The Heart of an Agent – Tracey J. Lyons – The Adirondack Pinkertons #2 – Waterfall Press – Published 7 November 2017
Former Pinkerton spy Lily Handland has always dreamed of a quiet, safe life, free from chasing criminals and putting herself at risk. So when the opportunity to invest in a failing Great Camp in the Adirondacks comes to her attention, she quickly jumps at the chance.
Filled with grief, widower Owen Murphy wants to run away from it all. Though he’s worked hard to forge a future for himself, his guilt has kept him mired in the past. But all that changes when a headstrong, mysterious woman shows up at Owen’s door. Together, as Lily and Owen restore the beauty of the Great Camp, he begins to finally see a future. But will learning about Lily’s past destroy it all?
The Heart of an Agent is a winsome historical romance that aptly captures the beauty and relaxing nature of the historic Great Camps of the Adirondack Mountains. The Heart of an Agent sounded delicious, and I was delighted to find it very enjoyable.
Lily Handland is ready to move on from her life as a Pinkerton agent. Determined to stay in the small town of Heartston, she begins looking for a project. The run-down Murphy Great Camp is the perfect fit for Lily. But the owner, Owen Murphy, still grieving his wife and their lost dream, fights Lily on every new idea and expense. But just as Lily finds hope of finally having somewhere to belong, someone to love, the shadow of her past threatens everything for which she has worked so hard.
I like restoration novels, where the characters take on some form of renovation or big project. Maybe it’s experiencing the improvements without having to do the work! In any case, it was fun to see Lily drive the restoration of Murphy Great Camp. She is teeming with endless ideas, but it is the sense of belonging, the promise of finally having a home, that drives her.
I enjoyed the way the romance develops. At the beginning of the novel, Owen is quite obviously still grieving the loss of his wife. Falling in love doesn’t even cross his mind. He just wants the irksome lady with so many big ideas to go away and leave him be. He is forced into working with Lily and does so reluctantly. At every step, they butt heads over changes and costs. But slowly, they find themselves working for the same cause. And as Owen finds himself dragged out of the cocoon of grief in which he had wrapped himself, he is surprised to discover he quite enjoys Lily’s company and everything she has helped him to achieve.
I did think that the book would have benefited from sharing more of an insight into Lily’s past and the reasons she feels so much shame about her time as an agent. Without details of the things she did it was hard to understand why she wanted it to remain hidden. However, I must admit that I have not read book one, and perhaps that is where is I will find more details about Lily’s actions as a Pinkerton agent.
Overall, The Heart of an Agent was a refreshing and enjoyable book in which to sink, like taking a holiday to one of the old Great Camps. The story combines romance, companionship, and beautiful scenery with a sweet story of hope and love regrowing.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Genre: Christian historical.
Themes: Grief, restoration, belonging, romance.
Published: 7 November 2017 by Waterfall Press.
Format: Paperback, ebook, audiobook. 256 pages.