In her novel, A Texan’s Promise, Shelley Gray creates a story of love, tested trust, and broken promises. When 29-year-old Clayton Proffitt discovers 19-year-old Vanessa Grant crying in her family’s barn with wounds on her back, the two find themselves trying to escape Vanessa’s vindictive stepfather, Price Venture. On their journey west, Clayton and Vanessa develop feelings for each other and find that they must put their faith in God as their love is tested and they face the dangers of the wild, wild West. A Bible verse that the couple holds to comes from Psalms 32:8—“I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”
“There comes a time for both man and woman to realize that life isn’t full of dreams and sunshine. Sometimes it ain’t what you thought it would be at all. That’s when it is time to stand on two feet—even if one of them is blown off.” This bit of advice epitomizes the struggles the main characters face. Price, Vanessa’s stepfather, has taken over the Grant’s estate and with that, feels he should own everything on it, including the occupants. After being assaulted by Price, Vanessa is forced to grow up, as well as learn to trust God and men again. Haunted by past promises, foreman Clayton takes it upon himself to rescue Vanessa while he battles to forgive himself for his failures. Vanessa’s brother, Miles Grant, also gets caught up in Price’s control as he carries the guilt of not protecting his sister or the estate his father left and struggles to feel respected.
Vanessa starts out as a child forced to grow up and a damsel in distress. Although Gray tries to develop her character, Vanessa alternates between acting like a child and an adult. Her faith life also lacks a transition; at the beginning of the book, she doesn’t know God and before long, she is quoting Bible verses without having read the Bible. Clayton and Miles are both wonderful characters. Clayton is the hero, but has his weaknesses exposes as he is haunted with past war memories, making him more of a more believable character. Miles starts out as a boy trying to find a way to become a man, and his journey is relatable and inspiring. Gray’s overall theme is that God has a way of working things out. Clayton and Vanessa’s relationship is very pure and he is very respectful to her wishes. However, the ending of the story was anticlimactic, and the whole story was a build up to an ending that fizzles. Even though A Texan’s Promise has a good premise, it doesn’t do a very good job of stringing things together. – Ronni Meier, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Past promises will be tested as new ones are given...
When Clayton Proffitt, foreman of the Circle Z Ranch in Texas, discovers Vanessa Grant is the victim of her stepfather’s advances, Clayton knows he must protect her honor and move her far away from the ranch—and from the man she fears.
As they make their way West, an unexpected, deep bond develops between Vanessa and Clayton—far more powerful than a mere friendship or his sense of duty to her. But Vanessa’s stepfather won’t let her go so easily. As Clayton and Vanessa place their faith in God and their trust in each other, will they find healing and hope for the future together?