Synopsis of Lonestar Homecoming
With only five dollars in her pocket and wearing a wedding dress, Gracie Lister escapes with her daughter to West Texas on a train. She returns to a town she ran away from years earlier. Michael Wayne – a single father and soldier – gives Gracie a job caring for his two children while she hides from her ex-fiance. They didn’t expect to fall in love but love found them. When Gracie’s ex-fiance becomes top of the FBI’s most-wanted list trouble is around every corner. They must dig deep to find the strength to protect their new family. In Lonestar Homecoming, Gracie and Michael learn to face their fears head-on instead of running away.
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This book is a little on the slow side. There is a wide division between what is happening with the characters and the underlying tension of her ex-fiance. Due to this I found myself forgetting about the ex-fiances multiple times in the story and had to remind myself what the conflict was. The ending was ingenious though, I liked all the different pieces that are woven together to make it happen.
Gracie and Michael felt a bit flat to me. They didn’t have a lot of depth and Gracie seem like a real person. She can’t make up her mind about anything which is just frustrating. I like strong female characters and Gracie didn’t live up to those expectations. It was an okay read, but you can skim a lot of it and skip the end with the action. The action at the end feels like a cheap action film with how much she is trying to amp everything up after it has been stagnant for so long.
Lonestar Homecoming Parent Guide
Overall: PG-13 for violence and intense situations
Violence: PG-13 for a drive-by shooting, kidnapping, being held at gunpoint, a person shot right in front of you, explosions and being trapped inside a burning building, and a house rigged with a bomb.
Language: G none
Adult Content: PG passionate kisses, waking up the next morning
Reading Level: Grades 7+
Touchy Topics in Lonestar Homecoming
- Abortion: abortion is contemplated and there is risky behavior in a subconscious hope it would end the pregnancy. Doesn’t end up happening and deep regret of actions
- Running from problems: Gracie has been running from her problems the majority of her life and has to learn how to stop running and face her problems.
- Duty vs Family: Michael has a hard time balancing work and family. There are a lot of discussions about what that means and looks like.
- Priorities (wants vs needs): Both have different priorities and have to realign those priorities.
- Trust: Gracie doesn’t like trusting others with anything including parts of herself. Michael also learns how to trust her and her judgment.
- Revenge: A drug cartel is trying to kill Michael and his family because of something his brother did. They also discuss how God doesn’t seek revenge or hold himself back from us if we mess up.
- Parenting differences: Gracie is more loving and goes with the flow whereas Michael wants strict obedience now. They clash frequently at the beginning because of it.
“She scrubbed the contamination of her old life from her skin until it was pink and stinging. She and Hope had a chance for a new life here. She couldn’t blow it.”Colleen Coble, Lonestar Homecoming
“The cold band encased her finger, and she stared at it. The vows she’d just spoken mocked her. What did she know about any of this? She’d been running for years without taking time to develop real relationships.”Colleen Coble, Lonestar Homecoming
“He’d never left her. She was the one who left him.”Colleen Coble, Lonestar Homecoming
My Thoughts on Lonestar Homecoming
Lonestar Homecoming is full of people trying to run away or take the easy route. It starts when Gracie runs away from California and her ex-fiance. Granted that time running away saved her life. The rest of the time she was running away from her feelings, or hard situations. Michael was also running away from situations he wasn’t comfortable in and back to work. I’m not a fan of the main characters with this type of weakness. Yes we all run from stuff but Gracie needed to start overcoming it throughout the book instead of the last quarter when all the action goes down.
God is discussed a lot in the book. Mostly it is about forgiveness both of others and yourself. For a large part of the book, Gracie feels abandoned by God and doesn’t have faith in his ability to help her overcome her problems. This relationship plays a large role in the story, but it came out of nowhere at some points. I think the author could have done a better job of integrating it or transitioning the topic instead of jumping right in.
Ultimately, this book is okay if you want something to read. I liked the characters from the previous books, but I wasn’t sold on Gracie and Michael’s love story or how real they were. Honestly, I hated Gracie for the majority of the book because she couldn’t finish a phone call. Read the first couple of chapters until you get bored and then skip to chapter 24. That’s really when it starts to pick up and all the good stuff happens.
What to Read Next?
If you enjoyed this book finish up the series with Lonestar Angel. Check out my post 13 Top Heart-melting Clean Romance Novels for more books similar to this. Another series you might like is the Crowns and Courtship series. If you are looking for something more fantastical and a fairy-tale retelling check out 10 Books to Read if You Liked Princess Academy: Princesses to Empower Girls.