Blue Moon Promise by Colleen Coble
Review by Kara Grant
Nate Stanton always hoped he'd marry someday, but running the family ranch meant he had no time for romance. When his father deposits Lucy Marsh-a city girl-on his doorstep, with two siblings in the bargain, he expects ranch life will send her running on the first train out of town. But Lucy is made of tougher stuff than Nate imagined. When danger moves in, Nate finds he'd give anything to protect Lucy and the children he's grown to love. Even if it means giving up his ranch (from Amazon.com).
What happens when you lose your job, your landlord evicts you and gives you 7 days to find another home, and strange men appear to be watching you when all you desire is to provide a safe home for your brother and sister? Jed is 12 and Eileen is 3 when Henry Stanton comes to visit Lucy giving her a choice to marry his son without knowing anything about the man with assurances that her siblings will be looked after. Lucy has one night to make this decision and before the time is up she’s already facing dangerous intruders.
Before Lucy can even ponder the commitment she’s made by proxy she meets Nate and neither is happy about the decision. Nate is convinced that Lucy only wants money and an easy life and is reluctant about her siblings. She is determined to prove her worth even if Nate doesn’t trust her intentions and Lucy is surprised to learn that she fits really well into ranching life. Nate also becomes attached to her siblings and slowly they adjust to the living arrangements neither of them planned on having. Lucy is clumsy at first about living on a ranch, but she puts her whole heart into being a good helpmate for Nate and protecting her siblings at the same time. Her courage and passion are both touching and humorous.
Some of the adjustments they experience are:
*Nate’s pet spider that Lucy finds; when Nate realizes her fear of spiders is authentic he agrees to release it
*Lucy is attacked by a wolf-dog
*Someone sneaks into Nate’s barn and attacks Jed
*Lucy gets bitten by a poisonous snake
*Nate and Jed barely escape a stampede
*Lucy learns about cattle branding, milking a cow, and how to communicate with Nate
*Lucy teaches Nate about forgiveness and making decisions based on prayer
*Nate teaches Lucy that he is reliable and trustworthy when it comes to taking care of her siblings
*Jed and Eileen adjust to living with Nate and learn to feel safe around him
*Jed admits to Nate a secret he has been keeping
*There is mystery and confusion about Lucy’s dad who was murdered and valuable coins
The romance between Lucy and Nate was very precious in this story. Even though there’s an initial attraction and chemistry between them, Coble is very deliberate in illustrating that it takes much more than that initial attraction to build a lasting and solid relationship between these insecure characters. Neither one of them comes from a healthy background and despite their honorable intentions and attraction, they learn that trust and respect is vital to having a strong marriage. They also rely heavily on reading the Bible together, praying as a family, and learning to trust God in every situation. Lucy learns to let go despite her fears and controlling ways and she is relieved to have Nate take the burden of responsibility from her.
Excerpt from the story:
Emotions churned in Lucy’s stomach. Anger and jealousy—of her brother, of all things! For so long she was the one Jed looked up to, the one whose approval he sought. The adoring look Jed gave Nate hit her hard. For a moment she felt adrift. Without a needy brother and sister giving her life purpose, what would happen to her?
Eileen stirred from her pallet on the floor beside Bridget. The little girl sat up and rubbed her eyes. “I’m hungry, Lucy,” she said plaintively. At least Eileen still needed her. “Supper will be ready in about half an hour. Why don’t you take Bridget outside until it’s ready? The best thing for the dog’s hurt leg is some exercise. Otherwise it will stiffen up.”
The dog wagged her tail at the mention of her name. Smart dog. She’d figured out they were talking about her.
“Do you need me for anything right now?” Jed’s gaze followed Eileen and the dog longingly.
“No, just keep an eye on your sister,” Nate answered before Lucy could. Jed followed Eileen and Bridget outside.
Outrage churned again. It was her job to give or deny permission. She looked down at the biscuits she was making. Help me, Lord. My attitude is not worthy of you. I should be glad Nate is taking an interest in the children. Help me let go. Even though she’d prayed, she didn’t feel a bit better. This was her job. She was used to being in control. No one knew the children as well as she did. Her heart still racing, she patted the dough, then used her knife to cut it into square biscuits. Transferring them to a baking sheet, she slid them into the oven and closed the door.
Lucy didn’t dare meet Nate’s gaze. She was acting like a shrew, hardly the type of helpmeet she’d wanted to be. She had longed for someone to help her carry the load, so why was she now resenting it when Nate offered to share some of her burden? Tears blurred her vision.
She heard movement behind her, then Nate put his hands on her shoulders and turned her to face him. His fingers tilted her chin up, but she stubbornly kept her eyes fastened on his shirt.
“Don’t fight me, Lucy. If this marriage is going to make it, we have to work together.”
Her heart jumped. He almost sounded as though he wanted them to work things out. She dared a glance into his face. His gray eyes were gentle.
It’s amazing how Coble accurately captures both the setting and emotions of a
I want to thank Booksneeze and Thomas Nelson for the copy they provided. I was not required to give a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.