Heart of Stone: A Novel - eBook  -     By: Jill Marie Landis
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Heart of Stone: A Novel - eBook

Zondervan / 2010 / ePub

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CBD Stock No: WW2758EB

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 9780310395768
ISBN-13: 9780310395768
UPC: 025986395766
Availability: In Stock
Series: Irish Angel

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Publisher's Description

In the first book of the Irish Angels series, we meet Laura Foster, a woman with the darkest of pasts, and Reverend Brand McCormick, a man with everything to lose by loving her. Having escaped a life she never chose, Laura Foster is finally living her dream. But even after four years of posing as a respectable widow in Glory, Texas, she is always afraid someone from her past might reveal her true identity. Believing no man could love her if he knew the truth, Laura tries to resist Brand’s courtship. His reputation would be shattered if Laura’s former life is discovered. But it’s not only Laura’s past that threatens to bring him down—it’s also his own. As they open their hearts to love and faith, will Laura and Brand find the depth and power of forgiveness from their community?

Author Bio

Jill Marie Landis is the bestselling author of over twenty-five novels. She has won numerous awards for her sweeping emotional romances, such as Summer Moon and Magnolia Creek. With her toes in the sand and head in the clouds, Jill now lives in Hawaii with her husband, Steve.



Heart of Stone by Jill Marie Landis is a Hosea-Gomer redemption story with a slight twist: this Gomer thinks she’s fine all alone, and this Hosea has his own haunting past. Laura Foster was sold into prostitution as a child, as revealed in the first chapter, but she has bought her way out and now lives a respectable life as a “widow” in the small town of Glory, Texas. However, when Reverend Brand McCormick tries to court her, she must unwillingly close off her heart and push him away in order to protect them both from her socially unacceptable past.

Despite her best intentions, Laura begins to fall for Brand as he gently pursues her. But soon Brand’s own surprising past comes to stand face-to-face with him, threatening his position as a minister. Then an old acquaintance of Laura’s comes to town and threatens to undo her pleasant charade. Laura must decide whether to flee or face her past sins. Ultimately, she seems to learn the truth of Psalm 130:7, which says that “…with the Lord is an unfailing love and with him is full redemption.”

The plot arc is completely predictable for readers of the genre, or just about anyone. The author’s strength is not plotting, but Landis does manage to keep readers interested in the story’s events. Landis does a better job with characterization and relationships, painting a fairly believable relationship between Laura and Brand. Brand’s relationships with his children from his first wife, as well as Laura’s relationship with his children, are probably the truest and most believable parts of the book. They illustrate various character flaws and strengths in each character involved, as well as strong parental love. If at times it’s a little mundane, Heart of Stone consistently shows godly values.

Laura’s character has depth -- she’s strong and proud on the outside but haunted within. Although she has made a home for herself, she feels constantly isolated from her friends by her secrets. She also believes she can never be forgiven for her sins. Brand’s personality is just barely more interesting than a one-dimensional character. He’s cheerful, forgiving, and strong, and he serves as a foil for Laura. He leads her to God and shows her what love really means. Brand’s children show personal dignity but also a need for a mother. The other townspeople are variations of “good Samaritan” and “hypocritical Pharisee.”

This book is fairly nice but a bit predictable. Nothing impressed me tremendously about it, and a major turning point of the book is based on a red herring the author waved liberally in the reader’s face beforehand. Also, the climax is over-the-top emotionally—it’s a pretty strong about-face from how the townspeople had previously behaved. I had to wonder what exactly happened to change these characters, or why they didn’t speak up before if they truly meant what they are saying now. There were also several historical inaccuracies that would bother readers who value authenticity. The best thing in this book is the message of forgiveness and redemption. Although not a challenging book, Heart of Stone does provide readers with entertainment. – Corinne Hills, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Publisher's Weekly

