The Winter Pearl

The Winter Pearl

4.6 11
by Molly Noble Bull

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In 1888, Colorado was a dangerous place for a girl on the run. But Honor McCall had to escape from her drunken uncle.

She never imagined that she'd be rescued by a handsome young minister or find a place to call home in his church.

The Rev. Jethro Peters' kindness was more than she could ever repay. So how could she stay on—accepting charity


In 1888, Colorado was a dangerous place for a girl on the run. But Honor McCall had to escape from her drunken uncle.

She never imagined that she'd be rescued by a handsome young minister or find a place to call home in his church.

The Rev. Jethro Peters' kindness was more than she could ever repay. So how could she stay on—accepting charity while hiding the truth about the danger that stalked her and hiding her love for a man who might never return her feelings?

She had to leave, but she just couldn't seem to go—and then Christmas brought a special miracle.…

Editorial Reviews

Anne Walker
The Winter Pearl by Molly Noble Bull is more than a lovely romance with endearing characters; Ms. Bull challenges the reader to consider the cost of forgiveness and to remember that nothing is impossible to our Lord. The main theme is not the growing attachment of two young lovers, but the unconditional love available to those who follow Jesus, and ultimately others touched by His followers. In her truly inspiring story, Ms. Bull impresses readers with the importance of forgiveness and reliance on God, which is the greatest love story of all.
Christian Book

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Steeple Hill Books
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The Winter Pearl

By Molly Bull

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-78529-1

Chapter One

Falling Rock, Colorado Late October 1888

"I'm not one to go without a woman for long, missy."

When Honor McCall had first heard her uncle say those words, she'd been sitting beside him in the wagon on the drive from the farm to the cemetery in nearby Falling Rock. She'd trembled then. Now, standing at Aunt Harriet's grave and digesting what Uncle Lucas must have meant, she realized she'd never stopped shaking.

She did not want to marry her late aunt's husband. If only the God that Aunt Harriet had told her about would provide her with a means of escape.

Although her aunt had been a Christian all her life, Lucas wasn't allowing a funeral service. There was no one to attend the burial because only the grave diggers knew about the death. It was surprising that Lucas had driven Honor to the cemetery to watch the men dig the hole. Knowing him, that was more than she'd expected.

As the diggers lowered the crude, wooden coffin into the ground, Honor saw a flash of gray behind a group of trees. In a moment, it became a young man in a gray suit, coming toward them, and she knew she'd never seen him before.

Her heart knotted. Lucas would not be pleased by this turn of events.

The stranger had thick brown hair and broad shoulders thatreminded her of Lucas. Though her uncle was at least twenty years older, both men were tall and well built. But the young man's clothes looked spotless, and he held what appeared to be a black Bible in one hand and an umbrella in the other. While Lucas, also in a gray suit, had liquor stains down the front of his jacket, and he gripped a half-empty whiskey bottle as though it were glued to his right hand.

Dreading a confrontation, Honor wished the young man would just go away. At the same time, she hoped he would stay. There was something in his presence that made her feel safe.

She'd been so overwhelmed by the death of her aunt, she'd hardly noticed the weather. Now she felt the nip of a fresh norther that had just blown in. Dark clouds gathered, and an icy wind stirred the pines that surrounded them. Her shivers deepened.

When the younger man reached the graveside, Lucas glowered at him. "What do ya think you're doing here, mister?"

"My name is Jethro Peters, but my friends call me Jeth. I'm just visiting here in Falling Rock. I live over in Hearten. I'm the pastor there, and when the diggers told me someone died, I came to see if I could be of help."

Lucas studied the minister, his eyes wide and his mouth hanging slack, the way it always did when something unusual happened to him. After a moment, his thick eyebrows drew together. His face turned red, and a crease appeared in the center of his forehead.

"Your kind ain't welcome here," he said, his voice rough and gravelly. "We don't need no preacher."

