Read Heart of the Valley by Cathryn Hein Online


Brooke Kingston is smart, capable and strongwilled – some might even say stubborn – and lives in the beautiful Hunter Valley on her family property. More at home on horseback than in heels, her life revolves around her beloved 'boys' – showjumpers Poddy, Oddy and Sod.Then a tragic accident leaves Brooke a mess. Newcomer Lachie Cambridge is hired to manage the farm, and BroBrooke Kingston is smart, capable and strongwilled – some might even say stubborn – and lives in the beautiful Hunter Valley on her family property. More at home on horseback than in heels, her life revolves around her beloved 'boys' – showjumpers Poddy, Oddy and Sod.Then a tragic accident leaves Brooke a mess. Newcomer Lachie Cambridge is hired to manage the farm, and Brooke finds herself out of a job and out of luck. But she won't go without a fight.What she doesn't expect is Lachie himself – a handsome, gentle giant with a will to match her own. But with every day that Lachie stays, Brooke's future on the farm is more uncertain. Will she be forced to choose between her home and the man she's falling for?A vivid, moving and passionate story of love and redemption from the author of Promises....

Title : Heart of the Valley
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781921518690
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Heart of the Valley Reviews

  • Suzanne
    2019-01-29 23:56

    Cathryn Hein kindly signed my copy hoping that I'd love Lachie as much as she did. I think I might! This is a kind, soothing and heartfelt story of love and horses with a distinct Aussie flavour. A flavour that I'm quite partial to, particularly when I'm on holidays and physically immersed into the actual geographic setting that I'm reading about. I'm not at all far away from the Upper Hunter now - Hexham, Scone, Newcastle etc. These places really are lovely in real life and are great places to see and read about, too. Horse lovers would love this story and in fact I wish I did love horses as much as Cathryn does, but I still really really enjoyed this one. The author knows her stuff, she taught me lots about this big vast land of ours. I do highly recommend this to readers who enjoy a rural romance and any of us who are partial to a big handsome and strapping lad like Lachie, big men have popped up in both books I've tasted from this great Aussie author. Enjoy!

  • Jenny
    2019-01-19 19:57

    Heart of the Valley is about romance and finding a place to call home. Brooke Kingston lives and works on her family farm, Kingston Downs. However, after a car accident that killed one Brooke's horses and wounded another, her family thinks that she should come back to Sydney. Lachlan Cambridge came to Kingston Downs as the new manager that Brooke's family hired. Lachlan Cambridge was told that Brooke is leaving the farm. However, this was not the case. The readers will continue to follow the Lachlan Cambridge and Brooke Kingston to see what happens to them.I enjoyed reading Heart of the Valley. I love Cathryn Hein portrayal of her characters and the way they are entwined throughout the book. Cathryn Hein did a great job in describing the story of Heart of the Valley that ensures that I could not help not having a crying while reading Heart of the Valley. Reading Heart of the Valley, I started to understand that the life of horse trainers are not glamorous as I thought it was. The readers of Heart of the Valley will learn how to care and train horses for show jumping events. Also, the readers of Heart of the Valley will learn about Lucerne and Oaten hay production and the importance it has for the farmers. Heart of the Valley highlights the consequences of a car accident for horses and drivers. I recommend this book

  • Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
    2019-02-15 18:50

    Heart of the Valley is a heartwarming rural romance by Cathryn Hein, whose debut novel, Promises, made the Australian romance best seller list. Brooke Kingston has proved herself an excellent manager of the family property in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, until the aftermath of a tragic accident interferes with her ability to fulfill her duties. Yet Brooke resists the pressure to join her concerned family in the city, determined to remain with her beloved horses and work hard to overcome her issues. Despite her objections, Brooke's brother appoints Lachlan Cambridge to take her place, Brooke is devastated but refuses to leave Kingston Downs, and her precious 'boys', Sod and Poddy. Brooke views Lachie as an unwelcome intruder but the quiet, competent and handsome farmer proves to be Brooke's staunchest ally as she faces her fears, and the one man that may heal her broken heart.While at its core Heart of The Valley is a romance, Brooke's journey to free herself of her fears is a feature of the story. When we first meet her, Brooke is a confident, happy young woman but when tragedy strikes she is left distressed and depressed and with a real phobia that adversely affects her life. I couldn't help but be sympathetic to her anxieties, despite her stubborn refusal of help, and understood Brooke's determination to regain control of her life on her own terms. Hein sensitively and authentically portrays Brooke's challenges, and her slow recovery.Lachie's physical description makes him just my type and his personality is equally as appealing. Despite being a physically intimidating man, Lachie proves to be gentle, respectful and intelligent though undoubtedly masculine. Lachie has endured his own trials, he has a complicated relationship with his father that saw him leave the family farm he loves and he needs the job at Kingston Downs in order to support his younger brother at University. Initially Lachie expects little from Brooke, making assumptions based on his recent experiences with his ex girlfriend, but he doesn't hesitate to reach out to Brooke when she needs him.The romance between Brooke and Lachie progresses naturally which I very much enjoyed, from the initial spark of attraction, grows mutual respect and friendship. The romantic tension builds slowly but surely even as their relationship is complicated by a number of factors, including their positions at Kingston Downs and Brooke's emotional vulnerability. I felt that Brooke and Lachlan complemented each other wonderfully as they worked to navigate their own dreams and desires. Hein chose the Hunter Valley as the setting for her book as a way of paying homage to the happy years she spent in the region. As an agricultural consultant, she spent a lot of time visiting the farms in the region and her experience shows in the details - particularly as Brooke and Lachie discuss the farm's crops and day to day routine. Even though some of the information is superfluous it does add to the authenticity of the story. Hein's participation in pony club, eventing and dressage provides the backdrop for Brooke's love of, and work with, the horses of Kingston Downs. Brooke's horses, Sod, Poddy and Oddy have personalities of their own, and they, as well as Lachie's puppy Billy, find their way into your heart. It's a rare girl that didn't dream of owning her own horse as a child and Heart of the Valley taps into this longing, creating a strong connection between Brooke and the reader. Heart of the Valley is a novel about letting go and moving forward that mixes tender romance with heartfelt drama. I finished Heart of the Valley with a contented sigh for a story well told and a longing for a horse of my own. Cathryn Hein has joined my ever growing list of must read Australian women writers.

  • Michelle
    2019-02-16 18:53

    This is a book that I loved, and had me reaching for the tissues - not metaphorically speaking either. I really did need them. I am off to write my review now, which will be available at Beauty and Lace later in the week.Definitely worth the read.Heart of the Valley is the childhood fantasy of every young girl who grew up wanting a pony, until it turns into a nightmare anyway.Rural Romance seems to be the genre of the moment and Cathryn Hein has written a beautiful novel that fits perfectly on the shelf alongside the growing number of others I have read.Recently I interviewed Cathryn and mentioned that I couldn’t wait to read it if her bubbly personality shone through in her writing. Well I’m here to tell you that her bubbly personality does more than shine through, it resonates on most pages of this book, and the ones it doesn’t are even more heartbreaking because you know bubbly is not appropriate.You can find the rest of my thoughts at Beauty and Lace -

  • Jenny Schwartz
    2019-02-12 22:45

    If I didn't know Cathryn Hein is a lovely person, I'd think she makes me cry on purpose!"Heart of the Valley" is a wonderful, intensely emotional read. Brooke and Lachie are real people. Not perfect, but genuinely nice, and as a reader I really, really wanted their happy ever after.The country setting is as real as the characters, and described with just as much love. You'll adore the story, but keep the tissues handy :)

