Within My Heart (Timber Ridge Reflections, Book 3)

by Tamera Alexander

Paperback, 2010



Call number



Bethany House Publishers (2010), Edition: Reprinted, 384 pages


Widow Rachel Boyd, struggling to keep her ranch afloat and raise her two young sons, squelches any feelings she might have for Rand Brookston, Timber Ridge's physician and reluctant veterinarian. But when she's courted by a wealthy client of the local resort, she faces a choice: self-sufficiency and security or the risk inherent in the deepest of loves.

User reviews

LibraryThing member kwells
This was an enjoyable Christian fiction/romance novel about a widow with two sons, Rachel Boyd, and the town doctor, Rand Brookston in 1870s Colorado. I liked the story and am inspired to find the previous two novels in the Timber Ridge Reflections series.
LibraryThing member fantasia655
A first for me of Tamara Alexander's. I really enjoyed it. I wish I had the others in the series but they can be read as standalone. She did a very nice job of capturing historical significance and portrayed the characters very well. Will definitely have to pick up her other books.
LibraryThing member milliebeverly
I received this ARC in the LTER giveaway. I wish I had read the first two books in the series first! It was interesting, and an enjoyable book, but definitely a lot of loose threads because it is the 3rd book. The story is good, if typical: beautiful young woman (a widow with 2 sons, in this case) resents and misunderstands handsome young man (the selfless town doctor) until they must work together to save the life of a friend. Pretty good book, but fairly shallow character development… (more)
LibraryThing member mszacman
I wasn't aware that this was the third in a series when I started reading it. Still, I enjoyed it very much. I loved the prologue; it sucked me right in, and I wanted to read the book straight through. There did seem to be a lot left unsaid about some of the characters, but that could be because I didn't read the first two in the series. I wish we could have learned more about Dr. Brookston. Maybe in book 4?… (more)
LibraryThing member hglotzbach
Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander is an extremely well written, honest, enjoyable and thoughtful book. Although it is the third book in a series (Timber Ridge Reflections), I found that it worked well as a stand-alone title. I am motivated to read the first two books in the series now.

The setting of the book is a small town in Timber Ridge, Colorado, in the year 1877. The struggles of recent widow Rachel Boyd and others in the town are realistically described. I look forward to reading more from Tamera Alexander.

I enjoyed the fact that this is a book written with Christian beliefs in mind yet did not hit you over the head with those beliefs. In addition, I enjoyed the decriptions of the Colorado countryside and life during the late 1800s.
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LibraryThing member rrnicovich
This historical romance novel is set in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado around the time of the Civil War. The main female character is a strong woman who is trying to keep her ranch going for her sons after losing her husband. Through her interactions with the male character who is a doctor, we find that she is interested in medicine more than ranching. I enjoyed reading this book and have decided to read the first and second one in the series too. I recommend starting with book one because there were a few spots in the book where I felt like I missed something. I'm sure it would have been more clear if I had read the first two books.… (more)
LibraryThing member Steph33
This is the third book in the Timber Ridge Reflections Series. This is Rachel Boyd's story. She is a widow who is struggling with bitterness. I had already read and enjoyed the first two books in this series, but I think it would be difficult to appreciate the resolution of Rachel's character without having read the first two books. Honestly, I enjoyed the first two books more than this one. For me the character of Dr. Brookston fell a little flat. His background from the prologue was so interesting, so much could have been done with it, and yet ????? Maybe too much was edited out?. I like this author, and I have enjoyed this series, but all in all I would say her Fountain Creek Series was better.… (more)
LibraryThing member JaneAustenNut
Within My Heart is a lot more expansive than two people falling in love. It’s about having the courage to say goodbye to those you love and denying fear while embracing faith in a new direction for one’s life. My heart was focused on Rachel and Rand's new life journey, and I was rewarded with an excellent story. After all, what is historical romance, if not great stories that involve believable characters?… (more)
LibraryThing member love2readnovels
Rachel Boyd is trying to fulfill her husband's dream by working their ranch and giving her two young sons a heritage. But for a woman missing her husband and trying to fill the role of both mom and dad it's beginning to take it's tole. Especially when her hearts desire is not the ranch but medicine. Dr. Rand Brookston dreams of building a proper clinic for the town of Timber Ridge. He also longs for Rachel to take notice of him. When the two are thrown together to care for a mutual friend Rachel begins to see Rand in a different light. Each have fears from the past. Can they trust God and face those fears together?

