The first book in the Heart of a Hero series by Shelley Gray, A Texan's Promise is a strong start to a beautiful series. The story revolves around three main characters: Clayton Proffitt, Vanessa Grant, and Miles Grant.
Clayton Proffitt is the honorable, respected Foreman on the Circle Z Ranch. He is everything good and kind in a lot of people's eyes. He commands respect just by the way he looks and acts towards others. Even Price Venture, Vanessa and Miles' stepfather, knew he was no match for Clayton with the men of the Circle Z. Clayton is also scarred by the war, like many others of the time. He is working on the ranch to heal and come to terms with all that he's seen and done, which he feels makes him unworthy of anyone's love.
Vanessa Grant is a beautiful, sheltered, and extremely vulnerable woman. Ever since her father's death, she has clung to Clayton like he was her lifeline. If she had any problem, she would go talk it out with Clayton, who would listen attentively and give her the best advice he could.
Miles Grant is struggling to find his place in this life. No one, not even his father, has ever taken him seriously and he's allowed it. He prefers to hang back and fade into the background. He's almost content to do it until the night Vanessa is beaten and Clayton forces him to face the reality of it.
One night, Clayton finds Vanessa in the barn crying. After much cajoling on his part, he finds out that Price has beaten Vanessa. Remembering the PROMISE he made to Vanessa's father on his death bed to keep her safe, he feels like a complete failure, but vows to never let it happen again. The adventure begins there...
Throughout the story we learn about promises and what it means to honor and keep those promises. We also learn about God's promises to us. Clayton and Vanessa are both broken and weary by what life has thrown their way. They are struggling to make it through this life the best they can, in the best way they think. Each one has to come to grips with what they've suffered and been dealt. They also have to come to the knowledge and understanding that "God was with them, always." As Clayton states in the latter part of the book: "He's been there with us, even when we didn't know what we wanted. Even when we didn't know how to achieve our dreams." God is faithful, God keeps his promise to never leave us or forsake us. That's the lesson in this story.
I loved this story, and I know you will to!