Welcome to the world of Katie Ardea!



Want to relax with a great read that inspires you, makes you fall in love with its characters, takes you to the edge of your seat, and immerses you in the natural world? Cozy up in your favorite reading chair with Braver Than You Know and feel your everyday world disappear.


Braver Than You Know by Katie Ardea is available at:

Amazon    Apple     Kobo    Barnes & Noble     

When love and healing are a courageous step away… 

Katie Ardea Braver Than You Know


Book description:

She’s hunting her future. He’s got her in his sights.

Wildlife photographer Kimberley Colter wonders if she’ll ever be brave enough to go after dangerous animals again. Part of her died in the Rockies last year when a photo shoot turned into a nightmare. Now she’s trying to resurrect her career and move on with her life. But she’s hiding something.

Cattle rancher Lincoln Steele has lost a lot, including his marriage and chosen career. His top priority is to help his young son overcome an emotional trauma. During a chance encounter with a gorgeous photographer in the forest, he sees the instant connection between her and his son. And he can’t deny that he’s attracted to her, too. Trouble is, so is his best friend.

Drought grips Turtle Mountain and emotions soar as Kimberley and Lincoln come face to face with their painful pasts. The fight to overcome their fears and move to a place of healing takes every bit of courage in their hearts. She must choose where her future lies. Will it be with him?

Braver Than You Know is the first book of the Prairie Hearts series of contemporary romances with inspirational elements. With a core theme of courage, the novel holds a breath of fresh air, a whisper of grace, and a riveting taste of suspense. If you like strong heroines and tales of emotional courage, you’ll love this story of fighting old fears and finding new love.

Set in rural Canada, Braver Than You Know is a love story that immerses readers in the prairie landscape and lifestyle. When wildlife photographer Kimberley Colter is shooting, you’re right there with her, catching sight of a red fox or smelling the honeyed scent of sweet clover. When rancher Lincoln Steele is shipping cattle, you can hear the steers bawling and smell dust and manure.

Imbued with a delicious sense of suspense, the story’s plot is a series of twists and turns that reveals the depths of Kimberley’s and Lincoln’s characters and their emotional, physical, and spiritual battles. Kimberley is trying to rebuild her career while overcoming physical and emotional repercussions of a work-related tragedy. Lincoln is a single father working in a job he didn’t want, and he has a deep emotional wound of his own.

The challenges Kimberley and Lincoln face come in many forms. With her career hanging in the balance, Kimberley struggles against PTSD even as she lands in life-threatening situations more than once. A devastating storm and shocking criminal act place the Steele Cattle Company ranch on the brink of going under. Lincoln’s best friend also falls for Kimberley, forcing Lincoln to compete for Kimberley’s love and chance losing a lifelong friendship.

The conflicts and obstacles that Kimberley and Lincoln encounter force them to face their fears and past hurts and in doing so, create pathways toward healing. They struggle in their battles, and they overcome. They are braver than they know.

Braver Than You Know encompasses the following fiction themes:strong female heroine, compassionate male hero, contemporary love triangle, scarred heroine, wholesome love story, wanting a child, helping a child heal, rural love story, outdoors love story, inspirational romance.

Editorial reviews:

Kimberley Colter is a successful wildlife photographer ready to begin the next chapter of her blissful life with the man she loves. A single encounter with a wild animal changes everything, leaving her bereft of a companion and saddled with crippling fears. Lincoln Steele struggles to balance his time as the manager of a large cattle company and as the father of a young boy. After a difficult divorce, Lincoln is terrified to trust another woman, and his son suffers in the aftermath of abuse. When Kimberley and Lincoln meet, the attraction is instant. But painful memories and carefully hidden secrets are dredged up every time they are together. Can the two of them find the courage to fight their inner battles?

Braver Than You Know is a lovely story with inspirational overtones. Although damaged, the characters are resilient. Katie Ardea slowly fills in the backstory while providing a sumptuous drama that is a delightful feast for readers. Lincoln’s precocious son and Kimberley’s loyal canine companion lend weight to the hands tugging on your heartstrings.

