My Heart Belongs in San Francisco, California: Abby’s Prospects- Book Review

My Heart Belongs in San Francisco, California: Abby’s Prospects


by: Janice Thompson



“Never underestimate the power of coffee, Neville.”


 (I’m not a coffee drinker, but I thought that was a very cute first line.)


MHB in San FranciscoBook Blurb:


 Journey now to San Francisco, California, of 1853 where…
An English socialite finds more treasure than expected on her trip to the American West.
When Abby Effingham becomes stranded in the middle of the California gold rush, her money depletes quickly even while her prospects for marriage increase daily. But Abby is on a mission to find her mother—not romance. Will a ridiculous scandal keep her from traveling on, or will it wake up an aloof innkeeper to the treasure right under his roof?
Samuel Harris runs a moderately priced hotel where Abby and her family’s elderly butler find shelter. He is looking forward to when she—and her parade of suitors—move on, though he concedes to let her work in his restaurant. When the sassy socialite is in trouble, will Samuel come to her rescue or find himself alone?


My Thoughts:


 So, the book blurb above doesn’t really match the story. Let me tell you what really happens.


“Everything will work out for the good. Watch and see. And along the way we shall have adventures aplenty.”


 Abby Effingham, a British socialite by way of Philadelphia is on a journey to Oregon City to find her wandering mother and bring her home. On the train, Abby meets Jimmy Blodgett, who enamors her with stories of the gold rush and San Francisco.


After discovering the roads to Oregon City are washed out, Abby chooses to travel on to San Francisco instead of turning back, dragging her poor loyal butler, Neville, along. But, the testosterone-loaded, bullet-flying, whisky-flowing, bursting-at-the-seems town is far from the fair city she expected.


“In one week’s time, I’ve received four proposals of marriage, one indecent offer that I dare not repeat aloud, and a plea from one of the miners to encourage all of my unmarried friends to move to San Francisco at their earliest possible convenience.”


 When the price gouging begins to dwindle her limited resources, Abby has to make a choice. She can telegram Daddy and ask for more money, she can marry one of the filthy gold diggers suggesting marriage on a regular basis, or she can take a job working in the kitchen of the Gold Rush Inn… only she’s never done a day of manual labor in her life. she chooses the later, and despite aching muscles perseveres, waiting and hoping for her brilliant plan to unfold.


 The idea of chasing after her mother, writing letters, scheduling trips out west, didn’t feel like work when she focused on the ultimate goal: bringing Mama back home for good.


 Samuel Harris hates San Francisco but feels a responsibility to his father and the failing hotel. When Abby arrives in town, he is at once attracted and tries to protect her from the debauchery around every corner, if only she wasn’t so independent and stubborn.


 In fact, he’d much rather load up their belongings and head back to Independence. Back home, folks didn’t shoot at one another in the street. They didn’t whoop and holler when they needed or wanted something. They asked politely. And they certainly didn’t come barreling into his family’s restaurant, sauced and ready for a fight.


 I enjoyed Abby and Sam’s story. It was a sweet romance full of witty humor and lovable characters. And, it involves not one love story, not two, but three!  I guarantee one of them, you’ll never see coming!


One of my absolute favorite characters was Cookie, the cook at the Gold Rush Inn. This woman can bake amazing cherry pies and quote a verse for every situation.


 “Cookie, I don’t know how you do it, but you have a verse for everything, don’t you? You’re a walking, talking Bible.”


She’s got an enthusiastic sense of humor and is faithful to the Lord and the Harris family.


 “You don’t drink coffee and you don’t eat chocolate?” Cookie put her hands on her hips and clucked her tongue. “You are not a man to be trusted.”  


 There is one scene towards the end that I feel I must warn you about. It has its place in the story, but it is suggestive and promiscuous. Otherwise, this was a fun, enjoyable read.


 The main lesson learned through this book is contentment where ever God has placed you in this season of your life. This is something I am still learning. God has a purpose and a plan to your current location and we should be content in whatever “state” we are in.


A thoughtful look passed over him. “I suppose a man—or woman—is as happy as he or she makes up the mind to be. The Bible tells me I’m to be content in whatever state I’m in and I strive to do that very thing.” “Even in the state of California?”

“Are you trying to convince me that God had some sort of master plan in shifting our course from Oregon to California?”

“I’m just saying the Lord has me here, so He might as well use me. Let’s see what He has in store, shall we?”


 Read the series! How many have you read?


My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas

My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains

My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island

My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley

My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah

My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York

My Heart Belongs in San Francisco, California



And these titles coming soon!


My Heart Belongs in Glenwood Springs, Colorado (May 2018)

My Heart Belongs in Galveston, Texas (July 2018)


 Read More about the Series at   



Janice ThompsonAbout the Author


Inspirational author Janice Thompson also writes under the name Janice Hanna. Janice has published over 100 books for the Christian market, crossing genre lines to write cozy mysteries, historicals, romances, nonfiction books, devotionals, children’s books and more. In addition, she enjoys editing, ghost-writing, public speaking, and mentoring young writers. Janice is passionate about her faith and does all she can to share the joy of the Lord with others, which is why she particularly enjoys writing. She lives in Spring, Texas, where she leads a rich life with her family, a host of writing friends, and two mischievous dachshunds. She does her best to keep the Lord at the center of it all. You can find out more about Janice at Sign up for her newsletter to be in the know about her books: When you do, you’ll be directed to a link to a free cookbook: Nina’s Cakes, Cookies and Candies (Janice’s own recipes). 


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own, a positive review was not required.


A positive review does not guarantee that I endorse or recommend all publications by the author/ and or publisher.




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