Lonestar Sanctuary Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 Feb 2011
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About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has written several romantic suspense novels including Tidewater Inn, Rosemary Cottage, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series. Visit her website at www.colleencoble.com Twitter: @colleencoble Facebook: colleencoblebooks --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Meet Allie Siders, a Rodeo Queen and her daughter Betsy, 5. Who is threatening Allie? With her parents and sister all dead i.e. murdered, can she get away and hide. Leaving behind the chance of winning the barrel racing this year, Allie heads to Bluebird Ranch where she knows a certain Rick Bailey works. Who advised her to go to him?
Bluebird Ranch is owned and run by Elijah DeAngelos, an old man now, who also happens to be Allie's grandfather. Allie only learned of his existence recently and wonders why he threw her mother off the ranch. Will Elijah recognize her? Who was Maria? The ranch specialises in rescuing abused and neglected horses along with helping troubled kids. Having heard of their reputation, Allie is hoping they can help Betsy who has not spoken since the death of Allie's parents a year ago.
With the housekeeper having left last Fall, Elijah offers Allie the job. Rick is far from impressed. With ghosts in his past, women do not rate high in his estimation. However, when Rick discovers who Allie is and that Jon's parents are suing for custody of Betsy he knows he has to do what he promised Jon. That is, he must look after Allie and Betsy and the only way he can see to do that is to marry her and adopt Betsy! Will it work? Will Allie accept? What about the continued threat to Allie and Betsy's lives? Is Allie really wanted by the FBI for smuggling immigrants? Supposedly nearly penniless, why has hundreds of thousands of dollars been going in and out of her bank account? Can Rick really trust her?Read more ›
This story is just too trite, maudlin and predictable. It's just another Mary-Sue with a 5-year-old daughter who just by chance ends up at Bluebird Ranch. I also thought it was just too implausible. Throw in a long lost relative and we're talking unrealistic here. Allie's parents and sister dies. Her 5-year-old daughter Betsy becomes an elective mute. Allie meets a man named Rick and you can guess inside of five seconds what the outcome of THAT will be. You can also count on the predictable happy ending.
The bottom line is that I thought this was just too sappy, trite and formulaic with stilted dialog. The ranch for abused horses, which is the common thread in this series along with Allie, Rick and Betsy is just a metaphor for those who seek refuge there. I cannot recommend this book. Gently put, I didn't like it.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Seeking out her husband's best friend, Allie finds herself at the Bluebird Ranch, a place where endangered horses and kids on the edge learn to trust again. Ranch owner, Elijah DeAngelo, is welcoming but the cold reception Allie receives from foreman Rick Bailey has her doubting they can stay.
With threats from an unknown stalker and Betsy's grandparents seeking custody, Allie may have to take an unthinkable way out.
Lonestar Sanctuary is just what the reading doctor ordered! When I long for an uncomplicated and engaging read, Colleen always hits the spot. With effortless prose, sweet characters and intriguing suspense, I enjoyed every page as Allie, Betsy and Rick battled their fears within and without. With the perfect combination of suspense and romance, underpinned with threads of faith, Colleen's latest novel is sure to please.
I love an exciting story that gets the adrenaline pumping. This one had all the elements. Unfortunately it had a lot of problems, both in writing technicalities and story logistics. Point of view (POV) would switch from one character to another within the same paragraph. Conversations did the same thing. One character speaks and another answers with no paragraph break or even a 'he said' to differentiate the speakers. New quotation marks are all you have to switch gears in your mind. I found myself rereading passages to figure out who was speaking.
SPOILER ALERT There are several reality issues such as suffering a concussion so severe that it is described as nearly breaking the skull. Three days later the same person is drug by a horse, head on the hard ground, across rocks and brush. That same day this person changes and washes at least five sets of sheets? The arena where the accident happened is a fallacy itself. An established and reputable horse rescue would not work, break and train horses on hard rocky ground. The ground would be carefully prepared by removing all rocks and debris, then covered with loose soil and/or sand to protect both horse and rider. They have novice riders and not once are helmets mentioned. There are some blaring logistical errors the most profound being towards the end. The most harrowing scene in the book is so messed up it reads like a magical fantasy, forget logistics and time lines for the rest of the story.
