The first few pages of Scattered Petals, installment #2 in Texas Dreams by Amanda Cabot, was the hardest pages to get through of any book I've ever read. I will not give away any spoilers, but suffice it to say it was a very traumatic event(s) for the main character, Priscilla Morton. I though Mrs. Cabot was being a little pretentious by writing the book from 4 different points of view at first, but it didn't take away from the story at all. All the characters thoughts, feelings, and dealings were relevant to the story, so that gives her a plus for me!
We meet Priscilla Morton on her way to Lardeville, TX with her parents. Priscilla and her parents are the family of Clays' deceased wife, Patience. We learn very quickly that Priscilla loves adventure, which is why she begged her parents to make the trip. However, this was certainly not the adventure she was looking for.
Lawrence Wood is a Texas Ranger. He meets rescues Priscilla and takes her the rest of the way to Ladreville. We don't learn much about his character in this book except that he's honorable and he doesn't give up when he gives his word. Amanda Cabot has promised we will know more about this man in the next book.
Zachary Webster, known as Zach, is the foreman on Clay Canfield's ranch. He is also the best friend of Clay and Clay's father. He's made his home in Ladreville because he felt a strong pull from God to go there. Now, however, he feels like his time at Clay's ranch has come to an end. That is, until Priscilla shows up. Zach can't imagine the horrors this poor woman has gone through, and through circumstances outside of his control, he is taken back to his teenage years and the guilt and shame he's carried with him. This, and a nudging from God, causes him to marry Priscilla for her protection.
Then, we are brought to the villain of the story. In the first book, Paper Roses, we meet Jean-Michel Ladre. He is accused of stealing the townspeople's things and exiled by his father. He has sworn revenge on Zach for being the one to put him in this position.
The theme throughout this book is simple. God is showing us how he can turn our heartache and suffering to good. He never leaves us or ignores us, even when we feel God isn't listening. We feel like we're alone when we don't let God be our guide. Let Him guide you, and He'll gladly show you the way. Nothing beautiful is gone for good, as long as we have memories. We can't change the past, even though there are things we regret doing. We need to learn to live with our mistakes, accept them, learn from them, and move on. And finally, on the path of our lives, the turns in the road are easy, because they keep us on the same path, just in a new direction. It's the forks that are difficult because there are choices to be made at each one. If we let God lead our lives, the choices won't be so difficult either.
I couldn't write a lot about this book without giving too much away, and this is definitely one book I don't want to spoil for you. Read it. I promise, you won't be disappointed!