I’ll be honest: I don’t usually read Christian fiction. I *do*, however, keep an open mind about anything I read. In my opinion, there are few things I’ll turn away bookwise — if it’s good. That’s my only caveat. What makes a book “good” is different to different people, but when I read the excerpt and the blurb, I thought to myself, ‘This could be good.’
A Legacy of Lies tells the story of level-headed Sarah Sanders and cowboy Jim Anderson. They might be an unlikely pair at first glance, with Sarah being the reasonable sort and Jim being a mysterious ranch hand with a dark past. Even worse, Jim is going insane (or so he thinks). But terrifying visions and strange hallucinations do little to sway him from Sarah, especially when he is put in a position to risk everything for her.
What appealed to me most about the story is Jim’s struggle with his visions, his confusion about what’s happening to him, and how it all relates to dark family secrets that are ultimately revealed. I also enjoyed Sarah’s character and how she approached the strange circumstances that she finds herself in. There’s an adequate balance of chemistry and mystery to make their relationship feel alive on the page.
The parts that feel most alive, though, are when we spend time with Jim as he struggles with his psychosis. Author Stephenia McGee does an excellent job of tapping into our sympathies, curiosities, skepticism and belief systems through sympathetic Jim.
The bottom line: My original thoughts about A Legacy of Lies were accurate. It was a good book and definitely worth a read. And if you’re a fan of Christian romance, then I’d say it’s a must-read.
Stephenia McGee is a wife, mother, writer, author, book reviewer for InD’Tales Magazine and Fiction with Flair Christian Book Reviews, a literary agent’s assistant and artist. She is also the chairman of Spirit Horse Ministries (a youth ministry dedicated to helping foster and underprivileged children). Stephenia has always loved books and her stories can best be described as Christian fiction with flair.
It was cold.
The eerie silence of a moonless, starless night engulfed him.
Jim shivered. It had been high noon only a few minutes ago. Had he fallen asleep? He didn’t remember being tired. He shook his head and tried to focus his groggy mind. He peered around cautiously. Where was his horse?
A rustling sound in the bushes startled him. His eyes darted to investigate.
No, wait. There it was again. Off to the left. His eyes strained, searching for the slightest movement or shape. Something. Anything.
He felt like a kid afraid of the dark.
Get a hold of yourself, man.
Fingers of fear teased along the back of his neck. The hairs stood on end. He shivered. Where was that horse?
“Ciervo!” His voice sounded weak even to his own ears. He tried again. Now he was completely hoarse.
Swallowing, the panic rising from the pit of his stomach, he took a cautious step forward. He heard stirring in the woods behind him. Squirrels? He listened intently. The noise came again. No. Definitely not a squirrel. Something was pacing in the woods. Deliberate. Stalking. Jim’s mouth went dry. Mountain lion.
His heart raced and he looked desperately around, scanning the darkness. Blackness blanketed the meadow. Jim hoped Ciervo hadn’t wandered too far. He started to walk. Slowly. Calculating. He couldn’t tell in what direction he moved.
His cell! He could use it as a light source. Jim’s hand brushed at his hip. It wasn’t there.
He frowned. It always stayed on his belt. He never left the ranch without it.
Jim’s eyes strained, but he could barely make out his surroundings. The farther he walked, the darker it got. His breathing came in quick, rapid intakes. A shrill sound broke the silence. His heart leaped.
Where was he? Was the mountain lion after him?
Hoof beats. Thank goodness.
They were pounding quicker than his rapidly drumming heart. A shadow appeared about thirty feet in front of him.