Lucy Marsh is facing limited options after the death of her father, which was under suspicious circumstances. With two younger siblings to care for, no job, and no place to live, she accepts a proxy marriage to a rancher in Texas.
Nate Stanton is none too happy to discover that his father has married him off to a complete stranger. When he sees Lucy, her small stature has him thinking that ranch life will be much too hard for her. He is convinced she will be taking the first train back East.
But as the days go on, both Nate and Lucy must come to terms with their arrangement. Life on the ranch and the danger that has followed Lucy to Texas create a bond between the two newlyweds. The circumstances give each of them the opportunity to realize what is really important in life, both in their faith and in their relationship with each other.
The storyline in Blue Moon Promise is eventful and more complex than the usual Christian historical romance. The addition of a mystery and a little suspense helps take this novel past what the genre usually portrays. While it seemed as if an awful lot happened to the people in this book in a short period of time, the characters and situations were still fairly believable. I also liked how the relationship between Nate and Lucy developed over the course of the book - it might have happened quickly, but it didn’t seem rushed considering their circumstances.
While there was suspense and mystery in this novel, to me that wasn’t the main focus of the story. The adventure and circumstances helped move things along, but the focal point was the relationship between Nate and Lucy. I think that is what gave the book a more realistic feel. The mystery was there in the plotline, it was very important, and I enjoyed it. But I experienced the conclusion to the story more through what happened between Nate and Lucy, not necessarily with the solution to the mystery (which seemed to be a bit of an afterthought).
This multifaceted storyline was written well and kept me interested throughout the entire book. I did think, though, that some of the dialogue was a bit stilted at times. The words the characters were saying seemed natural, but the overall flow of the conversations was sometimes lacking in continuity. Maybe this was because of all of the strange circumstances that kept coming up. Or maybe it was because this newly married couple was trying to get to know each other with two kids running around. I know well how kids can easily change the flow of a conversation!
What drew me in most in this novel was how much I related to the character of Lucy. She wanted to control the situations and people in her life, even when deep down she knew that she could not. She also had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that someone could love her just the way she was. She put unrealistic expectations on herself and then felt like a failure when she didn’t live up to those expectations. There were times when I felt as if the author was putting my words and thoughts down on the page rather than Lucy’s. I rarely connect so much to a character, and reading how Lucy learned to fully rely on God and to be loved for who she was (instead of what she did) was encouraging.
This book is the beginning of the "Under Texas Stars" series, and I am looking forward to visiting these characters and setting again.
Listen to the interview that Melissa Willis (fiction edititor at The Christian Manifesto) and I did with Colleen Coble here!
The interview was so much fun - thanks to Colleen Coble, Thomas Nelson Publishers, and The Christian Manifesto for the opportunity.
I will give Blue Moon Promise … 4 BookWorms.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."