A Heart’s Gift

I meet Lena Nelson Dooley a few years ago. When she asked me if I had read any of her books, I was ashamed to admit that I had not. Even until now, I kept passing her books by. Not because I didn’t think I would like them, I was just too crazy with everything else. Then, this little gem crossed my path and the synopsis intrigued me enough that I figured “Why Not.” It was definitely time to see what her writing was like.

A Heart’s Gift is a touching tale of miss guided attraction, learning to accept the gifts given in the package they come in, and cherishing those God places in your care. There were tender moments–like when Franklin was interacting with the baby. Then, there were page-turning moments–like at the end (I’m not telling you.) Lastly, there were moments I wanted to throw my Kindle in irritation.

For all the sweetness, hints of steam, bits of suspense, and straight to the point facts of life (like what happens between husband and wife)–there were a few moments that just left me rolling my eyes.

First, I don’t like reading whiney characters. Especially if their dilemma is their own foolishness and it is all you read about when that character comes into the scene. If one character hadn’t been so caught up. on “who did them wrong” maybe there could have been more of something else. But that’s just me.

Second, some of the moments felt redundant or lacking in realistic conversation.

I’m not going to tell you I hated the story. The story was good and written well in a technical way, and as I said before, it did have many great points. I just don’t think I will be putting this book in my personal collection.

But don’t take my word for it. If you enjoy marriage of convenience and historical romance that flows well and sweet to read, then this book is for you.

***I was given a copy of this book by the publisher through CelebrateLit Publicities. A positive review is not required.

About the Book

Book:  A Heart’s Gift

Author: Lena Nelson Dooley

Genre: Christian historical romance

A Heart's Gift

Is a marriage of convenience the answer?

Franklin Vine has worked hard to build the ranch he inherited into one of the most successful in the majestic Colorado mountains. If only he had an heir to one day inherit the legacy he’s building. But he was burned once in the worst way, and he doesn’t plan to open his heart to another woman. Even if that means he’ll eventually have to divide up his spread among the most loyal of his hired hands.

When Lorinda Sullivan is finally out from under the control of men who made all the decisions in her life, she promises herself she’ll never allow a man to make choices for her again. But without a home in the midst of a hard Rocky Mountain winter, she has to do something to provide for her infant son.

A marriage of convenience seems like the perfect arrangement, yet the stakes quickly become much higher than either of them ever planned. When hearts become entangled, the increasing danger may change their lives forever.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Lena Dooley

Lena Nelson Dooley has been an author for 36 years. Her 51st book released in June 2020. Raised in Arkansas, she married a Texan 56 years ago. They have lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for decades. She is an active member of ACFW and one of the founding members the DFW local chapter. She’s often been a speaker for other writers’ groups and conferences, both as a keynote speaker and a workshop teacher. Her fans love reading her books filled with characters who grip your heart.



I’ve been a lover of history for decades. In college and graduate school, all my elective courses were history. Of course, I chose the countries and eras I wanted to learn about. When I began writing novels, my first one was a contemporary story. After that at least 75% or more of my novels have been historical, from 1805 through the early 20th century.

I’ve always been fascinated by the relationship between Joseph and Mary the mother of Jesus. The Bible doesn’t give us a lot of information about their relationship. But by his actions, we can assume that Joseph believed the angel and Mary about her baby. He didn’t do the usual thing and put her away quietly. Instead, he protected her, and from the day He was born, he became the earthly father of Jesus. I’ve often thought about what that meant for Joseph and for Mary. When I wrote a story of a marriage between a man and a single mother, I used the emotions that I feel God has revealed to me about their relationship.

The first time I read a marriage of convenience novel, I loved it. And I’ve read quite a few. I’ve also written a few. A Heart’s Gift is one of them. This book was an easy and interesting book to write.

I’m what’s called in the industry a seat-of-the-pants author, more or less. I do have the complete outline of the story in my head. When I sit down to write, I know where I’m going, but I don’t have every single scene plotted out as some authors do. And I pray a lot. During the time I’m writing a book, God drops ideas into my mind. Not just while I’m writing, but other times, too. That’s the exciting thing about writing. This keeps it fresh for me.

During the writing of A Heart’s Gift, there’s a place where I just stopped and said, “God, what am I going to do now?” When you get there, you’ll know what scene I mean, but I don’t want to give a spoiler.

I never dreamed that the book would turn into a suspense novel in the last quarter of the book, but God knew. And it made it a better book.

Blog Stops

Connie’s History Classroom, January 13

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14

Maureen’s Musings, January 14

Reviewingbooksplusmore, January 15

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 15

Inklings and notions, January 16

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, January 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 17

Writing from the Heart Land, January 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 18

Betti Mace, January 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 19

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 19

Artistic Nobody, January 20 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, January 20

Older & Smarter?, January 21

lalkesidelivingsite, January 21

For Him and My Family, January 22

Labor Not in Vain, January 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 23

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, January 23

Texas Book-aholic, January 24

To Everything There Is A Season, January 24

deb’s Book Review, January 25

Lis Loves Reading, January 25

Splashes of Joy, January 26

Pause for Tales, January 26

Mary Hake, January 26


To celebrate her tour, Lena is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.



  1. Roxanne C.

    I very much enjoyed reading about the author’s writing process and am intrigued by the mentioned, but not described, scene in the book.

  2. Lynn Brown

    The cover is very pretty. The blurb sounds like a good read. Thanks for the chance.

  3. Emma

    This sounds interesting. I’m intrigued by the way you described this book!

    • MelissaWardwell

      Yay! I’m glad. I hate pointing out things I don’t like because I like readers to decide for themselves

  4. James Robert

    It’s great hearing about new books when you have a family who loves to read. Thanks so much for sharing your book.

  5. Debra J Pruss

    Thank you for sharing the information about this author who is new to me. May God bless you.

  6. Patty

    I have one or two of her books on my shelf but I haven’t read them yet. And one of these days I will give her a try.