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The Heart of a Cowboy

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When he agreed to guard her, he never bargained on having to guard his heart. Brilliant scientist Linnea Newberry is on the adventure of a lifetime, traveling the Santa Fe Trail with her grandfather, Dr. Powell, on a botanical expedition to Colorado Territory. She longs to be valued for her contributions and not seen as a helpless liability. But at every calamity she faces, When he agreed to guard her, he never bargained on having to guard his heart. Brilliant scientist Linnea Newberry is on the adventure of a lifetime, traveling the Santa Fe Trail with her grandfather, Dr. Powell, on a botanical expedition to Colorado Territory. She longs to be valued for her contributions and not seen as a helpless liability. But at every calamity she faces, her grandfather threatens to send her home. After watching his ma suffer and die in childbirth, Flynn McQuaid has sworn off women and marriage forever. Headed west to start a new life, he has his hands full not only taking care of his younger siblings but also delivering cattle to his older brother. He doesn't need more complications. When Flynn rescues Linnea from drowning during a river crossing, Dr. Powell promptly hires Flynn—unbeknownst to Linnea—to act as her bodyguard for the rest of the trip. As Flynn fights against the many dangers of the trail, he soon finds himself in the greatest danger of all—falling for a woman he's determined not to love.


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When he agreed to guard her, he never bargained on having to guard his heart. Brilliant scientist Linnea Newberry is on the adventure of a lifetime, traveling the Santa Fe Trail with her grandfather, Dr. Powell, on a botanical expedition to Colorado Territory. She longs to be valued for her contributions and not seen as a helpless liability. But at every calamity she faces, When he agreed to guard her, he never bargained on having to guard his heart. Brilliant scientist Linnea Newberry is on the adventure of a lifetime, traveling the Santa Fe Trail with her grandfather, Dr. Powell, on a botanical expedition to Colorado Territory. She longs to be valued for her contributions and not seen as a helpless liability. But at every calamity she faces, her grandfather threatens to send her home. After watching his ma suffer and die in childbirth, Flynn McQuaid has sworn off women and marriage forever. Headed west to start a new life, he has his hands full not only taking care of his younger siblings but also delivering cattle to his older brother. He doesn't need more complications. When Flynn rescues Linnea from drowning during a river crossing, Dr. Powell promptly hires Flynn—unbeknownst to Linnea—to act as her bodyguard for the rest of the trip. As Flynn fights against the many dangers of the trail, he soon finds himself in the greatest danger of all—falling for a woman he's determined not to love.

30 review for The Heart of a Cowboy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    I am really enjoying the Colorado Cowboys series! Because of her unconventional upbringing Linnea Newberry doesn't feel like anything should be off limits to her including doing things typically limited to males in her time period. She is thrilled to be on the trip of a lifetime. Traveling with her grandfather, she is an extremely brilliant botanist studying all the flora she comes across. Though not taken seriously except by her grandfather she is out to prove not only her intelligence in her cho I am really enjoying the Colorado Cowboys series! Because of her unconventional upbringing Linnea Newberry doesn't feel like anything should be off limits to her including doing things typically limited to males in her time period. She is thrilled to be on the trip of a lifetime. Traveling with her grandfather, she is an extremely brilliant botanist studying all the flora she comes across. Though not taken seriously except by her grandfather she is out to prove not only her intelligence in her chosen field but she'll prove she can keep up with the men and not fall behind or get hurt on this trip on Santa Fe Trail. Oops, she hasn't counted on the mishaps that have put her life in danger a few times and in doing so holding the trip up. Unknown to her, her grandfather hires a man to keep her safe on the trip so she can continue on with the expedition. Flynn McQuaid is the man for the job, this cowboy is delivering cattle to his older brother and there's the task of caring for his younger siblings. Can he manage the added responsibility of being Linnea's bodyguard as well? Who will guard Flynn from himself whenever he starts falling for his charge though? Flynn and Linnea both have secrets that could have pretty strong repercussions if not handled the right way. Such a beautiful story about acceptance,trust,repentance,faith,understanding and love. The author has done it again! This is an absolute must read author for me! Published October 5th 2021 I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aimee (Getting Your Read On)

    Oh! I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Which is ridiculous to say because I knew I was going to like it. I love this author and I liked the first book in this series so of course I was going to like it, right? But I REALLY liked it. Devoured it. I had hours of uninterrupted reading time so I had minimal distractions and it was lovely. The characters really came to life for me throughout the course of this story. My heart was bursting for Flynn and all he was dealing with. What a lo Oh! I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Which is ridiculous to say because I knew I was going to like it. I love this author and I liked the first book in this series so of course I was going to like it, right? But I REALLY liked it. Devoured it. I had hours of uninterrupted reading time so I had minimal distractions and it was lovely. The characters really came to life for me throughout the course of this story. My heart was bursting for Flynn and all he was dealing with. What a loyal, hardworking and considerate man. I wanted to wrap him up in a big mama bear hug with all kinds of "build him up" words. Fortunately, Linnea is also good at building words and she uses them frequently and with kindness toward Flynn. Beauty, smarts and kindness- the triple threat. Flynn doesn't really ever stand a chance against Linnea. I'm loving this series. We get a little sneak peek at the next book and wow, I wish I could read it right now. My heart. The McQuaid family. I just love them. Content: mild peril, mild violence, kissing - I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Faye

