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A Texan's Promise (Heart of a Hero #1)
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A Texan's Promise (Heart of a Hero #1)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,074 Ratings  ·  199 Reviews
Past promises will be tested as new ones are given...

When Clayton Proffitt, foreman of the Circle Z Ranch in Texas, discovers Vanessa Grant crying in the barn late one night, he first thinks she’s gotten herself into another scrape. But when he spies the marks on her back and hears about her stepfather’s advances, Clayton knows he must spirit Vanessa away to safety.
As the
Paperback, 350 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Abingdon Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sep 21, 2012 Ron rated it liked it
An interesting exercise in Christian fiction. Gray captured some of the grit of the post-Civil War east and wove in Christian themes and values. A good early effort, but needed editing. "…when Clay's patience was at its wit's end." Checking a regional map and a western history would have eliminated many gaffs.

While this was not historical fiction per se by identifying the time and setting: west Texas in 1873, Gray assumed the burden of some semblance of accuracy. Instead, her heroes ride to Lubb
Apr 10, 2012 Jodie rated it it was amazing
When Clayton finds Vanessa crying one night, he begins to console her only to find out that Vanessa's stepfather took liberties with her that were not his to take. Clayton packs her things and they head west. Along the way though, they quickly discover that there's more between them than friendship. But, with her stepfather on their tail, the elements of nature, and heading through Indian territory, their trek is far from easy. Will Clayton be able to keep his promise to Vanessa's father and kee ...more
Debra Chapoton
Dec 28, 2011 Debra Chapoton rated it it was ok
I picked this book up on my kindle because the download was free. It was quickly evident that this was, perhaps, a self-published endeavor. It read like a first draft and there were many, many formatting errors. I thought this novel had a nice steady plot that would be enhanced by some expert editing, but I was shocked when I got to the end and discovered that this was a traditionally published book put out by Abingdon Press. Shame on their editing department.
Shelley Gray writes from a gentle Ch
Apr 28, 2014 Ilene rated it liked it
Shelves: series
I tend to stay a way from historical but once in a great while I read it. Once I tried to read a Christian based story. This was a combo but I wasn't really aware till I began.

It is a huge switch from bad assed, tattooed bikers/rockstars/cowboys. Clayton was an 'alpha' of the 1870's. And Vanessa was a spoiled daddy's girl of that time until her stepdad came into the picture.

Times may be drastically different but sadly times never seem to change but adapt.

This was pretty thick with Bible quotes.
Nov 30, 2011 Renee rated it really liked it
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the world's biggest Amish fiction fan but I thoroughly enjoy each of Shelley Gray's Plain stories. When I learned that she was writing and historical western series I knew I had to read it. The first book, A Texan's Promise did not disappoint. Ms. Gray's stories are traditional but in the best sense. In A Texan's Promise she takes the damsel in distress plot and adds a bit of faith and hope in the mix and the result is a finely told love story for any read ...more
Ann Keller
Oct 14, 2012 Ann Keller rated it really liked it
Price Venture romanced Vanessa’s mother and she married him on a whim. After all, she really had little choice. She and her two children had no idea how to manage the large ranch, but she didn’t realize how dangerous Price was until it was too late. Price drank excessively and was prone to violence.

