About the Book: When fragmented images and unfocused panic force Noelle St. Claire to flee her wealthy, sheltered life in New York, she gains sanctuary on a ranch in the Rocky Mountains. There Noelle finds solace in the breathtaking scenery she paints. But as the attentions of two brothers, Rick and Morgan Spencer, breach the wall she hides behind, the past she yearns to escape becomes a menacing threat from which she can no longer hide. Award-winning and bestselling author Kristen Heitzmann has skillfully created a story resonating with emotion and depicting a poignant spiritual journey.
My thoughts: This book is billed a Christian romantic suspense and it lives up to all three parts of that billing. While at first I thought this would be one of those Christian novels where "Christian" meant blessings before meals and a mention that they attended church on Sunday, but the end of the book it was very much one of those where the characters had to make their peace with God before they could live happily ever after. It is romantic, well because there is a girl and three guys who want her. Suspense--why is she running? What happened.
Kristen Heitzmann drops hints about what happened long before the total truth is revealed, and while I guessed a little wrong, in general, the outcome of the book was no surprise. I think Heitzmann did a great job of creating a heavy mood throughout the book.
I enjoyed the book and will look for the next one in the series. Grade: B+
Thanks to Bethany House for providing a complimentary review copy. I was specifically told that negative reviews were acceptable.
By the end of the book the Christian elements become the center of the story. Both the hero and the heroine were baptized Catholic. Her mom died when she was six, and her father wasn't a believer so she never went to church again. She does find her faith through speaking to a Catholic priest. He lives in Colorado in a small town and attended a small chapel there where a visiting priest made the rounds once a month, and "Pastor Tom" held services the other weeks. Once they decided to marry, the priest instrumental in her conversion marries them within hours. The hero always prays before they eat, but he never makes the Sign of the Cross. In short, while this book is by no means critical of Catholicism, it's depiction of Catholicism isn't accurate.