  • Bree T
    2019-02-11 22:47

    Brooke Kingston lives her dream life working and training her equestrian hopefuls and running her racehorse-training family’s spelling and crop property, Kingston Downs in the beautiful Hunter Valley. Not one for the city and schmoozing the owners at Royal Randwick, Brooke is content to stay in the country, at peace with nature and her beloved trio of eventers, Poddy, Sod and Odd.On the way home from a show, tragedy strikes and changes Brooke’s world forever. She can no longer do something that’s crucial to the running of Kingston Downs and she finds herself replaced. Her brother Mark, the family’s business accountant hires a manager for the property, relegating Brooke to basically useless. It’s all a ploy so her mother can get her back to Sydney and look after her, thinking that Brooke can only get the help she needs there. Brooke refuses to leave the property though. Kingston Downs is her home.Lachlan Cambridge didn’t count on the owner’s daughter being still in residence when he took the job. Lachie is a qualified agronomist who needs this job to get some much needed funds together for his big future plans. Expecting a spoiled brat with a silver spoon in her mouth, Lachie can’t help but eat his words when he actually meets Brooke. What he sees is a broken girl, devastated by her tragedy, passionately dedicated to the property and determined to try and fix herself and atone for what happened. She cares so deeply for her horses and carries a crippling guilt that saps her confidence and makes her a quivering wreck. Lachie thinks he might be able to help her – he wants to help her. And slowly, bit by bit, Brooke is letting him.Lachie and Brooke find a common ground – they both want the best for Kingston Downs, they’re both smart and interested in farming practices and they both care for animals. They didn’t expect to like each other but they come to do so, a slow simmering attraction builds between them, despite the complications of Brooke’s friends Andrew and Chloe – the former in love with her, the latter with her eye on Lachie. But it’s hard to see a future…after all, Brooke wants the manager’s position back one day and Lachie has big plans to move on and take over his ailing family farm. Both of them have very strong ideas about what they want out of their future and where their ‘home’ lies.Heart Of The Valley is a wonderfully warm and inviting novel about overcoming adversity, finding strength and believing in yourself and letting go and embracing the love that comes along. I have to admit, this one kicked me right in my little girl heart. I adore horses. I always have. I wanted one badly when I was a child. My father is a former bookmaker and when I was in high school my best friend’s father was the most prominent horseracing trainer in our area – still is in fact, although I now live some 1500kms away from there. So immediately this novel was going to get a big tick from me for including equestrian and racing. But it earned a lot more than those two!Brooke is bubbly, confident and driven when we first meet her but a tragic accident changes all of that. She’s a psychological mess in the aftermath, grieving and guilt-ridden and the pressure placed on her family to either ‘get better or get out’ doesn’t seem to help. She’s terrified of being shunted off the property and given her father’s stable appears to be going through a lean patch, she’s even more terrified the spelling and crop property will be offloaded for a nice chunk of change. When Lachie arrives it’s like a classic misunderstanding – he believes her to be a spoiled brat because she hasn’t left, she sees him as an interloper who has her job, albeit no fault of his own. She’s quite short with him which fuels his opinion of her as uppity but what I really liked about these two is that they’re both quick to let go of their first impressions and move on, especially Lachie.Oh, Lachie. How I adored him! He was everything that a rural lit hero should be – strong but also gentle, intelligent but good with his hands and just an all round nice guy. He devotes himself to helping Brooke through her trauma, supporting her in ways that her family really don’t, he ‘gets’ her. He understands her need to stay on the property, to heal herself. It is through his support and encouragement that Brooke finds the strength to deal with yet another tragedy and also how to go about taking that next step towards getting better and overcoming her fears. I really enjoyed their evolving relationship – from resignation at the situation to wary acceptance to mutual respect and trust and then ultimately into something much deeper. I think it was extremely well written and very realistic – these were two people who actually got to know each other before anything happened at all.Heart Of The Valley is an excellent addition to the ever-growing rural lit genre – it showcases a beautiful area, contains wonderful, well thought out characters that I really, really enjoyed and I felt the story was rounded and well paced. I felt for Brooke throughout the whole novel – I thought what she went through was terrible and I well understood her trauma. I’m not afraid to say this book made me cry hard at one stage. The animals are a beautiful addition, personalities of their own and they become characters in their own right, particularly the cranky Sod and Lachie’s little Jack Russel terrier Billy. I think they both served to showcase a side of Brooke and Lachie and also to help establish a connection between the two of them. Lachie cannot ride as Brooke does but he forms a lovely bond with the bi-polar Sod and Billy finds a big fan in Brooke who proves that she’s always around for belly scratches.This is one of those books that has snuck on to my ‘re-reads’ shelf, perfect for one of those days where you want something familiar that you know you like, when you’re not quite up to meeting and getting to know strangers and taking a chance.

