Tag Archives: suspense

A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd

 

Series: Treasures of Surrey, Book 3

Publication Date: May 2017

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

ARC copy from Netgalley and Thomas Nelson Publishers

 

“Every person is on a journey. You.  Me.  Mr. Thorley. Miss Stillworth. Every single one of us.” …. “Some of us will learn and grow, and some will struggle and fail. I know I certainly could not judge another. All we can do is be there for the ones who have been put into our lives.”

-Crosley

Suspense, romance and a bit of faith deliver a great story in this latest novel by Sarah E. Ladd. Readers of Regency novels will definitely engage with this story. Intriguing characters, dark plots, and subtle romance tie the story together quite well!

Annabelle Thorley,  a young gentile woman, finds her life changing drastically as her family goods are carted from their pleasant home and sold by her brother who has inherited the family estate. Bills to settle, debts to be paid, and unsavory friends add to Annabelle’s brother Thomas’s problems. Thomas decides to use Annabelle as a means of getting himself out of debt and out of trouble.

Desperation drives Annabelle to seek shelter at Fellsworth School run by her Uncle Edmund, whom she has not seen in ten years. Owen Locke, a groundskeeper from the neighboring estate, steps in and provides safe transportation to Fellsworth for Annabelle and her ladies maid, Crosley.

Uncle Edmund is quite willing to provide the two women with jobs and a safe place to live. Thus begins a changed life for Annabelle and Crosley both. One will use the change to her advantage and one will use it unwisely.

Once again Sarah Ladd examines in depth the significance of family, morals, and the true meaning of home. Annabelle and Owen have both suffered loss and difficulties. Annabelle’s upbringing left her ill suited to the life with which she winds up, but she makes an effort to adapt and do the best she can with the skills she has. Owen learns that he is capable of a great deal of patience and that his patience and hard work do pay off in the end. Annabelle and Owen learn that home is where you make it and family is sometimes what we choose, not what we are born to.

This ARC copy was received from Thomas Nelson and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.  

 

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Mystery/Suspense, Regency

The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray

gray-shelley-the-loyal-heart

 

Series: Lone Star Hero, Book 1

Publication Date: July 2016

Publisher: Zondervan

Gratis copy from The Fiction Guild

 

 

Suspense, a bit of a mystery, and some romance all rolled into a post Civil War story set in Galveston, Texas!

Miranda Markham, a devastated, lonely widow, is currently being harassed endlessly by the townspeople of Galveston. Life is not difficult enough to endure after the loss of her husband, Captain Phillip Markham, she must put up with rumors about her husband’s loyalties, disgruntled in-laws, and a boarding house where no one wants to stay.

Robert Truax, a fellow officer from Robert’s unit, arrives to do his duty to his fallen comrade’s widow. As part of a close knit group of officers who agreed to look after each other after the war, Robert begins an investigation into Miranda’s troubles uncovering secrets that were not meant to be discovered and struggling to maintain secrets that need to remain just that!

Readers of historical fiction who enjoy the Civil War and post Civil War era will enjoy this novel. The secrets and mysteries add to the intrigue. Is it possible for Miranda to have feelings for someone other than Phillip again? A serious, but quick read!

 

This copy was received from Zondervan and the Fiction Guild in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah E. Ladd

Ladd, Sarah  Dawn at Emberwilde

Series: A Treasures of Surrey novel

Publication Date: May 2016

Publisher: Thomas Nelson and Netgalley.com

ARC copy

 

  

  “There is nothing quite so lovely as dawn at Emberwilde.”

                     –Burns, ladies maid to Isabel Creston

Moving from life as a student to life as a teacher at the Fellsworth School changed very little in Isabel Creston’s life. The uniforms were a bit more drab and your hair had to be constantly tidy, but the same rigid regulations remained. Isabel is a beautiful young woman who likes to daydream and push the rules to the limits most days.

Nothing prepares Isabel, an orphan who serves as guardian to her younger half sister, for the arrival of the tall, handsome stranger that has been sent to escort her to Emberwilde to meet family that she never knew existed.

The novel gains momentum quickly with an intriguing plot that encompasses ghosts in the forest, smuggling, and mysterious events that occur without explanation. To further complicate the story, Isabel quickly learns that love often wears many faces. Nothing is quite as it seems at Emberwilde Hall.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The hint of romance appealed to me and the mysteries throughout the book kept my attention. The characters are reminiscent of Jane Austen’s characters and the setting and dark mysteries offer a bit of Charlotte Bronte. Read Dawn at Emberwilde to find out what mysteries are lurking in the forest!  Great book for readers of historical, Regency, and inspirational fiction!

