By: Colleen Coble
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: April 2010
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: May 13, 2010
Gracie Lister has made a mess of her life. She was about to marry a man she didn’t love, because he could provide her daughter Hope with a stable life. But while waiting at home, in her wedding gown, for guests to arrive, she is visited by two federal agents. They want to talk to her fiancé about possible involvement with a drug cartel. Before Gracie knows what has happened, the two agents are lying dead outside her house, while a group of thugs are searching for her and Hope. Still in her wedding gown, the almost-bride makes a mad dash for the nearby train and escapes, at least for the moment.
Exhausted, dirty and hungry, Gracie and Hope exit the train the next day. Michael Wayne, a soldier just returning from Iraq takes pity on the pair and offers them food and shelter. Michael soon hires Gracie to care for his two young children in exchange for room and board in his somewhat dilapidated rental home.
While Gracie is hiding from her fiancé, Michael is also dealing with a drug lord who has put a price on his head. Out of desperation, the two decide to get married. But it is a marriage of convenience – Gracie wants to hide her daughter’s identity via a new last name and Michael wants his children cared for should he be killed. There will be separate bedrooms and no marital privileges…but could there be feelings beginning to blossom between them?
As a Christian romance, we also see the crisis of faith Gracie goes through, having lost her belief in God several years earlier. It is clear that Gracie has not just lost her way in relationships with her family, but also with God. She has no room for him in her heart. Michael, however, sees God in many everyday things and tries to bring Gracie back to the Lord. This is not the only way the two differ – Michael insists on facing his demons head on while Gracie consistently runs and hides. The difference is a frequent cause of tension between the two.
While the plot of Lonestar Homecoming is fairly predictable, the author does an excellent job of drawing the reader quickly into the story. Although there were times when Michael seemed just too nice and forgiving to be real and I wanted to yell at Gracie, “Wake up! Get a clue! Stop feeling sorry for yourself and do something,” I did care what happened to them. I wanted them to have that perfect life, the life that had evaded Gracie for so long. There is plenty of action, with Mexican border problems; drugs and arms dealing that move the book along quickly. The author also manages to throw a few twists and turns into the story as well to keep the reader guessing. Note that I had not read the first two books in this series and had no trouble following, and enjoying, this story.
Quill says: A good, quick reading Christian romance.