I have to admit that I'm not much of a western romance reader now, but I was when I was a teenager. I read a lot of Lori Copeland's books back then. There's just something special about a rugged cowboy who rides in and saves the day. I hadn't read any of her books for a while, so when I happened upon The Healer's Touch, I was excited to read it.
The story revolves around a mysterious light that appears at night in rural Missouri. People call it the "spooklight," and most of them are afraid of it. Some of them blame it's occurrence on Edwina Bolton, a local madwoman. Because of this, Edwina and her two daughters, Lyric and Lark, are ostracized and avoided by the community. One night Ian Crawley, a US Marshal from Kansas City, is chasing an outlaw in the area. He and his horse are spooked by the light. The horse charges through the closed barn door of the Bolton's house and runs away, leaving Ian nearly dead. When Lyric finds him there, she believes he is an outlaw. She decides to keep him alive long enough to collect the bounty on his head so she and her sister can start a new life. She dreams of the day her ill mother passes away so that she can leave Bolton Hollow forever. Ian can't remember who he is, or what he's done, so he can only wait for the day that the sheriff will come and take him to the gallows. But Lyric and Ian (or Joseph, as she calls him) begin to fall in love. The more she learns about him, the less Lyric believes Joseph is capable of being an outlaw. When Ian regains his memory, he devises a plan, not only to catch the real outlaw, but to make Lyric's dreams come true. The plan is dangerous, and if it backfires, Ian, Lyric and Lark may all face the hangman's noose.
As western romances go, this was a good one. The part about the spooklight was rather odd, and seemingly out of character for one of Ms. Copeland's novels. I didn't expect it to play such a prominent roll in the story. I liked the characters pretty well. While Lyric was sometimes a little boring and rigid, Lark and her best friend, Boots, added some fun to the tale. The title The Healer's Touch remains a mystery to me. I'm not sure where it really fits into the story. Only in one passing moment is healing mentioned at all that I could find. I think another title might have been more appropriate, and given me a better idea what this story was about.
I enjoyed the book very much. I was really reminded why I used to be such a fan of Lori Copeland. She definitely has a way of making every story new, exciting and different. That's a tall order since she's written over 100 novels! This kind of book is not for everyone. But if you are a fan of Christian romance in general, you're sure to enjoy this one. Every girl needs to read about a handsome cowboy every once in a while!
Look for The Healer's Touch from Harvest House Publishers on August 1, 2014!
I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.