For an uplifting and encouraging story that shows how unexpected life can be, pick up a copy of Braver Than You Know. It is undoubtedly one of the most well written debut novels out there!

What readers are saying about Braver Than You Know:

Excellent read! I couldn’t put the book down!” — Tom Craig, Amazon

a must read i started reading this as a sample and could not put it down so i HAD to buy it. the storyline nailed it for me. GOOD JOB” Shag, Amazon

Excellent read. Unknown author but interesting,well developed characters.. I enjoyed the story and found it hard to put down. Would recommend to all who enjoy a great story.” — Smart Shopper, Amazon

“A thrilling story overlaid with romance. Well crafted back story really brings the characers to life. Even non romance readers will enjoy the book”.   — Siena, Goodreads

“Super Read! Characters that you can believe in. The beauty of Nature keeps you reading.”   —Edward Sampson, Goodreads

“I did not want the book to end. I felt that I knew the characters, they were believable and well developed. I love nature and I felt like I was truly on scene during the adventures. A great escape that I recommend; I look forward to future books written by Katie Ardea.”   Debbie Morrow, Goodreads

“A beautiful story of loss, courage, healing and love! Beautifully written with it descriptions of the Canadian landscape. This story is one you will not want to put down. I can’t wait for the next in the series.”   Sarah, Goodreads

“Impressive Debut. Kimberley Colter, a wildlife photographer, is starting over in a new province after a tragedy, and trying to overcome emotional and physical scars. Rancher Lincoln Steele is trying to manage being a single father and a career he didn’t want. Both he and his son have wounds of their own. Secondary characters with significant plot roles include Steele’s best friend and his sister, and apart from the romantic arc of the primary relationship plot there are multiple romantic rivalries, the survival of the ranch, and a threat to Kimberley. The story is relatively chaste and leans towards inspirational.

There’s a lot going on, but the pacing is generally brisk. At times I wanted scenes to last longer, but that’s better than wishing they would end. The main characters are realistic, relatable, and grow. Action scenes are balanced with quieter moments. One point of suspense later in the book is handled particularly well. Details of ranching, wildlife photography, and Canadian life on the prairies are interesting and impressive – Ardea either did a lot of research or has a lot of experience. I’m looking forward to the next in this series.

I received an ARC of this story and am voluntarily giving my honest review.”   Tim Covell, Amazon 

“A heartwarming and inspirational read! Katie Ardea’s debut novel, Braver Than You Know, is a heartwarming tale of love, courage, and healing. After the first chapter I was hooked, and I found myself unable to put the book down! I wanted to know the secrets that Kimberley and Lincoln were hiding and I quickly became emotionally invested in their relationship.

Lincoln’s young Son Matthew and our heroine, Kimberley, have both experienced very traumatic events in their pasts. The two of them quickly form a special bond, which begins to lead to their individual healing. Lincoln himself has a very deep hurt that he needs to process, but as often happens in real life, he doesn’t realize how it is affecting him…or his Son. I believe that this novel can be an inspiration to many people who are walking through painful life situations.

Kimberley and Lincoln’s budding romance is sweet and wholesome. Their chemistry was evident from the beginning and I knew they were perfect for each other, but there’s another man in town who has his eye on Kimberley; Jake Kruger. His pursuit of Kimberley leads to a deliciously frustrating love triangle. Kimberley’s presence on Turtle Mountain has also caught the attention of someone with more sinister intentions, and there is trouble brewing at the Steele Cattle Company Ranch.

In summary, Katie Ardea writes with the ability to capture the mind and breathe life into her characters. She made them and their surroundings come alive in my mind, and by the end of the story, I felt like I had made new friends. I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Braver Than You Know’ and I am eagerly anticipating the continuation of the Prairie Hearts series.”   — Robyn J., Amazon

Braver Than You Know by Katie Ardea is available at:

Amazon    Apple     Kobo   Barnes & Noble     

Read an excerpt from Braver Than You Know:

Braver Than You Know © 2019 by Katie Ardea

Chapter 24

Before dawn, Kimberley carried Lexi [her dog] outdoors and then back inside. Her emotions in chaos, she desperately needed to clear her mind, which was why—as always when troubled—she sought the outdoors. She left the kitchen light on, locked the porch doors, and struck out on foot with her Nikon clipped to the camera harness, her pack on her back, and her binoculars around her neck. Anyone who approached the yard would see the light on and her truck parked beside the house and assume she was inside.

