Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tracie Peterson's Chasing the Sun ~ Reviewed

Chasing the Sun
By Tracie Peterson
Published by Bethany House
347 Pages

Description: Hannah is desperate for help... William is determined to regain his family's land...

When her father disappears in war-torn Mississippi, Hannah Dandridge finds herself responsible not only for her younger siblings but also for the Texas ranch her father recently acquired. A marriage of convenience could ease her predicament... but is it the true desire of her heart?

Wounded soldier William Barnett returns home only to find out that his family's ranch has been seized. Though angered at this turn of events, he's surprised to discover that it is a beautiful young woman with amazing fortitude who is struggling to keep the place running.

Despite these circumstances, Hannah and William form an uneasy truce... and an undeniable attraction builds between them. In a land where loyalties are divided in a country ravaged by war, is there any hope that the first blush of love can survive?


I’m thankful for the review copy of the first book in Tracie Peterson’s series. Hannah’s father is missing and she’s left with the responsibility of her two younger siblings and the task of keeping a ranch on the Texas plains going.

Mr. Lockhart, her father’s partner was the one to deliver the news! He offers to marry Hannah so her siblings and her will be taken care of.

Hannah doesn’t feel right about that, but she’s determined to trust God for direction and His provision! She turns Mr. Lockhart down. William Barnett, a wounded soldier returns home to discover his family ranch has been seized! He’s also surprised a beautiful young woman with amazing strength and determination is running the ranch in her father’s absentness. He sees she needs help and he needs a place to stay. Maybe they could work something out. He offers to help on the ranch for a place to sleep in the bunkhouse!

Hannah feels she can trust William and she’s thankful for the help. She’s desperate to keep the ranch running; she didn’t want to consider a marriage of convenience just to pay her bills. She wanted to marry for love. Mr. Lockhart was as old as her father. No love growing there. Both Hannah and William agreed to work together until ownership of the ranch could be settled. Neither one would throw the other to the street now matter how it all worked out.

The ranch was near Comanche tribes. That’s another reason William is willing to help out on the ranch. He was fond of Hannah and her siblings and felt the need to protect them from the Comanche tribes and confederate solders.

I admired Hannah and how she applied God’s word to her life. She expected others to do the
same as she did. Treat them the God would. Hannah reminded me of a missionary, Elizabeth Elliott, and how she interacted with the tribe that killed her husband and others when they came to show God’s love to them. Elizabeth went on to complete the work her husband and friends started. So she went in to live with the tribe and brought her small daughter with her. She learned their language and shared Jesus with them. The Tribes people and Elliott’s lives were never the same.

Hannah does the same thing when asked. She is summoned to go into a Comanche tribe to help with the sick. She goes out of her comfort zone (leaving her siblings behind in the care of friends) to show the love of Jesus to this tribe.

Juanita Hannah’s friends says to her, “…we all were so afraid. Why you go out there?”

Hannah said, “I felt God telling me to go. I was only trying to be obedient to God. The Bible says in Romans eight, “If God be for us, who can be against us? I believe that God surrounded me with angels of protection.

…I believe our business is to know Him better, and that the right thing can only be determined by studying His word.”

Hannah is feisty and loyal to her family lays into Mr. Lockhart who won’t stop pressuring her to marry him.

“Good, Hannah thought. Its better that he realizes here and now that I’m a woman of determination. I won’t be ordered about anymore. From now on, the children are my only concern.”

I loved Tracie’s humor too. Marty, Hannah’s little sister tells her, “He’s losin’ all his hair, Hannah. You can’t marry a man who doesn’t have any hair.”

Hannah smiles and says, “Marty, it doesn’t matter as much what a fella looks like, but rather what’s in their heart- if they love Jesus and if they are trustworthy.”

I loved the spiritual thread naturally woven in this story and I enjoyed the characters. It gets suspenseful at the end when Mr. Lockhart turns into a stalker and won’t take no for an answer from Hannah. He’s also good at stirring up trouble with the Comanche. I liked how Tracie showed all sides of the Comanche issues.

This was the first historical I’ve read by Tracie Peterson. Her love of history spills out into the pages and her characters keep the reader engaged and staying up late to see how it all turns out.

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network CEO

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