Heart of Stone. Jill Marie Landis. 2010. [February 2010] Zondervan. 320 pages.
Eleven-year-old Lovie Lane would never be certain what actually woke her the night she learned her life was to become a living hell.
After losing both parents, Lovie and her younger sister, Megan, meet the harshest of fates. A fate far worse than being sent to an orphanage. Their aunt and uncle, seeing a money-making opportunity, decide to sell the girls into prostitution, sell the girls into a brothel house. Lovie being just eleven, and Megan, even younger than that. After that first night, when Megan was actually sold to the highest bidder, the two sisters have not seen one another.
No doubt about it, Lovie's life was a living hell. But it was a hell she was determined to escape from.
Years later, Lovie, now living as Laura Foster, hopes that her past stays just that her past. She's moved to a small town in Texas. She's hoping that the folks in Glory, Texas, will never hear about her past. Because how can any woman overcome the prejudice, the hate, the shame if the truth were to become known?
No, living as Mrs. Laura Foster, a wealthy widow, is her only way to cling to respectability. She has rules for how to live her life. Rules that keep her safe. Her boardinghouse only accepts families, women, and children. No single men, ever. NO exceptions to the rule. She doesn't want any person to get the wrong idea about her.
Laura doesn't have room for love in her life. So she won't let any gentlemen come calling. Even if they're respectable. Because she knows that no man would ever want her if the truth was known.
Brand McCormick is the preacher in town. And he finds himself falling fast for this beautiful widow woman. Can he find a way to woo Laura? Find a way to win her heart?
Both Brand and Laura have things in their past that they're keeping hidden. Not only from each other, but from everyone in their lives. When these secrets come to light, will anything ever be the same again?
Historical fiction set in Texas in the 1870s.
I found this to be a quick and compelling read. A book about grace and forgiveness and unconditional love.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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