About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Murmur in the Mud Caves (Chaparral Hearts, #4) by Kathleen Denly

Murmur in the Mud Caves (Chaparral Hearts Book 4)

He came to cook for ranch hands, not three single women.

Gideon Swift, a visually impaired Civil War Veteran, responds to an ad for a ranch cook in the Southern California desert mountains. He wants nothing more than to forget his past and stay in the kitchen where he can do no harm. But when he arrives to find his employer murdered, the ranch turned to ashes, and three young women struggling to survive in the unforgiving Borrego Desert, he must decide whether his presence protects them or places them in greater danger.

Bridget “Biddie” Davidson finally receives word from her older sister who disappeared with their brother and pa eighteen years prior, but the news is not good. Determined to help her family, Biddie sets out for a remote desert ranch with her adopted father and best friend. Nothing she finds there is as she expected, including the man who came to cook for the shambles of a ranch.

When tragedy strikes, the danger threatens not only her plans to help her sister, but her own dreams for the future—with the man who’s stolen her heart


This is the fourth book in the Chaparral Hearts series and it's another exciting adventure from author Kathleen Denly. She never fails to fully transport readers to the time and place that she's writing about so I was there, in 1873, as Bridget "Biddie" Davidson and her friend Lucy travel from San Francisco to a ranch in Southern California. I could feel the uncomfortable ride in a freight wagon, the dismay in finding that my new home was a dilapidated ranch, and the terror of being kidnapped by rustlers! Not to mention being taken to the mud canyons and mud caves, where "men were swallowed up by the land and never seen again." One reason that I love historical fiction is that I always learn something new, and these mud caves are definitely new!

Denly helped me experience all of this in Murmur in the Mud Caves but there's so much more than just action and danger. There's a budding romance between Biddie and Gideon Swift, a poignant look at adoption, and a touching reminder of how much we need family and friends. Grab a copy of this book if you're looking for well-defined characters, an unusual setting, and a clean romance with a strong faith message. You're in for a treat!

I received an advanced reader copy from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Kathleen Denly writes historical romance to entertain, encourage, and inspire readers toward a better understanding of our amazing God and how He sees us. Award winning author of the Chaparral Hearts series, she also shares history tidbits, thoughts on writing, books reviews, and more at www.KathleenDenly.com.

Kathleen lives in sunny California with her loving husband, four young children, two dogs, and ten cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart, and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.

Learn more by visiting Kathleen's Website Bookbub Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest

Chaparral Hearts Series

Murmur in the Mud Caves

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