    Two hearts that swore never to marry, find their convictions challenged on the trail to Colorado. Flynn has been mother and father to his younger siblings, shouldering the responsibilities of a family, and more than his share of the blame. Linnea, recently widowed, is fighting to prove her worth as a botanist in her own right, apart from her late husband and grandfather's shadows. An engaging romance, set against the backdrop of the treacherous trail to Colorado, fraught with danger and Confeder Two hearts that swore never to marry, find their convictions challenged on the trail to Colorado. Flynn has been mother and father to his younger siblings, shouldering the responsibilities of a family, and more than his share of the blame. Linnea, recently widowed, is fighting to prove her worth as a botanist in her own right, apart from her late husband and grandfather's shadows. An engaging romance, set against the backdrop of the treacherous trail to Colorado, fraught with danger and Confederate Irregulars. Linnea is a modern woman for her time, with a passion for plants and sciences. I liked how she takes Flynn's sister Ivy, under her wing, teaching her about being a young woman. Ivy spunky and full of sass, she says things as she sees them sometimes to the embarrassment of others, easily one of my favorite people in the story! Flynn has spent his life trying to protect his family, first from the fists of his step-father, then fields of battle, and now delivering a herd of cattle to his brother Wyatt in Colorado. After reading the last book in the series, I wasn't sure how any of the other McQuaid brothers could measure up to Wyatt, but Flynn easily won me over with his strong protective instincts, and big heart. Overall, a fantastic, sizzling with chemistry, and roaring with action, addition to the series, I loved seeing both new and familiar faces in the pages of this book. Especially since Judd was my favorite from the previous book. A engrossing read, with characters that you can cheer for throughout, with an inspiring message of faith and overcoming the past. Definitely recommend for fans of western romance! I can't wait to read Brody's story! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    1863 Kansas to Colorado Territory What a wonderful series! I love that the author is showing different aspects of the time period through her characters. While the first in the series enlightened readers about the challenges of homesteading in the west, The Heart of a Cowboy details the difficulties of traveling west. The brothers in the series each respond differently to the abusive marriage their mother is in. Flynn chose to stay with his mother protecting her and caring for his younger brother 1863 Kansas to Colorado Territory What a wonderful series! I love that the author is showing different aspects of the time period through her characters. While the first in the series enlightened readers about the challenges of homesteading in the west, The Heart of a Cowboy details the difficulties of traveling west. The brothers in the series each respond differently to the abusive marriage their mother is in. Flynn chose to stay with his mother protecting her and caring for his younger brother and sister. He feels the weight of responsibility and holds a grudge against Wyatt yet is compelled to join his brother in Colorado Territory. Linnea is a rare female college graduate traveling with her grandfather and other botanists to capture samples for a publication. She is down to earth (frequently gathering her samples) yet absent minded too as Linnea can be so focused on her task that she blocks out everything else. Flynn's sister Ivy is a great character that is full of spunk and no filter on her words. My favorite aspect of historical fiction is learning something new and this novel delivered. A couple of examples...the sleeping patterns of cows and Irregulars. A delightful journey west. I look forward to reading Brody's story. My gratitude to publisher Bethany House for a complimentary copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and all opinions expressed are my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emilee

    Another sweet historical romance by Hedlund! She’s been a long-time favorite of mine. The wagon train adventures with Flynn and a host of engaging characters kept me entertained through pages of this book. I actually liked this one better than the first book in the series. But they’re both great if you like romance. I enjoyed catching up with Wyatt and Greta too!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    'He was about as good at parenting Ivy as a hen was at mothering a porcupine.' I have loved Jody Hedlund's books since her very first. She is very adept at switching genres, and I love each one she does. This series, her cowboy one, she proves yet again how great a writer she is. Fromm crafting believable characters and wonderful plots, when you sit down to read a Hedlund book, you can be sure of a pleasurable reading experience. Well done! My thanks to Bethany House for a copy of this book via Ne 'He was about as good at parenting Ivy as a hen was at mothering a porcupine.' I have loved Jody Hedlund's books since her very first. She is very adept at switching genres, and I love each one she does. This series, her cowboy one, she proves yet again how great a writer she is. Fromm crafting believable characters and wonderful plots, when you sit down to read a Hedlund book, you can be sure of a pleasurable reading experience. Well done! My thanks to Bethany House for a copy of this book via Net Galley. I was not expected to write a positive review and the opinion here is my own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Elisabeth

    I really don’t know how to start because I LOVED this book SO MUCH!!!! I’m not a huge fan of travel/journey type of plots in books, and this one being a wagon train I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, but I really, really liked it! I loved Flynn. Let’s just get that out there. Probably not as much as Wyatt from the first book, but I liked him. I like all of the McQuaid brothers, honestly!! And Linnea was just a doll! I found her kind of childish at the beginning, but I grew to really like her I really don’t know how to start because I LOVED this book SO MUCH!!!! I’m not a huge fan of travel/journey type of plots in books, and this one being a wagon train I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, but I really, really liked it! I loved Flynn. Let’s just get that out there. Probably not as much as Wyatt from the first book, but I liked him. I like all of the McQuaid brothers, honestly!! And Linnea was just a doll! I found her kind of childish at the beginning, but I grew to really like her! I knew I would like this book, because I loved book one so much, but this is definitely my new obsession right now. Book three is probably my most anticipated book of 2022 right now; not gonna lie. This is my favorite Cowboy series at this point, for sure! I cannot wait for Brodys book and Dylan’s! Maybe we’ll get Ivy as well?? I hope so anyway.