"Yes, Uncle, we do." Honor could hardly believe she'd found the courage to speak up. She knew she could be beaten for her words, but for her aunt's sake, she'd had to say what was in her mind.

Lucas scowled. "What did you say, girl?"

"I said that we need a preacher here today - at least, I do." Her voice was hardly more than a whisper. "Aunt Harriet was a Christian, and she would have wanted someone to say a prayer over her grave and read from the Good Book."

"I would be glad to do it," Jeth Peters said softly, "if you will allow it, sir."

Honor expected Lucas to curse the preacher and drive him away, but strangely, he kept silent for a few moments, staring at the younger man. Then he looked down at his dirty black boots. "All right," he mumbled. "Say what you have to and read from that there book you got. Then git. I ain't never had no use for do-gooders."

Jeth Peters nodded. In a clear voice, he read from the Bible. When he finished, he said a prayer.

The Bible reading sounded strange to Honor's ears, but the prayer made her feel warm all over. She longed to say "Amen" loud enough for her uncle to hear, but decided against it. One more word could set Lucas off, and that might embarrass the minister.

Rain started to fall before the diggers had finished covering the grave.

The minister opened his black umbrella and offered it to Honor. "Here," he said. "We wouldn't want you to catch a cold."

Honor shook her head. "I couldn't take your umbrella, sir, but thank you for offering. And thank you for coming today. I'm sure it was just what my aunt would have wanted."

"My pleasure."

The preacher's wide smile lifted her spirits for an instant. Then thoughts of what Lucas might do to her at home washed away those good feelings.

"Will you take my umbrella if I stand under it with you?" the young man asked.

Stand under it with him? He obviously had no idea how dangerous such an act could be for her. The young minister couldn't know that Lucas would never allow her to stand close to any man, especially a man of the cloth. But defiance suddenly gripped her.

To her own surprise, she lifted her head and said firmly, "Yes. I would be happy to share your umbrella with you. It is kind of you to ask."

Lucas took a swallow of whiskey from the bottle without comment. She wondered if he was aware of what had been said. Or was he too drunk to have really taken in what was going on? No matter, sooner or later, he would insist that Honor pay for the things she'd said and done here today, of that she was certain. She shivered again.

Jeth stood under a spreading pine, watching as the young woman and her drunken companion climbed into the wagon. She'd called the man Uncle. Other than that, Jeth hadn't learned anything about them. Still, he wanted to know more, especially about her.

Her eyes were honey brown, fringed with long dark lashes, and her skin was as pale as alabaster - and flawless. So was her softly rounded figure, in his opinion. Her hair had been hidden under a cotton bonnet, but a few dark auburn curls had escaped - enough for him to know that her hair was long and probably very soft to the touch. And she'd smelled as sweet as rosewater. His experience as a pastor had taught him to notice things about people that other folks might miss - like the fact that the young woman's face, despite all its beauty, didn't contain any laugh lines.

It wasn't surprising that a deep sadness appeared to encase her; her aunt had died. But Jeth wondered if perhaps joy wasn't something she knew very little about - even in the best of times.

Was she married? Betrothed? He hadn't had such thoughts about a woman since before he met his late wife....

Jeth glanced away. A lump now dwelled in his throat as well as his heart. Pain, sudden and strong, blocked out everything. When he glanced back, the wagon had disappeared beyond a clump of pine trees.


