California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep.
Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside.
Then she meets Michael Hosea, a man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything. Michael obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw.
But with her unexpected softening comes overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband’s pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does…the One who will never let her go.
There is no detailed intimate scenes, but there is some talk about childhood rape / prostitution. Other than that, I would say its suited for 16+ or older
I don’t really know how I would describe how I feel about this book. I really liked Michael’s character – he seemed really nice, sweet, and VERY persistent. On the other hand Sarah/Angel I don’t quite know. I know she was hurt and afraid to trust/love anyone but I kinda grew tired of her leaving multiple times. I guess the book was alright but I don’t think I would pick it up again – it’s one of those one timers for me.
“I want someone wonderful. I want a man to love me the way Michael loves you. I want a man willing to fight for me. I want a man who won’t let me walk away from him.”
“If you love me as you claim to, then you love her as well. She’s part of me. Do you understand? She’s part of my flesh and my life. When you say things against her, you say them against me. When you cut her, you cut me. Do you understand?”
“Why did you come for me?” “You’re my wife.” “I left the ring on the table! I didn’t steal it.” “That didn’t change a thing. We’re still married.” “You could’ve just forgotten about it.” He stopped and glared at her. “It’s a lifetime commitment in my book, lady. It’s not an arrangement you nullify when things get a little tough to bear.”
“Love cleanses, beloved. It doesn’t beat you down. It doesn’t cast blame.” He kissed her again, wishing he had the right words to say what he felt. Words would never be enough to show her what he meant. “My love isn’t a weapon. It’s a lifeline. Reach out and take hold, and don’t let go.”
“Angel, Michael’s still waiting for you to come home.” Her face went deathly white. “It’s been over three years. He can’t still be waiting.” “He is.”
“You’re going to marry me, and I’m going to take you out of here.”
“Michael took a cloth and dried her hair. When he finished, he pulled her close and cradled her in his arms. “Flesh of my flesh,” he whispered against her hair. “Blood of my blood.”
“I want you to love me,” he said and saw the derision in her face. “I want you to trust me enough to let me love you, and I want you to stay here with me so we can build a life together. That’s what I want.” Her anger dissolved at his sincerity. “Mister, can’t you understand that’s impossible?” “Anything’s possible.” “You don’t have any idea who and what I am other than what you’ve created in your own mind.” “Then tell me.”
“When I made you say my name, you couldn’t pretend nothing was happening between us, could you? Was that it? I wanted to get inside you, inside your heart,” he said huskily. “Did I?” “A little.” “Good.” He traced her face with one finger again. “A woman is either a wall or a door, beloved.” She gave a bleak laugh and looked at him. “Then I guess I’m a door a thousand men have walked through.” “No. You are a wall, a stone wall, four feet thick and a hundred feet high. I can’t get over you all by myself, but I keep trying.” He kissed her. “I need help, Tirzah.”
“You are free. You just don’t know it yet.”
Michael sat down behind her. He put his strong legs on either side of her and pulled her back against him. “Just wait.” She wanted to resist his embrace, but she was too cold to fight him. “For what?” He put his arms around her. “For morning.” “I could have waited for that in the cabin.” He laughed against her hair. Lifting it, he kissed the nape of her neck. “You can’t understand until you see it from here.” He nuzzled the soft skin beneath her ear. She shivered softly. “Sleep a while if you want.” He tucked her more closely against him. “I’ll wake you at the right time.” She wasn’t sleepy after the long walk. “Do you do this sort of thing often?” “Not often enough.”
“Come away with me and be my wife.” She gave a harsh laugh. “If you want a wife, send for one by mail, or wait for the next wagon train to cross the mountains.” He came toward her. “I can give you a good life. I don’t care how you got here or where you’ve been before. Come with me now.”
The child chattered like a little magpie, and Angel nodded and listened. Glancing up, Angel encountered Michael’s gaze. He wants children, she thought, and the thought hit her solid in the pit of her stomach. What if he knew she couldn’t have them? Would his love for her die then? She couldn’t hold his gaze.
“I’m not your father! I’m not Duke! I’m not some gent paying for half an hour in your bed!” His hands tightened on her arms. “I’m your husband! I don’t take what you feel lightly. I love you. You’re my wife!”
“Can’t sleep?” Michael whispered. She shook her head. “Turn on your side.” When she did, he drew her back against him, tucking her into his body. The child shifted, snuggling deeper into the quilts and pressing into Angel’s stomach. “You’ve got a friend,” Michael murmured. Angel put her arm around Ruth and closed her eyes. Michael put his arm around both of them. “Maybe we’ll have one like her someday,” he said against her ear.
“Hogwash. You’re just running because you’re scared, because you’re beginning to like it here.” She swung at him, but he blocked her hand. She swung again, and he caught her wrist. “Finally I have your full attention!” He let her twist free. “At least you’re looking at me instead of through me.” Angel spun away and marched across the yard. She went into the cabin and slammed the door. Michael expected to see something come crashing through the window, but nothing did.
He had fallen head over heels for a devil with blue eyes and waist-length blonde hair and a body that would tempt a man into sin and death.
Sarah and Michael shared many happy years together. On their seventh anniversary, their prayers were answered with the birth of a son, Stephen. Stephen was followed by Luke, Lydia, and Esther.”
“Amanda! Where are you?” Michael called. Laughing, she stood on tiptoe. “Over here,” she called back and then ran down the row to hide. “All right,” he said, laughing. “Where did you go?” She whistled at him from her hiding place. She and Ruthie had played hide-and-seek in the rows the day before, and she was in a joyous mood today, ready to tease Michael. “What do I get if I find you?” “What have you got in mind?” “Oh, a little of this and that.”