One dark night, Price cornered Vanessa in her bedroom. Van fought furiously, clawing at her attacker and shrieking in fear, but her brother Miles was too afraid to help her. Foreman, Clay Proffitt, fo
May 09, 2013 Ashley rated it did not like it
I am shocked this book has such a high rating. I am used to and don't mind light Christian romances, but this book was terrible. I felt the abuse scenario was based on an outsider's perception and not reality, and the characters (especially the stepfather and brother) were one dimensional stereotypes. Much of the details and explanations was unecessary - the author did not seem to trust the story to speak for itself and let the reader make his/her own conclusions. I found the romance odd and sti ...more
Eric Wright
Gray's book explores in considerable detail, whether Clayton and Vanessa's marriage is one of convenience to save her from a lecherous and violent step-father, or the real thing. Clayton came to Vanessa's ranch full of the pain of the civil war but did an admirable job of running the ranch. When Vanessa's father died, his widow quickly married Price, a cruel villain. After a horrific attack, Clayton rescues her and they flee the ranch. On the way, for propriety's sake they marry. They make promi ...more
Lisa Johnson
Jun 06, 2014 Lisa Johnson rated it it was amazing
Title: A Texan’s Promise (The Heart of a Hero Series #1)
Author: Shelley Gray
Pages: 352
Year: 2011
Publisher: Abingdon
What an attention-grabbing, heart-riveting tale of love, redemption and hope! Whew! I absolutely loved the first book in this new series from this new author to me. I was looking around for new books to read and was granted the opportunity from a publisher to read the second book in the series. When I found out there was a book one and three, I bought those books and have been plant
Donna Porter
Jul 15, 2013 Donna Porter rated it really liked it
This was a great christian romance book set in 1873 in colorado and texas. It was a very good romance story of a young girl Vanassa and a ranch hand she has loved named Clayton. He promises her father on his death bed to protect Vanassa always. When her life is threatened Clayton takes matters into his own hands and runs away with Vanassa. As the lord leads them on and speaks to their hearts their romance grows. It is a good read
Debora Wilder
Jan 21, 2014 Debora Wilder rated it it was amazing
This is a heartwarming Christian western romance.

Clayton Proffitt is foreman of the Circle Z Ranch. When he discovers that Vanessa Grant, daughter of the ranch’s owner, is the victim of her stepfather’s advances he knows he must protect her honor and move her far away from the ranch. They find that an unexpected, deep bond develops between them as they make their way west. Clayton’s biggest concern as they travel is that Vanessa’s stepfather won’t let her go so easily. They have to place their f
Sep 26, 2012 Sarah rated it did not like it
Absolutely terrible. Featured for free on B&N's Nook not be fooled by the categorization under "historical fiction."
I got this book free on kindles several years back and read it recently out of bordom. I'm glad I didn't actually spend money and buy it because it would have been a waste.

I didn't care for the plot line at all. You start out finding out that the female lead was beaten by her stepfather. At first, that's supposedly all that happened. Her stepfather tried to take advantage of her and when she fought him, he beat her. But later... much later in the book, you find out that she actually was taken ad
Jan 21, 2012 Judy rated it it was amazing
Clayton Proffitt is foreman of the Circle Z ranch in Texas. He been there six years. After the war he was an empty shell, little Vanessa Grant had filled that shell from the first day there. When her father died he promised to protect her.

When Vanessa woke Clay up with her crying in the barn he went to her. Her step father had beaten her and she had gashes in her back. Clayton decided he would take her away that night. After reprimanding her brother for being spineless and allowing this to happe
Aug 17, 2013 Zette rated it liked it
I have already begun book 2 in this series because I enjoyed the characters and the story but I did have problems with the writing style. There were so many repetitive thoughts and tedious details that I finally began skimming whole passages of the chapters to get to the meat of the story. I like to "see" the surroundings and inside the heads of the characters but there was just too much for me. Also, some of the decisions the characters made along the way just didn't make sense to me. Clayton f ...more
Vanessa Grant is crying her heart out in the barn when Clayton Proffitt, the foreman of the Circle Z Ranch finds her on his way to his private quarters. He gets the story out that Vanessa's stepfather tried to get pervy with her, but she fought and he beat her up.
Clayton convinces Van to run away from the Ranch in Texas and start a new life. Straight off I could smell the Christian themes laid heavy in the story and Clayton's thoughts.
My favorite christian romance is Love Comes Softly. So don't
Jan 07, 2012 Carissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-reviews
first reviewed here http://belovedgraceful-carissasbooksh...

