Character Spotlight: Tracie Peterson’s Jessica & Todd

A Matter of Heart


Meet a Texas Ranger & a “debutante” in

Tracie Peterson’s

historical romance

A Matter of Heart

Bethany House


The Story

Texas born and raised Jessica Atherton is a wealthy young woman whose heart was broken when the man she intended to marry wedded another. But her world is upended when two new men come into her life, and both manage to stir her heart.

Harrison Gable is a successful young lawyer with ambitions that match Jessica’s dreams. His warm, attentive manner and thoughtful gifts make her feel special.

Austin Todd, a former Secret Service agent, enjoys working now as a Texas Ranger cattle inspector. But after learning of forged gold certificates and missing printing plates, he’s drawn back into the world of intrigue and agrees to help solve the case. Jessica is drawn to his kind nature and the unspoken pain she sees in his eyes. 

If Jessica follows her heart, where will it lead?

Introducing Jessica & Todd

Brief physical description 

Jessica Atherton is a strikingly beautiful young woman with brown hair that is kissed with reddish highlights.  She has dark hair and is a petite twenty-one year old.

Austin Todd is tall with light brown hair and brown eyes.  He’s a rather brooding man who has taken on a job with the Texas Rangers as a brand inspector.a-matter-of-heart


The book cover handles this well.

Strengths and weaknesses –

Jessica’s weakness is that she’s been spoiled and pampered all her life.  She’s used to getting what she wants.  Jessica starts to see herself as others do and it begins to stir her heart to be something more than a pretty ornamental woman.  Her strength comes in her fierce desire to change and be a better person – not so people will like her more, but so she can draw closer to God and be the kind of woman He would want her to be.

Austin’s weakness is his past.  There was a lot of death in his past and he can’t seem to get beyond it.  He blames himself for failing all the people he loved and it makes him unable to even contemplate new relationships.  His strength is his determination and loyalty.

Your inspiration for the character

Jessica wasn’t always the one I figured to have carry the last book, however, as I worked her into the storylines, I found that she held a lot of potential.  Then one day I heard a young woman give her testimony and her background sounded very much like Jessica’s character.  The young woman was stirring in her comments about how spoiled she’d been and how much she had hurt others in her lack of concern.  I thought to myself, “I need to incorporate that into Jessica and bring about a beautiful transformation.”

Austin just came about as I was developing Jessica.  I asked myself who might be a good balance for her and one thing led to another.  Both deal with their troubled pasts and blaming themselves for things that were their fault and things that weren’t.  Together they will find a way to trust God and each other.

Background to the story

The Lone Star Bride series was born out of two other series – Striking a Match and Lane of the Lonestar.  People kept asking me about some of the characters and I thought it would be fun to marry the two series together.  A MATTER OF HEART is book 3 in the Lone Star Bride series.  I wanted to use this story to not only tie up a series-long mystery, but also to develop Jessica and Austin’s romance and give an example of how God can heal all kinds of damaged people.

Thanks Tracie!

Relz Reviewz Extras
Get to know Tracie
Character Spotlight on Emmalyne Knox (The Quarryman’s Bride)
Character Spotlight on Merrill Krause (The Icecutter’s Daughter)
Character Spotlight on Carissa & Tyler (Taming the Wind)
Visit Tracie’s website and journal
Buy at Amazon: A Matter of Heart (Lone Star Brides) or Koorong

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14 Responses to Character Spotlight: Tracie Peterson’s Jessica & Todd

  1. I think my favorite books from Tracie are those she co-wrote about the three Broadmoor cousins. They were so sweet. :)

  2. I’m becoming a BIG fan of Tracie Peterson’s writing having read more of her books this year! It’s so hard to choose a favorite! It’s between Dawn’s Prelude and The Miner’s Lady. :)

  3. My favorite Tracie book are the early ones she wrote with Judith Pella. I loved those!

  4. I love all Tracie’s books ! My favorites are Land of the Lone Star series !

  5. I like the Alaskan Quest series.

  6. The Kit Shannon books she wrote with James Scott Bell.

  7. I love the Alaskan Quest series.

  8. Hi Tracie. Hope things are going great for you. You are still writing, so hopefully ok. It has been mostly hot here in Texas but having quite a bit of rain lately. I love the rain as long as I can stay at home. Sounds like a lot of good books here. I love the Bride books. I would love to win this give-away.

  9. Treasures of the North was one I liked.. Would love to win this one :)

  10. I was shocked to just realize that I have yet to read any of Tracie’s books, but this series is definitely on my to be read shelf!

  11. I love meeting all of the Christian authors. So many, and so uplifting. Wish I had these to read years ago, would have helped me make wiser decisions throughout my life. God richly bless you.

  12. I love all of her books.

  13. don’t have a fav

  14. Thanks so much for the gift of A Matter of Heart! Looking forward to reading it :)

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