  • Lauren K
    2019-01-26 23:39

    4.5 starsBrooke Kingston thrives on her family’s property in the Hunter Valley surrounded by the strong beautiful horses that are her passion. But when a serious accident interferes with Brooke’s ability to fulfil her duties on the farm she loves to run, her family place pressure on her to move back to Sydney with them and seek professional help.Brooke is strong-willed and determined to overcome her anxiety and phobias that have overwhelmed her since the accident to pursue her dream of continuing to run the farm. In particular, her older brother Mark is really hard on her and ends up convincing the family to hire a manager to take over the farm. Brooke is crushed by this and her family who are trying to help her inadvertently make her more depressed by their decision. She refuses to move to Sydney and so moves out of her cottage in preparation for the manager and into a small barn on the property, determined to continue working with her horses.Lachlan (Lachie) Cambridge arrives at Kingston Downs hoping for a new start, to save up money, to learn new skills with the dreams of hopefully taking over his family farm one day. A long-standing feud with his father keeps him at bay. The last thing he expects when he accepts the job is to be sharing the property with the smart, attractive young Brooke who is also an emotional mess. Recovering from a broken-heart, the last thing Lachie wants is to get involved with another woman.But the attraction between them from the outset is clear and Lachie offers his gentle, non-judgemental support to Brooke to help overcome her fears. They are both confused by their feelings for each other and the dilemma that this brings. If Brooke recovers then Lachie will be out of a job and in turn Brooke will lose the one person who has been there for her unconditionally.Brooke and Lachie both have vulnerabilities and strengths and a strong connection to the land and it is this drive that brings them together and ultimately may drive them apart. I really enjoyed learning about each of these characters and loved how they complimented each other. Brooke’s fears were very real and at times moving. I could understand her resistance to professional help and how Lachie in many ways becomes quite therapeutic for her, scaffolding her slow recovery. Brooke’s passion for her horses also really stands out for me and there are many ups and downs throughout the story where I felt quite empathic for her. When it begins to feel like her life is falling apart and she is all alone, Lachie comes along and helps her find her way again.The Heart of the Valley is quite a moving love story about passionate, strong characters who are vulnerable in their own ways. A lovely addition to the rural romance genre in Australia. I will definitely be checking out Cathryn Hein’s first novel, Promises.

  • Nicki Edwards
    2019-02-01 22:06

    I have just finished reading this fabulous book. It's my first Cathryn Hein rural romance and it won't be my last! Just quietly, I fell a little bit in love with Lachie! Spoiler alert: if you love horses as much as I do, have the tissues handy.

  • Caroline
    2019-02-05 23:55

    Another great read from Cathryn Hein! The pages quickly absorb you into a horse lovers paradise (an eye opener for myself - who knows diddly squat about horses!) Heartfelt, emotional (tissues came out a couple of times) with vivid characters and settings. P.S. thought Billy was sweet too!

  • Alison Hydes
    2019-02-15 16:37

    An enjoyable read

  • Amy
    2019-01-19 20:55

    I really loved lachie and brooke. Nice story with two smart people who can communicate, dont jump to conclusions and love the land! Ticks boxes for me

  • Aimz
    2019-02-12 19:07

    I initially picked up the author's other book 'Heartland' at the secondhand book shop but after realising this story revolved around showjumpers I ended up buying it instead. (horse addict alert!)I was pleasantly surprised to find a rural romance story that heavily revolved around horses. The main character, Brooke, is relatable and her love and dedication to her horses is admirable. The tragic accident at the start of the book is every horse owner's nightmare (along with the incident later in the book involving Poddy). The story explores the family dynamics of running an equine business and how decisions by one character can have an impact on the entire family. The story flows well and I stayed up until midnight to finish it as I had to know how everything would work out in the end.Initially I found the character Lachie a bit too 'perfect' but as the story progresses the reader gains an insight into his past and family issues which shaped him the way he currently is. Billy the jack russell is a nice touch, it highlights Lachie's kind nature towards animals.I felt in some instances the descriptions were a bit overstated, for example, " 'Idiot,' she muttered, pulling away from the wall and gathering up her all-purpose saddle and a cavesson bridle fitted with a simple eggbutt snaffle bit. "I'm not saying descriptions are awful or wrong, the author has an equestrian background and felt the need to share that information with the reader (I admit I do that when writing something horsey), but it caused me to pause while reading and have to re-read the sentence as it felt too 'heavy'. If it had said "gathering up her all-purpose saddle and a cavesson bridle" I would have probably not paused; that extra information about the snaffle just interrupted me.It isn't a real problem, other readers probably won't feel the same way I do, and it definitely does not detract the quality of the story. Verdict: Great horse storyline tied in with a believable romance. I enjoyed the author's writing style and strong characters so I will definitely read/buy 'Heartland' and 'Promises' when I come across them at the bookshop.

