Tag Archives: historical novels

The Lightkeeper’s Bride by Colleen Coble

Title: The Lightkeeper’s Bride (A Mercy Falls Novel)

Author: Colleen Coble

Publisher: Thomas Nelson 2010

Genre: Historical Fiction; Christian; Romance

Pages: 284

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Historical Fiction; Support Your Local Library; A to Z Titles: L

The second book in Coble’s Mercy Falls series reads just as well as the first.  I find that I am really enjoying the mix oc Christian romance and mystery/thriller.  The second novel’s heroine makes a brief appearance in the first novel as Addie’s new friend.  Katie Russell is a great character, full of stubbornness but a caretaker’s heart.  I really connected with this character.  of course, the male interest is also intriguing.  I could exactly picture Will Jesperson in my mind throughout the story.   His quiet strength and determination are a perfect match for Katie.

Of course, Coble packs the novel with red herrings and obvious suspicions, leading the reading on a twisting and turning ride to the truth.  The revelations of the villains didn’t fail to satisfy and surprise.  I enjoyed the ride.  And I heard there’s a third Mercy Falls novel coming out this year.  I look forward to it!

Mercy Falls

  1. The Lightkeeper’s Daughter
  2. The Lightkeeper’s Bride
  3. The Lightkeeper’s Ball


Posted by on January 4, 2011 in Book Reviews


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The Lightkeeper’s Daughter by Colleen Coble

Title: The Lightkeeper’s Daughter (A Mercy Falls Novel)

Author: Colleen Coble

Publisher: Thomas Nelson 2009

Genre: Historical Fiction; Christian; Romance

Pages: 306

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Historical Fiction; A to Z Authors: C; Support Your Local Library

I read a lot of Christian historical fiction.  It’s quick, easy, and guaranteed to have a good message.  Unfortunately, a lot of the genre falls into a very formulaic structure.  By the end, I often want to chew my arm off because of the predictability.

That being said, The Lightkeeper’s Daughter was a refreshing change.  Maybe it was because the characters weren’t stereotypes of people.  Maybe because the writing, specifically the dialogue, didn’t seem forced and from an 8th grader.  Maybe because the story had many twists and turns to which I didn’t know who was the villain.  Maybe because the story was saved from being overly sermonized (is that a word?, it is now); the Christian message was still there, but subtle.

Whatever the reason, I enjoyed the book immensely.  I found out there was another book released in the Mercy Falls series.  Of course, I ran to the library to get that one too.  It’s next on my reading list: The Lightkeeper’s Bride. I give The Lightkeeper’s Daughter 4 out of 5 stars.  I definitely recommend to anyone loving mysteries with a bit of romance and without all the sex and violence of my other authors.  Enjoy reading!  And don’t worry I won’t give away the ending. You just have to find that out for yourselves.

Mercy Falls

  1. The Lightkeeper’s Daughter
  2. The Lightkeeper’s Bride
  3. The Lightkeeper’s Ball

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Posted by on January 2, 2011 in Book Reviews


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Castles by Tracie Peterson

Another Christian historical romance down… but this one was a bit different.  Since it was unusual, I thought I would share.

The Same

Same type of plot.  Same type of characters.  Four novellas connected through characters — same set up for the novella collections.

The Different

The setting: Most of the Christian historical romance that I have been reading is set in the United States in the 1800s.  They are usually set in a “wilderness,” a newly explored/settled area such as Alaska or Montana.  This one was set in Medieval times in England.  There were many references to the politics of the time, i.e. the church versus kings versus high and low classes.  I loved the little tidbits of information here and there about daily life in the castle.  The change was refreshing.

The content: Usually the books are very heavy handed with the sermon-like content.  Two characters get into a discussion about whatever, and it ends up that one character recites a sermon in the guise of a discussion.  Sometimes these “discussions” get a little over the top.  If they take up three pages, it’s too much.  This one was much lighter on the sermon front.  The characters still talked about their faith and attempted to sway another character, but it was much lighter.  The books focused more on the action and those of the characters.  I enjoyed the change.

Overall I really like this book.  I think my favorite novella was the first one — Arianne.  It felt the most “real.”  I hope I find more like this one.  Now, to move on to more “literary” fare…

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Posted by on November 30, 2010 in Book Reviews


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Christian Historical Romance

When you read the title, what are your thoughts?

Somehow I have found myself reading many books that fall under this category (at least according to my local library).  Why did I start reading these?  I don’t actually know.  I’m thinking that I picked up a interestingly covered book that had some sort of historical era setting.  And after reading more than 50 pages, realized what category the book fit into.  And at that point, I wanted to find out the ending.  And then I probably figured out that the book was part 1 of a trilogy or something of the like.  And of course, I had to read the rest of the series.  I am speculating because I really cannot remember how I fell into the genre, but now I’m really into it.

Some interesting notes about the genre:

  • Extremely formulaic plot: These books always focus on a single woman who ends up getting married (either the end of the book or the series).  There is always a big obstacle (death, natural disaster, huge misunderstanding, trip) to overcome.
  • Characters: The main character is usually a late teen to early 20s single woman who has no real interest in marriage.  Enter at least one potential husband.  Usually there’s two to choose from.  If there are two suitors, one always turns out to be a cad in some way.  Usually the woman has some supportive family members.  Often there innocent children (previous child, orphans, etc.)
  • Content: The reader is guaranteed that there will be no cuss words (the worst I have noticed was a nonChristian who said Damn).  There will be no sex scenes.  Usually there are a few kisses.  I did read a few books about reformed prostitutes that did allude to sex but talked about it in the way you talk about sex when children are present: vague and using euphemisms.  Even when characters marry in the books there are only allusions to sex.  I would be hard pressed to find one of these books that actually has “sex” in print.  And of course there are many Bible verses and usually sermons.  These are a given being a Christian historical romance, but sometimes these sermons can go on for over three pages.  A little excessive sometimes.
  • Authors: There are many authors out there, but they often coauthor a series.  Most of them have 20-30 books authored within three years of publishing.  So I often run into the same names.  Currently I am reading Tracie Peterson’s and Lauraine Snelling’s libraries.
  • Historical content: I am usually pleasantly surprised by the background historical content.  The authors often do research of the area or the events of the time period featured.  As a history teacher, I do appreciate this effort.

With all the issues I have with the genre, why exactly do I keep reading them?  Well, simple answer — they’re easy.  I don’t have to think while reading them.  Considering that I read very academic history books, technology and business books, and authors like Melville or Austen, these books are like a vacation.  They’re something I can read while waiting in the car line to pick my boys up from school.  I can read them at the coffee-house while listening to others’ conversations.  I can read them while in the room with someone watching tv.  I can read them before bed when I am tired, but not tired enough to actually fall asleep.  They are easy and fairly entertaining.  So guess what I got on my last trip to the library?  Yup, that’s right, more Christian historical romance.


Posted by on November 20, 2010 in Books


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