by Colleen Coble
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: April 19, 2011
Source: sent by publisher
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Summary from goodreads.com:
Olivia seems to have it all, but her heart yearns for more.
Olivia Stewart's family is one of the Four Hundred-the highest echelon of society in 1910. When her sister dies under mysterious circumstances, Olivia leaves their New York City home for Mercy Falls, California, to determine what befell Eleanor. She suspects Harrison Bennett, the man Eleanor planned to marry. But the more Olivia gets to know him, the more she doubts his guilt-and the more she is drawn to him herself.
When several attempts are made on her life, Olivia turns to Harrison for help. He takes her on a ride in his aeroplane, but then crashes, and they're forced to spend two days alone together. With her reputation hanging by a thread, Harrison offers to marry her to make the situation right. As a charity ball to rebuild the Mercy Falls lighthouse draws near, she realizes she wants more than a sham engagement-she wants Harrison in her life forever. But her enemy plans to shatter the happiness she is ready to grasp. If Olivia dares to drop her masquerade, she just might see the path to true happiness.
This historical Christian romance had a little bit of everything, and I loved it all! I will admit, the book started out a little slow for me. I thought it was going to be a typical run of the mill Christian romance. I was even a little confused by the two characters named Mr. Bennett. But I encourage you not to quit reading if you're feeling the same way. This book turns into a quick-paced, modern-thinking mystery and romance.
My favorite thing about the book was the positive message about women's roles. I enjoy Christian fiction, but sometimes I feel like they look at women in an old fashioned way, which is so far from the way I feel that it discourages me from reading a lot of books in the genre. But this book took a very forward and modern view on women's roles, and their value and worth. Harrison was especially encouraging of Olivia taking charge of her life and breaking out of society's rules for women. Harrison respects Olivia as a woman and a partner, and even more importantly, Olivia respects herself as a woman.
I also liked that the author doesn't shy away from the passionate side of Harrison and Olivia's feelings for each other. These feelings are discussed in a respectful and realistic way, not glossed over or ignored like some books in the genre do.
I appreciate that Harrison had a large role in the book, the story wasn't skewed towards Olivia's point of view. The mystery definitely kept me on my toes, and never overshadowed the romance or the personal stories in the book.
Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5
Bottom Line:A lot of people have raved about the cover of this book, but in my opinion, the story is even better than the gorgeous cover.