What do I have to offer this world? Can I really be loved for who I am on the outside and not for how others view me? Where does my true significance come from? In her third installment of the Mercy Falls series, The Lightkeeper’s Ball, award-winning author Colleen Coble will answer these questions while leading her readers down a path of betrayal, desire and ultimate fulfillment.
The Mercy Falls series centers on a small town in California and its lighthouse. Coble uses the lighthouse as a reminder that Jesus is our lighthouse always leading us home. In her latest addition to the series, the main characters must wrestle with their desire to find fulfillment in more than their work and money while being hunted by those who are holding on to resentment and unforgiveness.
Olivia Stewart’s family is one of the Four Hundred—the highest echelon of society in 1910. Living in New York with her mother, Olivia is twenty-five and unmarried, and her mother is threatening an arranged marriage if she does not pick a suitable match soon. But Olivia wants someone who will love her for more than her name.
Her sister Eleanor has headed to the Wild West of California to meet and marry Harrison Bennett. Harrison is the son of her late father’s business partner, Claude. Olivia’s father had specified in his will that the Bennett and Stewart families be joined in order for his family to receive half of the rights to the Bennetts’ diamond mine.
But when Claude Bennett arrives in New York to inform Mrs. Stewart and Olivia that Eleanor has drowned, everything changes. Now Olivia must marry Harrison, or her family will be left with no income. But Olivia is not convinced that her sister’s death was an accident. So she heads to Mercy Falls, California, under her formal title, Lady Devonworth, in order to seek the truth and to hide her identity from Harrison. But the truth she finds may not be what she expected.
Harrison Bennett is full of dreams. His father insists he run their business, and his mother tells him that he should not waste the gift God has given him. But all Harrison really wants to do is build and fly aeroplanes. And it doesn’t help any that his fiancé drowned and now the nosy Lady Devonworth keeps asking him questions about something so private and hurtful. Yet there seems to be something more than skin deep with her, and he would like to discover what it is.
Can Olivia and Harrison both find the meaning in life that they desire? In her last novel in the Mercy Falls series, Coble does not disappoint. With murder, suspense and desire, readers will enjoy peeling back the layers and discovering that this is more than your average romance novel. They will be perched on the edge of their seats trying to solve the mystery of Eleanor’s death while discovering that the true worth of an individual never comes from a name or accomplishments. True worth can only be found in Christ.
The Lightkeeper’s Ball by Colleen Coble
Thomas Nelson/April 19, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-5955-4268-7/304 pages/paperback/$14.99
Of the three books in the series this one had the coolest premise and the most beautiful cover art. The story itself seemed much slower paced to me than the others. The characterization was good, but it seemed to take time to build. I did feel grounded in the time period the story was set in. The Gilded Age is always fun to read because of the arranged marriage themes that occurred in that era. I liked the fact that I wasn't sure whodunit and all that, but at the same time it wasn't until the last one hundred pages that the story really picked up pace and had me enthralled enough to want to keep reading without stopping.
The hero in this story was more dashing and likable than in the other two books. I loved that he had a thing for aeronautics and flying, and so did the heroine. The scandal that happened when they ended up stranded was pretty intriguing. That camp out was probably the most romantic part of the story. I loved how neither the hero nor the heroine were sure if their feelings were love, since neither had experienced that emotion before. I could buy the deception to an extent, though dragging it out for as long as she did made the heroine seem more deceptive, which wasn't necessarily a good thing. But I still liked her regardless.
I appreciated how this book had characters from the two previous books in the series. That made it worth reading all three books in a row. I'm really glad that I did. All in all I enjoyed this series. Ms. Coble has a gift for writing historical fiction with intrigue and a bit of mystery. I loved the whole Haley's comet concern and what people thought about what could happen when the earth passed through its tail. I always love reading historicals where there is joking about how something (like income tax) is ludicrous and will never happen. Ha. Anyway, great series. This book was not my fav, but it was still enjoyable, especially toward the end. I'd definitely recommend it.
A copy of this book was provided to me to review for this tour by the B & B Media Group.
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