Heart of Stone (Irish Angels series - Book 1) by Jill Marie Landis
Publication Date: February 2010
Format: Paperback, 320 pp
Genre: Christian Fiction
(Received for review from Zondervan)
Synopsis (the authors website):
She had the darkest of pasts. And he had everything to lose by loving her. Laura Foster, free from the bondage of an unspeakable childhood, has struggled to make a new life for herself. Now the owner of an elegant boardinghouse in Glory, Texas, she is known as a wealthy, respectable widow. But Laura never forgets that she is just one step ahead of her past. When Reverend Brand McCormick comes calling, Laura does all she can to discourage him as a suitor. She knows that if her past were discovered, Brand's reputation would be ruined. But it's not only Laura's past that threatens to bring Brand down - it's also his own. When a stranger in town threatens to reveal too many secrets, Laura is faced with a heartbreaking choice: Should she leave Glory forever and save Brand's future? Or is it worth risking his name - and her heart- by telling him the truth?
This book is another great example of Christian Historical Fiction. Set in 1870's in a small Texas town called Glory, Laura Foster has begun a new life, far from her New Orleans past filled with a terrible childhood. She has a place of her own, money and respect. When Reverend Brand McCormick decides to call on her, she encourages him to look elsewhere. Because she knows that if her past were ever to be discovered Brand would be the one who suffered. But, Brand has secrets of his own. A mysterious stranger starts asking questions and revealing secrets that Laura doesn't want told. She has to decide whether to tell Brand the truth or leave Glory along with her new life forever.
Jill Landis has a knack for character development. Her characters were have vulnerabilities yet they show great strength. I think there were two different faith related themes in this one. One of the biggest ones themes that I can see from this book was moving forward from a terrible past. Forgetting what's behind and getting on with your life. You can't live in the past. Laura was trying to move on but she kept one food in the past, always worried that it was going to come back to haunt her. She had problems with being honest about what had happened to her because she thought it would ruin Brand's reputation, but you can't keep secrets from the person you love. The more secondary theme was doing what you say you will do. Practicing what you preach so to speak.
I thought the author did an excellent job of creating a heartwarming romance and still imparting a lot of knowledge about life and what it takes to make it through it. Landis' descriptions of this Texas town were also very well done. This is quick read and moves at a good clip.
Heart of Stone is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Jill Marie Landis is the bestselling author of over twenty novels including two of which hit The New York Times extended list. She has won numerous awards for her heartfelt characters and sweeping emotional romances with include Summer Moon and Magnolia Creek. Toes in the sand and head in the clouds, she is now living the dream in Hawaii with her husband, Steve.