Title: Peace in the Valley by Ruth Logan Herne
Double S Ranch Series Book Three
Genre: Contemporary, Christian, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Blogging for Vooks
In spite of their differences, Trey Walker Stafford knows he owes his life to cowboy and legendary rancher Sam Stafford—the uncle who rescued him after his parents’ death. Trey had left the Double S Ranch to pursue music against Sam’s wishes, but returns to central Washington when he learns he’s the best match for a procedure that could save Sam’s life. Although Trey’s found country music fame and success, he’s also endured the tragic loss of his wife. He croons about love, but struggles with a yawning emptiness he can’t explain.
Overwhelmed by a growing list of challenges, but mistrustful of Stafford men, single mother Lucy Carlton reluctantly accepts Trey’s help to revive her crumbling farm when Sam instructs him to repay the overdue debt to her family.
As the two grow closer, Trey slowly begins to open his heart to this beautiful woman and strives to let go of the grief he’s held for years. Lucy has a complicated history of her own. Can Trey accept her as she is, learn to forgive the past, and find the elusive peace he’s sought for so long?
Peace in the Valley is an absolutely spellbinding novel of grace, forgiveness and trust. Although this latest release is the third installment in Ruth Logan Herne’s divine Double S Ranch series, it can easily be read as a standalone.
Trey Walker Stafford can never repay his uncle and adoptive father Sam Stafford for providing him with a loving home following his parents’ deaths from a drug overdose when he was three years old. Despite his love and respect for Sam, he could not give up his dream of becoming a musician and he now makes his home in TN. In spite of their past differences, Trey is more than willing to put his life and career on hold after discovering he is the closest match for Sam’s much needed liver transplant. Although there are risks involved with the live donor procedure, Trey knows the operation is his father’s best chance at survival. He also cannot turn down Sam’s request to help him make amends for the damage he caused on their neighbor Lucy Carlton’s farm. Trey is quite charmed by Lucy and her four children, but will learning the secrets from Lucy’s long ago past destroy their chance at happiness?
Through all of life’s tragedies and successes, Trey’s faith has remained constant. After the very public loss of his wife years earlier, he ignored the negative publicity and gossip surrounding him and worked hard to keep his career on track. However, the circumstances of her death shook Trey’s confidence that people can truly leave their pasts behind and he remains very wary and cautious about whom he trusts.
Lucy is devoted to her children and she works hard to make ends meet while also finding time to give back to those in need. She has made a few missteps in her life but she learned from her mistakes and has no intention of repeating them. Although Lucy has made peace with her past, she is quite guarded and very careful about who she trusts. She speaks honestly and openly about checkered past and she is the always willing to give people a second chance.
Trey and Lucy both share a deep faith, but their pasts make it very difficult for them trust one another. Trey is initially open to a relationship with Lucy, but he is reluctant to make promises he might not be able to keep. Once he becomes aware of Lucy’s history, Trey tries to distance himself from his growing feelings for her. Lucy’s experiences with her deceased husband naturally make her wary about becoming involved with another musician. She is also worried the unsubstantiated rumors about Trey might be true. Lucy is fiercely protective of her independence and she is quick to think the worst of Trey when he ineptly expresses some concern about an offer she is considering. Will Trey and Lucy’s respective baggage prevent them from risking their hearts?
With no shortage of valuable life lessons, Peace in the Valley is an emotionally compelling Christian romance that old and new fans of the Double S Ranch series are going to love. Trey and Lucy are vibrantly developed with imperfections, strengths and weaknesses that are very easy to relate to. Lucy and Trey’s unexpected friendship provides a firm foundation for their slow-growing romance. Ruth Logan Herne beautifully incorporates relevant scripture into the storyline in a realistic manner that will resonate with anyone who has ever struggled to let go of past hurts and mistakes in order to find peace, lasting happiness and ultimately, love.