Calves bawled from across the ravine—the last shipment. Lincoln would be so relieved.


All night, she’d tossed and turned, her mind racing. A thousand times, she’d relived the events of the previous day. First, Lincoln’s visit and how he’d wanted to discuss their relationship, only to be interrupted by Jake’s arrival. Then, later, Jake’s proposal. She’d stood frozen, caught completely off guard. She’d only met Jake a month ago. In a crazy way, it seemed as though the emotional intensity of Les Misérables had infused her own life.

First light softened the darkness as she descended the slope below the house and hiked south beside the creek bed in the ravine bottom. From earlier study of a topographic map, she knew that the gentle ravine slopes near the house compressed into high walls a mile to the south, creating a narrow gully. On the map, closely spaced contour lines indicated a bluff with a sheer cliff on the gully’s west side. Perhaps the gully and cliff would offer good subject material, and maybe the outing would give her insight as to how she should answer Jake.

Grass swished against her boots as she pondered her heart. She was twenty-seven years old, and although she wanted children—yearned for children—she wanted love, too, the kind of deep, soul-sure love her parents had shared, the kind of love she’d thought she’d found with Bryan. Did she love Jake like that? No, not now. Could she love him like that? In all honesty, maybe with time she could. Did that mean her answer was yes? She didn’t know.

On the south side of the access road, grass gave way to a ribbon of forest. She trod softly among lofty aspens beside the creek, the morning air cool and fresh in the deep shade cast by the trees. She breathed deeply of it, glad to be outdoors with her camera. This is who I am.

She skirted the pool where she’d photographed a beaver reinforcing its dam a few weeks after her arrival on Turtle Mountain. Two blue jays voiced strident alarm calls from atop the ravine edge and swooped into view ahead of her. What had set them off? An owl? A fox? With the awareness of someone who spends hours outdoors on a daily basis, she noted a sudden difference in the feel of the ravine. She froze into stillness in the shade, knowing that as long as she remained motionless, she would be virtually invisible. Her camo clothing and cap were a leaf-and-twig design, and her pack, camera, and binoculars were also covered with camo designs. She’d even daubed camo makeup on her face and hands and tucked her long ponytail down the back of her shirt, heeding Lincoln’s advice to be careful when she was out on her own. Without moving her head, she scanned the ravine banks and creek bed. Her senses pricked. She wasn’t alone.

After thirty seconds, a man carrying a rifle stepped into view fifty yards ahead of her. He picked his way south beside the creek, his back to her, an over-the-shoulder canvas bag bumping against his side. Not Lincoln. She would have recognized his broad shoulders and athletic build instantly. She froze as the figure swung around to look behind him. The face turned in her direction was familiar, as was the paunch revealed in a side view. Phil Johnson.

She remained absolutely motionless while Lincoln’s former employee swept his gaze over the ravine. When he resumed walking away from her, she noted that he wore moccasins rather than the cowboy boots he’d worn on the day he’d mentally undressed her at the wheat field. She slid her cell phone out of her pocket and checked for coverage. Only one small bar. The ravine walls blocked the signal. She texted a message to Lincoln, not knowing if or when he would receive it.

What was Johnson up to? No good, undoubtedly, but what? She envisioned the topographic map she’d studied earlier that morning, and then pictured the land ownership map. A chill ran through her. Lauren’s purebred Aberdeen Angus cows—her black ace, as Lincoln had called them—were pastured south of the old Steele place on land adjacent to the ravine. If Johnson had beaten Lexi, what might he do to those cows? With every sense heightened, she silently followed the trespasser.


Braver Than You Know by Katie Ardea is available at:

Amazon    Apple    Kobo    Barnes & Noble       



Read more about how Braver Than You Know came to be