By Colleen Coble
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 19, 2011)
List Price $14.99
Book Description: 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.
My take: The Lightkeeper's Ball was presented to me as Christian fiction by the publisher. I have to disagree with that categorization though; instead, I see this novel as more of a "historical romance" and "mystery." I found out after I read the book that it is third in series (called Mercy Falls Novels) but honestly the book stood alone quite well (it was such an enjoyable read though that I have already placed books 1 and 2 on my Amazon.com wish list!) This was the first time I've read any books by Colleen Coble too so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I have to say, even though I was expecting more Christian aspects to be written into the story (like the Amish fiction I so enjoy, including this recent Book Sneeze review), the book was still an enjoyable read. Ms. Coble's prose created Olivia Stewart's world of 1910 so well, I felt I was actually there seeing the birth of the aeroplane industry and witnessing the passing of Hailey's Comet. And I'm a complete sucker for romance novels - have been ever since my Grandmother Vaughn introduced me to Harlequin romances back in the day. Will Olivia and Harrison overcome their distrust of each other? Will they find out who killed her sister Eleanor? Will Olivia be forced to make the marriage of convenience so many of her time were forced in to? You'll have to read the book to find out!
This review was sponsored by Book Sneeze (Thomas Nelson) who provided the book for review. I was not compensated in any way except for the complimentary book.