I think my favorite book in this new list was Madeleine L’Engle’s The Other Side of The Sun. Although Gathering Storm stands out for me too. It deals with murder but it’s treatment is not terribly dark. The story leans more toward family dynamics than it does toward murder itself. Family members are developing compatibility in unexpected ways. Especially the protagonist. Stephanie is savoring the gain of the loving step family she was never allowed to know. And she is beginning to see her father in a whole new light too.
Ella Dessa’s Story – Within the Candle’s Glow book 2 – Karen Campbell Prough … This is a complicated love story where hearts are broken. Ella Dessa and Samuel are best childhood friends and he’s grown to love her. She loves him as a friend but it’s his older brother Jim she’s in love with. Then there’s Josh. A dirty, unkempt, and injured miner, Josh has recently come to town with a bag of gold and wild tales about how he got it. He fancies himself in love with Ella and will resort to kidnapping to have her. Samuel loves her enough to risk his life to rescue her and return her to his brother.
But, ….. it’s not quite that as simple as all that.
Ella Dessa’s Story – With This Peace book 3 – Karen Campbell Prough … There is a third brother in the McKnapp clan, the wanderer Duncan. He’s spent many years away from the family farm always returning with grand tales of fame and fortune. This time he returns with arguments to convince his brothers, Jim and Duncan, to join him in a venture that he says can’t lose. He tells them stories of vast fertile farmland in Florida, just for the taking. Ella Dessa was not in favor of the trip to begin with and with confusing inaccurate maps and continually changing plans she faces hardship like she’s never known. Left alone with her children in an unfamiliar part of the world, she would have died without the help of kind souls travelling the same lonely, isolated path.
When Darkness Falls – The Gathering Storm book 1 – Barbara Warren … Stephanie hasn’t seen her undependable and dishonest father in three years. She’s shocked to see him at her door now. He’s here to convince her to visit the grand hotel he shares with his celebrity wife. Suspicious of his motives she refuses to go with him.
It seems too easy. He accepted her refusal and left. It was too easy. The valuable diamond necklace borrowed from her aunt is missing. He doesn’t need it. It’s an enticement. He knows she will follow him to get it back.
In a rage, she storms through the hotel looking for him. She finds him alright. In his room, dead. And they think she did it.
So, why did he want her here? If she knew that, maybe she could figure out who would want to kill him.
The Other Side of The Sun – Madeleine L’Engle … Stella is barely married when her new husband is sent on a diplomatic mission to some unknown place in the world, for an indefinite period of time. He’s left her alone in the deep south, beach front, family cottage. Living with elderly relatives she’s just met, in a culture she knows nothing about.
Day to day living has her stumbling into dark family secrets she wasn’t supposed to find. The three ancient aunts warn her against certain people and certain places but she doesn’t listen. People approach her with invitations she sees no reason to decline. She has no idea what kind of clan she’s married into, or the dangerous repercussions of exposing their long buried secrets.
She may not have survived without the wise intervention of the one aunt who knows all of the family secrets, and the identity of the true owner of the massive cottage with the legendary pirate history.
Madeleine L’Engle is a master story teller and weaves an awesome tale.
The Gilded Curse – Marilyn Turk … Her brother Robert died at Pearl Harbor. Shortly after, came the death of her mother in a mental hospital. Lexie is left as the sole heir to a crumbling family empire. A common dilemma for the wealthy of those days. Her empire has been reduced to an abandoned family cottage on a holiday isle of the wealthy. A cottage her mother claims is cursed.
The clubhouse is still catering to their members and staff arranges to meet her ferry, even though she hasn’t advised them of her arrival time. Both the fact she was met and the identity of the person meeting her are surprises. She is arriving with plans to sell the cottage but Russell has another agenda. He plans to convince her to change her mind and keep it.
Another story with dark family secrets and hidden agendas.
It’s summertime and publishers are promoting an abundance of reading material for those days of leisure at the beach and cottages. I’m thrilled. I hope you too. Are you taking advantage of the extra opportunities?
Happy summertime reading!