Romance Rides the Range (Romance Rider Series #1)
by Colleen L. Reece
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0
Publication Date: April 1, 2012
Sarah doesn’t dare look back . . .
Sarah Anderson refuses to become a drudge for her stepfather and his unruly children after her mother dies in 1882. Neither will she become a pawn for his indebtedness to a riverboat gambler. Sarah escapes from her Missouri home and heads for California to find her brother Seth, trusting God to keep her safe on the perilous journey west.
Matt Sterling rescued Seth from danger and taught him to become a top hand on the Sterling ranch near Madera. Betrayed by one selfish girl, Matt has vowed the San Joaquin River will run dry before he ever gets involved with another woman. He’s better off fighting cattle rustlers, floods and drought to make his spread one of the finest in the valley.
Is love's long lasso strong enough to overcome obstacles and rope in the runaway girl and the once-bitten, twice-shy rancher?
Sarah, a girl of sixteen, is grieving the death of her faithful mother. She is troubled by her rough, drunken stepfather, Gus, who has used her mother to care for his four unruly children and now expects Sarah to do the same. That expectation pales when Sarah learns that Gus has agreed to give her into marriage in exchange for his gambling debts to the slick, wealthy owner of the River Queen.
Sarah has always dreamed of having a marriage blessed by God like the example she saw in her parents. She believes that God is encouraging her to escape and make her way west to the safety of her brother, Seth. Seth left home a few years before to get away from Gus. He has written to Sarah in secret telling her of his life as a cowboy working under a Godly boss, Matthew Sterling. Seth even sent a picture of himself with Matthew and Sarah has been encouraged by dreams that maybe Matthew would be the Godly mate for her.
Seth also shared a picture of his younger sister with Matt. Matt has been reluctant to seek female friendship since being betrayed a few years earlier. Yet Matt is impressed with Seth’s hard work and Christian foundation and there is no escaping the beauty Matt sees in the picture of a young, innocent Sarah.
Can Sarah make it safely from Missouri to California to stay out of the hands of Gus and her would be fiance? She is sure God has a plan for her but does that plan include Matthew?
I really enjoyed this sweet story. Sarah is a young girl with a strong, determined faith that God will keep her from harm. But that doesn’t mean she will fall into the arms of a handsome rancher to protect her. She is obedient to seek God’s will even if that means working to support herself. Matt is a well respected man of integrity and high morals. Although Seth and Matt have one bitter enemy in town, most of the supporting characters are lovely, hard working men and women.
The author shares appropriate scripture that fits into the circumstances of the characters so it does not come across as preachy. The writing is direct and simple, making this story an easy, quick read. The message of trust and God’s faithfulness is lovingly presented. My friends in Ladies’ Book club enjoyed the story too. We would be glad to read more stories by Ms. Reece.
I purchased and read this book for Ladies' Book Club meeting 8/2.
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