David C. Cook, Mar 1 2015, $14.99
Thirteen years ago in Trapp, Texas, Daddy Hoby Turner deserted his wife Lynda and their seven year old daughter Ruthie. The townsfolk led by the church the family attended blame Ruthie’s Momma for Daddy leaving them; as they accept she committed adultery with one of the elders without a second thought. The good Christian flock shuns Momma for breaking one of the Commandments and her guilt by association child. Over the years Ruthie placed a fierce shield around her heart and soul to distance the religious accusers from further hurting her; though the constant mistreatment of Momma from their Good Christian former friends bothers her.
Arriving from Fort Worth, Dodd Cunningham, accompanied by his high school senior brother Grady and their mother, arrives in Trapp as the new pastor. Distrusting Christians as two-faced phonies, Ruthie keeps her distance from the Cunningham family, especially Dodd. However, the new pastor and his sibling ignore her desires that they and their false God leave her alone; instead the Cunningham siblings begin to breach her barriers.
The first Mended Hearts Christian romance is a pleasant inspirational showcasing a bitter woman and a true-believer pastor reaching out to her; though he never quite understands until very late how the love of his life feels about being a pariah. Although elements seem over the top of Guadalupe Peak, subgenre fans will appreciate this tale of first comes love (of God and man) and then comes redemption.