Wednesday, March 24, 2010

CFBA Tour and Book Review: Heart of Stone by Jill Marie Landis

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Heart Of Stone

Zondervan (March 1, 2010)


Jill Marie Landis


Jill Marie Landis is the bestselling author of over twenty novels. She has won numerous awards for her sweeping emotional romances, such as Summer Moon and Magnolia Creek. In recent years, as market demands turned to tales of vampires, erotica, and hotter, sexier historical romances, Jill turned to writing Inspirational Western Romances for Steeple Hill Books. She truly feels back in the saddle again, working on stories that are a joy to write. With her toes in the sand and head in the clouds, Jill now lives in Hawaii with her husband, Steve.


Laura Foster, free from the bondage of an unspeakable childhood has struggled to make a new life for herself. Now the owner of an elegant boardinghouse in Glory, Texas, she is known as a wealthy, respectable widow. But Laura never forgets that she is always just one step ahead of her past.

When Reverend Brand McCormick comes calling, Laura does all she can to discourage him as a suitor. She knows that if her past were discovered, Brand’s reputation would be ruined. But it’d not only Laura’s past that threatens to bring Brand down─it’s also his own.

When a stranger in town threatens to reveal too many secrets, Laura is faced with a heartbreaking choice: Should she leave Glory forever and save Brand’s future? Or is it worth risking his name─and her heart─by telling him the truth?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Heart Of Stone, go HERE.
My thoughts:

I love books that are full of suspense, especially when I don't expect it. Historical romance novels are not typically known for suspense, but this one had just the perfect dose to keep me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book. Most everyone had a secret of some sort, and all I could do was patiently wait as they were revealed and the reactions to those secrets shared.

Laura's character had such a genuine quality about it. I loved that she stuck to her guns about creating a new life for herself after the horrible circumstances in her childhood....even though her new life was a lie. She was deadly serious about no one learning that she had been forced into prostitution as a child because she knew as soon as her secret got out, her new life would crumble all around her. The author did a great job of subtly sharing Laura's feelings of unworthiness, but equally sharing how she would love to one day have a man care for her, and not because of what she could offer them physically.

The relationship that developed between Laura and Brand was slow and gradual, but very beautiful. There were lots of bumps along the way, none of them pleasant. Brand had to deal with a huge secret from his past, and Laura got a couple of threats from men that are ready to expose her for what she used to be. In spite of all the roadblocks, their attraction for each other became stronger and stronger. But for it to last, they had to overcome each others' past and the secrets that it held.

Since reading Heart of Stone, I cannot wait to read what Ms. Landis has in store next in this series! There were several moments when I noticed a similarity to Julie Lessman's style of writing. Julie is known for her passionate storytelling, but also for some of the heated scenes that her characters find themselves in. Ms. Landis, by comparison, also had several scenes in this book that just crackled with intensity, whether it was a romantic scene or one where the suspense was enough to make my heart skip a beat. Ms. Landis is a very talented author, and one I'll be watching for a LOT more in the future!

*This book was provided to me free from the publisher for review purposes.

**Click here to purchase a copy of Heart of Stone.

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