In recent times, I have read and reviewed a few Australian rural romance novels, but Cora's Heart is the first book in the genre that I have read that is set in America. Cora's Heart is the fourth in an interconnected series of novels (in other words, it can be read as part of a series or as a stand alone novel,) set in Cypress Hollow and features characters who both enjoy knitting and are somehow connected with a lady named Eliza. For me, this was my first visit to Cypress Hollow, so it was read as a stand alone novel.
Cora's Heart was an interesting lightweight romance. It's one of those novels, where the reader knows that everything is going to work out in the end, but what keeps the pages turning is the how. The heroine is Cora, a young widow who often worries about the what-ifs in life. Cora was abandoned by her parents at a young age, grew up in foster homes and had a husband who was somewhat unreliable, though she is reluctant to admit that last part to anyone else, let alone herself. She is even less reluctant to admit her feelings for Mac, her husband's cousin or the kiss that nearly occurred before her wedding.
Much of the drama in the story comes through misfortune, misunderstandings and characters who cannot communicate what they want. It is an enjoyable enough read, though the book is neither groundbreaking or particularly memorable. I liked Mac best of all the characters. Both he and teenage Olivia seemed to be the only main characters who were honest with themselves. Cora came across as a bit annoying and helpless at times and I didn't emphasise with her about her conflicting feelings with Mac as much as I could have. Still, the novel was an enjoyable enough lazy evening read.
Review copy: publisher/netgalley.