Read Shadowed by Grace Online

Authors: Cara Putman

Tags: #Fiction, #Historical, #Religious, #Christian, #General, #Christian Historical Fiction

Shadowed by Grace

Praise for
Shadowed by Grace

Cara Putman’s
Shadowed by Grace
is an amazing story of a young female photographer who goes into a war zone to seek the truth and to possibly save her dying mother. When Rachel Justice is assigned to the care of Lt. Scott Lindstrom, she is already fighting her own internal war. Scott is trying to save sacred treasures but soon he sees that Rachel is the real treasure. Set against the backdrop of World War II, this book is action packed and fast paced but hugely romantic. Well researched and tightly written,
Shadowed by Grace
takes us right into the fray and doesn’t let go until the last kiss. Beautiful!

Lenora Worth,
New York Times
best-selling author
of
Bayou Sweetheart

My heart pounded with excitement from the first chapter to the last of
Shadowed by Grace
. With an authentic knowledge of World War II history, a gentle hand of artistry, and a heart for true love, Cara Putman draws in readers until they feel they’ve traveled through time to watch a story unfold of heroes and the women they love.

Cindy Woodsmall,
New York Times
best-selling author
of
The Winnowing Season

The World War II era is my favorite period to read and write about. It’s a good thing for readers that it’s Cara Putman’s favorite time too.
Shadowed by Grace
is a delightful book drawn from a little-known sidebar of World War II history. If you enjoy this fascinating era, reading great love stories, and journeying through the Italian countryside, you will love this novel.

Dan Walsh, best-selling author of
The Unfinished Gift
,
The Discovery
, and
The Dance

Steeped in rich historical detail,
Shadowed by Grace
is a fresh and fascinating foray into the annals of World War II, capturing the reader with a plot as turbulent as the war that raged across Europe . . . and as breathless as the love story that burgeons within its midst.

Julie Lessman, award-winning author of
The Daughters of Boston
and Winds of Change series

Against the backdrop of Italy, the little-known efforts of the Monuments Men in World War II come to life in the pages of
Shadowed by Grace
. A rich blend of the search for a father, the hunt for lost treasures, and the desire for a lasting love told through unforgettable characters. It’s a story written by one passionate about the time period. This story will sweep readers into the journey for lost art, a father, and love!

Tricia Goyer, best-selling author of thirty-five books,
including
The Promise Box

From colorful Naples to magnificent Florence, Cara Putman’s Shadowed by Grace takes the reader on a tour of wartime Italy, as Monuments Man Lt. Scott Lindstrom rushes to save priceless art while photojournalist Rachel Justice chases after a missing piece of her past. Soaring language, deep characters, engrossing history, a riveting plot, and a heart-pounding romance . . . do not miss this story!

Sarah Sundin, award-winning author of
On Distant Shores

I literally devoured
Shadowed By Grace
and was unable to think of anything else until I finished it. Full of intriguing characters and bursting with engrossing details of World War II and the Monument Men, the novel revealed history I knew nothing about. Everyone should read this book and understand this unique part of our history.

Colleen Coble, author of
Butterfly Palace
and the Hope Beach series

Readers may be familiar with the Monument Men from the movie of the same name, but never will a story of their antics be told with greater depth and emotion than in
Shadowed by Grace
. Cara Putman’s tale of love, intrigue, and purposes higher than our own is a book not to be missed!

Kathleen Y’Barbo, best-selling author
of The Secret Life of Will Tucker series

Cara Putman does an incredible job of transporting readers to war-torn Italy. The historical details add depth and authenticity that readers of historical fiction clamor for. I was swept up in Rachel and Scott’s story, their plight, their hopes and dreams, and when their dreams collided, I rooted for them to find their way back to each other. For anyone wanting to learn more about the Monuments Men and their important mission during World War II and the role women played on the front, this is a must read.

Cindy Thomson, author of
Grace’s Pictures
and
Annie’s Stories,
the Ellis Island Series

With characters that will steal your heart, set against the active backdrop of World War II,
Shadowed by Grace
exhibits why Cara Putman is an award-winning author. This is one story not to be missed.

Robin Caroll, author of the Justice Seekers series

In
Shadowed by Grace,
Cara Putman exhibits a gracious and impactful understanding of the greatest generation. Her passion for these characters, and this time in our nation’s history, shines through this story.

Marybeth Whalen, author of
The Mailbox,
The Guest Book
, and
The Wishing Tree,
cofounder of the online women’s book club, She Reads

Shadowed by Grace
transports you into a story that will captivate you from the start. A masterful blend of history, fiction, and thrilling romance.

Jenny B. Jones, award-winning author of
Save the Date

Putman delivers an exciting, well-told tale drawn from true-life war crimes. While her hero and heroine work to recover some of Europe’s most precious art, they discover love and the mysteries of their own past. Well done! An interesting read.

Rachel Hauck, best-selling author
of
The Wedding Dress
and
Once Upon a Prince

I’ve watched development of this Monuments Men story from its conception to its birth, but I had no idea how powerful the story would ultimately be. Putman artfully weaves themes of grief and loss with bright lights of hope and faith, against the desperate backdrop of World War II. You won’t put this book down, and these characters will be a part of you forever.

