Blue Moon Promise
Thomas Nelson, 2012
While I have drooled over Colleen Coble's covers before, Blue Moon Promise was the first novel I've actually been able to read (thank you, BookSneeze!). Oh my. I know what all the excitement is about now! (And this also means I will be stalking my library and/or bookstore for more of her novels).
Elements of Blue Moon Promise reminded me of the story of Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis (considering that there are multiple references to this story, I think it's fair to say we should make that connection). Lucy's father has died in a tragic accident, and her stepmother opted to leave her two children - Jed and Eileen - with Lucy while she moseyed off with her boyfriend. It's a bleak situation, made worse by the fact that Lucy suddenly finds herself unemployed, evicted, and being followed by a stranger. When one of her father's former friends shows up with a proposition, Lucy decides it's God's answer to her problems, and she agrees to marry his son - Nate - by proxy.
Upon arriving at the Stars Above Ranch in Texas, Lucy finds that she has her work cut out for her in terms of earning the respect - let alone love - of her new husband. Nate's first reaction to Lucy is loud and vehement: he's not interested in a wife, and especially not a wife his father picked out for him. And she's so tiny and from the city - how will she ever survive on a cattle ranch? As Lucy begins to work at making Nate's tiny cabin into a home, and they slowly get to know each other, each realizes they were wrong and God knew what He was doing when things fell into place the way they did. Eileen and Jed do a lot to smooth the transition as well, though all is far from perfect - and there are many struggles and obstacles to face. Obstacles like discovering someone has followed them from Indiana to Texas, and lingering uncertainties about their father's death. Every thing that occurs tests Nate and Lucy to their core, and each has to come to terms with their pride and need to control every aspect.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching this story play out - I wasn't sure where it was going, and a few of the twists and turns caught me by surprise. There were enough details to flesh out the context without coming across as a super technical read on cattle ranching and frontier life. Lucy was a delightfully flawed heroine, as was Nate - where most Christian fiction characters come across as perfect (and thus my main problem with a lot of Christian fiction), Lucy and Nate are very human. I could relate to them, and their struggles - it was believable and realistic. And a truly beautiful story. Definitely looking forward to reading more of Coble's novels, if they're anything like this!
Book provided by publisher for review.