Heart of Stone (Irish Angel, #1)
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Heart of Stone (Irish Angel #1)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  988 ratings  ·  111 reviews
She had the darkest of pasts. And he had everything to lose by loving her. Laura Foster, free from the bondage of an unspeakable childhood, has struggled to make a new life for herself. Now the owner of an elegant boardinghouse in Glory, Texas, she is known as a wealthy, respectable widow. But Laura never forgets that she is always just one step ahead of her past. When Rev...more
Paperback, 319 pages
Published February 22nd 2010 by Zondervan (first published February 5th 2010)
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Redeeming Love by Francine RiversA Voice in the Wind by Francine RiversAn Echo in the Darkness by Francine RiversAs Sure as the Dawn by Francine RiversThe Silent Governess by Julie Klassen
Best Christian Historical Fiction
356th out of 801 books — 830 voters
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Christian Historical Romance Favorites
325th out of 412 books — 332 voters

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Mar 12, 2010 Theresa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Older teens through adult
Heart of Stone was a heartwarming read. Set in the 1870's in Texas, this novel had me under its spell from the first pages. The characters were proper and gentile, but still with the strength that you would expect from living it a tough time and place. I loved the main characters. Laura Foster was a hurt woman with a tarnished past, but she overcame it, and developed into a strong woman. Brand McCormick was the town preacher who had strong morals and a family. Both had strengths that were put to...more
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R.L. Syme
This book was a great read. And this is the highest score I've ever given a Christian fiction book, except Redeeming Love. For all those readers out there who fell in love with Redeeming Love all those years ago and have been waiting for a book to come along that could compare to it, look no further. This is it. This book will have you laughing and crying. It will draw you into its story and suspend your disbelief completely. It will make you want to turn the page, every page, and it will touch...more
Free Kindle download. I actually really liked the story but felt conflicted about it being Christian fiction because essentially the heroine lies about who she is throughout much of the story; the hero has something to hide about his past, too, and what makes these lies hard to take is their so-called respectability in their community. He's a reverend, and she's a well-respected "widow" with a spotless reputation.

Normally, I'd be fine with that set up — it makes for a good story. The heroine sta...more
Feb 21, 2010 Colette rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who like inspirational romance
I received this book as an Advanced Review Copy, and thought I was getting a historical romance-it was a historical romance, but it's more in the genre of Christian Fiction. Once I got over the shock of this being an inspirational romance, I really liked the story. It was a sweet story with a good message-follow your heart, be willing to forgive those who have erred in their ways, and don't let others decide your fate for you. The characters were all likable, and the Reverends kids made me laugh...more
Sophia (FV)
Heart of Stone is the first book in the Irish Angles Series set in 1870 Texas.

Laura Foster has come a long way from her days as a prostitute in a New Orleans brothel. As an orphan, she and her sister were sold to into prostitution by her their uncle when Laura was eleven years old. Now, she has left that world behind and as far as the people of Glory, Texas are concerned, she is a widow and owner of an upstanding boardinghouse catering exclusively to women and families only. She is very careful...more
I enjoyed this story of a former prostitute pulling herself out of that lifestyle and trying to make an honest living by herself. Jill Marie Landis has a comfortable reading style and makes it easy to get to know the characters and see their personalities. The only disappointment I had was the curse word that was added to the dialogue of the villain. Yes, I'm being picky since it was mild (the "d" word) but I don't want Christian publishers to start down this slippery slope. They allowed one in...more
Mar 23, 2010 ReviewsByMolly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone; historical lovers
Recommended to ReviewsByMolly by: CFBA
This book was a sweet historical start of a wonderful new series! Jill Marie Landis has a new reader. I love her style of writing and the inspiration through out her book enough that I can't wait to read more from her!

This story is full of everything from inspiration, to suspense to romance. The characters are created magnificently to flow wonderfully with the plot, set in Texas during the Civil War era. There is heartache and there is happiness... a perfect blend of both that will keep you tur...more
Loved this book. First time I read this author, but I've already bought Heart of Lies (#2 in Irish Angel series).

This is a story of love, forgiveness, caring and sharing.

Laura and her family moved from Ireland when she was 10 years old to the Irish Channel in New Orleans which was for the poor Irish. Shortly, after arrival both her parents died. She and her 3 sisters were taken in by an aunt and uncle who really could not afford to keep them. Two of the sisters were put into an orphanage. Laura...more
Book One in the Irish Angels Series, Heart of Stone transports readers back to the 1800’s where eleven-year-old Lovie Lane is sold to a brothel by her cruel Uncle Tim.

Orphaned by their parents who came to America following the blight in Ireland, Lovie and her sisters are betrayed by the family who promised to protect them. Innocence ruined, as she grows up in the brothel Lovie becomes a determined young woman who plots her escape from the life she detests.