Tamera Alexander always writes with such a heart-felt emotion and Within My Heart was no exception. Her characters are so well crafted that you truly feel like they could just walk off the page. There were places where I smiled and places where I got the Kleenex. To me, that's good writing when it evokes those kinds of emotions. Rachel was a strong heroine who let fear keep her from the thing she longed for most. Rand was a really great hero. I loved how he was with Rachel. I think the back of the book explains it very well when it says "Sometimes the greatest step of faith is taken neck-deep in fear." Although this is the third book in the Timber Ridge Reflections Series I didn't feel lost, however, it makes me want to read the previous two books to find out the history of these characters. I thoroughly enjoyed Within My Heart and would definitely recommend it. A thank you goes to Bethany House for sending me this complimentary copy for my review.
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LibraryThing member ReviewsbyMolly
I have always been a huge fan of historical romances (can't ya tell with all my reviews?) and so the chance to jump on reviewing Tamera Alexander's book, Within My Heart was one I definitely wouldn't pass up! And I am glad to say, that Tamera's excellently skilled hand has penned a novel that instantly captured my heart and mind when I opened the book.

I loved all the characters in this book. Even the secondary characters. But Rand Brookston was the one that really pulled at my heartstrings. I just couldn't stop praying for him as I read this book. He felt real to me and came alive next to me, as I read his trials and his efforts to win the affections of widowed Rachel Boyd, whom didn't want anything to do with love or doctors again. I felt a sisterly pull to Rand and wanted to wrap my arms around him and pray and pray for Rachel to open her eyes and see what a wonderful man she had in front of her.

I am saddened to know that this is book 3 in a series....I love to read a series in order, and certainly wish I would have done so with this! However, that being said, I was not confused by the events or details in this amazing story, a story of hope, love, forgiveness and letting go, and that makes it a great stand alone also. But my personal opinion? Read them in order! I wish I would have simply because I want to know more about the town of Timber Ridge and it's God filled characters and I will be reading books 1 and 2 as soon as possible!

I definitely recommend this book with 5 stars and then some! It's history and God filled plot will instantly captivate you and draw you into the loving families of Timber Ridge. When you close the last page, you'll feel like you've left home. Tamera Alexander has amazing talent and any Alexander fan will want to add this book to their collections, and if you're not an Alexander fan already, this is one author whom you'll want to be checking out! Fantastic work!

*This book was provided for review by Bethany House Publishers*
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LibraryThing member kitchenwitch04
Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander was an quick, enjoyable read for me. The book is the third of a series called Timber Ridge Reflections, and takes place in a small town by the name of (what else..) Timber Ridge, Colorado during the late 1800's.
The main character is a recent widow by the name of Rachel Boyd , and the story follows her struggle to take care of her ranch and her children after the death of her husband, and her budding relationship with the town doctor.
Although this is the third book in a series that I have never read, I still enjoyed the book enough to make me want to read the first two.
If you are a fan of Christian-based historical fiction, I think you will enjoy this book.
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LibraryThing member Raenolt
Within my heart is a heart-warming book about a widow who is trying to raise her two sons and keep her husband's dream alive. I was excited to read this book because I'd never read any books by Tamera Alexander before. I was drawn to the book and couldn't put it down until I KNEW every detail! Along the way you have several questions as to WHAT HAPPENED--and as you read your questions get answered. Very good read and I'm excited to read more by this author.… (more)
LibraryThing member EdnaT
Rachel Boyd's husband had been killed two years ago, and since then, life has been a struggle. Her love for her late husband has not diminished, but has taken its toll. The dream of owning a ranch has been very hard for Rachel without him and raising two boys alone. She is not interested in remarrying for any reason at this point in time. The possibility of losing another beloved spouse is terrifying to her. Doctor Rand Brookston has some fears of his own and happens to be sweet on Rachel. His profession as well as her fear help her to keep him at a distance, but when circumstances draw them together, they discover they must confront their fears. Within My Heart is a romance and one part seemed like things were coming to an ending. But with the heart attack of a dear friend and Rachel helping Rand with the constance care of Ben, they both learned a lot about each other, but the nightmare that always has Rand having a panic attack still need to be resolved.

