Book Review: Peace in the Valley by Ruth Logan Herne, Book 3 of Double S Ranch series

"For once in his lifetime, Trey Walker Stafford 
had aced his two older brothers."  (1)

Title:  Peace in the Valley
Series: Double S Ranch, Book 3
Author: Ruth Logan Herne
Release Date:  June 1, 2017 (Trade Paperback)
May 2, 2017 (Mass Market Paperback)
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction

In spite of their differences, Trey Walker Stafford knows he owes his life to cowboy and legendary rancher Sam Stafford—the uncle who rescued him after his parents’ death. Trey had left the Double S Ranch to pursue music against Sam’s wishes, but returns to central Washington when he learns he’s the best match for a procedure that could save Sam’s life. Although Trey’s found country music fame and success, he’s also endured the tragic loss of his wife. He croons about love, but struggles with a yawning emptiness he can’t explain. 

Overwhelmed by a growing list of challenges, but mistrustful of Stafford men, single mother Lucy Carlton reluctantly accepts Trey’s help to revive her crumbling farm when Sam instructs him to repay the overdue debt to her family.

As the two grow closer, Trey slowly begins to open his heart to this beautiful woman and strives to let go of the grief he’s held for years. Lucy has a complicated history of her own. Can Trey accept her as she is, learn to forgive the past, and find the elusive peace he's sought for so long?

I finally had the chance to read Trey's story in Ruth Logan Herne's latest book in Double S Ranch series, Peace in the Valley. Ever since the first book in the series, Back in the Saddle, I was hooked. Hooked on getting to know the Stafford boys. Each in their own way, their walk in faith and in forgiveness have opened floodgates of emotions, laughter and comprehension. And in Peace in the Valley, the story on Trey's journey to self understanding, grace and love, just simply perfect.

"I'm just saying there's good in all of us. Sometimes we just have to look harder. Or be really patient. . ."  (118) 

Trey doesn't know his heart - doesn't believe that he and others can leave a broken past behind. As he struggles with issues of trust, he can't decide on what sacrifice meant for his family, and what that sacrifice can do to others. Without promising what he can't be sure of, he is hesitant with his growing love for Lucy and her kids.
". . . it is useless to take on senseless guilt. We are much stronger when we graciously accepts God's forgiveness, and forgive ourselves."  (58) 
The humor of the author is evident throughout, with the adults, as well as the kids. I just love the mutual respect the Stafford men show for each other and others as well. Their love is obvious, but it doesn't stop there. They're not afraid to speak the truth, nor find ways to share God's grace, and I think it has a lot to do with the women in their lives.

"The boys think you're pretty cool. Of course, they don't know the rest of us well, yet, so comparisons will prove inevitable, and that will leave you in the dust."  (180) 

Kids continue to make a strong presence in this third installment, which by the way, can each read as a standalone novel. I love the fact that the author throws in good, moral, and honest parenting topics in the story as well. Parents will be able to relate and those that aren't parents, will still find it charming. The part about being a "true cowboy", priceless.  I can go on and on, with so many great plot moments and quotable quotes, but unfortunately, like every story, there comes a time for it to end. Last tidbit, I love the use of the title, Peace in the Valley, which for those that don't know, is also a title of a song, written by Thomas Andrew Dorsey, and sung by various artists, including Johnny Cash. With multiple scriptural references, the theme of peace is exactly what we can expect from the cover and the story.

"We're all here at this time for a reason. God's reason. I don't know the whys or the wherefores, but I believe it. . ." (200) 

I really loved Peace in the Valley. The characters, the story, the messages - all makes it a worth whiled read, and a keeper for future reads. I also highly recommend to those that would love to see good in everything and everyone, but having a tad bit trouble with it. Or those that find it difficult to hold onto grace, have trouble with forgiveness, either for others or with themselves, or simply in search of personal peace.  Either way, let's not forget the choice is ours. Ours to trust, to make decisions and to share. The Double S Ranch series have a subtle way of reminding us all that, but also literal. Let it enter your mind and hearts.

"The tree has no choice; it grows as it's shaped.  But God gives us all kinds of choices.  Once we're old enough to see that, it's up to us.  But it also becomes our responsibility, and that's the scary part. Because then there's no one else to blame. "  (77) 
"You either go into this believing God's in control or you go in shaking in your boots. I'm grabbing hold of the whole God-thing. At least that way, we minimize wear and tear on the boots. Good boots don't come cheap. "  (184) 
Good boots don't come cheap. O yeah.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



BOOKS IN THE DOUBLE S RANCH SERIES (Click to take you to my review)


Ruth Logan Herne has more than a million books in print, including eighteen Love Inspired contemporary novels and Back in the Saddle, Book 1 in the Double S Ranch series. Ruth is a founding member of Seekerville, a popular writing collective blog. A country girl who loves the big city, Ruth and her husband live on a farm in upstate New York.

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  1. Annie, your review has me wanting to meet the Stafford boys! ;)

    1. O Caryl, you must! you must meet them!!!!! I insist!

  2. Replies
    1. Totally agree! There is not one book I've read by Ruthy that I did not like. I can say there are only a few authors that fit that category for me! =) LOVE this!

  3. I loved reading Peace in the Valley by Ruthy. This is my favorite in the Double S Ranch series.

    1. Lucky you you're able to pick a favourite among the three! I love them ALL!


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