Title: Chasing the Sun by Tracie Peterson
Land of the Lone Star Book One
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Genre: Historical, Inspirational, Romance
Length: 355 pages
Book Rating: B
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher
When her father disappears in war-torn Mississippi, Hannah Dandridge finds herself responsible not only for her younger siblings but for the ranch her father recently acquired on the Texas plains. Though a marriage of convenience could ease her predicament, she determines to trust God for direction.
Wounded soldier William Barnett returns to his home only to discover that his family’s ranch has been seized. Though angry and bitter at this turn of events, he’s surprised to discover that it is a beautiful young woman with amazing fortitude who is struggling to keep the place running.
Hannah, desperate for help, and William, desperate to regain his family’s land, form an uneasy truce. But nearby Comanche tribes, the arrival of Confederate soldiers, and a persistent suitor all threaten the growing attraction that builds between them. Will they be able to set aside their own dreams and embrace the promise of a future together?
Set in Texas during the turbulent years of the Civil War, Tracie Peterson’s Chasing the Sun is a faith-based novel with plenty of adventure along with a sweet romance. Hannah Dandridge is an obedient daughter who follows her father to Texas following the death of her stepmother. She is helping raise her younger brother and sister when her father disappears on a trip to war-torn Vicksburg. Pressured by her father’s partner to marry him, Hannah steadfastly refuses. When William Barnett returns to his family’s ranch, they form an uneasy alliance while William tries to regain his land.
Chasing the Sun has a vibrant and well-developed cast of characters. Hannah Dandridge’s experiences on the wild frontier have toughened this former Southern belle. She knows her own mind and refuses to let a man order her around. She is a compassionate young woman that treats her employees with respect and considers them part of her family. She has a deep and abiding faith that God is guiding her path in life and that He is always with her.
William Barnett is a peace loving man whose obedience to his father drew him into the war between the states. While he believes in God, his faith is nowhere near as strong as Hannah’s. He is a gentle man who butts heads with the strong-willed Hannah on quite a few occasions.
Chasing the Sun is rich with historical detail and Ms. Peterson does not minimize the harsh realities of the time period. Life in Texas was complicated by Indian raids and loyalties during the Civil War were often divided. The difficulties facing Hannah and William paint a vivid portrait of ranch life and the devastating impact the war had on the Southern population.
There is a strong undercurrent of faith in Chasing the Sun. Hannah demonstrates her belief in God in both action and speech. The novel occasionally becomes a bit preachy, but the overall message is that God has a plan for everyone and to keep faith that He is guiding us through both good and bad times.
Chasing the Sun is an engrossing romance with an emphasis on compassion, redemption and forgiveness. The plot is interesting with plenty of action and suspense. Fans of Christian historical fiction are sure to enjoy this first installment of Tracie Peterson’s latest series Land of the Lone Star.