Loyal “When Calls the Heart” fans had every dream fulfilled when the beautiful leading lady, Erin Krakow, brought news of the drama’s long-awaited return to the Hallmark Channel in mid-April. The series set in the rugged Northwest Territory not only came back but also treated fans to two full nights of new episodes of the saga. The first episode of the double-feature was “Heart of a Mountie.” The storyline brought the first official introduction of the new Hope Valley Constable, Nathan Grant (Kevin McGarry), as he worked a case of robbery involving a stagecoach.

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Although seeing the officer of the law in his red serge was unsettling for Elizabeth Thornton, portrayed by Krakow, she summoned the strength and grace to properly introduce herself to the new protector of the people. She understood that her seal of welcome might serve as an icebreaker for the man of few words to make friends. She shared her own story of coming to Hope Valley as a stranger, and how the community quickly became home because of its people.

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Elizabeth also welcomed Nathan Grant’s niece, Allie (Jaeda Lily Miller) into her classroom. Allie quickly used a trick or her own, taught by the other new man in town, to make an impression. Nathan Grant didn’t offer a welcome mat to Lucas Bouchard (Chris McNally). If anything, it only wished to hasten the exit of the mysterious saloon owner, saying he was not a “good fit” for the family-oriented place.

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Lucas wasn't daunted by the stand-off. He restated that he had no plans to go anywhere.

When Calls the Heart” faithful witnessed a charming encounter between Elizabeth and Lucas when Season 6 premiered, particularly when he assumed she was applying for work as a waitress. The businessman was instantly taken and appeared ready to hire her on the spot. After he realized he was talking to Hope Valley’s cherished teacher, he shrunk back from the situation.

In a May 15 sneak peek preview from Entertainment Tonight, Lucas Bouchard offers another proposition to Elizabeth. It's no job this time, and she still declines, but there is definitely a seed planted for future possibilities for the pair.

A good man in the right moment

Despite having her suspicions of Lucas, Elizabeth already has seen the dashing new proprietor in town making some pivotal decisions for the good.

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He willingly obliged when given the opportunity to compromise on the issue of his late hours at the saloon. He demonstrated his empathy for Allie and her struggle to make friends when he showed her how to “amaze them” with cards, even if she used her new skill the wrong way. In last week's “Disputing Hearts,” Bouchard defended the need for a library, even if the townspeople aren't willing to pay for it.

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In the revealed clip, Lucas offers Elizabeth a hand with tasks needed for organizing the library. Elizabeth exclaims, “I can't believe you did all of this,” praising his generosity. He replies that it is a “pleasure” to help her in fulfilling her mission, before asking, “Can I interest you in a bite to eat at the saloon?” There is an extended pause before he adds “to discuss library business.”

It is impossible not to note that Elizabeth looks darling in her hard-work attire, looking very similar to what Allie did when she entered the classroom.

Elizabeth declines the “kind” offer from Lucas, insisting that she must be “getting home to my son.”

Lucas doesn't press, simply saying “Of course,” as she waves to someone and walks out of the scene. Lucas nods to Nathan Grant, who has been watching the conversation.

Unlocking the heart

In another preview clip from “Hope Is With the Heart,” Lucas convinces Elizabeth that his motives for donating the building for the library are pure, noting “all the books” that it will include for baby Jack (Lincoln and Gunnar Taylor) to read.

Any mother would find that kind of caring hard to resist, and when Lucas says “so we’re on then,” after Elizabeth suggests that her students can help with the repairs, a lovely exchange happens as she accepts the key. It is classically a “When Calls the Heart” moment.

The way to anyone's heart is to care about what matters most to that person, and Lucas is showing that he has long-term plans for a future with Elizabeth. He is willing to go as slowly and surely as she needs. There is already a Season 7 of “When Calls the Heart” yet to unfold.

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