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Thursday, April 7, 2011

The LightKeeper's Ball, by Colleen Coble

From the publisher's site:

At the elegant Mercy Falls masquerade ball, Olivia's hidden identity will be revealed.

It is the dawn of a new century and Olivia Stewart is heiress to an empire. Her family numbers among the Four Hundred—those considered the wealthiest and most distinquished in America. Unfortunately their wealth has nearly disappeared, and now their security rests upon the Stewart daughters' marrying well.
 Olivia's sister, Eleanor, was engaged to Harrison Bennett, one of the nation's wealthiest men, but has since died. Now the pressure is on Olivia to take her place, despite her suspicions about Eleanor's fiancé. Using her family's long-forgotten English title, Olivia travels to Mercy Falls, California, as Lady Devonworth, hoping to learn more before committing to marriage. There she finds that Eleanor's death was no accident. And Harrison is not the man she thought he would be.
 When Mercy Falls holds a charity masquerade ball to raise funds for the new lighthouse, secrets—and truths long hidden—will be revealed. But can Harrison really love Olivia when he finds her true identity? Can she live with the repercussions of failing her family, or will she finally realize that nothing—not money, family, or romance—will ever compare to God's unconditional love?

Olivia's lost her sister, but the circumstances just do not make any sense. Despite family members and friends telling her ot let things alone, Olivia just isn't satisfied with a pat answer. Particularly when she receives a letter her sister wrote before her death. And now, Olivia's life is in danger.
Light, easy read with plenty intrigue and simple romance. I really don't read a lot of traditional religious fiction, though I do enjoy the thoughtful and well-written piece. But The Lightkeeper's Ball, with some religious undertones, (note, I said "under" not "over") is just a good story. It doesn't move overly quickly, but doesn't draaaaaaag you into boredom either.
Olivia is, simply put, believable. You can't help but love her for "bucking" the trend of the typical turn of the century young woman, who was married off for possible societal and often financial connections rather than love. Coble has created a town--Mercy Falls--that is filled with people that you want to know and support. You cheer for the good guy and are heartbroken when tragedy befalls someone. All in all, Mercy Falls is a likeable place to visit and escape to for a while.
The Lightkeeper's Ball isn't a challenging read. It is escapist, but the message cannot be missed. Ultimately, in order to be true to yourself, you must be real with God. Everything else will fall into place.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from Thomas Nelson Publishers through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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