  8. 5 out of 5

    LisLovesReading E.Espinoza

    The Heart of a Cowboy, by Jody Hedlund, is the second book in the Colorado Cowboys series. As a western, historical romance, this novel is exceedingly special. With captivating characters and a gripping plot, this book is thoroughly engaging and beautifully written. From the first sentence to the last, elements of history, adventure, and romance are woven together expertly to create a story that entertains and inspires. Spanning miles of Western territory lush with prairie grasses, muddy rivers, The Heart of a Cowboy, by Jody Hedlund, is the second book in the Colorado Cowboys series. As a western, historical romance, this novel is exceedingly special. With captivating characters and a gripping plot, this book is thoroughly engaging and beautifully written. From the first sentence to the last, elements of history, adventure, and romance are woven together expertly to create a story that entertains and inspires. Spanning miles of Western territory lush with prairie grasses, muddy rivers, and wide-open sky, the setting of this novel is thoughtfully described and adds depth and meaning to the story. The setting, with its rugged and perilous features, provides myriad opportunities for the characters in this book to face their fears and nurture their faith. As they overcome obstacles that threaten their dreams and goals, these characters are moving and memorable. Their authenticity and vulnerability is compelling. With a writing talent that seems effortless, Ms. Hedlund has successfully crafted a story that is worthwhile and engrossing. Page after page, there are plenty of surprises and unexpected moments that are truly thrilling and delightfully endearing. Scenes filled with danger are balanced by scenes of hope, and the story is strengthened by enduring themes of courage, resiliency, forgiveness, trust, and second chances. As a piece of well-written fiction, this novel is very enjoyable. From beginning to end, Ms. Hedlund successfully demonstrates her talent for crafting novels that are rich in descriptive detail, integral settings, complex characterization, and riveting storylines. The Heart of a Cowboy is a stirring novel and a genuine pleasure to read. Abounding with history, romance, adventure, and heart, it offers an unforgettable reading experience, and I recommend it wholeheartedly. I am definitely ready to read the next book in this series! *I was given a copy of this book by the publisher and NetGalley. A review was not required. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    In book two of Colorado Cowboys, we see Flynn McQuaid driving a herd of cattle for his brother from Independence, Missouri to a ranch in Fairplay, Colorado. Along the way he comes on a group of scientists who are cataloging plants for the Smithsonian. Among them are botanists Linnea, a young widow, and her grandfather, Dr. Howell. After rescuing Linnea, Flynn agrees to act as a bodyguard and the two groups join for the rest of the journey. Flynn: “ When he agreed to guard her, he never bargained In book two of Colorado Cowboys, we see Flynn McQuaid driving a herd of cattle for his brother from Independence, Missouri to a ranch in Fairplay, Colorado. Along the way he comes on a group of scientists who are cataloging plants for the Smithsonian. Among them are botanists Linnea, a young widow, and her grandfather, Dr. Howell. After rescuing Linnea, Flynn agrees to act as a bodyguard and the two groups join for the rest of the journey. Flynn: “ When he agreed to guard her, he never bargained on having to guard his heart.” As much as they try to keep things businesslike, Flynn and Linnea are drawn to each other. Linnea loves plants. They point her to a God of creation, a God who cares for her. “Whenever she considered God’s exquisite design of something so small as a blade of grass or the petal of a flower, she was always able to put her life in better perspective.” Lots of realism, adventure and danger on the Sante Fe Trail. A realism that included fighting an attraction, dealing with fears and ultimately relying on God for their care. They learned a lesson on reconciliation and forgiveness. Ms. Hedlund proves to be a very versatile author. I am looking forward to the third book and Brody’s story. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own. *

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sylvia

    An absolutely phenomenal second story in Jody Hedlund’s Colorado Cowboys series! The Heart of a Cowboy was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and it exceeded my expectations. Hedlund just writes so incredibly well—I always connect with her characters, I always feel inspired, and I’m always enraptured by the stories she tells. Each book Hedlund writes just impresses me further. Flynn and Linnea are intensely relatable characters, as are the other members of the McQuaid family. I learned An absolutely phenomenal second story in Jody Hedlund’s Colorado Cowboys series! The Heart of a Cowboy was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and it exceeded my expectations. Hedlund just writes so incredibly well—I always connect with her characters, I always feel inspired, and I’m always enraptured by the stories she tells. Each book Hedlund writes just impresses me further. Flynn and Linnea are intensely relatable characters, as are the other members of the McQuaid family. I learned something unique from each character, and I absolutely can’t wait for the rest of this series. And we even get a glimpse into Brody’s story, which is going to be so hard to wait for, in this book. If you like historical romance even a little bit, there is no author I recommend more than Jody Hedlund. Grab your copy of The Heart of a Cowboy as soon as you’re able! 5/5 stars I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Madison

