Lonestar Homecoming (Lonestar Series #3)

( 32 )

Overview

For most, it's the safest place on earth. For Gracie, it's the last place she wants to be...and the one place she must return.

With nothing but five dollars and the wedding dress she's wearing, Gracie Lister flees with her daughter by train to West Texas, to the townshe ran away from so long ago. There they find refuge in the home of Michael Wayne--devoted single father, seasoned soldier--who gives Gracie a job caring for his two children and ...

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Lonestar Homecoming (Lonestar Series #3)

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Overview

For most, it's the safest place on earth. For Gracie, it's the last place she wants to be...and the one place she must return.

With nothing but five dollars and the wedding dress she's wearing, Gracie Lister flees with her daughter by train to West Texas, to the townshe ran away from so long ago. There they find refuge in the home of Michael Wayne--devoted single father, seasoned soldier--who gives Gracie a job caring for his two children and the hiding place she needs from her former fiancé.

Michael and Gracie aren't looking for love, but it finds them right away. And then trouble comes to call in the form of Gracie's ex-fiancé who is now on the FBI's most-wanted list. Together, Michael and Gracie must find the strength they need to protect their newly forged family.

"Colleen weaves intrigue and God's love intoa story full of carefully crafted characters. If you're looking for an awesome writer, I highly recommend her!" --Tracie Peterson, best-selling author of Dawn's Prelude, Song of Alaska Series

"Colleen is a master storyteller." --Karen Kingsbury, best-selling author of Shades of Blue

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
On the day of her wedding, Gracie, with nothing more than the dress on her back and $5 to her name, flees with her five-year-old daughter, Hope. The pair land in west Texas, where Gracie takes a job caring for the two children of Lt. Michael Wayne. The two develop a relationship reminiscent of Captain and Maria Von Trapp as they disagree on the way to raise children, fight, and then subsequently embrace their attraction to each other. VERDICT This third entry in the popular Lonestar series (after Lonestar Secrets), which feature single mothers fleeing the restraints or dangers in their lives, is a welcome addition with interesting characters and just enough suspense to keep readers on their toes.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595547347
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/13/2010
  • Series: Lonestar Series , #3
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 327
  • Sales rank: 272,141
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

USA Today bestselling authorColleen Coble has writtenseveral romantic suspense novels including Tidewater Inn, Rosemary Cottage,and theMercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series. Visit her website at www.colleencoble.com Twitter: @colleencoble Facebook: colleencoblebooks

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Read an Excerpt

LONESTAR HOMECOMING


By COLLEEN COBLE

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2009 Colleen Coble
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59554-734-7


Chapter One

In a few minutes, she'd be a married woman. Gracie Lister tugged at the silk encasing her hips and drew a deep breath that did little to calm the flutters tapping against her ribs. San Diego traffic rumbled past her small rental house, but she blocked out the noise and focused on the way her life was about to change. Things would be better now. Cid had changed. She was sure of it.

Hope tugged at her hand. "Mommy, we should pray," she whispered. The dimples in her round cheeks flashed before her expression turned serious again.

Gracie smoothed her five-year-old's dark curls, so unlike her own fine, blond locks. She might not love Cid, but her daughter did. She couldn't disappoint Hope, who wanted him for her daddy. "Okay, honey." God didn't answer her prayers anymore, but praying would pacify the child. She sat on the edge of the bed and gathered her daughter onto her lap.

Hope folded her hands and closed her eyes. A smile tugged at Gracie's lips as she did the same. "Jesus, you know Hope needs a daddy. And we both need a home. May this day bring the fulfillment of all our dreams. Amen."

"Amen," Hope echoed, her eyes popping open. "I have to potty."

"Hurry, we need to meet Cid in fifteen minutes." Gracie smiled when she saw her daughter hiking the hem of her ruffled pink dress before she reached the bathroom. "Shut the door," she called. "Someone might come in."

Gracie rubbed her perspiring palms together and wished the ceremony were over. Soon this dump would be just a memory. Hope would have a princess room with ruffled curtains in the window that overlooked a park. Their furniture would be better than this mismatched collection of things from the Salvation Army. Hope could hold her head high at school in new clothes that weren't hand-me-downs.

When the knock came at the door, she glanced through the window and saw two men in suits standing outside. She lifted the hem of her dress off the floor. The dress rustled in a delicious manner as she went to the door. When had she last worn something so beautiful?

