In The Lightkeeper’s Ball, Colleen Coble tells the story of a young woman named Olivia Stewart who is troubled by her sister’s curious death. Set in America during the early 1900’s, Olivia’s story finds her surrounded with many challenges as she organizes a ball for a charity, hides her identity to investigate her sister’s death, and tries not to be charmed by Harrison, the man she suspects is her sister’s murderer.
The story is an exciting romance with a good dose of mystery. One of the most touching scenes is when Harrison rescues Olivia after she has been thrown into the sea. He cradles her unconscious form in his arms and begs her not to die, crying aloud, “I love you.” She wakes up hearing those words. But, in her disoriented state, she cannot tell if she has been dreaming or not. From then on, she wonders if Harrison truly told her he loved her, or if it was only wishful thinking on her part.
Olivia is torn when she discovers more about her sister’s death and Harrison’s noble character. However, through the trials, she realizes Harrison can be trusted. But there is a major problem: she has falsely led Harrison to believe she was only a friend of her late sister, instead of revealing her true identity. When she learns he despises the Stewart family, Olivia is reluctant to tell him. In the end, the truth is revealed. Even though Harrison is hurt by her deception, he and Olivia still want to learn to love each other.
Olivia is a wealthy young woman with ambition and a desire to find a loving husband, not a suitor only interested in her money and status. She makes it a matter of prayer, although she sometimes is too strong willed to accept God’s leading right away. During her investigation of her sister’s death, she makes several faithful friends as well as a few enemies. However, there are too many similar characters to keep track of them all.
Although the story is a bit predictable, it is still an enjoyable novel. The discoveries from clue to clue and several thrilling situations make The Lightkeeper’s Ball an interesting ride. I recommend this early 20th century romance for those who enjoy historical fiction. – Molly Anderson, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
At the elegant Mercy Falls masquerade ball, Olivia's hidden identity will be revealed.
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?