About the book:
Carny Sullivan grew up in the zany world of a traveling carnival. Quaint and peaceful Serenity, Texas, has given her a home, a life, and a child. Logan Brisco is the smoothest, slickest, handsomest man Serenity, Texas has ever seen. But Carny Sullivan knows a con artist when she sees one---and she's seen plenty, starting with her father. As far as Carny Sullivan can tell, she's the only one in town who has his number. Because from his Italian shoes to his movie-actor smile, Logan has the rest of the town snowed. Carny is determined to reveal Brisco's selfish intentions before his promise to the townspeople for a cut in a giant amusement park sucks Serenity dry. Yet, as much as she hates his winning ways, there is a man behind that suave smile, a man who may win her heart against her will.
Shadow in Serenity is the type of story that sticks with you after you finish the book. Not only is it well-written, but it made me cry a few times. There were some precious, yet heart-wrenching scenes in this story that rang so true I forgot several times that I was reading fiction. The people in the story seemed real to me. I loved the characters' arcs as well. The theme about childhood always being with you and shaping who you are--but that didn't mean you couldn't change--was very inspirational and emotionally moving. There were a lot of things about this story that were powerful. It's hard to say much without spoiling it for the reader, but I will say that this is a beautiful and touching love story about learning to trust and discovering hope for the future.
I have always been a believer in change, but not many books show just how difficult and scary it is for people to really do that. The ability to trust is not possible when someone is continually guarding their heart and closing themselves off to others. Then to learn that change was possible and to desire that so much that you are willing to risk everything? That was so well done and so convincing that I couldn't help but fall for Logan myself. He really did want to experience love and not be lonely anymore. The story of his childhood that he shared with Jason was so touching that it was impossible not to cry. I felt a bit panicked toward the end along with Carny. The author did a very convincing job of setting everything up. This was the perfect romantic suspense and I'll still be thinking about the story days from now. Because of that and a number of other reasons it's making my best fiction list for this year.
Shadow in Serenity was published by Zondervan and released in Sept. 2011. A copy of this book was provided by Shelby of Shelton Interactive for my review. The opinion expressed above is entirely my own.