She opened the door. "Hello," she said, smiling. "Can I help you?"

The tall blond man flashed a badge that identified him as Roger Hastings. "Federal officers, ma'am. We'd like to talk to you a moment."

Every muscle tightened as her vision blurred. She stepped aside to allow them entry. "What's this all about?"

The younger one glanced her way with something that looked like pity in his eyes, but Hastings kept his expression impersonal. "We'd like to talk to you about Cid Ortega."

Goosebumps raised on her arms. "My fiancé. Can't this wait? Our wedding is in just over an hour. I have several things to attend to before the guests start arriving." The guests would be Cid's family and a few of her coworkers. "What's this all about?"

"I'm afraid it can't wait. Have you observed him transferring anything to others? A box, a briefcase, a bag?"

She needed to sit down. "No," she said. "What is it you suspect him of doing?"

The two men exchanged a glance. "Think," Hastings urged in a harsh voice. "Maybe in the park?"

"What is this about?"

"We have reason to suspect he is turning a blind eye to gun-and-drug traffic through his district."

Gracie took a step back and put her hand to her throat. Cid had not changed after all. The fact that she didn't spring to Cid's defense told her more than she wanted to know about their relationship. Her main priority had been to make Hope happy, no matter the cost.

"We'll know more when we talk to your fiancé. I suggest you let us take you into protective custody. When he's arrested here, the cartel will assume you helped us and may retaliate."

Protective custody. "But wouldn't that make me look even more guilty in their eyes? The minute you let me go, they'd come looking for me."

Hastings shrugged. "Then you'd better get out of town until this blows over."

The news had been full of the Mexican violence that had spilled over into the United States. Beheadings, mutilation. The list was long and horrific. Every impulse told her to grab her daughter and flee now, but did she owe Cid the courtesy of listening to his side?

Tires squealed outside, and Gracie turned to peer out the window. "It's Cid."

Hastings pulled a paper from his jacket and headed toward the door. "Stay back, ma'am, in case it gets dangerous."

"He doesn't have a gun," she protested.

"That you know of," Hastings said. "Stand back."

Gracie backed away from the door as the men exited and approached Cid's car. With the door partially shut, she peered out into the street. Cid exited the car and turned toward the house. The younger agent pulled out handcuffs. A battered brown van veered to the curb with a shriek of brakes, but she barely noticed with her attention focused on the exchange between Cid and the federal agents.

When the first pop, pop, pop came, she thought a car had backfired. Then she saw three men, their guns smoking, spill from the van. The men weren't familiar to her. She slammed the door and locked it, then peeked through the open window in the entry. Cid's car blocked her view. She didn't see the agents at first, then she noticed a shiny pair of black shoes by Cid's back tire. And a second pair of shoes. There was no sign of Cid. Was he dead too?

The men glanced toward the house. Gracie ran to the bathroom and grabbed her daughter's hand as Hope exited. "Be very quiet," she whispered. Keys, she needed keys. She snatched her bag from the top of the dresser.

Hope's dark eyes were huge. "Mommy, what's happening?"

Gracie put her finger to her lips. Her pulse stuttered as she led her daughter into the hall. Where could they hide? The voices grew closer. They'd be in the house any moment.

The steps to the attic were only a few feet away. Maybe she could trick them. She yanked on the knob and left the door standing open, then hurried to the kitchen utility closet. If she had to speak right now, she'd never manage a whisper. The scent of pine cleaner and dust enveloped her as she stepped inside with Hope and hunkered down behind the closed door. She quietly listened.

Footsteps paused by the hall. "The attic," a male voice said quietly. "Angel, you check the bedrooms. Niguel, come with me. Find the woman and kid."

She pressed her forehead against the wood. Hope's tight grip on her hand was painful, but Gracie squeezed her daughter's fingers reassuringly. She waited until footsteps went past the kitchen and down the hall. Holding her breath, she stepped into the kitchen. The coast was clear, but it wouldn't be for long. She and Hope rushed to the back door.

She put her hand on the knob. What if there was someone else from the van outside too? Biting her lip, she eased open the back door and peered outside. The yard was empty.

She tugged on her daughter's hand. "Shh," she said.

