Review: A Place in His Heart by Rebecca DeMarino

June 9, 2014

Title: A Place in His Heart
Author: Rebecca DeMarino
Publisher: Revell
Pages: 336
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2218-0
Publication Date: June 3rd, 2014

She could cross an ocean, but could she ever win his heart?

Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Left at the altar and disgraced in her small hamlet, she is being pressured to marry the eligible son of the London milliner. Puritan Barnabas Horton still grieves the loss of his beloved wife, but he knows his two young sons need a mother.

With tender hearts, Mary and Barnabas take a leap of faith and wed. But when Barnabas's secret plans to move his family to the New World to escape persecution come to light, Mary's world is upended. How could she possibly leave her papa and her dear sister?

And will she ever reach the secret places of her husband's broken heart?
The cover of this book first caught my attention. It's different then most books I've seen and I love the color scheme. Once I read the synopsis, I knew I wanted to read this story. The premises is interesting and I love that it was based on actual family history. There is so much in history that can make a wonderful story. I also enjoyed the historical accuracy for the book. Women in history weren't able to be as vocal in their lives as they are now. As much as I would have loved for Mary to speak up and demand change, that's not how things were done during this period.

I really wanted to love this story, and don't get me wrong, it was good, the writing was wonderful and kept me turning pages, but I could not get past the selfishness and heartlessness of Barnabas. Everything he did and said really got to me after a while. His desire to hold on to his past life with his dead wife was hard to read, especially when he made the decision to marry again. Everything was still for his first wife and there was no care about Mary. And it wasn't short lived. This continued through the whole story, through several years. Because of this, I couldn't stand Barnabas. Even though he knew certain questions hurt Mary, he asked them because he was hoping for what he wanted to hear. He lied and kept so many secrets and refused to symbolically hand over the care of the house.

Mary was a very caring girl. She loved children and her family. She had a bit of spoiled upbringing, but she had giving heart. She is young at the beginning of the story and is a bit naive. However, through the years, sadness and anger rear their heads in her life. Mary deals with a lot of heartache and change in her life. You really want something good to happen to her, but sadly, one thing after another comes at her. I admired the fact that she did her best to have the best outlook and she tried to make everything as comfortable for her stepsons.

I enjoyed the writing of the story, but sadly, the characters of this story just didn't do it for me. However, don't stop that from you trying it. This wasn't the story for me, but it just might be the story for you.

3 out of 5

About the Author:
Rebecca DeMarino is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and The Southold Long Island Historical Society. She was a 2011 Genesis Award semi-finalist. Rebecca is retired from a major airline and lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Tom. Learn more at

Thank you to the Revell Blog Tour, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I just started this book and I totally agree with you so far! I kept hoping it would get better but after reading your review, I'm beginning to doubt that it will! Kinda wondering whether or not to actually finish it or to just write a DNF review.

  2. Abbi, I pushed through to the end and sadly, it wasn't as I hoped. If Barnabas showed some change toward event he middle, I think it would have been so much more enjoyable. I'm sorry you are having the same thoughts I did.

  3. Kate,
    I agree with much of what you said in your review. Barnabas was stubborn, but I think he did show changes as the story concluded. I also felt that the dialogue was sometimes repetitive.

    One thing I really liked, though, was the fact that it's based on Rebecca's ancestors. That made the story more interesting, especially when you see her notes of the true account of Barnabas.

  4. Courtney, I agree with you, there was some repetitiveness. I guess I would have been more open to the story if Barnabas had started to show change sooner. He was a depressing character. :-/

    I'm with you there! I did like how it was based on her family history. I love when authors go into their backgrounds. :-)


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