Book Description: When fragmented images and unfocused panic force Noelle St. Claire to flee her wealthy, sheltered life in New York, she gains sanctuary on a ranch in the Rocky Mountains. There Noelle finds solace in the breathtaking scenery she paints. But as the attentions of two brothers, Rick and Morgan Spencer, breach the wall she hides behind, the past she yearns to escape becomes a menacing threat from which she can no longer hide. Award-winning and bestselling author Kristen Heitzmann has skillfully created a story resonating with emotion and depicting a poignant spiritual journey.
My Review: The story begins with Noelle running away . . . literally! She is on a bus with a satchel full of personal items and some cash. She has bad dreams with fragments of evil happening to her. She travels until she is exhausted and go no further. Thus, landing in a small town somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. She finds the town and scenery breath taking and "feels" this is the place for her to be.
The town has two places for rent. The first place is a no-go but she then finds solace and comfort at a local ranch. This ranch has two brothers who love Noelle but just one brother who truly sees and takes care of her emotional and physical needs.
Noelle has been through a traumatic encounter which is not revealed to her until the last few chapters of the book. This encounter leaves her in "escape mode." She wants to run and hide at every corner but at the ranch, even though, her dreams are troubled by a huge bird with long, evil talons that seeks to destroy her, Noelle finds peace and something she has never encountered in her life. God!
Noelle loves to paint and is a fine artist. As she paints and helps with the horses around the ranch she begins to recognize that not only is she running from a terrible fear, which she can't seem to remember, but she also begins to recognize that the True Artist is calling her name. Noelle finds God not through nature but through the fellowship of christians AND through the testimony they live with their lives.
This is a fast.action.read from page one! Trying to figure out why/what Noelle is running from is intriguing. But why doesn't she contact her father, who loves her very much? Or her fiancee who seems to adore her? What has Noelle encountered that has left her in terrible fear for her life?
By running away from the tragedy has Noelle actually run into the hands of her Loving Father? This story reminds me of the verse Genesis 50:20, "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive."
Kristen Heitzmann has been a favorite author of mine for years and she's done it again with this 5 star read that isn't just about a young woman's journey to the mountains but about her journey to find God.
*I reviewed this book for Bethany House Publishers, A Division of Baker Publishing*