Today I’m excited to share with you Patricia Beal’s upcoming release – Desert Willow. I enjoyed her debut contemporary romance and you can read my Inspy Romance recommendation for A Season to Dance here.
After a failed engagement, Captain Andrew Lee James has focused on building a career in the Army he loves. That commitment includes helping a feisty, out-of-work ballerina whose devotion to her grandmother’s dying wish immediately grabs his heart. She’s the one, but will he be able to win the heart of a woman who has vowed to never be involved with a soldier?
College graduate Clara Malone swore to never love anyone in the military again but when her dying grandmother asks her to deliver a love letter to the general who broke her heart decades ago, she agrees and finds herself escorted by a handsome Army captain whose kindness challenges her beliefs. Surrounded by desert willows that shower her path with pretty pink flowers and sing with the buzzing of hummingbirds, Clara enjoys the wild beauty of El Paso—and her time with Andrew—more than expected.
Can she deliver her grandmother’s last love letter without losing her heart to a man who represents everything she fears?
I’m a Patricia Beal fan and I loved reading Desert Willow. The story is set at a military post in El Paso, Texas, and opens with Clara flying in from Cincinnati to hand deliver an important letter from her grandmother. The letter is addressed to a colonel who had been her grandmother’s first love in Brazil.
The elderly colonel has health issues, and his daughter in El Paso gives Clara the option of staying in El Paso until the colonel is well enough to fly in and meet Clara.
Clara is a ballet dancer who has completed her studies but failed to land a job in a ballet company. She’s broke, her mother is in Brazil with her dying grandmother, and the opportunity to temporarily stay in El Paso is too good to refuse.
Andrew is a military man who has a strong faith. Sparks fly when he meets Clara, and the physical attraction is strong. Their romance is sweet and I loved how they communicated with each other and discussed important issues, including faith issues. Andrew is looking for a wife, but there are many complications. Clara doesn’t share his faith and his ex-fiance, who isn’t a believer, is back in his life.
The characters are realistic in their struggles with temptation. If they made unwise choices in the past, they were living with the consequences of their decisions. Sexual temptation and adultery are issues that are addressed in the story from a Biblical perspective. The story also includes end of life themes.
I enjoyed learning more about military life in Texas and the ballet world. I highly recommend Desert Willow to readers who like Christian contemporary romances with strong and realistic faith elements in the story.
Have you read many contemporary romances with military heroes and/or heroines?
An aside: I live in Canberra, Australia, and our Emergency Services have issued warnings about severe bush fire risks for today (Saturday). It’s possible we may lose power and internet/phone access. If I’m offline and not replying to comments today, this may be the reason. Please pray for us in Australia. Too may lives have already been lost in South-Eastern Australia from the massive out-of-control fires.