Friday, August 10, 2018

Review: Heart Land by Kimberly Stuart

Release date: July 17th 2018
Publisher: Howard Books
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
A story of re-connection, 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? 

*Publisher approved request via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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.

About the Author

Kimberly StuartKimberly Stuart, in an effort to condone the time and money spent, would like you to know she holds degrees from St. Olaf College and the University of Iowa. She learned lots of interesting things at these fine institutions, none of which prepared her for the lethal cocktail of parenthood and writing. Stuart is the author of the Heidi Elliott series, Act Two, Stretch Marks, Operation Bonnet and Sugar. She is a frequent public speaker and is passionate about helping others live great stories.


  1. This sounds lovely. I like the dressmaker aspect.

  2. This sounds interesting. I can deal with predictable if the story is well done.

  3. This sounds like a sweet rainy day read. Great review!

  4. A shame it was a little predictable, seemed like you still enjoyed it though!


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