    I read the first book in this series at the start of a holiday break and once again I found myself at the end of a big and exhausting term and I picked up the second book in the series. Perfect timing indeed, because once again, slipping into a Jody Hedlund historical romance was exactly the way I needed to start my school holidays. The second book in the Colorado Cowboys series can be read as a standalone novel, so if you haven’t read the first book don’t hesitate to read this one. I love when I read the first book in this series at the start of a holiday break and once again I found myself at the end of a big and exhausting term and I picked up the second book in the series. Perfect timing indeed, because once again, slipping into a Jody Hedlund historical romance was exactly the way I needed to start my school holidays. The second book in the Colorado Cowboys series can be read as a standalone novel, so if you haven’t read the first book don’t hesitate to read this one. I love when historical romances give me the taste of the past with all the comfort of today’s views and opinions. The Heart of a Cowboy does just that. Linnea is a botanist and an excellent scientist. She is travelling with her grandfather and a group of scientists on a botanical expedition to Colorado. Despite her excellent scientific discoveries and abilities, she had to twist her grandfather’s arm to allow her to accompany the expedition and he worries greatly about her safety - and not just because she’s a woman. Linnea can become so distracted by her work she wanders off and finds herself in all sorts of danger. Like when she falls off the wagon during a river crossing and needs to be rescued by Flynn McQuaid. Flynn has no need for extra people to rescue and look out for. He is already managing the care of his younger brother and sister, while driving a herd of cattle to Colorado for his older brother and mourning how he couldn’t stop his other younger brother from joining the war. When Linnea’s grandfather asks Flynn and his family to join the expedition and employs Flynn to keep an eye on Linnea, Flynn thinks it will be easy - just another body to look out for. But caring for Linnea, as Flynn soon finds himself doing in more ways than just physical safety, puts everything he has decided for himself and his future at risk. If this isn’t a swoony romance, I don’t now what is. Flynn and Linnea have incredible chemistry and the many mishaps she finds herself in and the many times Flynn has to rescue her give them plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal. Of course, while Linnea is prone to mishaps, she is no wilting flower. She is strong, intelligent and kind. Her kindness towards Flynn and his family, bring the McQuaids out of their grief. She also demonstrates how being a woman is not going to stop her or her dreams for her future. Readers of the first book in the series will likely find Flynn’s last name familiar. We followed his older brother in the first book and things look set to join the next brother in the third book. If you enjoy a good adventurous and very romantic historical novel, then you are sure to enjoy The Heart of a Cowboy - I know I did. And now I think I’ll just wait and see if book three aligns with a future holiday break, hopefully in the near future, because I can’t wait to slip into this time zone and delightful family again. 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

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    What a wonderful historical romance! I loved being on the trail with Flynn, his siblings, Linnea, and the group of scientists traveling west. This is book two in the Colorado Cowboy series, yet can be read and enjoyed even if you haven’t read the first book, A Cowboy for Keeps. However, having read book one in the series, I was happy to get to see what was going on with former characters toward the end of The Heart of a Cowboy. Flynn was a great character. He had such a heart for his siblings and What a wonderful historical romance! I loved being on the trail with Flynn, his siblings, Linnea, and the group of scientists traveling west. This is book two in the Colorado Cowboy series, yet can be read and enjoyed even if you haven’t read the first book, A Cowboy for Keeps. However, having read book one in the series, I was happy to get to see what was going on with former characters toward the end of The Heart of a Cowboy. Flynn was a great character. He had such a heart for his siblings and wanted to protect them and raise them right. He felt that he had failed to protect his mother, who died in childbirth, as well as a brother who had run off to join the war. He carried guilt as well as trauma from his mother’s death, yet he still had a heart for others. His kindness toward Linnea and her grandfather spoke to the sort of man he was. I loved the way the relationship began developing between Linnea and Flynn. They both kept trying to keep their interactions based in friendship, but there was a deep attraction that kept developing, even as both of them pushed against it. There were some big obstacles between them and only by putting their trust in God did they have a hope of a future together. I loved this book from start to finish and look forward to the next in the series. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. You can read this review on my blog: https://brittreadsfiction.wordpress.c...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    Given my love for botany, it was exciting to have a heroine who is a botanist cataloging the flora of the Great Plains and Rockies. It would have been nice if she hadn't spent the book worrying about proving her worth (the trope of a woman proving her worth in a man's profession gets a little old), but it wasn't unrealistic. I always enjoy learning something new, and this time I learned about all the renegade bands of confederate soldiers harassing the trail all the way to Denver--I hadn't reali Given my love for botany, it was exciting to have a heroine who is a botanist cataloging the flora of the Great Plains and Rockies. It would have been nice if she hadn't spent the book worrying about proving her worth (the trope of a woman proving her worth in a man's profession gets a little old), but it wasn't unrealistic. I always enjoy learning something new, and this time I learned about all the renegade bands of confederate soldiers harassing the trail all the way to Denver--I hadn't realized the Civil War spilled over that far west. With the journey on the Santa Fe Trail, it reminded me of the author's earlier work (and my favorite of hers), The Doctor's Lady. They feature different routes west and different time periods, but there's a lot of similar hardship along the trail (and, funnily enough, problems the direct opposite of each other). For me, this one didn't have the emotional punch that loved in The Doctor's Lady, but I enjoyed it. It was very heavy on the romance. Thank you Bethany House and NetGalley for the complimentary e-book. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    We meet botanist, Linnea Newberry as she’s being swept downriver after bouncing out of her wagon on the Santa Fe trail. Proving herself to be a magnet for trouble, Linnea’s grandfather hires Flynn McQuaid to watch over her while their parties are joined together. Flynn and Linnea’s simmering attraction as well as the dangers of trail life in Colorado Territory kept me turning page after page. The characters were captivating, particularly Ivy with her teasing and no-nonsense honesty. The final ch We meet botanist, Linnea Newberry as she’s being swept downriver after bouncing out of her wagon on the Santa Fe trail. Proving herself to be a magnet for trouble, Linnea’s grandfather hires Flynn McQuaid to watch over her while their parties are joined together. Flynn and Linnea’s simmering attraction as well as the dangers of trail life in Colorado Territory kept me turning page after page. The characters were captivating, particularly Ivy with her teasing and no-nonsense honesty. The final chapter has me longing to get my hands on the next book in the series ASAP! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kristine Morgan

