Just Kin by Caryl McAdoo is the sixth book in the Texas Romance series. It is a historical romance and this book follows the fortunes of Lacey Rose and Charley. It can be read as a stand-alone, however characters and events from previous novels are mentioned so for maximum enjoyment, reading the series is best.
Lacey Rose is just sixteen years old when her best friend and the love of her life, Charley goes off to fight in the American civil war. In a letter Charley writes that they are ‘just kin’. This upsets Lacey who decides to set off to find her Comanche father.
The theme of running away is prevalent in the novel. Lacey runs away, not only from her home but from her situations. She even seems to run away from God as she chooses some rather dubious lifestyles. In an attempt to hide, she changes her name. She cannot hide from God who loves her.
Lacey learns important life lessons along the way. Lacey learns a lessons about herself and who she really is deep down. She also learns about a steadfast God. God will never leave us. He may not like all our lifestyle choices but He will not stop loving us.
Tied in to the fact that God is all loving, is the theme of repentance and forgiveness. Lacey needs to recognise and repent of her sins before she can receive forgiveness. She must also remember to forgive others. She can forgive because God first forgave her.
The past is important but you cannot change it. The past can teach you lessons that will help you move forward into the future.
Marriage is presented in the novel. The ideal marriage would be for love. However sometimes people marry for convenience hoping that love will follow.
The theme of love runs throughout the novel. Love is also closely linked to hurt. When one loves deeply, there is also the potential to be hurt deeply. The only one guaranteed never to hurt us is God. Your heart is always safe in His hands.
Life can be a battle at times. Sometimes a literal battle as in the civil war. It can also be a battle not to fall into sin. Caryl McAdoo has presented very real characters who do face very real problems and who do fall into sin. However she shows that it is important not to judge people. It is important to love and to forgive. We are all sinners in comparison with God. And we are all saved by a love that sent Jesus to the cross.
I enjoyed Just Kin and devoured it quickly. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
I was given a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.