Author: Lori Lapekes
Publisher: Astraea Press
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: 4 LIGHTNING BOLTS
Blurb: Melody Moon has returned to her roots with fame and riches in hopes of finding Gideon, the young man with the strange birthmark on his face. Thoughts of him have haunted her for twenty years, yet no one knows what happened to him. After purchasing Catalpa Hall, their childhood sanctuary, Melody makes an unusual discovery: carved in the wood below the old stage in the hall is her name, Gideon’s name, and the currentyear.
Melody and Gideon were once known as the “Double Uglies,” dubbed as such by Melody’s reprehensible older brother, Dean. The cruel nickname later earned Melody fame as an author of children’s books, but only Gideon knows the nickname had actually precipitated dreadfully more—her brother’s drowning long ago. It’s a loss that’s turned Gideon into the recluse he’s become.
What exactly did happen at the secluded pond behind Catalpa Hall when Melody and Gideon were so young and just trying to get by in the backwoods culture…and who else may have witnessed it? Someone with sinister motives is involved, and is desperately attempting to tear Gideon and Melody apart. Gideon’s love for the enchanting young woman he’d been forced to abandon two decades ago may force him to leave her again, for he feels certain Melody could never understand the truth. At least--his perception of the truth.
Review: When you go home, there's bound to be secrets, pasts coming back to haunt them, and even a possible recoonection with someone you used to know.
Melody Moon has left her city life, bringing her young daughter to the town she grew up on. Her daughter, Ruth, is facing many challenges after an accident disfigures her face. Melody is successful, and I admire how she took bully's words and created a scuccessful career out of it. Good for Melody! She's an admirable woman, she'd do anything for her daughter, and she's all around likeable.
There are several aspects of this story that really touched an emotional spot with me. First off, Ruth is a remarkable child, one wiser than her actual age. She's so brave, and witty, and a great child. She uses a child's wisom that asounds me, and for those reasons, Ruth is my favorite character out of this story.
Another aspect is that the the hero and heronie, Meldoy and Gideon, are not molded as perfect. They each have scars inside and out that made their childhood not so easy, and even in adulthood, especially for Gideon, makes them wary and even a bit insecure. I completely related to Melody, Gideon, and Ruth.
Secrets of Catalpa Hall moved along with such a quick pace. The characters that are in the story are either loved or very much disliked, from the good to the villain. I was immediately drawn into the story, and I didn't want to stop reading. At times, some of the cast were a bit naive and strange, but that's what made this a good real. Each character had their good traits and their quirks.
If you're a fan of contemporary suspense in a small town setting, love a story of friends reuniting and forming a bond of love, then don't hesitate to crack the Secrets of Catalpa Hall.
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