Lullaby in Lone Creek
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Pages: 77
Goes Well With: Barley soup, turkey sandwich, and salad.

Emilee wants only the best for her unborn child: a father for the baby and a husband who truly loves both infant and mother. For months, sheís dreamed that Dalton might return from the bull-riding circuit and be that man, but itís lossónot loveóthat eventually brings him home. With a wounded hand ending his bull-riding dreams, Daltonís life seems devoid of meaning. With a wounded heart, Emilee devotes her life to preparations for birth, wondering sadly if baby Colton will grow up level-headed like her or turn into a wandering spirit like his father.

The Lone Creek Ranch welcomes readers with comfortable descriptions, seasons hinted at in shades of light and temperature, and scenery waiting to be explored. Sparsely written back-stories grow from easy chunks of the charactersí memories before the story returns to a present thatís characterized by natural conversation and blossoming love. Secrets are haltingly revealed, brushed away like a curtain from a window. But love hides deeper.

Iíve never ridden a horse, but I was able to hear the pounding of hooves as Dalton tries to flee from examining his feelings. Iíve certainly never ridden a bull, but when Dalton justifies his actions, remembering ďBulls could break a body but not a heart,Ē I could see the attraction. Love is dangerous. Secrets hurt. And broken hearts are harder to patch than fingers.

The dialogue is very natural. The sceneryís great. The horses are filled with life. And this storyís as good a place to start in Lone Creek as any other. Itís the second book in the series, and if youíve not read the first, Lost in Lone Creek, youíll want to find a copy when youíve finished. But thereís certainly no need to read these tales in order.

The characters will linger like real people in the mind after youíve turned the pages. Readers will easily relate to Emileeís desire to be perfect, the years of effort given to striving for her goals, and the leaps of joy followed by sloughs of misunderstanding. Readers of faith will recognize that feeling of having let God down, a momentís mistake whose consequences ride over human plans.

The roller-coaster of emotions in this story matches the landís wild hills and the running of a horse, making Lullaby in Lone Creek a thoroughly enjoyable lunchtime read that will send you back to work with a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

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