Staying as close to the old brick building as possible, she led Hope down the alley to where it exited onto the street. A quick glance up and down the crumbling sidewalk dissuaded her from stepping out. Teenagers with tattoos stood smoking in groups. They could be part of the neighborhood gang. It wouldn't be safe to ask them for help.

She ducked back into the alley. Across the lane stood an old church, one she'd attended a few times with Hope. As far as she knew, its doors were rarely locked, even though it had been vandalized several times. The pastor had told her if someone needed what the church had that badly, they could have it.

"Let's see if we can get into the church," she whispered to Hope. The two of them dashed across the alley to the side door, which opened to her tug.

They stepped into a cool darkness that smelled of old wood and dust. The familiarity of the odor took her back to her childhood. She crept along with her hand on the wall until she reached the entry. The place had a deserted air, so she didn't think the pastor was here. Stepping to the front door, she opened it and peered outside. The morning sun hid behind clouds, and she heard a train whistle a few blocks over.

She ducked back inside. An ancient black phone sat on the table by the door to the sanctuary. Her hand hovered over the receiver, then she snatched it away. She'd seen articles in the papers of what the cartels did to informers. Their tongues were cut out before they were executed. She had to get away, find a place to hide where they'd never find her.

The train whistle blew again. The train. She still had the tickets to Alpine that she'd bought a few weeks ago, before Cid talked her out of leaving. If she and Hope could get to the train, they could escape.

The teenagers ignored them as she and Hope ran across the street to the intersection. They hurried down busy Taylor Street. A few men whistled at her through their open windows, and she knew her wedding dress was an attention getter she didn't need. The train platform was just ahead. The strong smell of diesel fuel burned her nose, but the odor signaled her escape. Passengers stared down at her from inside the train as she hurried to the steps.

She dug through her purse past the wallet, lipstick, and gum to find the train tickets. With the tickets in her hand, she and Hope boarded the train. Her wedding dress raised a few eyebrows as she walked by the other passengers, but no one spoke. She pushed toward the back, where she could hide Hope if the men came looking. Two seats together were a welcome haven, and she sank onto the upholstery before her legs could give way.

Safe, at least for now.

Her little girl's eyes were huge in her white face. "Are the bad men coming?" she asked.

Gracie embraced her and kissed the top of her head. "It will be okay," she whispered. She licked dry lips and watched through the window across the aisle. Her muscles trembled, and she knew if she'd been standing, her legs wouldn't have supported her.

The conductor shut the door. They were leaving. A sigh eased from her lungs. The train lurched, then pulled away from the platform as a man came running down Taylor Street. He glanced up and down the street but didn't look at the train.

Her last glimpse of him silhouetted in front of the platform showed the butt of a gun jutting from his jeans' waistband. The train picked up speed, and she settled back against the seat. Though lulled by the clack of the wheels on the tracks, she knew the danger was far from over. They'd think about the train eventually.

I could go home instead of to Bluebird Crossing.

"No," she whispered. "I can never go home."

Hope burrowed her head into Gracie's lap. Her long lashes fluttered, and Gracie smoothed her daughter's delicate brows. "Sleep, little one," she whispered.

Night was coming, and there would be many stops along the way in the next day and a half. She glanced at her wallet. How much money did she have? She opened it and stared at the single five-dollar bill inside. They could drink water at the stops, and maybe she could buy a couple of apples for Hope. But then what? When the money was gone, how would she feed her daughter until she found out if she could get a job in Bluebird Crossing? Where could they live until she received a paycheck? She had a bit of money in her bank account, but the minute she touched it, they'd find her.

Her cell phone was in her purse as well, but she had no one to call for help. Her throat thickened, and she swallowed hard. Blinking fiercely, she told herself not to cry.

The Fierce Southwest Texas sun beat down on Lieutenant Michael Wayne's face as he disembarked at the Alpine platform. Whoever invented train travel should be lined up in front of a firing squad. It had to be a hundred degrees out here, but he should be used to it after his stint in Iraq. He dropped his duffel bag at his feet and scanned the scant crowd for Rick Bailey's face. Wonder of wonders, the train from El Paso had arrived a little early. At least he hadn't had to ride the thing long. And he'd had a front seat.

The elderly gentleman, Zeke, disembarked and shook Michael's hand. "It's been good talking to you, Lieutenant. If I were you, I'd find a wife to help you raise those kids."