Sarah Ladd’s website

Facebook: Sarah Ladd

Sarah Ladd at Goodreads.com

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So Fair a Lady, Book 1 by Amber Lynn Perry

So Fair a Lady

Series: Daughters of His Kingdom Series

Publication Date: May 2014

Publisher: Liberty Publishing

Purchased copy from Amazon.com

 

So Fair a Lady is a great debut novel by a very promising new author. The novel is a terrific story that catches the reader’s attention and holds it throughout the book. The plot gets a grip on the reader immediately, and the suspense pulls one along at an excellent pace.

Set in Boston, Massachusetts in 1773 the story details the turmoil and conflict going on at that time. The per-Revolutionary period was a volatile time and very few escaped the political intrigues. I enjoyed the historical detail in the novel and the nice job Ms. Perry did presenting the confusion of the people at that time over the historical events that were unfolding.

Eliza and Kitty Campbell are two young women raised as protected, well loved daughters of a dedicated Tory doctor, loyal to the King. At only 50 years of age, Robert Campbell dies leaving his daughters alone. Right before his death, Robert hands Eliza a mysterious letter to be read only by her and not her younger sister, Kitty. Eliza reads the letter and her life is changed forever.

Thomas Watson, a young printer, is a devout Son of Liberty and strong patriot. Although Eliza had never met Thomas prior to her father’s death, their lives become entwined along a journey to save themselves. Thomas, Eliza, and Kitty, along with the help of Thomas’s good friend, Dr. Nathaniel Smith, manage to flee Boston and hide over the course of several months.

Eliza experiences a transformation from protected daughter to a knowledgeable young woman well versed in the political rhetoric of the time. Thomas and Eliza find adventure, romance, and suspense along the way. The characters grow and develop nicely throughout the story and a pleasing ending is achieved leaving plenty of room for growth and development in the coming story of Kitty and Nathaniel. If you enjoy Christian historical fiction, read the story of Eliza and Thomas and life in pre-Revolutionary Massachusetts. Very appealing read!

 

 

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A Shining Light by Judith Miller

shining light

 

Publication Date: March 2014

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Bethany House Publishers

 

 

Andrea Wilson flees the city of Boston with her young son, Lukas, for life in rural Iowa upon hearing that her husband has been declared dead at sea. Andrea’s loss sadly brings only relief to her mind and soul after many years of physical and verbal abuse. She packs her meager belongings and heads to the family farm in Iowa hoping to give her son a better life only to find that her father died in a fire and that the farm had been sold prior to the fire.

Andrea meets Brother Bosch, a member of the local Amana community, at the farm when she arrives there from the nearest train station. The house has burned and only the barn is left standing. The kindly Brother Bosch offers her a short term solution of living at the Amana village in exchange for working in one of the kitchen houses. After some thought, Andrea realizes she has nowhere else to turn.

Andrea and Lukas settle into the community and are welcomed by the people. She slowly begins to feel safety for herself and her son, and she once again starts to reaffirm her faith. There are many underlying stories throughout the book adding to the character and depth of the novel. The lifestyle of the Amana bring a true sense of community and friendship to the story. Woven into the main storyline the reader is introduced to Dirk, the local tinsmith, who gradually weaves his way into the life of Lukas and Andrea.

The book was very enjoyable and heartwarming.  The story really touched a quiet place inside of me to read about people within a community living and caring about each other without the pressures of financial worries and the struggles of everyday life. It is interesting to read about a community that places so little value on worldly goods. These people worked hard and lived for their faith. I believe the book will help the reader reflect on their own life and faith. For readers of inspirational Christian fiction, this book offers the elements of drama, suspense, and romance as well as the inspirational basis upon which it is written.

This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

 

 

 

 

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The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

The Violets of March by Sarah Jio
Published May 2011
Book: Advance Review Copy from Penguin Group compliments of Goodreads.com

The story of Emily Wilson, a thirty-something author, currently getting divorced, struggling with writer’s block, and a tangle of complicated family issues is detailed in this narrative style novel. The book contains mystery, romance, and intrigue blended together to produce an interesting story that pulls the reader through till the last page.

Emily’s story alternates with the mysterious, Esther, who lived on Bainbridge Island during the 1940’s. Esther’s story is told through the pages of a diary uncovered by Emily during her stay on Bainbridge Island with her eccentric Aunt Bee. The cast of characters in the novel is diverse and intriguing. The majority of the characters are linked in a shadowy manner, gradually disclosed near the end of the story. The setting is well suited to the story and provides an interesting backdrop.

The story’s resolution handles Emily’s current life situation and the mystery of Esther quite well. All the loose ends are wrapped up rather nicely in the end. Emily’s love life seems to have been fast forwarded through the novel and her decisions a bit too hurried for real life. All in all, I really wanted to find out how Emily and Esther resolved matters.

Rated: 3 out of 5

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