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 herâ€”and refuses to be turned downâ€”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.
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/.
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!