Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Pretender Book Review

A Blackguard in Disguise
Caselli Family Series
Book One

SUMMARY:  South Dakota: 1975
     Eighteen-year-olds could order 3.2 beers in a bar and loaded guns were kept under the counter.  Frankie Valli sang My Eyes Adored You and American soldiers returning from Vietnam struggled with their new reality.
     It's within this tumultuous season of American history that Tillie Caselli meets Noah Hansen, and they are never the same again.  Their lives were mysteriously intertwined - and had been for many years - yet they had no idea.
     From the moment they met, Tillie and Noah wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, but a deliberate omission will keep them apart – and that same omission will be responsible for the escape of a murderer, and a bride’s deception.

REVIEW:  I've been thinking about this book and review for a while now.  It's one of those stories that stays with you a long time after reading.  There were some things I really liked and some that were just different - not bad, just different.
     I like the concept of the book and the characters.  Sometimes it felt like I was right there in the room with the characters.  Quite often I wanted to grab a few of them by the back of their neck and ask them what they thought they were doing, that they were being really stupid and presumptuous.   Other times, I cheered them on when they showed their mettle.  The story reminds me of the movie The Notebook in, after they were separated, how there were near misses and misunderstandings.  I liked how Tillie's life and Noah's life run parallel to each others in so many different ways and getting to see how each other lives without the other perosn in their life.
     The story line, and the possibilities of what could happen in future books, is intriguing.  I like how the author gives you a taste of events to come.  I also like how some people aren't always who you think they are, good or bad. 
     One thing that was different was how the story and characters flowed.  Okay, sometimes when I am reading, I wonder what the other characters are thinking during a particular scene.  For example, if the family is all in the room when a boy comes to pick up the daughter for a date, I have wondered what everyone (Mom, Dad, brothers, sisters, boy, daughter) is thinking at the time.  This author shows you what everyone's thoughts and conversations are during scenes.  At first, I couldn't figure out why suddenly the parents are having a conversation with the brother when the scene had been focused on the daughter talking to her sister-in-law.  But after reading a while, I began to see what the author was trying to do and it became a little easier.
     Another thing that was different was how the author focused on other family members and their spouses, showing scenes of their lives that didn't seem related to the main characters' stories.  Yeah, it's interesting to hear their conversations about events in their lives but the book is not about them. 
     This was an intriguing book.  My interest has been piqued about the rest of the series.

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group and Reata Publishing 
for review without compensation.

Ta'mara Hanscom lives with her husband Jim in Northwest Iowa where they enjoy watching the Detroit Tigers, BBQs and taking care of their rescues - two cats and one Pomeranian.  For more information about the author, visit

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