Title: A Texan’s Promise
Author: Shelley Gray
Series: The Heart of a Hero
Chapters: 24 plus Epilogue
Pages: 350
Genre: Christian Historical/ western
Rating: 5 stars
A Texan’s Promise, is a western novel by an author that normally see write Amish fiction. I really enjoyed the book. At first I wasn’t too fond of the heroine she seemed too much like a China doll. But after everything that Vanessa went though at the hands of her step-father my re
Dec 04, 2011 Kate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-netgalley
Vanessa carries feelings for Clayton Proffitt deep within her heart. The patience of Clayton knows no limits as he honors the vow he made with Vanessa's father long ago. Price Venture, stepfather to Vanessa and her brother Miles, whose violence extends far beyond his words, his anger and hatred causing more harm and scars for Vanessa. When Clayton finds Vanessa crying in the barn one night a plan is devised to get her as far away from Circle Z and Price as they can so he can no longer hurt her. ...more
Lisa Phillips
Oct 13, 2011 Lisa Phillips rated it liked it
The story of Vanessa and Clayton jumps straight into the action, with the ranch foreman finding the family's daughter (whom he's watched grow up into a woman) in the barn crying.
After finding out her step father attacked her they pack their things and set out to get away from him. But Vanessa lies about exactly how far the attack went.
The danger wasn't benign, as happens sometimes in stories that deal with sensitive topics. It was a realistic instance of a young woman helpless (her mother and b
Sharon Tyler
Sep 27, 2011 Sharon Tyler rated it liked it
A Texan's Promise by Shelley Gray is a historical Christian romance. It is the first book in The Heart of a Hero Series and is due to be released October 1 2011. One night Clayton Proffitt, trusted foreman of the Circle Z Ranch in Texas, finds Vanessa Grant crying outside his room. He knew things were far from all right. When Clay discovers that Vanessa was attacked and beaten by her callous stepfather, Price Venture, he realizes that the only way to protect Vanessa is to get her far away from P ...more
Tamara Tilley
Jan 23, 2016 Tamara Tilley rated it really liked it
Shelves: shelley-gray, own
A TEXAN’S PROMISE by Shelley Gray was a very enjoyable book that takes place in my favorite setting, the Western Frontier.

Vanessa Grant falls victim to her stepfather’s vicious advances. When Clayton Proffitt, the foreman at the Circle Z Ranch, finds her in a heap, he makes good on the promise he made to Vanessa’s deceased father . . . protect Vanessa at all costs.

Vanessa has been smitten by Clayton Proffitt from the day he arrived at the Cricle Z ranch. Though he is ten years her senior, and h
May 17, 2011 Lorie rated it really liked it
A Texan’s Promise is the first book in a new series, Heart of a Hero, by Shelley Gray. This is the first non-Amish fiction book I’ve read by this author who also writes under the name Shelley Shepard Gray. The author classified this as a Western. I never really thought I enjoyed Western’s and never would have read it if I had not read the Amish books written by the author. I loved the historical fiction parts of the book and since I love historical fictions, this book fit right in with what I en ...more
Sep 10, 2011 Rhonda rated it it was amazing

I enjoyed reading a Texan Promise. It was romance, western, & Christian book all in one. It dealed with everyday problems that unfortunately happen all too often.