Nicole O’Dell, author of twenty-three books
and founder of Choose NOW Ministries

A World War II love story at its absolute best! Cara Putman artfully weaves real history and fiction with a deft pen, taking her readers on a journey not soon forgotten.

Tamera Alexander, best-selling author
of
To Whisper Her Name
and
A Lasting Impression

Shadowed by Grace, Digital Edition

Based on Print Edition

Copyright © 2014 by Cara C. Putman

All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

978-1-4336-8178-3

Published by B&H Publishing Group,

Nashville, Tennessee

Dewey Decimal Classification: F

Subject Heading: ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVELS \ FATHER-DAUGHTER RELATIONSHIP—FICTION \ WORLD WAR, 1939-1945—FICTION

Publisher’s Note: The characters and events in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to actual persons or events is coincidental.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version.

Chapter 1

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

March 1944

“YOU HAVE ONE CHANCE
to make this fly.” Bobby Hamilton leaned across his broad desk and stared her down. “I had to pull more strings than I knew I had to get the brass to bite on sending a woman to Italy. Who sends a woman to a war-torn country? Getting credentials? What a mess.” The man waved his beefy hands down in a dismissive gesture. “Then getting you on the
Queen Mary
?” He chomped hard on his cigar.

Rachel perched on the chair in his crowded office as the Andrews Sisters belted out “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” on the small Kadette radio sitting atop a stack of papers on Bobby’s overloaded credenza. She kept her back so straight her men’s-style tailored blazer pulled her shoulders back.

She didn’t blink, couldn’t give a single sign of weakness. Her editor may have taken all those steps, but she’d had to convince him first, all while watching her mother waste away day by day.

“I hope you know what you’re doing, Justice.”

“I
do
.” She put as much force behind the word as she could without shouting.

He leaned back in his chair, unlit cigar poised to punctuate a thought. “You’ve got talent. A way with that camera.”

She stroked the case, feeling as if it naturally extended from her.

“Don’t let me down. Send back photos that will wow readers.” He didn’t have to mention his bosses.

“Yes, sir.” Rachel lurched to her feet and straightened her skirt’s front pleat as she hurried from the room before he could call her back.

There was so much to do. Too much before she could join the mass of soldiers and handful of civilians who would cross the Atlantic aboard the HMS
Queen Mary
. If she hurried, she could finish cleaning the apartment and still make it to the hospital before visiting hours ended. It was a stop Rachel had to make, yet dreaded. How could she explain to her mother what she was doing while hiding her secondary purpose?

Rachel climbed the stairs to the small flat she’d shared with her mother for as many years as she could remember. With her coming absence and her mother’s declining health, Rachel had let the lease lapse. A friend already had the few boxes filled with Rachel’s lifetime of mementos and memories while another friend held her mother’s things. The furniture never belonged to them, so it would stay. All that remained was to clean what she could, leaving it in reasonable condition for the landlord.

As she tackled the small bedroom with a bucket of water and a rag, Rachel reached as far as she could under the bed. Her cloth-covered fingers groped against a surface . . . a book? She dropped the rag, then stretched farther, inching her head partway under the bed to reach the item. She grasped an edge and pulled it free.

The volume had a spiral-wire binding with heavy cardboard covers. Between those were thick pages covered with charcoal drawings. As she flipped through it, some of the images looked like different sketches of the same scene. Over and over. From different angles. Varying perspectives. Alternating attempts at techniques. Some were quite good, others pedestrian. All contained one woman, a large hat obscuring her features as she stared across a meadow at a field of some sort. Another hill appeared to be terraced, its steep edges softened by the drop-offs.

Rachel flipped through the book but did not see a name, a year, even a location. Nothing indicated who the artist was or when he worked. The book might contain preliminary sketches of a larger work. She’d often seen her mother use the same technique on the rare occasions they had enough extra money to allow her to create an oil painting. Because supplies were so precious, her mother labored over each painting, testing visions until she had one that pleased her.

It had grieved Rachel to sell her mother’s paintings. But with their limited income, the paintings were what she could sell to keep her mother in the hospital. Now those were gone.

She scanned the pages one more time. One drawing held initials in the right-hand corner: RMA. Initials that weren’t her mother’s. Rachel slipped the book in her knapsack next to her mother’s diary she’d found while cleaning out the closet, then returned to her work.

An hour later she closed the apartment door, leaving the key with the super on the first floor. As she walked the streets to the hospital, she slipped between those walking home from work or heading out for the evening. A GI wrapped his arm around a pretty girl bundled in a rich velvet turban and heavy coat. A mother guided an energetic son in his zigzagging pattern up the sidewalk.

Who would miss her if something happened? Her mother? A handful of others? But there was no one to wrap an arm around her and pull her close, whether to ward off the chill or because he couldn’t get close enough. She’d poured her energy into proving she could handle a career as a journalist. The last year her remaining time had been poured into nursing her mother, trying to coax life into her.

The brick hospital loomed in front of her. Rachel stepped inside, nodded to the volunteer at the desk, then wound her way through the too-bright halls to the back of the third floor where her mother waited in a ward. The faint scent of disinfectant almost covered the distinct hospital aroma that surrounded Rachel. She sipped the air through her mouth as her gaze bounced around the ward.

She crept toward her mother’s narrow bed but couldn’t force herself to look into her mother’s eyes, not when the woman had read her every thought with a glance from the moment Rachel had first breathed.

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