"Easier said than done, sir." The man's statement heightened Michael's sense of ineptitude. He was ill equipped for the task ahead of him. What did he know about raising kids-especially a daughter? He grew up without a mother and knew how hard it was. He'd never dreamed his kids would have to endure it too.

Zeke released Michael's hand. "Thank you for your service, son."

"You're welcome, sir." Michael marveled at the fellow's strong grip. Zeke looked like he was at least eighty.

His back erect, the gentleman grabbed his backpack and walked away with a spry step. More people followed him as the train emptied. As Michael turned to watch for Rick again, he noticed a young woman who held a little girl of about five by the hand. What caught his attention more than the fragile beauty of her fine-boned face and full lips was the wedding gown she wore. It was creased and spotted as though she'd worn it several days. Her dark-blond hair hung in wisps around her cheeks where it had fallen from a shiny clip.

The little girl glanced up with an appeal in her brown eyes. Her pink dress was all ruffles. A layer of dust dulled the shine on her patent leather shoes. "Mommy, I'm hungry," she said.

"I know, Hope," the woman said, her voice full of defeat. "I'm out of money." She blinked rapidly, but a tear escaped and trickled down her pale cheek. She turned to a woman beside her. "Would you be going to Bluebird Crossing? My daughter and I need a ride."

"No, dear, I'm sorry. I live here in Alpine. There's my husband." The woman waved at a craggy-faced man in a cowboy hat and walked away.

The young woman's face took on more determination, and she turned toward the next person exiting the train. Michael started toward them, his hand going to the pocket that held his money clip. The woman swayed as her knees began to buckle. What little color remained in her face leached out. He sprang forward in time to catch her before she crumpled to the walk. As he lifted her in his arms and carried her to a nearby bench, he noticed how slight she was.

"Mommy, Mommy!" The little girl ran after them with tears streaming down her face.

"It's okay," Michael said, pitching his voice to a low, soothing murmur. He laid the woman on the bench, then pressed his fingers to the thin skin of her wrist. Her pulse jumped erratically beneath his fingertips.

"Hope," the woman muttered, her lids still closed.

He glanced at the little girl hovering beside her mother. "Hope, has your mommy had anything to eat?"

Hope shook her head. "She only had five dollars when we ran away. She bought some apples, but she said she wasn't hungry and I could eat them."

"How long ago was this?"

Hope wrinkled her forehead. "We rode the train all day yesterday and slept on it last night."

It was middle of the afternoon now, so Michael assumed the woman hadn't eaten in two days. He wanted to ask why Hope's mommy had run away from her wedding, but it wasn't his business. "What's your mommy's name?" he asked Hope as he took out his water bottle.

"Gracie. I'm Hope. Hope Lister," she said.

Gracie Lister. The name fit the delicate woman on the bench. Her nose had a dusting of freckles. Translucent eyelids fluttered, then opened wide, revealing eyes as blue as the cheery storefront behind them. A tiny scar gleamed on her forehead.

She started to sit up, but he pressed her back. "Easy. Here, have a sip of water." He held the bottle to her lips, and she swallowed a mouthful. "A little more," he instructed.

She nodded and took another drink. "Thank you so much," she said. "I don't know what came over me. The heat maybe."

He helped her sit, then pushed her gently forward until her head was down. "Sit up when your head clears. Take deep breaths."

After a few inhalations, she straightened. "I feel much better," she said.

"Hope says you haven't eaten in two days."

A delicate bloom of color stained her cheeks. "I'm fine."

"I don't think so, ma'am. I heard you tell Hope you had no more money. Where's your luggage?"

Her hands twisted together in her lap. "I ... I had to leave it behind."

He saw the fear in her eyes, the way she couldn't hold his gaze. Was she running from an abusive fiancé? A distasteful marriage arranged by her family? Her left hand was bare, so apparently she'd escaped before the marriage happened.

"Do you live here?" she asked, glancing around. Her pupils dilated as she watched the crowd moving past. The muscles in her throat convulsed, and she shrank back against the bench when a tall man came toward her. Her breath eased from between her lips when the man passed without another glance at her.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from LONESTAR HOMECOMING by COLLEEN COBLE Copyright © 2009 by Colleen Coble. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

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(16)

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(9)

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(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    Great book!!!

    Awesome read. Great characters. Great ending!

