Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Gabriel's Atonement

Gabriel's Atonement (Land Rush Dreams #1)
ISBN: 1628369515
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (January 1, 2015)

5 Stars

Book Description:

All Gabe Coulter ever wanted was to live a comfortable life as a successful gambler, but a confrontation with a disgruntled cowboy who’d just lost to Gabe leads to a family man dying in his arms. Even though it was self-defense, the only way Gabe knows to get rid of his guilt is to return the money he won to the man’s wife. Lara Talbot sees Gabe as a derelict like her husband and wants nothing to do with him. But as she struggles to provide for her family and makes plans to claim property in the upcoming Oklahoma land rush, she wonders if God might have sent the meddling gambler to help.

My Review:
This was a great historical romance set during the Oklahoma Land Rush. Lara Talbot married young, but now knows she made a bad decision. She married in hopes that Tom would help with her grandfather's farm, but she found out shortly after the wedding that Tom was not a good husband or provider. Shortly after loosing their grandfather's ranch they find a sod house to rent in Kansas.  Lara spends her days struggling to keep her family feed and nursing her sick grandfather.  She is the provider for both her young son, teenage sister, grandfather and herself.  There are days when she can barely make ends meet.  The Oklahoma Land Rush is approaching and it's all her family can discuss.  She knows you need money for the entry fee and a good horse of which they have neither. Lara is so busy trying to get from one day to the next that the land rush is the furthest thing from her mind. 
Gabe Coulter is a young man by appearances to have it all, but he's surrounded by ghosts.  He was raised by a godly woman, but with her death his morals changed to an extent.  Gabe is now a professional gambler and to his way of thinking didn't hurt anyone.  He wasn't forcing any of the men to play poker with him and was it really his fault they chose to gamble.  Then one night a young man sat down at his table that would change his entire thought process.  Tom Talbot sat down and proceeded to gamble all of his earnings away.  Feeling he was cheated Tom confronted Gabe as he left the saloon, gunfire erupted and Tom lay on the ground.  Even though it was self defense Gabe is consumed with guilt when he sees the picture Tom is carrying of his young wife and child.  Gabe decides then and there he would some how  make amends for his part in Tom's death. 
Gabe travels to Kansas to seek out Tom's wife Lara, but she is not what he expects at all.  It seems that she is a hard woman and will not take any form of charity from anyone.  Gabe wants to keep his part in Tom's death a secret from Lara, but when sparks start to fly between the two of them that all but seems impossible. 
This is a wonderfully written story about choices, courage, trust and a crisis in faith.  This is a new author for me, but I loved her writing.  The storyline flows effortlessly.  Her vivid imagery and strong characters will readily draw you into the story and keep you turning the pages.  This is a wonderful story, but the message I received was that you must always put your trust and faith in God to see you through any storm. 
This is a new author for me, but I will be reading more of her writing. 
I would recommend this book to anyone.  I received this book from Barbour Publishing to give a honest and unbiased review as stated above. 

Meet The Author:
Vickie McDonough
Bestselling author, Vickie McDonough, grew up wanting to marry a rancher, but instead, she married a computer geek who is scared of horses. She now lives out her dreams in her fictional stories about ranchers, cowboys, lawmen and others living in the West during the 1800s. Vickie is the award-winning author of over 30 published books and novellas. Her books include the fun and feisty Texas Boardinghouse Brides series. End of the Trail, which was the OWFI 2013 Best Fiction Novel winner. Whispers on the Prairie was a Romantic Times Recommended Inspirational Book for July, 2013. A Pioneer Christmas Collection was on the CBA Bestseller’s list for Jan. & Feb, 2014, and South Carolina Brides made the ECPA Bestseller's list in March, 2014.

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