Reading is a lot like eating. As I get older, I try and eat (and read) mostly the good stuff ... the kind that will nourish both my body and soul; the superfoods of life. But occasionally, I like to eat (and read!) the junk food -- the light, fluffy stuff that is pleasant for the moment but doesn't really last or having any deeper meaning.
Lonestar Homecoming by Colleen Coble was my "junk food" reading after my heavy Lenten-based reflective reading. It's a light, fast-paced read ... no really "icky" scenes but nothing really deep. The story is implausible but fun ... a Snickers bar for an afternoon when I just need something that's not going to tax me overmuch.
I liked this story but a few niggling things crept in: this book may have been better as a frontier-times story rather than a present day Mexican-American ganglord story -- too much drama that was more harrowing then this light book warranted (particularly the violence threatened to the children ... a bit over the top for me). Also, the romance was a bit too coincidental but all works out in the end and that's what makes junk food reading fun reading; the more implausible the more fun for me. One thing that really struck me was the Christian element -- it seemed put on for publishing to this particular market; the mention of God and church was vague and not part of the characters' lives but rather tacked on in occasional scenes, interrupting the flow of the story. If Christianity is going to be part of the book, the characters should be Christian throughout; I like my religious innuendo a little more subtle.
Overall, this is a good beach or rainy day read. A wholesome love story that is chaste and full of forgiveness. Suspend your disbelief, check your logic at the door and enjoy a junk-food read: not great literature, but then sometimes we need a bit of marshamallow fluff after the spinach salad!
This book was received free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Sneeze program. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I given any payment other than a free copy of the book. All the comments above are my honest reaction to this book.