Chasing The Sun by Tracie Peterson. The first book in the Land Of The Lone Star series.
Tracie Peterson Embarks on a New Texas Series
When her father disappears in war-torn Mississippi, Hannah Dandridge finds herself responsible not only for her younger siblings but for the ranch her father recently acquired on the Texas plains. Though a marriage of convenience could ease her predicament, she determines to trust God for direction.
Wounded soldier William Barnett returns to his home only to discover that his family's ranch has been seized. Though angry and bitter 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.
Hannah, desperate for help, and William, desperate to regain his family's land, form an uneasy truce. But nearby Comanche tribes, the arrival of Confederate soldiers, and a persistent suitor all threaten the growing attraction that builds between them. Will they be able to set aside their own dreams and embrace the promise of a future together?
Thoughts: I had been meaning to read this book for such a long time. Because I was interested, people kept reading it, and it just kept popping up!! So I finally got it. :P
Hannah has just gotten the news that her father had been captured by the Union soldiers as he was traveling back to visit and care for his mother in Virginia. The news is brought by her father's business partner who is old enough to be her father but still wants to marry her. Says her father wanted it. Hannah manages to put him off for the time being. She's more concerned about caring for her younger siblings and learning of her father's safety.
But attacks and sightings of Comanche indians make her wish for her father back immediately. When only a little later Comanche are sighted on their property Hannah is scared. They have their servants to protect them but, still! And she soon discovers her brother is missing and isn't found in time to hide with them. When the Comanche have left she emerges to find her brother in the care of an ex-Union soldier who not only brought back her brother but also an injured Comanche! This stranger is William Barnett who has returned home to find it given to others. It was taken away because his family "deserted" to be in the union. That isn't the way William sees it though. His father and brother were killed for that war and he himself wounded. He wants his home back but he isn't about to run out a women and some children. For both of them there is attraction and more adventures ahead.
Pros: I liked the characters (Hannah's little sister was so funny!) and there were some really sweet scenes. The time period is great (1863 if I remember right...) and it wasn't all just about the Civil War. There were the Comanche attacks and etc. too, which I wouldn't have thought would be at the same time! It's really a great plot and there are definitely some fun twists.
Cons:While there isn't necessarily instalove there is some doubtfulness to it. Time passes between chapters and so the infatuation turns into to deeper love. Only you don't really get to see that and it annoyed me :/ There were actions to develop the love but I think it was a little unrealistic. And a couple times it was a little slow.
Content wise there is some talk of kissing and feelings and thoughts about marriage and that person they'd be marrying. Mention of the war, injuries and deaths. There's a crooked realtor who kills Hannah's father.
Overall, it was a pretty good book but not one I would reread and while I did enjoy it there were a couple parts I had to force myself through. I would recommend to girls 13+ who like historical fiction and romance.