Excerpted from The Winter Pearl by Molly Bull Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. 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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Winter Pearl 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first book of Molly Bull's that I have read. In it you will be transported back to 1888 Colorado, a time far removed from ours. Life was harsh and often filled with difficult choices. In this book Honor McCall is running from an uncle who wants to force her to marry him. To escape she steals money from a church offering plate, determined to pay it back when she can. On her way to start a new life, the stage she is on is attacked by outlaws and she is injured. Reverend Jeth Peters and his mother take her in and start her on a journey of discovery. Her uncle sets out to find her and the money he believes she has stolen from him. During his journey, he spirals deeper and deeper into alcoholism until a pastor and his wife reach out to the uncle -- even though they know he has harmed them. Their love and caring reaches through his hard walls. The story is a reflection of how God can change our hearts and lives when we allow him to.
MichelleSutton More than 1 year ago
There are a lot of westerns out there and many are the same old...same old...but not this one. I enjoyed the story from the beginning. It took an awfully long time for the hero and heroine to hook up or at least acknowledge their attraction. That could have happened sooner and improved upon the story line, in my opinion. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and watching them grow. However, it did wrap about a bit too tidy. Not everyone has a happily-ever-after, so in that respect I didn't find it very realistic. If only in real life everyone accepted Christ! Perhaps if the author had kept a few loose ends, or showed a few people still unsaved by the end of the story, then it would have ranked five stars in my book. Regardless, it was still worth my time, so it wasn't a waste, but a rather enjoyable experience compared to some of the other westerns I've read. :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Molly Noble Bull weaves a timeless tale in The Winter Pearl. Young Honor McCall has no choice but to run away from all she's known to escape her Uncle Lucas. Molly keeps us in suspense as Honor fears her uncle will find her throughout the story. Most enjoyable to me was reading Lucas's point of view as he travels in search of his niece, and he's always in need of whiskey. The story unfolds beautifully as both Honor and Lucas slowly begin to know the Lord. The Winter Pearl delivers a most satisfying ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading The Winter Pearl, by Molly Noble Bull. This touching story is set in 1888, in Colorado. Honor McCall escapes from her cruel, drunken uncle, is rescued by handsome minister, Jethro Peters, and begins a new life. She knows she deserves none of the kindnesses heaped upon her by Jeth¿s family and the members of his church. As she learns of God¿s love for her and His teachings about forgiveness, she continues to hide the sordid truths about her past as well as the depth of her love for Jeth. She knows she¿s not worthy of his love. She knows she¿ll have to leave this place and the sooner the better. What she doesn¿t know is that God is in control.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Honor McCall begins her life on the run by stealing from the church collection plate, of all places! Will God repay her act with the safe haven she seeks and the love of Reverand Jeth Peters or will He allow the man who tracks her to finally have his revenge? A satisfying historical read from start to surprising finish. Molly Bull is simply charming.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Molly Noble Bull has written a wonderful story. Christmas is the time for believing in hope, redemption, and forgiveness. It's the time of second chances. Honor is going to attempt to make more of her life despite the cruelties she's suffered at the hands of her uncle. With the kindness of a young minister, Honor learns that love and forgiveness are powerful things to help heal a broken spirit. Molly¿s characters are real and her story sucks you in from the first page.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A compelling story, memorable characters, hints about future events, and an intensity that grabs you from the first sentence makes this a real page turner. Molly Noble Bull's THE WINTER PEARL is a must read. I had to decide whether to read it from beginning to end in one sitting because I didn't want to put it down or whether to stretch it over several days so I could slowly savor every word. It's that good. Don't let this book pass you by. The author sweeps you into the world of the late 1800's, sets you right down in the state of Colorado in the winter, and makes you believe you are really there. You identify with the characters and root for them. Bull's faith shines through in her deft handling of the spiritual growth of those who people the pages of this wonderful story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Molly Noble Bull writes a moving tale of innocence threatened. Honor McCall must flee a horrible future in the hands of her cruel uncle, but tarnishes her integrity in the process. How can she restore her self-respect and win the affection of the gallant minister who has captured her heart? Or does anything else matter but escaping the danger that still stalks her? The author has a refreshing voice, and the plot takes delightful and unexpected turns. Keep a tissue in hand and settle in for a warm winter's read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THE WINTER PEARL is a delightful tale of a young woman and the cruel uncle who has raised her, finding faith and happiness in the old West. Molly Noble Bull has a way with words. She brings the characters and scenes to life with the subtle details she weaves through this touching story. A cozy read for a long, winter night.