Shelley Gray’s A Texan’s Honor is a novel about honor, trust, and faith set in Kansas, 1874. Jamie Ellis is a young woman on a train to Kansas, leaving her broken past. While on route, the feared Walton Gang seizes the train. A member of the gang, Will McMillan, is working undercover and feels sorry for Jamie. As the only woman on the train, some see her as property to be used and discarded. Will feels it is his duty to protect her virtue and her life, and so he rescues her by escaping together. While on the run, both try to accept their pasts and find a new purpose. Meanwhile, killer and Walton gang member, Scout Proffitt, chases Will and Jamie with orders to kill them.
Shelley Gray takes readers through the train compartments and across the winter streets of Kansas with Jamie, Will, and Scout. From the beginning, readers follow Jamie’s kidnapping and her escape with Will. Every chapter is told from the perspective of one of the three main characters. Will and Jamie’s relationship grows every day. Their respect and care for each other makes readers wonder how they will part ways. The most unforgettable moments are the ones which Jamie spends on the train. The author illustrates the harshness of sinful men toward an innocent woman when they admit she may be raped and killed. Jamie asks God for strength and a quick death, acknowledging she may die. Will is torn between his growing love and the past mistakes he cannot forget. Jamie fears her reputation is ruined because of her kidnapping. She is seen as a tainted and unworthy woman. They struggle with their unknown futures and their value as God’s creations.
The author also introduces another character struggling with self-worth, Kitty. Kitty approaches Scout in his search for Will and Jamie, and asks him to kill her sexually abusive stepfather. Instead, he takes her and tries to find a home where she could start a new life. Scout tells her God has not given up on her. He explains to Kitty that she must have faith, both a faith in God and a faith that there is something better in the world than what they know. Through Scout, the author illustrates Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Scout's faith and encounter with Kitty lead him to choose a purpose.
Throughout the novel, Jamie, Will, and Scout figure out where they are supposed to be and what they want to do with their lives. Shelley Gray illustrates the protection and value God holds over His people. Scripture is not directly quoted, yet the characters take comfort in God’s Word. Women looking for a novel that realistically depicts sin, death, and redemptive grace would enjoy this book. – Sarah C. Cespedes, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Texas, 1874. Years ago, Will McMillan had fought in the open, next to his Captain, Clayton Proffitt. Now he’s waging another war undercover, pretending to be a member of the notorious Walton Gang.
But when a hostage situation goes awry and an innocent woman is in the middle of the fray, Will knows he must protect her no matter what happens. Even if his cover is blown. Even if they risk being killed by his gang or by the lawmen on their trail. Even if the woman he’s risking everything for will never love him back.