Eden met handsome Clay Larson in Hawaii six years ago, and a holiday romance led to an unplanned pregnancy and a quick-fire marriage. But the marriage rapidly disintegrated after the abduction and death of their six-week-old daughter, Brianna. Now Clay has walked back into her life, disrupting a romantic dinner to tell her that he never signed the divorce papers, and that Brianna is still alive, and staying on a ranch in Texas. Who sent the information, and how do they know?
Their daughter is one of five small girls staying on the Bluebird Ranch, which caters for children in the foster-care system, and which is looking for a married couple to take over as counsellors for the group of five-year-old girls. A friend of Clay’s puts in a good word for them with the ranch owners, enabling them to get close to the girls to discover which is their daughter. When a rattlesnake appears in their bedroom on their first night at the ranch, they begin to suspect that someone does not want them there. Working so closely together gives them the opportunity to get to know each other in ways that they never did when they were married, as well as the chance to talk through why their marriage failed – and what they will do if and when they identify Brianna.
Lonestar Angel is an excellent romantic suspense novel. The previous Colleen Coble novels I have read have either been more thriller than romantic suspense, or have been part of a series that has been difficult to pick up. This was a welcome change, with two flawed characters with a difficult shared history, united in their desire to find and care for their daughter. Lonestar Angel is well-written with strong characters, a fast-moving plot, plenty of suspense with a number of twists and an unexpected yet satisfying conclusion. Although clearly a Christian novel, it was not preachy, with subtle lessons on trust woven throughout.
I really enjoyed Lonestar Angel. What I liked best was how an extremely difficult event (the kidnapping and loss of a child, followed by their separation) led both Clay and Eden to become Christians and to grow as people without becoming bitter, despite their great loss. This meant that when they met up again, they were both able to put aside their differences to work together. I liked the romance, the faithful way Clay was still hooked on Eden. I also liked the twists in the story, the unexpected links between Clay, Eden and the kidnappers that really filled the story out.
Lonestar Angelis the fourth book in Colleen Coble’s Lonestar series (following Lonestar Sanctuary, Lonestar Secretsand Lonestar Homecoming), but it can enjoyably be read as a stand-alone (although, like me, you may then want to add the previous books to your wish list).
Thanks to Booksneeze® and Thomas Nelson for providing a free ebook to review.