    Jody Hedlund's Heart Of A Cowboy is a beautiful story about Linnea Newberry a scientist and a proponent of woman's rights and Flynn McQuaid an overprotective cowboy. I enjoyed reading about their journey west. Flynn has vowed never to marry, while Linnea, recently widowed will only settle for love. I loved watching their faith grow as their love for each other also grows. The plot is fast-moving and the characters are believable. I suggest you fix your favorite coffee and settle into a cozy chair Jody Hedlund's Heart Of A Cowboy is a beautiful story about Linnea Newberry a scientist and a proponent of woman's rights and Flynn McQuaid an overprotective cowboy. I enjoyed reading about their journey west. Flynn has vowed never to marry, while Linnea, recently widowed will only settle for love. I loved watching their faith grow as their love for each other also grows. The plot is fast-moving and the characters are believable. I suggest you fix your favorite coffee and settle into a cozy chair for an awesome read. I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley with no expectations. All thoughts are my own.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Karen Thornell

    All I have to say is… when do I get the next book??! Also, this book was everything. The characters were all so real and the plot was absolutely perfect. I fell in love with Flynn and Linnea and couldn’t put the book down!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Overall I enjoyed the book. However, I did not appreciate the references to birth control in the story. Also, the idea that Flynn would have been the one staying with the laboring Greta seemed unrealistic, even if it was a plot device to signify how he was getting over his fear of women in labor.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Toni Shiloh

    I was excited to read this book because I enjoyed book one and the McQuaid siblings. I thought I wouldn’t like Flynn more than I did Wyatt, but I was wrong. Flynn has so much on his plate and though he doesn’t always handle things perfectly, he’s trying. That is so appealing! I loved that he was trying to do right by his brother and sister and help his older brother. I also liked the way he interacted with Linnea, being more amused than annoyed. He was able to see her in a way no one else (not eve I was excited to read this book because I enjoyed book one and the McQuaid siblings. I thought I wouldn’t like Flynn more than I did Wyatt, but I was wrong. Flynn has so much on his plate and though he doesn’t always handle things perfectly, he’s trying. That is so appealing! I loved that he was trying to do right by his brother and sister and help his older brother. I also liked the way he interacted with Linnea, being more amused than annoyed. He was able to see her in a way no one else (not even her grandfather) did. There were a couple of times that I was bothered by Linnea’s actions, but in the grand scheme of things, considering the times, I could understand why she did what she did. All in all, another good book and one that has me looking forward to the next McQuaid sibling. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. My review was not required nor influenced.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Harris

    Oooh, ooh, ohh, I love Hedlund's cowboys and their heroines! I've been looking forward to continuing the Colorado Cowboys series since I first read "A Cowboy for Keeps" and let me say that I loved it just as much as I expected! Flynn was even better than I expected and Linnea was just the sweetest! I won't spoil anything but I highly recommend "The Heart of a Cowboy" for western romance lovers! And, that snippet of the next book... Ahh, it hurt not to have the book in hand yet! 16/18+ for romance. Co Oooh, ooh, ohh, I love Hedlund's cowboys and their heroines! I've been looking forward to continuing the Colorado Cowboys series since I first read "A Cowboy for Keeps" and let me say that I loved it just as much as I expected! Flynn was even better than I expected and Linnea was just the sweetest! I won't spoil anything but I highly recommend "The Heart of a Cowboy" for western romance lovers! And, that snippet of the next book... Ahh, it hurt not to have the book in hand yet! 16/18+ for romance. Content warning: a good bit of attraction, kissing, suggestions that a character went too far with an old girlfriend before marriage, romantic content, a scene with the guy removing his shirt in front of the heroine, suggestion of immoral conduct. I voluntarily received and reviewed a complimentary e/copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    What an interesting unique story! Flynn is heading West with his brother and sister to meet his estranged brother, driving cattle. They meet up with a group of scientists heading the same way. The beginning starts with quite the action! Linnea is a scientist and not very observant to her surroundings when she’s observing fauna and floral. As you can imagine this can cause some issues traveling the Santa Fe Trail. There are some twists and turns and things each character overcomes. An enjoyable r What an interesting unique story! Flynn is heading West with his brother and sister to meet his estranged brother, driving cattle. They meet up with a group of scientists heading the same way. The beginning starts with quite the action! Linnea is a scientist and not very observant to her surroundings when she’s observing fauna and floral. As you can imagine this can cause some issues traveling the Santa Fe Trail. There are some twists and turns and things each character overcomes. An enjoyable read and also a reminder of what those who settled the West went through, Danger, weather, Supply shortages. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All views stated are my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    maiaisreading