I have not read the first two books but I was able to go right into this one, a very good read from Tamera Alexander.
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program.
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LibraryThing member judyg54
This whole series of books, Timber Ridge Reflections, was great. I got to know and love the folks of Timber Ridge and Tamera does such a good job. Alot of times when I read a series one of the books may not be as good as the others, but in this series it would be very hard to pick which one I liked the best, cause they were all good. I would like to thank Bethany House for sending me a free copy for review, and thank Tamera for also sharing a little bit of herself in her books. I especially felt blessed to read "A Note From Tamera" at the end of book 3. I appreciated her thoughts on the 2 main characters, Rand and Rachel, when she said, "Rand and Rachel each took steps of faith into the life God was calling them to, though they couldn't see what that life would look like. Because, like us, if they could see, then it wouldn't be faith."
This story is about Rachel Boyd, who is struggling to maintain her late husband's dream of a ranch for her two young boys. She is a very stubborn woman, who has a hard time forgiving and forgetting and seeing the good in some folks. She also has a tender heart, easily hurt.
Dr. Rand Brookston is a great doctor and person, who has come West to make a difference in the healthcare of this small town. He has had an interest in Rachel for quite awhile, even though she has shown no interest in him. When they both are needed to help the life of a dear friend, they have choices they must make and their feelings for each other become quite apparent.
I had a range of emotions while reading this story and even had to get out the Kleenex box during a part in this book. The whole series has become a "favorite" in my book collection. (I also want to say the the person who had charge of selecting the covers for these stories did a awesome job!)
I would like to leave my review with a quote from the book that really meant alot to me, where Rachel is thinking back over hard circumstances in her life, it "didn't change the eternal truth that God was sovereign, that His provision was unfailing, and that His love was perfect." This story brought that truth home very well.
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LibraryThing member kittycrochettwo
Rachel Boyd has been struggling to keep her husband's dream alive since his death two years ago. His dream(which became her dream too) was to have a successful ranch that would be a legacy for her two young sons Mitch and Kurt. Some days she wonders if she has made the right choices.It is a major struggle to keep the ranch afloat, with cattle dying and unable to make her payment to the bank she is forced to go to the bank and ask for more money, she also knows she will need to make some tough decisions where the ranch is concerned, but she is no longer sure that the ranch is her dream. Her father was a physician, not always there for his family, but Rachel learned from him the skill of taking care of the sick, she has a natural talent for it.
Rand Brookston is the local physician and sometimes veterinarian, he has issues from his past that he struggles to deal with, but he has been watching Rachel for some time. He admires her greatly often asking her to assist in medical procedures, so when Ben Mullens the local store owner and dear friend of Rachel needs a life saving medical procedure preformed Rand asks Rachel to assist. While she judges Rand based on the way her father was she soon comes to see that Rand is nothing like her father.Can she let down the protective shield she has placed around her heart and learn to love again?

Even though this was the third book in the Timber Ridge Reflections series, I missed the first two and had no problems becoming quickly immersed in this story. I really enjoyed reading this historical romance. Rachel's character had to be tough to run a ranch and raise two boys as well, she relies on God and also has support from friends and family. Her brother is a steady influence in her life, as well as Ben and Lydia. I was so glad when she finally gave in to her feelings for Rand, they needed each other, and he was so good with the boys.

This book was really so much more than just another romance, we saw a young boy deal with behavior issues, a man with heart issues learn that he didn't have long to live, and makes sure his wife is taken care of. We also got a small glimpse of what happened with Rand during the civil war, combine this with Rachel's struggles and you have a book that you won't be able to put down. On a scale of one to five this book easily rates a 5.

