Flagg novel in an attempt to stop thinking about this so that I don’t drop my rating to 1 Star.

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