Fast forwarding several years, as an a...more
3.5 stars

When the Potato Famine hit Ireland, Laura Foster came to New Orleans with her family to find a better life. What they found was more poverty. When her parents died shortly after, Laura and her 3 sisters were divided up by her uncle, the two youngest were sent to an orphanage, Laura and her sister Megan were sold elsewhere.

Years later Laura has invented a new life, name and history and is living in Texas as a successful business owner and widow. When Reverend Brand McCormick begins court...more
I loved, loved, loved this book. It was a sweet story of redemption, forgiveness and unconditional love.

Lovie has recently landed in New Orleans with her parents and 3 sisters. They have come all the way from Ireland. The only person they know is their father's brother and his wife and 2 kids, but their uncle is lazy and not an honorzlbe man like their father. When Lovie's parents die their uncle sells the 2 oldest girls Lovie 11, and Meaghan 9 to a brothel. The minute they are taken in the brot...more
The widow Laura Foster has made a place for herself in Glory, Texas as a respected member of this Christian community where she owns a boarding house that only caters to women and families. That would all change in an instant if her neighbors knew who the real Laura Foster was. Laura is not her real name, it's Lovie Lane, former New Orleans prostitute who was sold into sexual slavery along with her younger sister Megan, who was nine at the time. The Lane sisters, along with their two younger sib...more
Alright people here we go: Normally I don't think of Romance and Christian Fiction being closely entwined. The author manages to do that and do it well in this book! I like the main character Laura...she was such a multi dimensional character who perseveres while trying to overcome her past. The love factor in this book is just good...there's no better way to put it. It's good and it's kind, and you just wanted to fall in love yourself. This book has you laughing at times and crying at others, a...more
Sheri Salatin
My thoughts: I'm going to skip the narrative on this book and just go straight to what I thought of it. I liked it, but didn't love it.
The author did a good job with the sensitive subject of prostitution. But the reason that I didn't love it was because there was something lacking. The faith in Laura (Lovie) felt forced. There was a point in the books that she submits to Christ, but after that, the jump was too sudden. I felt that the end of the book was a "hurry up and get this thing finished"...more
Teresa Snyder
I can't imagine every thing that Laura endured as a child. How would you survive something like that much less survive?

Reverend Brand McCormick is what he preaches - loving, patient and forgiving. He's a widower with a sinful past, a sister and two wild children with a third grown son that he did not know about. Or did he?

When Brand falls in love with Laura she does all that she can to pursued him, but he's determined to break down her defensives. Then the unthinkable happens. Her past comes kno...more
I was pulled into this book from chapter one. After you meet Lovie and her three sisters - all recently orphaned and left in the care of their uncle - you are left reeling by the close of the chapter when all her three siblings are ripped away from her and she is left in New Orleans brothel. Some readers might be concerned, since she spends many of her years IN a brothel, how many `details' of her time spent there does the book include. I was very happy and content that it was kept to a minimal...more
This is the first in the Irish Angel series by Jill Marie Landis. This is also the first book of hers that I have read. I do not expect it to be the last.

Laura Foster runs a boardinghouse in Glory, Texas. She masquerades as a widow to protect a past she wants to keep a secret. When the Reverend Brand McCormick begins calling on her, she is afraid that her facade will be broken and she will be forced to move on again.

When I first began reading the book, I was a little put out by Laura's attitud...more
Shari Larsen
This inspirational novel is set in the town of Glory, Texas, in the 1870's. Laura Foster (a.k.a Lovie Lane) is the wealthy owner of a refined boarding house. She has a past she is ashamed of and trying to hide. At the age of 11, she and her 3 sisters were taken in by an aunt and uncle after her parents died from yellow fever in New Orleans, and having too many mouths to feed, her uncle put her two youngest sisters in an orphanage, and sold Laura and her sister Megan to a brothel. Laura does ever...more
Pamela Barrett
This novel begins in New Orleans, where four little girls have lost their parents. Their mom and dad died after immigrating to America from Ireland, leaving the orphaned girls to live with their only relatives; an aunt and uncle. In an unthinkable act of selfishness, the uncle separates the girls, selling the 2 oldest, and putting the 2 youngest into an orphanage. Years later, the oldest, now known as the widow Mrs. Laura Foster, has started her life over, as the owner of a respectable boarding...more
Author: Jill Marie Landis
Publisher: Zondervan
February 2010
ISBN: 978-0-310-29369-9
Genre: Inspirational/historical

Laura Foster had an unspeakable childhood, one she has struggled to overcome. She now owns a beautiful, affluent boarding house in Glory, Texas, where she is known as a wealthy, respectable widow. But Laura is only one step ahead of her past.