Even though I was provided a copy of this book by Bethany House for review it in no way alters my opinion of this book!
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LibraryThing member BrookeYvonne
This was the first book by Tamara Alexander I had the opportunity to read. I enjoyed the book. It has a strong educated femalelead in this book. Generally, I like historical fiction for the strength in the women who were able to take care of themselves. I enjoyed the storyline of two hurting people allowing themselves to fall in love again, without the story feeling sappy/cheesy...I kept the book and will be adding it to my romance collection. Thanks Bethany house for the opportunity to review!!!… (more)
LibraryThing member nolak
Rachel Boyd is trying to keep the dream of a ranch for her boys alive since she lost her husband. Along the way, she learns to forgive and love again, but not before passing out a lot of rejection. The young doctor keeps trying for her heart in spite of everything, and to help her young sons and the town of Timber Ridge as new medical advances are greatly needed.… (more)
LibraryThing member mookiekat
when rand the new town doctor and rachel first meet sparks fly. not ready to move past the tragedy of her husbands death and remembering the coldness of her relationship with her father, she guards herself against ever being hurt again. Rachel has two rambunctious boys to raise and a failing farm to try to salvage so she can keep the dream of her late husband alive for her boys, as she spends more time assisting rand with his patients she falls in love with him. when tragedy strikes again for a second then a third time she finds herself pooling all her strength and courage to overcome them with the help of those around her she has come to deeply love. an excellant book although i hated to see it end. i would very much like to see the author write perhaps a sequel or two to this story. i think it could go further.… (more)
LibraryThing member dathyni
This book was utter naff and it was not particularly well written. Not that it was poorly written, it was just wasn't anything special. As far as the story goes think Dr. Quinn meets a romcom with Jesus talk thrown in. I skipped all the Jesusy bits because that part did not appeal to me. Did not see the "Christian Lit" label on this before I grabbed it at the library but oh well.

That said, I couldn't put the darn thing down.

Oh, and the weird sexual overtones at times felt VERY out of place.
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LibraryThing member lasperschlager
Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander was a wonderful Christian historical fiction book. The main characters were likeable and engaging. I will be reading more books by this author.
LibraryThing member Elentarien
Really enjoyed this one. Not quite as much as the others of the series. . .if just because the 'scenario' did not appeal quite as much. But it was still a wonderful read. The story wrapped up well, and things were brought in to a satisfactory 'wrap up' for all the characters involved.Definitely recommended, along with the other two of the trilogy.… (more)
LibraryThing member mmmorgan1089
In Tamera Alexander’s Within My Heart a young widow struggles to raise her two young sons while trying to keep her ranch afloat, a testament to her husband’s memory. Although overwhelmed with these responsibilities, she is fiercely independent and reluctant to seek help. However, when her sons lives are endangered she is forced to turn to the town’s new doctor, Dr. Rand Brookston. She does not want to give her heart to the doctor believing that such a relationship would end in heartbreak as it h...moreIn Tamera Alexander’s Within My Heart a young widow struggles to raise her two young sons while trying to keep her ranch afloat, a testament to her husband’s memory. Although overwhelmed with these responsibilities, she is fiercely independent and reluctant to seek help. However, when her sons lives are endangered she is forced to turn to the town’s new doctor, Dr. Rand Brookston. She does not want to give her heart to the doctor believing that such a relationship would end in heartbreak as it had for her mother, who had married a doctor. Rand frequently requests Rachel’s help with medical procedures; she had often aided her father. The two eventually declare a truce that allows them to work together and to learn to trust one another. Rachel realizes she has reached a crossroads when a wealthy businessman begins to pay her his respects. Will she choose the safety of the financial security he offers or will she risk giving her heart to the man she is now forced to admit has become her new love? And, most importantly, what does God want her to do? Set against the background of the rugged Rocky Mountains in post Civil War Colorado, this entry in the Timber Ridge Reflections series will stay with readers’ hearts long after reading the final page.… (more)
LibraryThing member lovemybooks
Within My Heart is about so much more than two people falling in love. It's about celebrating life, about living it to its fullest, about stepping out in faith even when fear holds you in its grip, it's about saying goodbye to the people you love. It's beautiful, gorgeously written, layered, and utterly and completely delightful.

A good book asks you to join in on the journey of the characters. I gave my heart and soul to Rachel and Rand's journey, and I was not disappointed. In fact, as embarrassing as it is to say, I cried a few tears of joy at the end. It is a beautiful heartfelt story and the very best kind.… (more)


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Physical description

8.5 inches


0764203916 / 9780764203916

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