A Texan’s Promise

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Title: A Texan’s Promise
Author: Shelley Gray
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Series: Heart of a Hero
Number: One
Pages: 352
Released: October 1, 2011

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When, Clayton Proffitt finds Vanessa Grant crying outside at midnight, he thinks that she’s just into another scrape. When he finds out about Vanessa’s stepfather’s advances, he’s angry and determined to get her out the house and away to Colorado for good. He’s also determined to protect her with his life, even if it means doing things he doesn’t want to do.

Vanessa Grant was always sweet on Clayton silently waiting for him to notice that she’s grown up; hoping for more. This wasn’t the way she wanting to notice, though. She ashamed of what her stepfather has done to her and guilty for uprooting Clayton’s life off her family’s ranch. She doesn’t know how her life is going to turn out and right now her life is in Clayton’s hands and she’s scared that that might change their relationship forever.

When they get married for her safety, will they be able to become husband and wife in every way or will life tear them apart?
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When I started this book I literally was expecting a watered down romance surrounded by excuses about why they couldn’t be together. Thankfully, I didn’t get that. The book is filled with beautiful descriptions and details along with characters with deep pain and the healing that takes place only when you surrender to God. It’s wrapped together to make a magical historical romance that keeps you tuning pages and missing sleep.

The language is a bit off. There are some more modern references like ‘open up’ and several others that wouldn’t have been uttered by anyone during that time. Also, I find it hard to believe that a woman horsewhipped is going to recover from long, deep cuts is going to recover in around three months. However, I think most will simply get lost in the story and fail to realize these mistakes.

The scripture references and faith in God are meshed perfectly with the storyline. There was enough of it to constantly remind you that this is a Christian novel, unlike other books I’ve read, but it wasn’t too much. It was so perfectly meshed that I wonder if the author even has to try to incorporate the Bible in her novels or if it comes naturally. If I had to guess I would say the latter.

The romance in this book, though not passionate, wasn’t the same cookie-cutter, watered down romance I’m used to reading in historical fictions. It also wasn’t a romance that just happens and leaves the reader confused. It’s a romance that seems so natural the reader wonders how that couldn’t have happened. The romance was innocent enough to stay within the confines of what’s acceptable in the Christian genre, but passionate enough to seem realistic and to satisfy readers like myself.

The conflict is also spot on in this book. It adds enough stress to keep you reading and you also want to know how Vanessa will be able to live in freedom with her stepfather chasing her like man crazed. That fact stays in the back of your mind until the end of the book when every end is connected and put to rights. Though I must say some of the choices Clayton makes make no sense to me. I won’t tell specifically what choices because it’s an important part of the story, but I think that anyone reading the book will know exactly what I’m talking about.

This was a good enjoyable read. Perfect for a book to devour on the weekend, however, it’s no masterpiece. It has flaws, but mainly, it seems like more of a book to fill a deadline than one that she spent a lot of time on, however, if this is this is what she writes quickly, I looks forward to reading ones that she has spent a great of time on.

Overall, a good weekend read. Probably not ideal for younger readers, but seasoned readers will probably love this book. I give this book a four out of five.

I received this complimentary copy of this book from Abingdon Press and Net Galley. All opinions expressed in this book are mine.

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