Love in Lone Creek
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Pages: 81
Goes Well With: Lots of coffee and a plate of sugar cookies

There’s a legend about people finding their true loves in Lone Creek—but Tanner Merrill’s not looking for love. Home from Afghanistan, hailed as a hero but scarred both inside and out, Tanner’s just trying to hide away in the home where he grew up. Unfortunately, though, his brothers aren’t into hiding. They’re all deeply in love and well-married.

Tanner’s beloved mother has died in his absence, and even the ranch has changed. But will Lone Creek still cast its spell on him?

Baylee Cameron has been wounded by her past, too. Readers will be able to guess, from the characters’ initial angry meeting, that these two young people are bound to get together. But how it will happen—and how Baylee and Tanner will overcome the barriers of their hidden scars—is a mystery to be solved. And it’s one that’s quite beautifully told.

Christian faith weaves like a silver thread throughout Love in Lone Creek. It’s never pushy or preachy, but it gently holds people and places together. Forgiveness isn’t easy, and forgiving ourselves is often the hardest thing. But, as Baylee and Tanner soon learn, sometimes it’s in giving comfort that we receive it most.

Author Mary Manners creates a beautiful sense of people and place in her Lone Creek series of short novels. The land casts its spell on readers and characters alike, and the stories delight with smooth tension, gentle mercy, and the scent of a sleeping child to soothe a raging heart.

Love in Lone Creek comes fourth in the series, but it stands alone perfectly well, with small hints in the background offering intriguing tastes of the previous three. I’m already wondering whose story will come fifth, as these characters linger in my memory. Meanwhile Lone Creek ranch seems so beautifully real that you’ll delight in taking a vacation there while enjoying a lunch break from work.

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