Title: The Lightkeeper's Ball (A Mercy Falls Novel #3)
Author: Colleen Coble
Publisher: Thomas Nelson 2011
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Reading Challenges: Summer Romance - Historical
How I Got It: Borrowed from the library
In 1910, New York socialite Olivia Stewart resists an arranged, socially advantageous marriage, and the mysterious death of her sister Eleanor in Northern California is an unhappy but convenient excuse to go West to investigate. On the way, she is thrown off a Bay area ship and nearly drowned, so she has a number of reasons to hide her identity when she arrives in Mercy Falls, Calif. Her shipboard rescuer turns out to be her dead sister's fiancé Harrison Bennett, about whom she has suspicions. Harrison in turn has his reasons to distrust the Stewart family. In this atmosphere of deceit and suspicion, attraction between Olivia and Harrison grows.
I had read the first two Mercy Falls novels way back at the beginning of the year. I had been waiting for this one to release and thank goodness the library had it. Another good mystery/historical romance.
I like Coble's characters. We see the spirit of Olivia. We also get appearances by the leading ladies of the first two novels, Katie and Addie. Together they make quite the trio. I loved the side characters, Mrs. Fosberg, Mrs, Bennett, Mr. Bennett, Nealy (the dog), Euguene, Goldia. They added to the realness of the novel. I also appreciated the tone. Just like the others, I could see the Christian angle, but it was overwhelming. Any conversation the characters had about God seemed natural. I didn't suffer through the 3-page sermons like many CHF books.
My only complaint about this one: the rushed ending. I felt like the book was moving along at a nice pace until the last 30 pages when all the reveals happened one after another. How realistic is it for all the secrets to come out to different people at practically the same time. A bit far-fetched. But the other mystery was well done.