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  • Posted October 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great quick read

    This is my second Colleen Coble book (the first book I read was The Lightkeeper's Ball). I found it to be an easy, quick read. It was full of suspense (which is probably why it was such a quick read!). The characters were not perfect, but realistic and likable. There was also a realistic amount of sexual tension and romance, but as this is a Christian novel, there was nothing explicit and no foul language. Page-turning, suspenseful AND clean? Hard to find nowadays.....Definitely my kind of novel! Thank you, Colleen Coble!

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  • Posted March 7, 2011

    Colleen Coble Will Grab Your Attention from Page One!

    Gracie Lister is on the run with her daughter, Hope. She has nothing to her name except the purse she managed to grab on the way out the door and the wedding dress on her back. To escape, Gracie returns to Texas, a place she left for very personal reasons many years ago. Here, at the train station, she meets Michael Wayne, veteran soldier. Despite the fact that neither is looking for love, the two begin to form a bond and must join together to fight off the demons of their pasts. For Gracie this means her ex-fiance who is now wanted by the FBI and Michael must work to come out of his soldier shell and become the father he never was. Working together, the two must protect their newly forged family.

    As a reader, I loved this book. It had my attention from page one. Lonestar Homecoming would be a great read for those who prefer books that get right to the action, as Colleen Coble didn't waste any time. As a genre, I would define this book as a suspenseful romance. Michael and Gracie fall in love under interesting and tense circumstances, yet their romance still gave me those excited butterflies. I really appreciated the fact that Colleen Coble didn't make their romance raunchy, the way it can be in so many books today. The love between Gracie and Michael was tender and something to strive for. It would be a book that I would allow my teenage daughter to read, if I had one.

    Knowing this book would have an underlying theme of Christianity to it, I was apprehensive if faith would be shoved down my throat as the reader. I was so pleased to find that that this was totally avoided. While faith was a prevalent subject, it never felt forced and when discussed fit smoothly into the story line. I loved the use of the Prodigal Son parable in connection to the plot line. In my humble opinion, the book was very well written, was smooth and easy to follow, and is worth recommending to those looking for a good romance that keeps you on your toes!

    Note: I received this book for free from the publisher and was not compensated in any way for my review or opinions.

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  • Posted August 10, 2010

    Just wasn't in the mood for this book, otherwise very good

    First of all, I didn't know, and didn't read the previous two books. From the synopsis of Lonestar Sanctuary and Lonestar Secrets, and judging from Lonestar Homecoming, they are not very related. I have no problem following this one.

    Also, I didn't notice that this is a Christian fiction, and I kind of realised it when I was reading, and I'm not a Christian. However, the Christian elements weren't too much, pretty easy to ignore.

    I read around 40 pages before my exams, then read from the beginning after my exams, while I was having beach vacation. So I was very distracted the whole time I was reading this, but interesting enough to keep me reading. I was also actually craving YAs or something light and fun and girly, but I had to finish this.

    Everything happens really fast. They fell in love really fast, and the dangers reached them really fast too. I like their romance, it was pretty cute and sweet. And how they care the kids so much, they do everything to protect them. Sometimes, I couldn't understand some things that Gracie chose to do. I can't relate. She's pretty weak and strong, but I admire her determination for her daughter. Sometimes, I also couldn't understand Michael, then again I'm not a guy. But most of their decisions and feelings are pretty easy to understand and relate.

    Somehow, I couldn't really imagine the places they described and mentioned, or else those that I imagined doesn't seem like I imagined the right one, and they don't really match. Also, I just couldn't imagine and get into the actions scenes and etc, since they happen so fast. I'm also not very good at imagining these scenes. Sometimes, the scenes are easy enough to imagine though, then I would be lost again because the next scene would be harder to imagine. :(

    Anyway, it was a good read. I just wasn't craving for romance. I think I will read this again next time, when I'm in the mood.

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  • Posted June 11, 2010

    Lonestar Homecoming by Colleen Coble; Good, quick story.

    In Lonestar Homecoming, a woman, Gracie Lister is about to be married. On the wedding day, her fiance gets taken away, and Gracie and her little girl, Hope, have to escape before they get caught too. The flee and get on a train, Gracie still in her wedding dress. At the train platform, they meet a nice, welcoming man who provides them with food and a place to stay, Michael, as they got on the train with only $5.

