Book One in the Irish Angels Series, Heart of Stone transports readers back to the 1800’s where eleven-year-old Lovie Lane is sold to a brothel by her cruel Uncle Tim.
Orphaned by their parents who came to America following the blight in Ireland, Lovie and her sisters are betrayed by the family who promised to protect them. Innocence ruined, as she grows up in the brothel Lovie becomes a determined young woman who plots her escape from the life she detests.
Fast forwarding several years, as an adult Lovie is now “Laura Foster”. Her community of Glory, Texas only knows her as the wealthy widow who runs the local boarding house and Laura has worked very hard to put the past behind her. Laura lives a quiet, peaceful life and plans to keep it that way. When Reverend Brand McCormick takes an interest in Laura and wants to court her, Laura knows she has to put him off and keep her past a secret. Laura is still haunted by not only her past, but the memories of her younger sisters and not knowing whatever became of them.
The story has plenty of twists and turns to keep readers turning the pages, wondering if Laura will ever tell Brand about her past. Just when she appears to be mustering the courage to share her deepest, darkest secret she backs down. Brand has a few secrets of his own which adds to the suspense of this story and makes his character more believable. I liked the constant “tension” between Brand and Laura in this story. Every time I thought they were finally making headway with their relationship, another crisis arose.
Although the story is a little predictable, its still a good read for those who like historical fiction and romance. It’s clean and entertaining and I’ve seen other reviews comparing it to Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.
The second book in this series, Heart of Lies should be available February 2011.
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 always 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?
Learn more about Jill Marie Landis
This book was provided free for review by Zondervan