Clayton has been the forman on the circle Z ranch for the past 6 years. He found Vanessa in the barn in a stall crying and upset. Finally he noticed the bruise on her face and her dress torn and three big Whip marks on her back. Her stepfather Price had whipped her and hit her because she did not want him in her room. He rape
Jun 21, 2013 Ashley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Okay, I started writing a review for this, and then it just got really long and kind of ranty, and I don't want to go there. So, the abridged version is, I liked it up until about halfway through. And then the list of nonsensical things I was having to ignore just got too long. Between the editing errors and the stilted, totally unrealistic dialogue, the complete cheesiness, and the characters making incredibly poor and completely illogical decisions, I just couldn't deal with it anymore. Also, ...more
Virginia Campbell
Historical Western Romance is my favorite genre, and the American Old West is the perfect setting for stories of faith. Those were exciting, but uncertain, times. The element of lawlessness and those who tried to control it often became quickly involved in abruptly brutal conflicts. Love and life could be found and lost in the space of a heartbeat. Women had to be strong in mind and body, with an even stronger faith. "A Texan's Promise", by Shelley Gray, is a story of loss and redemption, but it ...more
Holly Renee
Oct 12, 2011 Holly Renee rated it really liked it
When Vanessa Grant's father lay on his death-bed, Clayton Profitt made a promise to his employer that he would always look after Vanessa. Years later, that promise is tested when Clayton finds Vanessa crying in the barn. As Clayton sees the bruises on Vanessa's body, he makes the quick to decision to take her out west so she can escape her step-father. As they make their way to the Colorado territory, it becomes evident they'll have to marry in order to keep her completely safe from her step-fat ...more
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
"Vanessa, honey, why you crying?"

Clayton! He stood in the doorway to the stables, his presence both a soothing balm and a source of panic.

Vanessa gingerly leaned back against the wood behind her, willed herself to relax, but it was no good. It was going to be some time before she could calm down again. "I'm sorry I woke you."

"You didn't." His eyes narrowed as he stepped closer. "It's midnight. Isn't it awfully late for you to be out of bed?"

Yes. Yes, it was. It was too late for a lot of things n
Sandy Smith
Jan 01, 2012 Sandy Smith rated it it was amazing
I love to read about the past era'S when the west was wild and the only way to get around was on horse back or stage coach. I think I should of lived in that era, I would of loved it! Anyway....This book tells a wonderful story about a soldier Clayton who had lives thru the the war between the north and south as so many of his friends did not. After the war, he really doesn't know where to go or what to do. He wanders around for a while until he comes upon the circle Z ranch. There, he found a f ...more
Lynelle Clark
Aug 09, 2012 Lynelle Clark rated it it was amazing
This book was for a long time on my shelve. To much books, to little time.
But once I started I could not stop. The gripping tale of promises made to a father and not saving the daughter tore at the heart of Clayton, the main character in the book. A True hero of the Confederate war in the 1800 he struggled to get to grips with this and almost lost the woman he deeply cared for. Later after their marriage he realised that he fell in love with his wife but did not know how to tell her and fled. He
4.5 Stars

Clayton finds Vanessa crying in the barn one night. He soon discovers that her stepfather has beaten her. With out thinking twice he takers her away in the middle of the night to keep her safe. He made a vow to her dead father to keep her safe and he plans to do just that. Can he keep his feeling for her at bay in order to keep her safe?

Vanessa is dealing with the emotions of her attack and is very happy to be with Clayton as she feels safe with him. She has also had feeling for Clayt
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Fans of Christian...: January Read: A Texan's Promise 7 13 Feb 01, 2012 02:39PM  
Fans of Christian...: ***CLOSED**January Book Nominations:Series! 22 56 Dec 21, 2011 12:14AM  
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also publishes under the name Shelley Shepard Gray (Amish fiction, Christian fiction).

I live in southern Ohio with my husband, two teenagers, and two dogs. My days are filled with busy activities like most any other mom and housewife. But I also love to write books.

Each morning, after my kids go off to school, I sit at my desk, look out my window, and dream of other places. The hours fly by as I m
More about Shelley Gray...

Other Books in the Series

Heart of a Hero (3 books)
  • A Texan's Honor (Heart of a Hero #2)
  • A Texan's Choice (Heart of a Hero, #3)

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“Oh, Van. Don’t you know? Home is where your mind goes when the night is black and your heart is hurting. Home is where you go when things are happening that you can’t control but wish you could. Home is where the person you love is waiting for you.” 4 likes
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