    #BookReview: THE HEART OF A COWBOY by Jody Hedlund You are in for an adventure with this second book in the Colorado Cowboys series. It’s nice if you have read the first book, but I think it can still be read as a stand alone. This is much better though in my opinion. Historical romance lovers will surely appreciate Flynn and Linnea’s story. Set in 1863, Flynn was on his way to Colorado to bring cattle to his brother, Wyatt. Flynn was a responsible and caring brother. He would also offer help to #BookReview: THE HEART OF A COWBOY by Jody Hedlund You are in for an adventure with this second book in the Colorado Cowboys series. It’s nice if you have read the first book, but I think it can still be read as a stand alone. This is much better though in my opinion. Historical romance lovers will surely appreciate Flynn and Linnea’s story. Set in 1863, Flynn was on his way to Colorado to bring cattle to his brother, Wyatt. Flynn was a responsible and caring brother. He would also offer help to anyone who needs it. Linnea was a botanist on an expedition with her grandfather and some other scientists. She gets distracted easily and often finds herself in unfortunate situations. Well, Flynn and Linnea met in one of her misadventures. He was her hero. They came from different backgrounds but this trek to the west made them appreciate each other’s finer qualities. The way they made each other smile and laugh brought joy to their challenging circumstances. Their chemistry and conversations were a delight to read. The banters among the McQuaid siblings were fun. Ivy was a typical younger sibling and liked to tease Flynn. I anticipate what the future holds for her. Flynn had to learn to let go of his fear and to forgive. They also had to learn that despite all the difficulties, God has always been there for them and their loved ones. I am glad how Linnea’s career path turned out. This was a romantic and enjoyable read with some suspenseful incidents. Ms. Hedlund is a great storyteller. Flora was so cute and I can’t wait to read Brody’s story next. 4.5 stars Thank you Bethany House and #netgalley for the complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Purcell

    With The Heart of a Cowboy, Jody Hedlund has crafted a sweet love story between a brilliant female scientist and a cowboy with a heart of gold. From the end of A Cowboy for Keeps, I was intrigued and excited about Flynn’s story. So when I had to opportunity to read The Heart of a Cowboy, I was stoked. And I was not disappointed. Hedlund grabs you from the first line and pulls you into the story of the Santa Fe Trail. For those who love stories about wagon trains, you’ll definitely enjoy this one. With The Heart of a Cowboy, Jody Hedlund has crafted a sweet love story between a brilliant female scientist and a cowboy with a heart of gold. From the end of A Cowboy for Keeps, I was intrigued and excited about Flynn’s story. So when I had to opportunity to read The Heart of a Cowboy, I was stoked. And I was not disappointed. Hedlund grabs you from the first line and pulls you into the story of the Santa Fe Trail. For those who love stories about wagon trains, you’ll definitely enjoy this one. Hedlund puts a nice twist on it, though, because Flynn and his crew aren’t traveling to Oregon but are driving cattle to his brother’s ranch in Colorado. And Linnea, a female botanist ahead of her time, is with an expedition studying plant life in the west. These two disparate agendas come together when Linnea’s grandfather asks Flynn to protect her. This creates one of the most unique plots I’ve ever read. There is a lot of discussion about physical attraction, which may be off-putting to some readers. But Hedlund uses this to make an important point about boundaries Christians should not cross. I liked that the physical attraction isn’t the only thing that draws Linnea and Flynn to each other. They also enjoy talking to one another and appreciate aspects of each other’s personalities. For example, Linnea admires Flynn’s selflessness, and Flynn admires Linnea’s kindness and zest for life. This really rounds out their relationship. A Cowboy for Keeps is still my favorite of the series, but then again, I’m a sucker for a good marriage of convenience story. Overall, The Heart of a Cowboy is a sweet, original, and action-packed romance historical fans will love. (Note: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher to review. I was not required to post a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I have been looking forward to Flynn's story since meeting the McQuaid family in the first book in this earlier this year. This was a fun and exciting read as it has mystery, romance, and an exciting journey all within the book's pages. I really liked Linnea, she was such a fun and unusual character and brought a lot to the story. I enjoyed this story and I can't wait for the next McQuaid family book! I received this book for review and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are I have been looking forward to Flynn's story since meeting the McQuaid family in the first book in this earlier this year. This was a fun and exciting read as it has mystery, romance, and an exciting journey all within the book's pages. I really liked Linnea, she was such a fun and unusual character and brought a lot to the story. I enjoyed this story and I can't wait for the next McQuaid family book! I received this book for review and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I love how Jody hedlund writes historical romance. She let's you dive right into a scene with action or has meaning through the rest of the book. In this case we witness a rescue scene that sets the stage for two very different characters to be thrown together. The chemistry between Flynn and Linnea was on point and you could feel it even though they each had their own reasons for trying to fight it. Ah such good conflict! I did enjoy the character arc of Flynn the most, I really appreciated how h I love how Jody hedlund writes historical romance. She let's you dive right into a scene with action or has meaning through the rest of the book. In this case we witness a rescue scene that sets the stage for two very different characters to be thrown together. The chemistry between Flynn and Linnea was on point and you could feel it even though they each had their own reasons for trying to fight it. Ah such good conflict! I did enjoy the character arc of Flynn the most, I really appreciated how he had to learn how to let go of the need to be in control, a need truly based off fear. I often find the "lady scientist " character type hard to like because they often times come across as pushy, abrasive and downright rude. Linnea was a really sweet character and her motivation felt genuine from her love of exploring nature. I do wish her character grew a little in the area that her identity didn't depend on what she did (I personally believe we are more then a chosen profession). Well paced and romantic. I recieved a complementary copy of this book from the publisher through Netgally. All opinions are my own and honest.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Angeline

