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    One of this year's best books!

    Inspirational romance is not necessarily a genre towards which I naturally gravitate. I can count on the fingers of one hand the authors I favour that belong to this particular category, and yet I keep coming back to Stacy Henrie for her unsurpassed storytelling, her attention to detail, and unequalled historical accuracy. The story being set in 1892 America, one must remember that religion was an intrinsic part of life, as it had been for nearly 2 millennia. Stacy Henrie writes inspirational romances, and I cannot imagine THE RENEGADE’S REDEMPTION being told otherwise. Anyone who cannot abide the mention of God in a romance should probably stop reading right now, however that reader will miss one of the most outstanding books of the year. Stacy Henrie is one of my favourite historical romance authors for the specific reason that she is faithful to the spirit of the times. Tex Beckett, even unseen, was such a powerful character in the previous book – The Outlaw’s Secret – that he needed his story, however I could barely imagine how the author would handle it, given the inspirational context and Tex’s character. Tex is The Texas Titan and he is wanted, dead or alive, for bank and train robberies. He left his sweetheart, Ravenna Reid, eight years before as they were to elope, and Ravenna hadn’t heard from him during all that time, neither had she heard of the famous outlaw. Tex has never stopped loving Ravenna, but he knows that she would not want him now: Ravenna’s Faith is strong, and she could not love a thief. Tex wanted to make a detour home, but circumstances made it that The Texas Titan was recognised by the local sheriff, Tex is shot, and it’s bleeding and unconscious that he is found by the orphans who live with Ravenna. Ravenna, since the death of her grandfather, has tended the family farm mostly by herself and still takes care of five orphans; it was her grandfather’s wish that they help the poor children, but times are tough, and Ravenna is afraid that the harvest might be doomed if they cannot ready the fields in time. In spite of still feeling the hurt Tex inflicted on her, she agrees to nurse him back to health, and that then he should leave as soon as he is able. And if you think you know where this is going, you might prepare yourself to be stunned. I think Stacy Henrie was very brave in writing this story; nothing is instantaneous, and Tex doesn’t really feel remorse for what he’s done, but he knows he must repay Ravenna for her kindness, if nothing else: he will stay only until the fields are ready and the seeds are sown. Then, there is always something to be done, Tex needs to find things to be done, and being close to Ravenna, he is reminded of what could have been, and that maybe there could still be hope for them, but Ravenna is no fool. And I think I suffered as much as Tex and Ravenna as the story progressed, and I also worried that the author might wrap things up nicely, and that would have been underestimating Stacy Henrie. THE RENEGADE’S REDEMPTION is one of the most compelling stories I have read in a long time, nothing ever seemed a given, and I kept wondering if Tex would have the fortitude to really atone for his life of crime, or if some sort of miracle would occur; I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Tex and Ravenna are extraordinarily complex characters, and Stacy Henrie’s eloquent writing has reached improbable heights. I felt emotionally involved the whole time and I marvelled at those mundane details that makes a story real: such as the loaf of bread that is placed in a towel, or Ravenna’s grandfather’s nightshirt. Nothing comes easy in THE RENEGADE’S REDEMPTION, which makes it one of the most satisfying books of the year, inspirational or not. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
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    Sweet romance with great characters!

    I've been especially excited to read this book after the first one in the series, where Tate assumes Tex's outlaw identity. I was so curious about Tex's story so I was thrilled that this book came out soon after! Tex goes through a process of recognizing his choices as poor ones and accepting the responsibility for them. It was great to see the gradual chance in his attitude as Ravena and the memories of his experiences with her late grandfather work together to turn him toward God and planting seeds of faith. I loved the various personalities of the orphans that Ravena cares for and how it shows her compassionate nature. She struggles with her long-held feelings for Tex and forgiveness of others and self is a big theme in the story. There is some action as Tex's outlaw background catches up with him but I appreciated that he came to terms with it of his own volition before he was forced to by circumstances. Lovely romance between a stalwart young woman and a charming rogue! (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions expressed are my own)
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