THE PREACHER’S FAITH
By Caryl McAdoo
Series: Red River Romances, Book 1, contemporary Christian romances set in Northeast Texas
Blurb: Can the orphaned preacher and the heartbroken rodeo queen navigate the path to true love with a lie and an ex-beau blocking their way?
Learning of Faith Johnson’s rash promise to her father, New Hope Baptist’s interim preacher Asa Davidson shows up to apply for the position—of husband. The cowgirl was only trying to give her dying father hope promising to marry the first thirty-something-year-old Christian virgin to ask. Who’d ever dream one existed in all of Texas, much less Red River County? But sure enough, one comes a’courting the very next day thanks to the Lord and Daddy’s baby sister, loud mouth Aunt Iris. Faith’s appalled, but a promise is a promise. She only needs to figure a way out.
Originally, Asa sees matrimony as a career move. He hopes a godly, local wife will seal the deal for a permanent call. Then asked right out about that very thing, he lies. Sparks fly when her past love and the preacher meet up, but as the days pass, she finds herself admiring the man and his relationship to God more and more. He’s a hard worker and wonderful, fun companion. Maybe she could learn to love him. But what if New Hope doesn’t call him? She loves it right where she’s at. Plus what about her dying father? And there’s that untruth between them….
And to make things even harder, her ex comes to Christ through it all!
A black sedan rolled across the main entrance cattle guard. Faith sat a little taller in the saddle. Shame it wasn’t a new truck pulling a full Featherlight horse trailer, but hey, any new business would be a Godsend. Instead of coming to the barn though, the car stayed right and went up to the house. New nurse, maybe?
Whatever. The gelding needed at least another fifteen minutes. She worked him hard—several times around with a right front lead, turn around the other way on a left lead, backed him one complete lap—then took him into the wash stall. She’d never known a horse who loved baths better than the beautiful paint, and so intelligent, almost too smart for his britches. Definitely one she wouldn’t mind calling her own.
Halfway to having him brushed out, the barn’s man-door opened.
She looked over the gelding’s back. The form of a man stood in the doorway silhouetted by the late afternoon sun. Tall with broad shoulders, he filled the opening. She couldn’t see if he looked like money or not, but hey, even poor guys needed their horses trained. “Yessiree, that’d be me. How can I help you?”
“I came about the position.”
“You’ve come to the wrong place. I’m not hiring.”
The guy stepped in and closed the door, his face still dark and undistinguishable. “That isn’t what your aunt Iris said.”
“Bless Auntie’s heart, I don’t know what she’s thinking, but she’s just wrong. I’m not hiring. Sorry you came all this way for nothing.”
Her eyes started adjusting, and the man, maybe a few years older than her, came into view. A sort of good-looking type in a townie kind of way, but… “Maybe you need to come tell her yourself, Miss Johnson.”
Oh no, the place was a wreck. Faith needed to get in the house and stop the old dear. “Auntie’s here?” The perfectionist would have herself a heart attack for sure.
“Yes, ma’am. She rode out with me.” A sly grin etched the man’s face.
Dear Lord, what was going on? She didn’t have time for this. Faith grabbed another brush and tossed it to him. “Here, make yourself useful.”
“Sure. What do I do?”
“Brush that side.”
She moved the soft bristles a bit faster. Why, oh why, hadn’t she taken a little time and cleaned up this morning? A mental walk-through horrified her all the more. The armload of dirty laundry on the window bench in the living room. She’d been on the way to the utility room when her daddy needed help.
She didn’t even want to think about the kitchen’s condition.
And how long had it been since she swept? The dirty baseboards with webs and dog hair and who knew what else… And oh no, she left all her papers scattered all the way around her swivel rocker from looking at the bills and trying to figure out exactly how she was going to get them all paid.
Bless God! Just what she needed. Why this person brought her house-crazy-keeping aunt all the way up to Negley, especially unannounced, proved more than a little irritating. This is a test, this is only a test, she assured herself.
“Brush only in the direction his hair grows.”
She worked down each leg to the hooves with her mind racing a minute mile for the reason her daddy’s sister might have told this fellow there was a job opening. She’d love some help if she could afford it, but… In not quite half the regular time, the gelding rested in his stall, hayed, grained, and happy.
Sliding the paint’s door closed, she practiced what she wanted to say then latched the stall and faced the intruder. “Okay look, I don’t know who you are, but hey, I’d appreciate the truth. Why are you here? Really.”
“Sorry, ma’am.” He extended his hand. “Name’s Asa Davidson.”
Closing the couple of steps between them, she one-shaked the offering then nodded toward the door. “How is it you know Aunt Iris anyway?”
“Met her at church. I’m the new interim pastor out at New Hope Baptist.” He stepped out into the late afternoon sun. Better looking than she first thought, but dear Lord, the man really needed to get himself a pair of Wranglers and some boots. Slacks and loafers would not do, leastwise not in these parts. He stuck out like a newborn white Charolais calf.
She walked beside him toward the house. “So, exactly what is this job Auntie is talking about? Did she tell you?” She looked over and grinned. “I’m already saved, a blood-bought, Bible-thumping child of the King.”
“That makes you a princess.”
“Yessiree, bless God. So if you’re not here to share the Good News, Pastor, what was it she told you I needed?”
She stopped in her tracks, practically paralyzed. Tried to swallow, but couldn’t. He took two steps more then turned back, smiling.
“Did you just say husband?”
“Yes, ma’am. Miss Iris said you told your father yesterday that you’d marry if an eligible bachelor asked you.” He shrugged. “So what do you think?”
Caryl McAdoo is an amazin author who always delivers a positive, uplifting message in each book that she writes. Her characters show a depth that exceed the ability of most authors. They are described in a very realistic way enabling the reader to immediately identify with them and their trials in lfe.
The plot is full of action and keeps the reader fully engaged until the last page of the book is read. I know that I am now hooked on this author's books!! Can hardly wait to read more!!
About the Author:
Bio: Christian, Simon & Schuster, hybrid author Caryl McAdoo is currently writing three series, all from a perspective of faith: her historical Texas Romances; the contemporary Red River Romances; and The Generations, her Biblical fiction. The novelist loves singing new songs the Lord gives her, and she paints. In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-five years—to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and fourteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying each story gives God glory, she hopes it will also minister
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