SPOILER ALERT. Runoff from a flash flood picks up a truck and dashes it into boulders. Our ex special forces hero barely makes it out and across the flooded wash alive. Now onto the river, you know, where all the flooded washes empty into. Here we have a five year old that somehow gets onto the bare back of a rescue horse without help. The same horse that had thrown off Rick (our hero) the day before, and he had a saddle. They jump across the raging flooded river. Next we see Rick riding double with the kid, on the horse that had thrown him (and was nearly dead when they rescued him just three weeks ago). How did Rick get there so fast if the ranch is an hour's ride away? Even if he knew where they were it would have taken time. He doesn't have his own horse so he jumps the raging, flooded river with the child on board and then sends her back across on her own. Allie and the bad guy are on a hill, the river is below the ledge they are standing on, bad guy about to push her to a watery death. Hero and child arrive on magical jumping horse and land.... where? The other side of the river is against the ledge... uphill from the horse and riders. How come she can see the hero and the bad guy can't? Maybe because the 14 year old serial killer wasn't paying attention. I wonder how he managed to bring down a plane when he was only 13. For that matter, how did he get to the airport since he's to young to drive or own a car? How'd Rick get close enough, and behind Allie and the teenage menace, to throw his stick in the space of a breath? That's right, our macho ex special forces hero throws a stick because he has an aversion to guns and decided apparently not to use his impressive muscles. Those are just for show I guess. I'm not sure what happened to the cave they were outside of. I'm not even sure about the hill they had climbed to get to the cave... Then we have the ending that again defies the constraints of time. How much time has actually passed? The teens were going to leave in a week from the day of the horse accident. That night Rick and Allie became physically husband and wife for the first time (uhh yeah, I guess her concussion and other injuries magically disappeared between being drug by a horse and the bedroom). In the ending scene the same teens are still at the ranch and Allie knows she is pregnant, and Rosa knows just by looking in her eyes... several elements in the scene take time, yet the original group is still there.
This book has very high ratings and I know I'm going to get blasted with 'not helpful' votes but come on people, let's save five star excellent scores for excellent writing and editing. Has the standard really dropped this far? It's time for authors to pick up their game and bring professionalism back into the equation. Especially established authors. When you give five stars you are telling other readers and authors that this is top, the best, what others should strive for. For me, that's not writing technique that would fail an 8th grade English exam and holes big enough to drive a Subaru through.
Allie Siders has dealt with too much death over the last few years. First, her husband was killed in the war in Afghanistan, and her in-laws are determined to gain custody of her daughter. Then her parents died in a tragic plane accident, and her sister was killed during a burglary. As if that wasn't enough, her five-year-old daughter, Betsy, has stopped talking.
Allie has made a life barrel racing on the rodeo circuit. But trouble has a way of finding her, and when a man claiming to be behind her sister's death tries to attack her in her trailer, she decides that it would be in the best interest of both herself and her daughter to leave the rodeo and travel to the Bluebird Ranch.
The ranch is owned by Elijah, a man who holds more importance to Allie than anyone knows, and who also runs a program that uses horses and ranch work to help troubled kids. But even more importantly, the ranch is run by foreman Rick Bailey - the man who was her husband's closest friend during the war, and who is harboring secrets of his own.
When it becomes clear that someone is determined to make Allie suffer for a sin she doesn't even know she committed, both Rick and Allie will have to put their differences aside to keep Betsy safe.
Let me just say, this book is a real page-turner. The suspense is perfectly plotted, and although I wasn't personally fond of people close to Allie dropping like flies, it worked with the story. And as I mentioned, the Christian/inspirational references were well done, without being over done.
The ending was realistic, the dialogue throughout the story was perfectly believable, and I actually enjoyed getting to know these characters. LONESTAR SANCTUARY is a winner!
Rick is a troubled man himslef, from both his childhood and the war. Although he finds himself disliking Allie, he offers to marry her so Betsy's strict grandparents won't win custody of the child. Allie agrees and then the trouble starts at the ranch. Can Rick keep Allie and Betsy safe in the face of danger?
-I only gave the book three stars because it felt very flat. The characters didn't come alive and didn't engage my attention. The book didn't make me feel the tension and fear of Allie at all, which is bad since that was almost the whole plot. The book followed the Christian fiction formula, but fell short of being a must-read.
Allie Siders is desperate to help her 5-year-old daughter, Betsy, speak again. But with a stalker out for revenge, all Allie can think about is the safety that awaits them at the peaceful Bluebird Ranch, nestled deep in Texas Hill country. Not only is the ranch a sanctuary for abused horses, but also for troubled youths. And Allie is determined to get Betsy, who hasn't spoken a word in nearly a year, all the help she needs-and find a safe haven for them both.
Ranch owner Elijah DeAngelo, compassionate and kind, eagerly welcomes the duo. But Rick Bailey, the handsome foreman, hasn't decided to let down his guard...yet. As promises made long ago soon force Rick and Allie to work together to save all they hold dear, will they discover the remarkable power of love along the way?
I loved this book! I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I loved the characters because they were so real and the dialog really held my interest. I highly recommend this book. Colleen never disappoints in bringing a great story to her readers.
Can't wait for the sequel, Lonestar Secrets.