Sometimes the books you win from on online Facebook event are worth what you paid for them. Other times, you discover a gem.
For me, the gem was an author, Cheri Lasota. I attended an event introducing a science fiction universe, the Paradisi Chronicles, and won a copy of a historical paranormal fantasy.
I read the book. I didn’t care for the story or the characters all that much, but I adored her writing style. Since it might have been the mythology behind the book’s setting that tainted my enjoyment, I decided to give Lasota another try.
Boy, am I ever glad I did.
The paranormal (historical) romance Echoes in the Glass is the title I selected. (Yes, I’m pretty sure it was on sale for a buck. You know me and deals.)
While the book begins with Finnegan in a nearly present day situation, there are two story lines running in this book.
The present day story is about two teenagers facing the ugliness of their pasts. It involves the restoration of a lighthouse on the Oregon coast. Of course, there’s a romance. And poor Finnegan, the one he wants is the boss’ daughter.
While none of those story threads are original, the weaving of this story is highly unique and executed with professional finesse.
The historical story is set at the same lighthouse (or vicinity) in 1935. You meet a daughter struggling for independence from a father who treats her like a servant. Add in the fact she has a younger sister to protect, and you’ve got a tense situation.
Morgan Graves comes along and upsets the apple cart further. Rumors about the death of his mother abound. When the secret comes out, so does the nurturing nature of the heroine.
This book earns five stars from me. The writing was compelling, the characters complex and the story masterfully told.
I’m generally not a fan of stories with a past and present storyline. I tend to gravitate toward one set of characters more than the other. This keeps me from fully immersing in the story because while I’m with the characters I love, I’m dreading the return to the alternate time.
As I read about the characters who mean nothing, I’m wishing I was with the ones I love.
So much for “love the one you’re with.”
Ms. Lasota wrapped me up in all of her characters’ hearts and lives. I was as eager to read about the present as I was the past.
The further I got into the story, the more the historical line hinted about what they would find in the future. Or explained the things they found in the hidden room.
The present day characters rang true. Their problems were harsh, and not common, but still they won my heart. These are 17 and 18-year-olds, and I would recommend this book to older, mature teenagers. Some of the content would be disturbing for those under the age of fourteen, I think.
Sometimes, I find historical writers make their characters too “modern.” That thought never crossed my mind as I read about Carina and Morgan. They fit the times. I could picture my grandmother and grandfather in their youth acting and reacting like these two did.
This story touched my heart. It explores the family dynamics that torture and empower us. Not everyone had a happy ending. But all the story questions were answered.
In my opinion, this story holds a wide appeal for female readers.
If you like historical romance written in the depression era, you’ll like this book. If you like American settings, this is for you.
Sassy heroines who have a mind of their own? You’ll definitely find that here – times two. Handsome heroes whose gallant nature makes you forget about their face? Yep, he’s in this story – times two.
Perhaps you’re not a huge fan of paranormal stories (like me). The ghost element plays a role in the character development and plot for sure. However, it didn’t make or break the story for me. There was enough tension and conflict from other sources that the ghosts could have been written out, and the story still worked.
If you enjoy a well-written romance with complex characters that will make you smile and bring tears to your eyes, read Echoes in the Glass.
Maybe you’re not a big romance reader. The character evolution and dual timeline, with it’s inherent mystery, will engage you.