LANTERN OF PATIENCE BY LYNN DONOVAN
When Patience Muldoon’s husband left for the War Between the States, he promised to return and asked her to keep a lantern in the window. But it’s been over a year since the war ended and he’s yet to return. In fact, few men have returned. So the widows have devised a plan to bring eligible husbands to Lantern, Texas: a big cash prize rodeo. Patience hasn’t given up, so she won’t be looking for a husband. She’ll continue to serve her town, like before, as Sheriff.
The war cost Caleb Cantwell everything; his wife, his son, even his right hand. More importantly it cost him his dignity. Born left handed, Caleb can still handle a six gun and is an expert marksman, fully capable of returning to a life of keeping the peace. However no one in his home state of Georgia wants to take a chance on a one-armed lawman. A promise made during the war brings him to Lantern, Texas looking for its lady sheriff. Determined to take over the job best left to a man, Caleb and Patience find themselves at odds right from the start.
Will Caleb’s vow free Patience to let her love the man determined to take her job from her? Will Caleb realize he’s lost something else in this Texas town–his heart. Will Patience take a chance or remain cold to the stolen kisses and lure of Caleb? Can she extinguish the Lantern of Patience once and for all?
Faith Burke has been waiting for the return of her husband, the Mayor of Lantern, from the War for the past eighteen months. In his absence, the responsibility of keeping Lantern a thriving community falls on her shoulders. When her brother-in-law, her staunch protector and defender, Cyrus, challenges her to stop waiting and bring new men to town, she rises up to the challenge by hosting a festival sure to lure in potential new husbands for Lantern’s eligible women. She’s not seeking one for herself. She could never betray her husband, and she’ll continue to wait for him no matter what her brother-in-law says.
Cyrus has been in love with his brother’s wife for years. Although he has convinced her to put on the festival to bring life back in Lantern, what he really seeks is the opportunity for her to see him as a man, and not her brother. Yet, Faith believes her husband will return and she keeps her heart’s lantern lit for his brother. Can Cyrus convince her to extinguish the flame of an old love and light a new lantern meant for him?
Ever since they were children Grace Coffey has been in love with Avery. Even though he is thought to be lost to the War, she is hesitant to move on. Her heart leaps for joy when he is found hiding among the bushwackers, but one thing holds her back. How can she expect to ever marry with the tragedy that she now has to live with.
It was the War that took Avery Whittaker from home, but it was his injury that kept him away. He joins a band of bushwackers to avoid burdening the ones he loves. But he’s drawn home anyway and soon his secret is revealed. How can he expect to marry with such a hideous reminder of the war.
Can Grace and Avery accept their new circumstances so that they can have their happy ever after or will selfish pride keep the Lantern of Grace forever shining as a beacon of a lost grace?