  • Stacey Houllis
    2019-02-12 19:48

    A beautiful Story by Cathryn Hein. It is the story Brooke Kingston who lives at Kingston Down's her family's farm. Her dad is a horse trainer for race horses. Brooke runs Kingston Downs with her two brothers that have shares in the farm. Brooke rides show horses and love living on the farm with her horses and dogs while she manages the farm and her brothers do other things in the family business. Brooke has to two best friends Chole a hairdresser and Andrew a show jumper rider as well. Brooke and Andrew always have bets together at each event, however, this one time Andrew bets if loses she kisses him on the lips. Brooke loses the bet they kiss, however Brooke does not feel the same as Andrew as he tells her he loves her. Brooke ends up in an accident on the way when transporting her beloved Animals Poddy, Oddy, and Sod. She loses her dog Oddy and her horse's Poddy ends with up blind in one eye and can not compete with her. Sod has fears of getting in the float and can temperamental. Brooke is also left with lasting Anxiety issues of not been able to transport horses and manage the farm. Her mum Aerial and brother Mark insist she come home to get better and they hire a new manager to run the farm as it costing too much to hire someone to do her job. Brooke is upset that they have hired someone and included living in her cottage as part of the job. Brooke moves into the dairy to live. Lachie is hired for the job not knowing what has happened with Brooke but he soon learns about it from her brother Angus. Brooke and Lachie seem to become more and close when Lachie helps her with her problems and as well do the job he was hired to do. There is more to this story however I do not want to give the whole story away. This is story of love and redemption between the characters in the book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

  • Deb Bodinnar
    2019-02-15 19:45

    Another great story by Cathryn Hein. Enjoyed the characters and story line was honest and believable. The love between humans and their horses is very strong , this is well shown in this book. Coming from a country background and actually being married to an Agronomist made some parts to understand. I have to wonder if a reader from a city background, would have same understanding, but hope that these topics help them to learn about farming, the highs and lows. Will be looking out to read more from this Author.

  • Lilian Darcy
    2019-02-16 20:46

    Another really good read in the Australian Rural Romance genre. I loved the hero and heroine, and found the horse and farm detail very believable. The Hunter Valley setting was pastoral and beautiful, and stood out all the more because of the scenes set in Sydney. The mood of this city is also captured really well.Lovely read if you like realistic modern romance with an Australian rural setting.

  • Jessica Mclauchlan
    2019-01-23 00:41

    A beautiful heartwarming love story that demonstrated the true essence of Australian rural romance novels. I loved the storyline, I loved the characters, I loved the horses, I loved the setting and I definitely fell in love with beautiful Lachie! There was more than one part where I found myself laughing and sobbing along with the main characters. A wonderful book by a lovely author and I now have renewed hope I will one day find my own Lachie Cambridge!

  • Gillian Milne
    2019-02-17 18:45

    Very enjoyable book which I could not put down ! The first chapter was a bit horse equipment technical, which would be my only criticism ! Loved the characters, the plot. My first Cathryn Hein book. Will definitely look for more of her books!

  • Juanita Kees
    2019-01-20 19:05

    Last November I introduced you to the amazing Cathryn Hein and her book PROMISES. Today I want to tell you about her equally awesome second release, HEART OF THE VALLEY.Read the review over at Mission Romance:

  • Sophie
    2019-02-16 19:53

    I loved this book, it was so beautifully written. I felt so drawn to the characters. I started to slow down my reading pace for the last 30 or so pages of the book as I wasn't quite ready to say goodbye to Brooke and Lachie.

  • Bettina
    2019-01-23 20:42

    Cathryn's books just keep getting better and better. Do guys like Lachie really exist? If so, send him my way! Although I think it's too good to be true. Can't wait for this author to release more books.

  • Paula Beavan
    2019-01-21 00:53

    My first Cathryn Hein book and I absolutely loved it, I read it by the fire in one sitting. My life is very busy, so it's a good story indeed that keeps me in one place until I finish. Can only recommend this author. Great characters, including the animals, great plot and it's all well written.

  • Sally Mccallum
    2019-02-11 19:47

    Light reading but a good read. Could picture the area and the feeling of the book without any problem. Set in modern times and enjoyable.

  • Sandy May
    2019-02-14 19:59

    This is a fantastic story loved it so much I didn't want it to end loved the ending cant wait to read more of your books Cathryn keep up the great work.

  • Vanessa
    2019-01-24 22:05

    An enjoyable read! I really felt for Brooke. I could see myself right beside her, helping her through her pain! And I especially loved little Billy!

  • Christine Meunier
    2019-02-08 00:41

    A great read that is authentic and full of horses. More at

  • Kathryn
    2019-01-25 18:01

    another great read, slow to begin but then couldn't put it down.