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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Champion's Heart: Born to Win Men by Piper Huguley

Released: Dec. 2016
Rating: 5-star

Piper Huguley is one of my favorite authors and she doesn't disappoint with this her latest historical romance. A Champion's Heart tells the story of Delie and Champion. Fans of Ms. Huguley and her Migrations of the Heart series (A Virtuous Ruby, A Most Precious Pearl, and A Treasure of Gold) will recognize Delie as one of the younger Bledsoe sisters from the fictional town of Winslow, Georgia. At this stage of the family saga, Cordelia "Delie" Bledsoe is all grown up. Unlike her older sisters, Delie has never left Winslow. Instead, she remains at her family home, brokenhearted and caring for a group of mostly abandoned children alongside her sister Emerald (Em). Seven years ago, an engaged Delie was left behind without a word by Champion, the man she intended to marry. Champion has since become a boxer and he's preparing to fight the most important fights of his life. One of which is to regain the forgiveness, trust, and affection of the love of his life. Unfortunately, both Champion and Delie harbor secrets that could prevent them from having their happily ever after.

The Good
Over the past three books I've really come to love the Bledsoe family and it was great seeing Delie and Em as adults. It was also nice to catch up with Ruby, Pearl, Nettie, their spouses and their families. Although Delie was only a child in previous books, I found I was easily engrossed in her story and I was invested in her relationship with Champion. Both characters were likable and the children were charming. Champion had a lot to make up for, and he makes mistakes along the way, but I was rooting for him and knew his intentions towards Delie and the children were good. Speaking of the children, they were very well written and adorable.

Because it is a historical, we see some of the challenges that came with traveling while black in the 1940s. There's a scene at a gas station that really got to me and drove home how dangerous and uncertain it was during that time period.

The Bad
Other than my lukewarm feelings regarding the cover (it really doesn't match or do the story justice), there isn't much to dislike about A Champion's Heart.

My Final Thoughts
This is a 5-star read in my opinion. It can be read on its own, but I recommend reading the Migrations of the Heart series to understand the history of the characters and for a richer reading experience.

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