Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Book Review: 2nd & 3rd Mercy Falls Books

 Last year I posted a review of The Lightkeeper's Daughter, Book 1 in the Mercy Falls Series by Colleen Coble. You can read that review here.
I received Books 2 & 3 for Christmas last December and have recently read and enjoyed both of them. If you're a fan of Colleen Coble's books or if you are just looking for something interesting to read I highly recommend these books!

Back Cover Synopsis: Katie Russell loves working as a telephone operator in Mercy Falls, California. But since childhood she has been expected to marry well. Her family presses for an engagement to wealthy bachelor Bartholomew Foster and though he doesn't stir her heart, their engagement promises a secure financial future.
Working the phone lines one evening, Katie overhears a chilling exchange between her friend Eliza and a familiar male voice. Katie soon learns that Eliza has disappeared, and the crime may be linked to another investigation by handsome new lighthouse keeper, Will Jesperson. Katie and Will soon form an alliance. An alliance that slowly blossoms into something more.
Despite the danger surrounding her, Katie is powerfully drawn to Will. But she is not at liberty to marry for love. And though society forbids their growing affection, Katie can't help but notice Will's sense of peace. It's a peace that rests on his trust in God—a trust that Katie has never had to depend on, with her future so clearly mapped out before her.
But the more Katie uncovers of the mystery, the more she discovers about herself, her past, and the brilliant future that could be hers if only she has the courage to trust in God and follow where her heart so fearlessly leads.

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this story because there were so many fun and interesting things in it. Telephones, weather balloons, roller skates, a lighthouse, pirates, buried treasure,  hidden caves, close escapes, daring rescues, good friends, a cute baby, a cat, a bird, and something about cake. The time period of the late 1800's leaves room for some modern inventions but still has that olden day charm to it. 
Similar to the first book there was a mystery to solve and an adventurous ride to get to the ending. It was interesting having Katie Russell as the heroine of this book because she was Addie Sullivan's friend in the first book and Addie along with a few other characters from the first book do show up in this book too. 

Back Cover Synopsis: 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 distinguished 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?

My Thoughts: I didn't like this third book as much as the first two. Olivia doesn't seem to be a Christian at the beginning of the story so she has her priorities all wrong and the choices she makes fail as a result. Keeping her true identity secret seems like a good idea at the start but she ends up telling so many people that halfway through the book it seems like the whole gossipy town should have known who she really was. 
There are some really interesting tidbits about the late 1800's time period such as airplanes, Halley's comet, motor cars, boats and lighthouses. There are other fun things like a kitten, a loyal dog, storms, attempted murder and daring rescues. Addie Sullivan from the first book and Katie Russell from the second book both show up frequently in this book along with their families which given even more interest because you get to check in and see how their lives have progressed. By the time I read this third book I started to find the plots rather similar in many ways but it was still a fun book with a happy ending.

Author Colleen Coble
Visit Colleen Coble's website here:

The Mercy Falls Series: Overall I quite enjoyed the Mercy Falls series. Colleen Coble is a clever writer and does a great job of capturing the late 1800's in a fun and interesting way. I was a bit disappointing that although she is a "Christian" author and does talk about having a personal relationship with God in her books many times her characters don't actually come to the decision to trust Christ during their story. This particularly bugged me because it seemed to happen to all three heroes and heroines that when they get engaged there is that possibility that one of them isn't a Christian. 
If you read all three books in a row you will see that the plots often seem to have a similar sequence to them: there's a mystery to be solved, attempts on heroine's life, hero & heroine don't trust each other at first but then they start falling in love, more mysterious happenings, villain is revealed and then attempts to kill heroine, having defeated the villain's plans the hero & heroine confess their undying love and live happily ever after. That's not always the exact order of events but usually something similar. It's not totally a bad thing, the book are still very interesting, but they do get a bit repetitive.

My Recommendations: I quite enjoyed all three books because they were a lot of good clean fun and had interesting tidbits about the Edwardian time period. They aren't as good as like Janette Oke's books but they are interesting if you're looking for a fun read. They are longer and do have some scarier scenes so I'd recommend the series for young teens to adults. 

Have you read the Mercy Falls series?
Are you a fan of Colleen Coble's books? 

Very Truly Your's,


Emaline Foster said...

"Oh Marilla! You look so elegant!"

I just had to say how much I love your new blog decorations! I just finished Anne of Green Gables this summer and am now reading Anne of Avonlea. I love it SO much!
Beautiful blog!


Tillie said...

Wow! These sound kind of fun. I will check them out. Out of curiosity, have you read To Have And To Hold by Mary Johnston?

It's one of my all time favorites, and I think you would really enjoy it if you haven't already. :)


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