About the book:
John Timmons' life is planned and orderly. He cares for his mother and four younger brothers, and their future depends on him to keep their Colorado ranch profitable. Ember Farrar (Bert) has run away from her lawbreaking family in search of a new life. But, when she attempts to return a horse that her brother had stolen, ranch hands believe she is a thief and a boy and they plan to hang her. John, who is also a deputy marshal, breaks up the hanging. After paying for the stolen horse, he takes the boy home to work off the debt. Later he learns Bert is a girl who refuses to tell him who she is and why she possessed a stolen horse. When ranchers report stolen cattle, Bert is a natural suspect. John is touched by Bert's sweet spirit and natural gift of music. Surely she's not a cattle thief. Bert fears for their lives when she is forced to either help her brothers steal or put the Timmons in danger. When John thinks Bert has betrayed him, he ignores God and turns revengeful. Will John learn who Bert truly is? Will their lives ever return back to normal?
My take on this book:
Bert Farrar has lived with her outlaw family for seventeen years. The only person that ever showed her kindness was her brother Gideon, but he died from pneumonia four years ago, and since then her other brothers and father have become more abusive towards her. They blame her because their mother died while giving birth to her.She detests the way her family lives and wants to be nothing like them, so she decides to run away, and her goal is to return a stolen horse to its rightful owner. She never imagined that she might be mistaken as a horse thief, and is facing a hanging, since she is dressed as a boy she wonders if it might make a difference if she tells them she is a girl, but before she has to disclose her secret Deputy John Timmons comes to her rescue. When John pays the owner of the horse one hundred dollars for his lost time with the horse, John then takes Bert to his ranch to work of the debt, and while he tries to find out something about Bert's past she is so afraid that her brothers will come to find her that she says nothing. When its finally revealed that Bert is actually a woman whose name is Ember Rose, she still refuses to talk about her past. When cattle rustling starts in the area people are suspicious of Ember, and she is afraid that her brothers have found her. She wants to leave the Timmons family to keep them safe. Will she finally open up about her secrets, or will she run again? Can the Timmons keep her safe from her ruthless brothers, and will the feelings that have been developing between John and Ember be enough to overcome her past?
"A hanging is no place for a woman, " with an opening line like this for a western romance how can the reader not be hooked! The author easily transports the reader to 1888 when the west wasn't so tame. Bert/Ember life has been filled with abuse and it was easy to see why she wanted to escape. She was such a strong, brave character, who wanted to do the right thing.When John saved her from being hanged little did she know it was the beginning of a whole new chapter in her life. She would wind up with a family that would take her as one of their own, and also introduce her to God's love. John was someone that always put others needs before his own, even putting his dreams on the back burner so that he could take care of the ranch and provide for the family.
While readers of inspirational historical christian romance will enjoy this story, readers of western novels will also find it an enjoyable read as well. I hope the author turns this book into a series because I would love to read more about the Timmon's family.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
About the author:
Award-winning author DiAnn Mills launched her career in 1998 with the publication of her first book. Currently she has fifty books in print and has sold over 1.5 million copies.
DiAnn believes her readers should "Expect an Adventure." She is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels.
Six of her titles have appeared on the CBA Bestseller List. Three of her books have won the distinction of Best Historical of the Year by Heartsong Presents. Five of her books have won placements through American Christian Fiction Writer's Book of the Year Awards 2003 - 2008. She is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader's Choice award for 2005 and 2007, a Christy Awards finalist in 2008, finalist for the 2010 RITA and winner of both a Christy Award and Inspirational Reader's Choice Award in 2010.
DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America's Faith, Hope and Love, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also the Craftsman Mentor for Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.
She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.