Landis, inspirational fiction author of more than 20 novels, offers readers who value gentle love stories this first title in the Irish Angels series. Laura Foster (aka Lovie Lane), wealthy widowed owner of a refined boardinghouse in Glory, Tex., is running from her tainted past and ruined childhood in a tale set in the 1870s. Laura does everything in her power to overcome the odds and create a life free of shame and abuse. Partly succeeding, she is thrown off-kilter when handsome Rev. Brand McCormick, a widower, takes a romantic interest in her. Laura knows with dead certainty that Brand would never come calling if he knew the truth of her past, so she rebuffs his attention at every turn. But the good reverend just won’t be put off. Both characters have much to reveal that will test their love, faith, and loyalty to one another. Landis’s writing is crisp and neatly presented; however, much of the story is too formulaic for discerning genre readers. (Mar.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information

Product Reviews

4.7 Stars Out Of 5
4.7 out of 5
5 out Of 5
(5 out of 5)
5 out Of 5
(5 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.9 out Of 5
(4.9 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-5 of 13
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  1. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    Historical Fiction with Depth and Emotion
    July 9, 2012
    i blog 4 books
    This review was written for Heart of Stone, Irish Angel Series #1.
    Laura Foster runs a respectable boarding house in Glory, Texas. She has kept her distance from almost everyone in town for fear that her devastating childhood and checkered past would be discovered. When Reverend Brand McCormick begins calling on her—and refuses to be turned down—she begins to open up to him. When someone from her past arrives in town, she fears she will lose everything and ruin Brand as well.

    The opening pages of Heart of Stone tell the story of Laura's childhood, and I was immediately captivated and couldn't wait to see what the rest of the story was going to be like. Jumping forward to the "present," I found myself liking Laura despite her prickly personality. Her character isn't as perfect as many "heroines" are. She has tons of flaws and many hurdles to overcome. As the story progressed, I loved seeing her friendships with Brand and others in town blossom and help her work through her problems and realize what true faith is.

    At times I was more interested with the story of Laura and her sisters than the current story line, so I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series. Also, don't let the "romance" label throw you off if you're not a huge fan of the genre. I felt like the romance was more subtle and took a backseat to the other aspects of the story. Landis writes with depth and emotion and I look forward to more from her in the future! [4 stars]

    I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan in exchange for my fair and honest review.
  2. Oklahoma City, OK
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Wonderful read
    November 20, 2011
    beverly Grider
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is book one of the "Irish Angels" series and was released in March 2010 by Zondervan.

    Laura Foster had an unspeakable childhood in New Orleans shortly after the end of the Civil War, one she has struggled to overcome. She now runs a boarding house in Glory, Texas, where she is known as a wealthy, respectable widow. When the Reverend Brand McCormick begins calling on Laura, she fears that her past life will come to light and she will be forced to move on again.

    Reverend Brand McCormick is the pastor in Glory. He has two young children from his first marriage, but his wife is deceased. Brand falls in love with Laura, yet he can tell she is haunted by something in her past. Although Laura is friendly, Brand's attempts to court her are met with coolness. This just proves to make Brand more determined to win her heart.

    Just when Laura seems to be warming to Brand, two strangers show up. These strangers prove to hold power that can ruin both Brand and Laura's reputations. Brandi is determined his faith will see them through the rough times, but Laura is afraid it will spell the end for all she has struggled to build.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading my first book of Ms. Landis' and look forward to reading more by her. The characters were well written, the storyline flowed easily and the message of faith and forgiveness is one that everyone needs to read.

    There is an excerpt from the second book of the series at the end. This story is about Laura's sister Megan, and I look forward to reading it. You can learn more about the author, Jill Marie Landis, by visiting her website, http://www.jillmarielandis.com/.
  3. Rochester Hills, Mi
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Redemption and restoration
    March 11, 2011
    Rochester Hills, Mi
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Well written with sound Christian values. I especially enjoyed reading it on my Nook.
  4. Talladega, AL
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Love this book!
    March 7, 2011
    Talladega, AL
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Great story! I love Historical Romance and this story tells us that, regardless of past circumstances, God will forgive us and that we CAN move on to a better life. Just finished the second book, Heart of Lies, and cant wait for the next one to come out!
  5. Michigan
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    This book has a great plot!
    March 2, 2011
    Michele Talley
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book was great! If you like to read to relax then

    I would recommend this book to you!
Displaying items 1-5 of 13
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