    The book caught my interest right from the beginning. It's fast paced right from the beginning. It's a good book for when you want a quick read, as it's 320 pages. The book is third in a series, but the story was still understandable without any prior reading of the other two. I would recommend to anyone who wants a quick but fun book, since it was highly enjoyable.

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  • Posted May 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Faith restored in lives after wedding goes awry

    One of Colleen's "LoneStar" series of novels and shows very well her terrific writing that contains a good Christian subject that is carried throughout the book. One can tell Colleen very much believes in God and she has an excellent way to present her stories without seeming to force religion on the reader. She has a way of creating characters, mixing and matching them in mystery, love, sadness at times, and always good clean entertaining reading.

    Gracie Lister was about to be married. All decked out in her wedding dress awaiting word that her soon to be husband was there and ready to be joined in marriage. Gracie's daughter, Hope, was also very anxious to at last have a father in her life and thought Cid would be that man with such a meaning in her life, now and forever. As Gracie waited for Cid to arrive, two federal officers appeared at the door looking for Cid thinking he was allowing gun and drug traffic to go through his district. As the men left, she heard gunfire as she saw Cid approach. Gracie had decided she wanted no part of this so she and Hope took off another direction to get "out of Dodge" to a safe area. At this time there were problems with all kinds of gun and drug runners coming and going to Mexico, making the border area very dangerous.

    Enter Lieutenant Michael Wayne, a military man who was attempting to raise two children of his own with no wife. Michael was taking some time off before he started working with the Border Patrol to help quell all the violence at and near the border. He met Gracie and Hope and they became friendly in a "friend" kind of way with no hanky panky. Michael had rented an old house sight unseen near the Bluebird Youth Ranch, a place where his two children had stayed for some time while he was away in the military. A job came open at the ranch and Michael recommended Gracie for the job, which she did obtain. Michael invited Gracie and Hope to live in the rented house knowing they had so much work to do to make it livable. He promised them they would have their own rooms and together, they could afford the house and between the two of them the children would be cared for.

    Many adventures and mis-adventures occur with Cid trying to foul up Gracie's life once again. Gracie finally determined that she had to get God back into her life. She had lost faith and knew that God played a huge roll in all our lives. Romance blossomed between Gracie and Michael and the children generally got along well. The Bluebird Youth Ranch had some horses that brought Gracie back into the love of horses that she once had until her mother had been killed in an accident by a horse Gracie had been riding.

    The entire book is a great human spiritual story that we rarely see from most authors. Colleen Coble has that knack of spinning that type of story that opens up the readers mind to what faith in God can do to make our lives so much better.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Book for a Rainy Afternoon

    I received this complementary book from Thomas Nelson Publishing and was excited to sit down and enjoy a good story. I had read great reviews about the author, Colleen Coble, so assumed the story would be fun to read.

    Lonestar Homecoming is about a young girl running from her problems as she tries to protect her young daughter. She eventually learns, throughout quite a few twists and turns, that only by confronting her past will she be able to move forward into happiness. Overall, the story was a quick read and very well written. It is the type of book you can sit down and read in a couple hours. While it was enjoyable, I'm not sure I will be reading anything else by this author. The character development was a little trite and the overall plot was not as in depth as I like; however, if you plan on taking a trip to the beach or just want to sit on the couch for a lazy rainy afternoon and not think to much, this would be a great book for you!

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic Characters

    This was a wonderful book with an inventive and fast-paced plot and characters I cared about.

    We meet Gracie first and see her settling in order to provide for her daughter, Hope. She wants her to have everything. She's sure that she's doing the right thing by marrying Cid and providing a father for Hope. That's when everything starts going wrong. Men show up and tell her that he's suspected of being involved with smugglers and she may be in danger. They want her as a witness. She claims she doesn't know anything and decides to run in order to keep her and Hope safe.

    The bullets start flying before she can even pack. Gracie and Hope have to start over with nothing. Then they meet Michael. He has Gracie take care of his children. He isn't sure what she's hiding from, but her references checks out so she gets to stay ... for now.

    Michael has problems of his own. He's a soldier who came back from overseas because his ex-wife died. His brother was killed by the smugglers in the area and he's training to be a border control agent too.

    This story packs a lot of action and tension. The characters are thrown together because they both have a need but neither trusts the other. They also are grateful for each other. They both have enemies and withhold information about those enemies.