    Wow! This book was even better than the first book! I am always amazed by all of the books that Jody Hedlund has written because they all manage to be so good! The Heart of a Cowboy is the second book in Jody Hedlund’s Colorado Cowboys series. I was excited to read this story because I wanted to learn more about Wyatt’s family and finally get to see Flynn. The Heart of a Cowboy was such a sweet and heartwarming book. Flynn wanted to prove that he was better than his older brother, Wyatt. He was Wow! This book was even better than the first book! I am always amazed by all of the books that Jody Hedlund has written because they all manage to be so good! The Heart of a Cowboy is the second book in Jody Hedlund’s Colorado Cowboys series. I was excited to read this story because I wanted to learn more about Wyatt’s family and finally get to see Flynn. The Heart of a Cowboy was such a sweet and heartwarming book. Flynn wanted to prove that he was better than his older brother, Wyatt. He was determined to deliver cattle to his brother, and no matter the cost, he would keep the cattle alive. Linnea Newberry is loving traveling the Santa Fe Trail with her grandfather, Dr. Howell, on a botanical expedition to Colorado Territory. She wants to prove to her grandfather and the others on the team that she is trustworthy and just as capable as the men. What Linnea and Flynn never expected was to grow a bond as they traveled together. Flynn was an awesome hero. He wanted to protect his family and do his best to bring his brother’s cattle to him. I loved his relationship with his siblings and how he tried to be the best big brother he could. He was strong, but he had to learn to trust that he could not save everyone or stop bad things from happening. He was grappling with how to care for his family and let them grow. It was sweet to read about him falling for Linnea. She was fearless and helped him see the good in life again. Linnea was really cool. She was a botanist in a time where women could not do much. I adored her, and I loved how much she loved God’s creation. It was also fun to read about her interaction with Ivy, Flynn’s younger sister. However, Linnea had to learn to trust God’s plan and stop trying to force her way of things. It was so cool to see Linnea grow in her faith. She was a lovely character! Linnea and Flynn were cute together. They balanced each other. They were able to actually talk to each other, which I always love. Bantering is one of my favorite things that can be written into books, and I really enjoyed Linnea and Flynn’s bantering. I liked the progress of their romance, and also, the balance with the rest of the story. I was really interested to read about them transporting cattle and to read about Linnea’s rescue. There was so much going on, and I kept on wanting to read more. Some of my favorite things about Hedlund’s books are the great quotes. Here are two of my favorites: “If we tuck tail and run everytime we’re scared, we’ll end up running in circles, never getting anywhere.” This quote reminded me that sometimes we have to push through the hard things and just try our best. The second quote was “Was it finally time to stop trying so hard in her own strength and to let God carry her where He would, working things out in His way?” I loved this quote because it reminded me that I need to trust in God’s plan and not my own. The Heart of a Cowboy was a great book! There were some twists and turns and I ended up staying up late reading. I am excited to read Dylan’s book. I know it is going to be good! I would totally recommend The Heart of a Cowboy! It is a clean christian romance but it is a little heavier on the romance so I would probably recommend it to at least 13 and up. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, I was not required to write a positive review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Amey Madjeski

    After enjoying A Cowboy for Keeps so very much, I’ve been waiting impatiently for The Heart of a Cowboy! Flynn and Linnea’s story did not disappoint! The story opens with immediate action… poor Linnea Newberry finding herself being swept down the river. But handsome Flynn McQuaid comes to the rescue and that is only the start of their harrowing adventures on the Santa Fe Trail in 1863. Linnea and her grandfather are traveling with a group of botanists on a mission to complete a guide to the flor After enjoying A Cowboy for Keeps so very much, I’ve been waiting impatiently for The Heart of a Cowboy! Flynn and Linnea’s story did not disappoint! The story opens with immediate action… poor Linnea Newberry finding herself being swept down the river. But handsome Flynn McQuaid comes to the rescue and that is only the start of their harrowing adventures on the Santa Fe Trail in 1863. Linnea and her grandfather are traveling with a group of botanists on a mission to complete a guide to the flora on the way and in Colorado once they get there. Flynn and his brother Dylan and sister Ivy are bringing their oldest brother Wyatt a herd of cattle for his new ranch. Turns out their pace is just right for the scientists, and unbeknownst to Linnea, her grandfather strikes a deal with Flynn to be her guardian during the trek. Flynn doesn’t think it will be all that hard… but he only just met trouble-magnet Linnea! I became so invested in the outcome of the expedition right away. I’ve read books on the Oregon Trail, but I don’t know if I remember any set on the Santa Fe Trail before this one. Jody Hedlund did wonderful research to highlight certain perils and topography, along with what must have been copious amounts of research on plants they would have encountered! She uses Linnea to oh-so-subtly educate us about them as we go. I was also immediately swept up into rooting for Flynn and Linnea’s relationship. After watching his mother have stillbirth after miscarriage and eventually die in childbirth because of his brute of a stepfather, Wyatt has made the decision to never marry and subject a woman he loves to that possibility. Linnea married an older man- one of her grandfather’s friends- to be able to be a part of the expedition in the first place. But his untimely death has left her confused and at a bit of a loss dealing with the unwelcome interest of another scientist and her sizzling chemistry with the reluctant Flynn. As the dangerous trail continues to drive them together, a secret of Linnea’s threatens to drive them apart. As always, Jody Hedlund’s secondary characters shine. I immediately fell in love with precocious twelve-year-old Ivy and I just know her story is going to be extraordinary when we get to it. I also felt like Dylan’s personality is going to get him in a bit of trouble later! And while Brody doesn’t physically appear until the epilogue, we already deeply care about the quiet, sensitive, stubborn young man determined to fight in the war through what we know about him through his siblings. And of course reconnecting with Wyatt, Greta, Astrid, and Judd from the first book was a joy. I couldn’t stop reading and finished this story in a day. Jody Hedlund’s ability to pull me in to a situation and become invested in characters is one of the things I love most about her writing. This story is like a Colorado sunset- beautiful colorful characters shining through an equally stunning but treacherous landscape. Action-packed and wonderfully romantic, The Heart of a Cowboy is full of heart and adventure. You are not going to want to miss this story or this series- set in one of my very favorite settings by one of my very favorite authors! I received a complementary copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Connie Saunders

