Mar 10, 2011

Journey to Riverbend by Henry McLaughlin

Michael Archer is nothing if not a man of his word. Though he was unable to save Ben Carstairs, Michael is determined to carry out Ben’s dying wish: to be reconciled with his father. Unfortunately, Sam Carstairs, one of the most ruthless businessmen on the frontier, has no use for his own son, much less a man of God seeking reconciliation.

Soon after arriving in Riverbend, Michael meets and falls for the stunning Rachel Stone while waiting for Sam to return from a business trip. Beautiful yet guarded, Rachel seems to be running from a past as dark as Michael’s.

When word reaches town that Sam has been kidnapped on the stagecoach home, Michael offers to join the search party formed by the local sheriff. With a budding romance behind him and a dangerous rescue ahead of him, he sets out on the trail, determined to complete his journey no matter the cost.


Henry McLaughlin is the 2009 winner of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel Contest. He has a master's degree in social work and spent many years working in the public child welfare system. It was in this role that he first honed his writing skills in preparing concise and accurate court reports and petitions. He retired from that career in 1999 to work with Kenneth Copeland Ministries. 

To improve his craft, Henry belongs to several Christian writer organizations; attends writers conferences, workshops, and retreats; and participates in online and local critique groups. He completed the Christian Writers Guild Craftsman course in April 2010. 

Henry and his wife, Linda, have been married for over forty years and live in Saginaw, Texas. They have five children, the oldest of whom is in heaven, and one grandchild.

Visit the author's website at


Journey to Riverbend is a historical romance to a certain degree, but could more accurately be classified as a western feud between evil and honor.  Michael Archer is the new guy in town, and he has arrived to offer reconciliation on behalf of a young friend that was unjustly hanged for crimes he didn't commit.

Rachel Stone has a dark past of her own, and trusting a man is not in her plans.  Yet she finds herself strangely drawn towards Michael.  Their short friendship is interrupted when Michael joins a posse of lawmen, farmers and cowboys to rescue one of their own who has been kidnapped.

A great story of hope, forgiveness and God's provision even during the hard times, this book is written from a man's point of view.  Some of the gunfights and violence were a bit much to handle, but in the midst of it all, the honor and faith of very strong characters influenced those around them.

If you love an action-packed story about the rough and rustic times of long ago, you will enjoy this story.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Journey to Riverbend through Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

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