Tomorrow’s First Light (2019)

Tomorrow’s First Light (2019) by Naomi Rawlings is the first book in the Texas Promise series. This novel recently released on February 25, 2019 so it is now available wherever books are sold. With a full-time job, and a very busy six-year old at home, this book took me three days to read. I received a copy of the novel in eBook format from the author to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I give this excellent story 5+++ STARS. This novel is Christian Historical Romance.

About the Book

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Marrying a stranger to keep the woman’s siblings out of an orphanage is one thing, but when more children than expected pour out of the stagecoach, what’s a man to do?

Nervous about meeting her fiancé for the first time, Ellie Spritzer’s lifelong hope of finding love is about to end—or rather, begin. She never imagined her quest for love would take her to the other side of the country with all eight of her siblings in tow, but after her mother dies unexpectedly, what choice does she have? At least the man she’s been writing to for the past year is still willing to marry her and take in her siblings… or so she thinks until she arrives in the dusty town of Twin Rivers, Texas.

Growing up an orphan, Sam Owens never had a place to call home or a family to love. So if his wife-to-be needs to bring three of her siblings with her, he has no complaints about having a ready-made family. But his mail-order-bride doesn’t arrive with three. She arrives with eight.

Sam can’t make himself turn away children in need. But as a beginning rancher, he doesn’t have the resources to care for so many people. When sinister forces threaten the things Sam and Ellie both hold dear, can they figure out how to keep their fledgling family together, or will they lose the very things they cherish most?

Tomorrow’s First Light is the first book in the Texas Promise Series by bestselling Christian romance author Naomi Rawlings. If you like tender marriage-of-convenience stories, you’ll love this heartwarming tale filled with hope and new beginnings.

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My Thoughts

Tomorrow’s First Light is a FANTASTIC read. I enjoyed every minute of this book. The descriptions of the setting made me feel like I was in Texas with Ellie and Sam. The characters are well crafted, endearing, and very realistic. The many themes discussed in this novel are timely, and very worthy of consideration for self-reflection. And, Tomorrow’s First Light is a perfect Western. There’s grit, struggle, romance, true heroes, and really bad guys. If you love a great Western, this is definitely the book for you!

Sam is a superb hero! He’s super sweet, very manly, and incredibly protective. When he makes mistakes, he immediately addresses the issue and asks for forgiveness. My favorite aspect to his character is how well he reads Ellie’s feelings and body language. For example, Ellie freezes up when she is scared or nervous. It’s like she becomes a brick of ice. At first, her physical reactions hurt Sam’s feelings, but then he begins to watch her. He realizes that this is just Ellie’s way. It does not mean she doesn’t appreciate or like her husband. Quite the contrary. Ellie likes her new husband just fine, it’s just that new things scare her. So Sam puts aside his immediate feelings and helps Ellie release her fears. Yes, Sam is a dreamboat hero — he is handsome, intelligent, God-fearing, and protective — but what makes him especially swoon-worthy is his ability to see who his wife truly is. I really love that about his character.

Ellie is a wonderful heroine. I really love her character, and found I could relate to her quite a bit. Unfortunately, Ellie has a few hang ups. Ellie believes that her life is cursed, and that God is constantly punishing her and her siblings for the sins of their parents. Her life has been a series of bad thing after bad thing, so she naturally believes that this means God is seeking revenge against her. There does come a moment when Ellie realizes that God does love her, and that she has spent her whole life being a Negative Nellie. She has chosen to see all of the bad and ignore all the ways God has blessed her, protected her, and provided for her. Once she changes her perspective her whole life changes for the better. It’s almost like scales fall from her eyes and then Ellie is able to see the truth about herself, her life, and the path God has set her upon.

I can relate to Ellie. For most of my life, I felt just life Ellie: I was sure my life was cursed. I believed I was Job 2.0. I always saw the glass half empty, and I kept a running tally of all the ways God hated me. But then my daughter was born, and against all odds, survived her very tumultuous birth. I would like to say the scales fell from my eyes immediately after my child came into this world, but that is not the case. My perspective change happened after a simple phone call. But before I explain the phone call, I need to share one bit of background info. I can never have anymore children. My miracle daughter is all I will ever have. The scary nature of her early birth and my near death means that another pregnancy is sure to kill me. It took me a second to reconcile that, but I promise I am 1000% OK with this outcome. God knew my emotional and mental limitations before I ever did, and He knew one kid is all I can handle. But back to my phone call. My daughter and I spent three months in the hospital after her birth. A few weeks after we got home, my dad called me. He was worked up and MAD. My dad was a fireman. He was mad that day because he went on a call to a young woman who was having a baby. This woman was YOUNG — like 19. She was on her fifth kid. Each kid had a different daddy. My dad was mad because he didn’t think it was fair for this young woman to have so many kids out of wedlock and with different men, when his own daughter almost died giving birth to one baby. He didn’t think it was fair I could never have kids again. In that instant, because my dad was so mad and hurt for me, I realized just how BIG God loves me. God loves me so much He blessed me with a dad who cared so hard for his hurting daughter. God loves me so much He kept me from dying before I got to meet my child and watch her grow up. God loves me so much He gave me a miracle. I am SO grateful to God for this phone call from my dad. It took away Negative Nicole and changed the way I see things. My life, like Ellie’s in this novel, is better because I see God in it every day. I no longer see the ugly. I now see the beauty. God is SO good.

Tomorrow’s First Light is a truly wonderful story. I enjoyed every page, and will miss my time with Ellie and Sam. If you are looking for a well-written Christian Western, then I HIGHLY recommend Tomorrow’s First Light.

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