    We think of cowboys as being strong and courageous, able to brave all situations, but Flynn McQuaid finds his heart in jeopardy as he travels to the Colorado Territory with a group of scientists. One of them is a young woman in need of his protection, but it's soon apparent that Flynn may need protection also. Linnea Newberry could easily steal his heart, if he allows it to happen! This is another wonderful historical romance from author Jody Hedlund, and it has everything that I love in a book. We think of cowboys as being strong and courageous, able to brave all situations, but Flynn McQuaid finds his heart in jeopardy as he travels to the Colorado Territory with a group of scientists. One of them is a young woman in need of his protection, but it's soon apparent that Flynn may need protection also. Linnea Newberry could easily steal his heart, if he allows it to happen! This is another wonderful historical romance from author Jody Hedlund, and it has everything that I love in a book. There are great characters, a wonderful setting, thrilling adventure, and an exciting romance. I absolutely loved that Flynn was so loyal and protective of his siblings, and I understood why brilliant scientist Linnea wanted to be respected by her male colleagues. Best of all, I was delighted that their blossoming friendship appeared to be leading to a deeper relationship. Could Flynn overcome his fear of love and marriage? Would Linnea be able to prove her abilities before her secret was discovered? This book is a fantastic addition to the Colorado Cowboys series and I can't wait to see what the future holds for the rest of the McQuaid family. I highly recommend The Heart of a Cowboy to all who enjoy historical Christian romance. I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    I sincerely hope that Jody Hedlund is having as good time writing this series as I have been having reading it. Flynn is taking his younger brother and sister, and a herd of shorthorn cattle west to another brother's ranch in Colorado. Linnea and her grandfather are on a botanical expedition for the Smithsonian Institute along with some other botanists. Linnea is newly widowed and all she wants to do is prove her mettle as a botanist to the point that she sometimes loses herself in her work and I sincerely hope that Jody Hedlund is having as good time writing this series as I have been having reading it. Flynn is taking his younger brother and sister, and a herd of shorthorn cattle west to another brother's ranch in Colorado. Linnea and her grandfather are on a botanical expedition for the Smithsonian Institute along with some other botanists. Linnea is newly widowed and all she wants to do is prove her mettle as a botanist to the point that she sometimes loses herself in her work and neglects her environment. In order to keep her safe, Linnea's grandfather pays Flynn to keep her out of trouble and act as a bodyguard, but Flynn is not to tell Linnea about it. This arrangement gives Linnea and Flynn a lot of time together. Flynn begins to fall for Linnea but he thinks he doesn't want a wife. He doesn't want to put a woman through what his mother went through with his stepfather. The Heart of a Cowboy takes childhood trauma, and delicately moves through the healing that must happen for health to come. It also takes on dealing with girls growing up without mother figures and feminine influence. Flynn has had to be both mother and father to his younger siblings since his mother passed away and his stepfather kicked him off the farm. There is a bit of "romance formula" in this book, but it is not so overwhelming to the story that it detracts from the plot, but it adds credibility to the plot. It is ultimately an enjoyable read that will give a few hours of solid entertainment. Four Strong Stars. Bethany House and NetGalley.com provided the copy I read for this review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stacey Ulferts

    After reading the first book in this series, I couldn't wait to read Flynn's story. I was definitely not disappointed! Flynn and Linnea kept me turning pages until the wee hours of the morning. Cowboys, danger, action, the flowers and rugged beauty of the Santa Fe Trail, and the slow burning passion Jody Hedlund writes so well, make The Heart of a Cowboy a book I couldn't put down. I received a complimentary copy and all opinions are my own. After reading the first book in this series, I couldn't wait to read Flynn's story. I was definitely not disappointed! Flynn and Linnea kept me turning pages until the wee hours of the morning. Cowboys, danger, action, the flowers and rugged beauty of the Santa Fe Trail, and the slow burning passion Jody Hedlund writes so well, make The Heart of a Cowboy a book I couldn't put down. I received a complimentary copy and all opinions are my own.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    great read

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