[Review] Heart of the West by Carolyn Twede Frank

37801436Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

Publication: 1 January 2018 by Covenant Communications

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ [DNF at 30%]

The story

Kate Donahue, a wealthy young woman from New York, runs to the Wild West to escape the stifling expectations of society – in her case, to get married and to give up on her idea of being a doctor. When she settles in Colorado, she realises that here, like in New York, nobody wants a woman doctor and she has to fight to establish her practice. She doesn’t care about romance until she meets Lucas McCurdy, an Irish immigrant. The two find themselves in the middle of a land battle in a lawless town, a very dangerous position.

My thoughts

Here again, Historical Romance was a total fail for me. I downloaded Heart of the West before I read Last Chance Cowboys: The Rancher and hated it, so I thought I would be fair and give this one a chance. A female doctor fighting for the right to work in 19th century America was a brilliant idea. Kudos to Frank for coming up with that. Unfortunately, I think it was poorly executed.

The way Kate spoke and behaved didn’t feel historically accurate. It was way too modern. She repeats the same opinion against men all the time when her actions and personality speak for themselves already. It gets old quickly. Her constant need to get other women to rebel against their positions was also quite unbelievable for the time period, as well as for Kate’s situation – she was already putting her energy into developing her medical practice and surviving as a lone woman in the West, who would have time to be everyone else’s knight in shining armour on top of that?

Lucas, the main guy, was quite a nice character. Except that he was given blue eyes and we needed to be told every time he appeared. Frank tries to make it more palatable by using different ways of describing his blue eyes, and she’s quite good at it. But it had me rolling my eyes when we got to “alluring blue irises”. Where’s my Robert Downey Jr. eye rolling gif?

Having characters speak in accents can be quite tricky. It wasn’t too badly executed here, actually. But we are told that McCurdy is Irish and he speaks with a Scottish accent. I can’t tell you with 100% certainty that Irish people don’t speak like that. However, I live in Scotland and I’ve heard the accent a lot. Trust me, it’s Scottish.

I decided to DNF the book when Kate pulled on a sweater to go out. Let me repeat that. A young lady in 19th century Wild West pulled on a sweater. Nope. Now, if anyone has a historically accurate source on women wearing sweaters at that time, please do send it over. I’m always keen to educate myself. I have never seen it mentioned anywhere and I’ve read a lot about the time period.


Thank you to NetGalley and Covenant Communications for providing me with a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

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3 thoughts on “[Review] Heart of the West by Carolyn Twede Frank

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