Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"The Lightkeeper's Ball" Review

The Lightkeeper’s Ball by Colleen Coble was sent to me as a review copy by Thomas Nelson Publishers. It is the final book in the Mercy Falls series by this author. You can read my review of the first book in this series, The Lightkeeper's Daughter, here, and my review of the second book, The Lightkeeper's Bride, here,
Olivia Stewart has been fortunate to be raised in one of the most elite families in New York. Since the future of her family’s wealth now hangs in the balance, Olivia’s mother demands nothing less than a ‘good match’ in Olivia’s choice of a husband.
Olivia’s sister, Eleanor, was engaged to Harrison Bennett, a wealthy bachelor who lives in Mercy Falls, California. With Eleanor’s untimely death, Olivia is expected to step up and take her place. Olivia is suspicious of the circumstances surrounding Eleanor’s death, so she journeys to Mercy Falls under an alias to find out what really happened to her sister. On arriving in Mercy Falls, Olivia is unprepared for what takes place, and Harrison is not who she suspected he would be.
When the lighthouse in Mercy Falls is destroyed in a storm, Olivia is quick to organize a masquerade ball to raise the funds to rebuild. But the ball will reveal secrets surrounding Olivia’s family that she might not want discovered, including her own identity. Olivia will have to decide what is most important – fulfilling the expectations of her family or following her heart.
The third book in the Mercy Falls series started the same way as the previous books—I was interested in the story immediately. Colleen Coble has no problem just jumping right into the story. While this sometimes makes it a little difficult to keep the new characters straight, I still think it is fun to be drawn in to the tale right away. What made these characters most confusing for me was that there were two Mr. Bennetts…Harrison and his father.
I was also a little confused as to when this story was actually taking place. Because I had read the previous books and from context clues, I was able to figure out that it was taking place around 1910. Maybe I am being picky, but I prefer to be told exactly what year and time of year the book is taking place. These books tended to be rather vague about that.
As I mentioned in my review of the first book, I felt the two main characters in all three books fell ‘in love’ too quickly. The whole story takes place over just a month or so and yet they are already in love. Considering their circumstances, this may be believable; it is just hard for my more practical mind to understand. The dangers that are encountered are again sometimes unbelievable (it seems as if these characters survive falling off cliffs and drowning A LOT!), but it does provide for a great storyline. Pure entertainment.
Even though I am bringing up some issues that I had with this book, I actually did enjoy it. The mystery was once again engrossing, and it had so many twist and turns. I didn’t figure it out until almost the very end, and even then I was unsure about a couple of things until they were completely revealed.
I also liked the character of Olivia. She has such an adventurous spirit that had been stifled by the environment in which she was raised. She feels pressure to meet the expectations of her mother, but she longs for adventure and to use the gifts that God has given her, as a woman and as a human being. Although I felt her transition from ‘just going to church’ to full faith in God was a little glossed over, I felt towards the end that she did understand in Whom she should trust.
Overall, I really enjoyed the Mercy Falls series from Colleen Coble, and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.
I will give The Lightkeeper’s Ball … 4 BookWorms.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is 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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