Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Colleen Coble

What's not to love about this cover?? *grin* Here's the back cover copy:

At a lavish estate in Mercy Falls, California, Addie Sullivan finds danger-and quite possibly the love of her life.

Growing up as the lightkeeper's daughter on a remote island at the turn of the century, Addie Sullivan has lived a hardscrabble life. When a long-lost and wealthy relative finds her and enlists her to work as a governess at a lavish estate, she hopes to discover the truth of her heritage. But at Eaton Hall, nothing is as it seems. Not the idyllic family she hoped for, not the child she was hired to help, not even the aloof man she's immediately attracted to. Soon she must turn for help to Lieutenant John North, a man who views her with suspicion.

As Addie edges closer to the truth, danger threatens even as her romance with John blossoms and together they unravel a decades-old mystery. As Addie faces down her enemy, she discovers that faith in her one true Father is all she needs.

And now, my review:

This was my first Colleen Coble read and her first historical, so we’re both trying something new. Her romance thread is highly enjoyable. I liked how the hero and heroine were “allowed” to build their relationship throughout the story, rather than waiting for everything to come together at the end. Of course, she keeps it wholesome, but it’s worth mentioning how she doesn’t remain in a formulaic pattern for this thread. One of my favorite aspects.

Her heroine is very likable. She’s na├»ve and outspoken and I rooted for her, both in her goal to find and belong to her family, as well as sympathizing with her pursuit of acceptance. Well done.

I understand Colleen writes suspense, but I felt the tone of this novel didn’t strike me as a suspense at first, so when the first threatening situation happens, it seemed forced. Even the book’s back cover copy doesn’t mention suspense—you know, right there near the bar code and genre specs. However, this thread doesn’t detract from the overall story, especially when it kicks into high gear later in the story.

I liked the setting and timing of the story: lighthouses and the early Twentieth Century. Lighthouses, in my opinion, are always a great setting for a novel, especially a historical.

One of Colleen’s spiritual themes was trusting God. Her heroine gets into some scrapes, of course, and she chooses to trust God to get her through them. I felt this was handled perhaps a little too simplistically, because of course the situation gets resolved within a few pages. Life isn’t always that simple; God doesn’t always answer with a “yes.” Still, for the sake of a timely story, it worked. And it’s a worthy theme.

Finally, the cover. I know, books aren’t all about covers, but I absolutely love this cover. The colors and setting, the sky and lighthouse. All of those intrigued me enough to give this book a try. Readers who enjoy suspense, romance and historical settings will enjoy this story. Nicely done.

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