Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Texan’s Honor by Shelley Gray

A Texan’s Honor by Shelley Gray. Abingdon Press, 2012. 320p. Series: Heart of a Hero, #2 (9781426714634) 

When I started reading this I forgot it was book two in a series, but I don’t think it mattered. The main character of the first book didn’t play a part in Texan’s Honor but did appear in flashbacks. The story didn’t play out as I had expected it would and it had a couple surprises and twists in it.

Will McMillan survived the Civil War under the command of Clayton Proffitt (the main character of the first book) and now in 1874 finds himself as an undercover agent who has successfully infiltrated the notorious Walton Gang. For almost two years he has been a part of the band in order to bring them and those that aid and abet them to justice. He’s very close to fulfilling his mission when a train robbery does not proceed as planned and a woman is held hostage.

As third in command Will takes charge of Jamilyn Ellis, the young, innocent and pretty hostage. Scout is second in command and while a deadly killer, he doesn’t cotton to killing or abusing innocent women and children, so he backs Will up and keeps her from the other gang members. He even hints that Will should escape with her to protect her from the others when the situation on the train starts to get dicey.

One reviewer thought this a rather dark story with lots of bad guys. I didn’t find this to be the case though. It is a poignant tale of the depths of human depravity and the transforming power of love, forgiveness and grace. Only problem though is that it’s not God’s love, forgiveness and grace that does the transforming, but rather a woman’s. Which isn’t exactly realistic and likely.

Now I’m not saying that a woman can’t inspire a man to be a better man. After all Proverbs 30:18-19 (NIV84) says, “There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand:… the way of a man with a maiden.” In Wild at Heart John Eldredge’s thesis is that “in the heart of every man is a desperate desire for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue. … There is nothing so inspiring to a man as a beautiful woman.” (p. 9 & 15)

But in the end it is only God’s transforming grace that can be the catalyst for the type of transformation we see begin to take place in one guy’s heart. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ” (2 Corinthians5:17-18 NIV84)

Another message that the story makes clear is that everyone has worth and matters. Several people struggle with this in different ways and the author does an excellent job showing that. I really enjoyed this story and can’t wait to read book three because that story will be about Scout who played a big part in this book. Overall a fun, clean, adventure packed read.

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.

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