GRACE AND THE PREACHER
Can the faith of one small prairie town and a kind woman's generous heart survive such a great deception?
At the age of twenty-three, postmistress Grace Cristler has all but given up of finding a husband among the narrowing group of eligible men in her town of Fairland, Kansas. But when her uncle decides to retire from the pulpit, Grace is responsible for corresponding with the new preacher set to take his place. She can't deny the affection growing in her heart for Reverend Rufus Dille -- a man she deeply admires but has only met through his letters.
Theophil Garrison is on the run from his past. Ten years ago his outlaw cousins convinced him to take part in a train robbery, but Theo fled the scene, leaving his cousins to face imprisonment. Now they've finished their sentences, but their plan for vengeance has just begun. Branded a coward and running for his life, Theo has a chance encounter that could provide him with the escape he needs.
But the young man's desperate con might come at an enormous price for the tenderhearted Grace -- and the entire town. Will Grace's undeserved affection and God's mercy make something beautiful from the ashes of Theo's past?
A sweet and touching romance develops in the midst of deceit. My tummy was in knots trying to figure a way for things to work out. I thought it might be hard to connect with the hero given his desperate con, but that's just what it is -- desperation and Sawyer does a wonderful job of appealing to a reader's tender heart where Theo is concerned. I totally got the way he fell into the con and what made it so hard for him to get out. And since he's totally not what the town expects in a new preacher there's some pretty funny moments that brings levity to all that desperation.
Grace is dealing with her own kind of desperation. On the shelf at twenty-three with no prospects in sight, she's fallen for the soon-to-be-new preacher through the letters she's been exchanging on behalf of her uncle who happens to be the retiring reverend. But Rufus Dille isn't anything like she expected he'd be when they actually meet. He keeps her discombobulated even as she is drawn to his shy sincerity.
I love how this author expertly weaves faith into the very fibre of her stories and it is front and center here. And I love the title tie-in as it can be taken in different ways. Very clever. And impactful. All in all a captivating inspirational historical romance.
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