Title: On Lone Star Trail
Author: Amanda Cabot
Release Date: February 2016
Length: 363 pages
Series?: Texas Crossroads #3
Genre: Christian, Contemporary, Romance
If there’s one thing Gillian Hodge never wants to see again, it’s a man on a motorcycle. Her last encounter with one left her right hand crushed, ending her promising career as a concert pianist. But as she heads to Rainbow’s End Resort, a sudden thunderstorm causes a motorcycle to crash in front of her.
When TJ Benjamin’s wife died, he lost more than his best friend; he lost his faith. He’s spent the past year wandering the country on a motorcycle, trying not to think about his future. When he finds himself stranded with a busted bike and a reluctant rescuer, he has to wonder about God’s sense of humor.
Can this woman without a future and this man running from his past find romance in the present? Or are they too tied to the way life used to be?
Gillian Hodges is left reeling and lost after a motorcycle accident that ended her career as an award-winning concert pianist. After months of therapy, there is no recovering what she once had. Struggling at this crossroads in her life with her fire-breathing father on her case, she travels to take refuge with her friend, Kate, at Rainbow’s End Resort in the Texas Hill Country town of Dupree.
On the windy country backroads to the small town of Dupree, Gillian’s worst fears are again realized as TJ Benjamin’s red motorcycle collides with her vehicle and runs off the roadway. She takes TJ to Rainbow’s End where Kate and her husband offer generous hospitality to TJ as he waits for repairs to his bike. In exchange, TJ is tasked with entertaining the kids living in Firefly Valley, victims of fire now living in an RV park. For TJ, the irony is obvious. A former teacher and “RV Reverand”, he has spent the year traveling and fulfilling his late wife’s bucket list after abandoning his faith. While forging bonds with the Firefly teens with Gillian’s help, they slowly develop their own friendship. Gillian teaches the girls about makeup and fashion, and TJ works with the boys. They become adult confidants and role models for this group of teens.
Gillian and TJ aren’t the only newcomers to town. Pete Darlington came to town with the construction crew helping build new apartments for the Firefly Valley residents. Mike Tarkett is a very influential man with strong family support and political aspirations from a nearby town. Both men have set their sights on two women in Dupree, creating two parallel love triangles. Firefly teens Todd and Brianna have a good thing going until Briana and Pete catch sight of one another. It’s infatuation for one. Mike takes to Gillian from the moment he steps foot onto Rainbow End and whisks her into the socialite life she led before. For TJ, both of these budding relationships proves troublesome. He’s grown to enjoy the companionship and discussions with Gillian, and he’s looking out for Brianna.
While she grapples with where to go from here, Gillian finds she is good at helping others: Brianna and the girls from Firefly Valley, the local bookstore owner needing additional help, and listening to the senior citizens of the town. Gillian decides to do something more permanent in Dupree by starting a senior center. TJ accepts the temporary teaching position at the high school. Mike sets his sights on becoming the mayor of his city. Things become more complicated as Gillian and Mike’s relationship progresses, and Gillian and TJ’s friendship hits the rocks.
Gillian and TJ are both in the same place, staggering to find their next step in life while staying around in Dupree. They’re taking the struggle together, neither knowing what they want, and both finding their faith. The characters are all relatable and I was on the edge needing to know who Gillian would pick. All of them have their own struggle, and they were realistic situations that made the characters more endearing and heartfelt. This is a great read for those who enjoy Christian faith novels. It is the third and final book in the series but can be read as a standalone, which I did.
With both parents avid readers, it’s no surprise that Amanda Cabot learned to read at an early age. From there it was only a small step to deciding to become a writer. Of course, deciding and becoming are two different things, as she soon discovered. Fortunately for the world, her first attempts at fiction were not published, but she did meet her goal of selling a novel by her thirtieth birthday. Since then she’s sold more than thirty novels under a variety of pseudonyms. When she’s not writing, Amanda enjoys sewing, cooking and – of course – reading.