MrsK's Seasoned Reader Picks

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray

The Loyal Heart (Lone Star Hero #1)
ISBN: 9780310345398
Publisher's Synopsis:
Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything.

After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda's home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip's name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone.

Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He's mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can.

He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn't prove to be an easy task—Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.

MrsK's Review:
In 1867, Miranda's very existence is on the edge and very fragile. What was once a home of love, pride, and joy has forever been changed. Her husband's death in a POW camp on Lake Erie was causing a slanderous "chill" in the town of Galveston. Her life had become so bleak, that even the journey to the bank would cause intense grief. Not even the walk into town could ease her haunting. 

"To remember when one of us is sitting in the dark
and wondering why he should live to see another morning...
live for each other...
do everything we can to help each other survive."
Captain Phillip commanded a group of men that would remain faithful to him even beyond his death. Though the men from the encampment considered themselves lucky to have served with him, Phillip would not live to know the depth of their loyalty. It was at the time of a burial that Captain Devin asked the men to make a vow. That vow included Phillip's request to look after his wife Miranda.

Lieutenant Robert was not sure that the comfort of a "good woman" was all that a man needed, but he was sure that Captain Phillip's love for Miranda was exceptional. Robert had fought with Devin and never considered not honoring his request. Although, once he was being lead up the stairs to the boarding house's bedroom he "felt lower than he could ever recall." Perhaps Phillip never mentioned him in his numerous letters home. Miranda was in no state to be reminded about his connection, that could wait. Sometimes keeping secrets is the only way to uncover the truth.

Now that Robert was befriending Miranda, he understood the measures a man would take to keep her safe. Frustrated with the "ugliness" of the town and their lack of courtesy towards Miranda, Robert renews his vow to "take care" of her. He will need to discover who is spreading lies about Phillip and Miranda. Who would gain if Miranda is ran out of town, out of her home, or worse? Once again the vow at Lake Erie will bring forth a new commission for those who knew Phillip.

"I've been warning you for a year, and my patience is gone. Your time has run out."
With many characters woven in and out of Miranda's life, only those who remain loyal will help her to understand the truth about her husband, herself, and her purpose in life.

Unique weaving of a romance, mystery, and survival...

Enjoyable twists, many threads to unravel, and woven with love.
Meet the Author:
 Shelley Shepard Gray I live in southern Ohio with my husband, two teenagers, and two dogs. My days are filled with busy activities like most any other mom and housewife. But I also love to write books.

Each morning, after my kids go off to school, I sit at my desk, look out my window, and dream of other places. The hours fly by as I make up people and places and drink way too much coffee.

Writing for Avon Inspire has truly been a dream come true. Being able to spend my days in my make-believe world of the Brenneman Bed and Breakfast is a true blessing. I have enjoyed getting to know more about the Amish culture and tapping into my faith as I show each character’s progression toward a personal relationship with our Lord.

Before becoming a full time writer, I taught elementary school in Texas, Arizona, and Colorado. A job transfer to Ohio led my husband to encourage me to finally give writing a try. After all, I had notebooks full of made up stories.

Getting the opportunity to write Inspirational novels is truly gratifying. With every book, I feel my faith grows stronger. And that makes me feel very special indeed.

"I received this book for free from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

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