Colleen Coble is a good author, and she skillfully combines romance with action/adventure and mystery. This book Lonestar Homecoming, is the third book of a trilogy based in Texas. The story centers on single mother Gracie Lister and her precocious daughter, Hope. Gracie is marrying Border Patrol Agent Cid Ortega, primarily so that Hope will have a father (which is a truly stupid reason to marry anyone) but, before they can exchange vows, gunshots are exchanged outside of her home by FBI agents who question whether or not Cid is involved with a Mexican drug cartel. Realizing that Cid has lied to her, she does what comes naturally: she runs.
Gracie leaves for Texas with Hope in tow on a train, in her wedding gown with five dollars in her purse and a cell phone. Once there, she hopes to find work in a daycare center. However, she is intercepted by returning soldier/Border Patrol Agent Lt. Michael Wayne, and he buys her lunch and clothes, and hires her to be a live-in nanny for his two children, Jordan and Evan.
Gracie and Michael try to open up to one another, but they have major issues. Gracie has a dark secret from her past that involves her mothers death and Hopes parentage; Michael has a bounty on his head from the same drug cartel that murdered his brother, Phil. A peaceful home life does not come easy for these two.
The trilogy of books follows a very similar storytelling pattern. Young woman with child finds herself in mortal danger, meets wonderful man who agrees to marry them and take care of them. Gracie and Michael do enter into a marriage of convenience, which is a trite plot device used by authors to get couples into nonsexual situations when sharing a home or a bed. The couple eventually fall in love for real and the mystery is solved, the bad guys are jailed, and everyone lives happily ever after.
Coble makes Texas come alive and I credit her with having very vivid descriptions of the landscape and the people; Ive never wanted to visit Texas but, after reading her descriptions, I might pass through someday. Her books never fail to have action, and the climax is truly great, although Gracie makes some ill-advised decisions that made me want to reach into the pages and slap some sense into her.
Coble writes Christian fiction, but her the religious aspect takes a backseat to the story. Gracie is the daughter of a preacher, and keeps his New Testament in her purse. Its turned to the story of the prodigal son in Luke, which passes for character development in this story. When Gracie re-opens her heart to God towards the end, it feels false and hypocritical. Overall, its a decent days read, but not very deep or dark.
This book(as with all the others in the series)was awesome, however having said that-this story somehow DIDN'T deliver at the end, the same powerful punch that Collen Cobles other books did. It was almost as if she got tired and quickly wrote out a condensed version of a happy ending. I still LOVED it but not as much at the end like I did her others, so I gave it a five and half stars, where on the others they were ALL five stars and I would have gave more were it possible. All in all it is still an exciting and suspenseful story well worth reading. I pray she writes more in this series.