    One of the things that makes the book the most interesting is the characters themselves. Both of them are complex people with issues from their past and present they're dealing with. Michael has to deal with how to be a dad after being away from them for most of their lives. Gracie tells him that "they are not small soldiers." He has to try and keep his family safe from the threats of Vargas, the man responsible for his brother's death and deal with his own desire to exact revenge.

    Gracie is not sure what to think about Cid. She ran away before she could find out what happened and now he keeps calling and wanting her to come back to him. She has a father she hasn't spoken to since she became pregnant with Hope and she has guilt about what happened to her mother that she has never come to grips with. One of the things that makes her most unusual to me is that she can see and taste sounds. It's called synesthesia.

    What started out as convenience leads to something else and soon the two will stand together against whatever comes against their family.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2010

    Great book.

    Great book.

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  • Posted April 15, 2010

    This Military Vet LOVED this book!

    I really wish that I would have had the chance to read all the books in this series. This particular book was a well written and well researched book. I think, being a military veteran and veteran's wife, it really hit home to me. It's a story that is full of love and laughter (and a little heartache!), friends and family, and faith. A book that I would highly recommend to others.

    Colleen Coble has true amazing talent and I will recommend her as a talented author to my friends and family. I will also be on the look out for her other books and jump on the opportunity to read them! Well done.

    ~A Copy of this book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishers.

    ~I do not receive financial compensation for any of my reviews. I do however from time to time receive complimentary review books to read and post HONEST reviews, positive and negative. The acceptance of a book does not guarantee a positive review.~

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

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    Colleen Coble has done it again...What a love story and thriller!

    The story starts off in California. Gracie Lister is about to get married when trouble starts. After a series of events she ends up in Texas in a wedding dress and penniless.

    Just then a man of uniform shows up. A relationship blooms out out of no where. Both of them are wanted by different people by either the law and the unlawful. They find "strength" where they least expect it.

    This book is such a good read! It took me two days to read it only because I have children who need attention and have to sleep.

    I would not recommend this book for little eyes just because of it's mature content.

    It is an inspiring and yet thrilling read that would be excellent for a trip or just a fun read. I've read another one of Colleen Coble's books and both of them - I could see being made into a movie.

    I would definitely recommend this book to other readers!

    Blessings to you! You are loved!!

    Note: I was sent complimentary copy for review purposes only. This review has not been monetarily compensated. The review was my honest opinion and views and not influenced by the sponsor in any way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Lonestar Homecoming

    Gracie Lister has always run away from problems. She's about to marry Border Patrol agent Cid Ortega but not for love. She feels he can provide a good home for her daughter Hope. When she finds out that he has some dealings with the Cartel she demands he get out. He agrees and the wedding is on. While waiting in her wedding gown two FBI agents show up at her door looking for Cid. When gunshots are fired she flees out the back door with Hope, five dollars in her purse and a ticket for the train (which she is able to get on) heading for Bluebird to hopefully get a job and hideout.

    Enter Michael Wayne. He's a soldier returning home to Bluebird after his wife died to assume the role of single father to two children he hasn't really been around. He will be working with the Border Patrol where he hopes to find out who killed his brother. But the killer is now after him. While waiting at the train station for a ride to Bluebird he notices Gracie and Hope. He sees how good she is with her daughter and over hears her tell her daughter she doesn't have any money left to eat. When Gracie collapses Michael comes to hear rescue. He offers her work as his nanny on a trial basis. She reluctantly agrees feeling like she has no choice. Sparks fly between them but neither want to admit there is something there. When she fears Cid will find her and Michael fears the he may be killed they both agree to a marriage of convenience to protect the children. Will that truly protect the children? What happens if your marriage of convenience turns out to be love? Who is the real bad guys and will they figure it out before it's too late?

    I really enjoyed this story. I love the whole "marriage of convenience" storyline. Both Michael and Gracie were wonderful but flawed people who are both very protective of those they love. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Rick, Allie, Jack and Shannon from the previous stories. I also learned something about Synesthesia. I highly recommend this story to those who love a book you can't put down, characters who stay in your mind and a mystery you don't figure out 'til the end. You could read this as a stand alone but it's a much fuller story if you read Lonestar Sanctuary and Lonestar Secrets first. Great book. Great series.

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