Reverend Brand McCormick is the pastor in Glory. He has two young children from his first marriage, but his wife is deceased...more
Beverly Frisby
Nov 20, 2011 Beverly Frisby rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all
This is book one of the "Irish Angels" series and was released in March 2010 by Zondervan.

Laura Foster had an unspeakable childhood in New Orleans shortly after the end of the Civil War, one she has struggled to overcome. She now runs a boarding house in Glory, Texas, where she is known as a wealthy, respectable widow. When the Reverend Brand McCormick begins calling on Laura, she fears that her past life will come to light and she will be forced to move on again.

Reverend Brand McCormick is th...more
Heart of Stone is the first book by Jill that I have read, and I’ll start my review by saying I plan to read two more of her novels set in Glory, TX: Homecoming and The Accidental Lawman. This review can also be found here: http://ldswbr.blogspot.com/2010/07/he...

The Review

Heart of Stone is the first volume in the Irish Angel series. I like the cover and the title is appropriate to the main character, Laura Foster, and the way she has learned to cope with her past experiences. Laura is not nece...more
Jelly Bean
Who is Laura Foster, she is actually Lovie Lane, an Irish immigrant who live in New Orleans. When her parents died of an illness she and her 3 younger sisters are sent to live with their uncle and his wife. Not have much of their own, they cannot provide for the girls so her uncle sends the 2 younger girls to an orphanage and sells the two older girls, Lovie and her sister Megan to a brothel.

She has to learn to harden her heart against all that is around her. This is no life for someone so young...more
3 1/2 STARS

First off, the writing skills are 5 star. My rating of 3 1/2 stars is simply a matter of personal enjoyment and not a judgement on the author's writing.

I had recently finished "Heart of Lies" (I read them out of order) and loved it SOOO much that I knew "Heart Of Stone" was going to have a hard time living up to my expectations. And it did. Why?

Partly, I suppose, it was THE SETTING. "Heart Of Stone" takes place in a small Texas town (not the Louisiana Bayou which I found fascinating)....more
The first of The Irish Angels Series by Jill Marie Landis, this catalyst novel launches the story of four orphaned Irish immigrants and the fate dealt to them. The oldest, Laura suffers a horrible hand when her stupid and greedy uncle sells her and her sister to a New Orleans brothel. Upon arrival, the sisters are separated and Laura becomes Lovie Lane, while she can only imagine the fate her sister suffers. Now older, Laura has saved up enough to escape from her sordid past and poses as the wea...more
Heart of Stone was my first foray into the Christian Lit genre and I'm glad it was. The book was an easy read with solid writing and interesting characters. However, the story line seemed a bit cliched to me: woman with 'sordid' past meets man of cloth and must decide to follow her heart and tell him about her past or run away from him and her heart. It reminded me of what I think a romance novel would be like, but without all the sex scenes in it. As far as religion goes, the book was not stuff...more
Feb 19, 2012 Mareena rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes historical romance
Recommended to Mareena by: Jill Marie Landis
Laura Foster had escaped from an unspeakable childhood and come to Glory, Texas four years ago to start her life over. She had cultivated the persona of a wealthy widow to a tea, and had gained respectability and standing in the town. However, she realized that her past was just a step behind. When Reverend Brand McCormick comes calling on her, Laura does everything she can to dissuade his attentions, worried for his reputation. What she doesn't know is that Brand has his own dark secrets.When a...more
Stephanie Heuerman
Truth be told, I didn’t have high hopes for this book, but found myself pleasantly surprised anyway. Even though it was a Christian book, some of the subject matter was surprisingly heavy. I appreciated this as I find most Christian fiction that I’ve encountered to be sickeningly sweet. I did however find myself questioning the likelihood of one of the main characters being able to successfully exit the way of life she’d been forced into; and especially the degree of success she’d achieved upon...more
I am dismayed that in this day and age people are still writing novels where an 11 year old who is sold to a bordello and raped is then in need of forgiveness. Lovie is beautiful and smart so she eventually saves enough money to earn her freedom and start over with a fancy bed and breakfast in another city. She lives in fear that someone will discover her past and of course someone does. She is forgiven for being a whore (unwillingly, as a child) because she has given the church new choir robes...more
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JILL MARIE LANDIS is the bestselling author of nearly thirty novels which have appeared on the NYT bestseller list, USA Today and other national bestseller lists. She has won numerous awards for her heartfelt characters and sweeping emotional historical romances that include SUMMER MOON and MAGNOLIA CREEK and the Irish Angels Series; HEART OF STONE, HEART OF LIES, and HEART OF GLASS. All of her Hi...more
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