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The Lightkeeper's Ball Paperback – Apr 17 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 1 edition (April 17 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159554268X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595542687
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 2.2 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #351,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has written several romantic suspense novels including Tidewater InnRosemary Cottage, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series. Visit her website at Twitter: @colleencoble Facebook: colleencoblebooks

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 224 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
The Lightkeeper's Ball April 10 2011
By Brenda C - Published on
Format: Paperback
Eleanor Stewart leaves her home in New York to marry Harrison Bennett, but when her mother gets word that Eleanor is dead, a drowning no less, Olivia, Eleanor's sister thinks something isn't right, her sister was afraid of water so why would she have drowned. She thinks the fiance might have had something to do with it and decides to take hop a ship to Mercy Falls to get some answers. When she is pushed off the ship before arriving at Mercy Falls she begins to think someone is out to get her. The man that saves her turns out to be Harrison Bennett, but he has no idea who she is because she is using the families formal English title of Lady Devonworth. As the story unfolds its obvious that Olivia's life is in jeopardy, can she figure out the truth before its to late?
The author weaves together suspense, romance, action and mystery along with several plot twists which held my attention until the final pages as I tried to guess who-dun-it. While there is a definite christian message it isn't preachy or overwhelming.
While I enjoyed the mystery in this story, but the historical flavor of the book was what drew me to the story, that and the beautiful cover. Sometimes you can judge a book by the cover, and this one is a real winner!
Even though this is the third book in the Mercy Falls series it can easily be read as a stand alone work, I didn't read the first two and had no problems jumping right into this story, but I liked the story so well I will be checking out the first two in the series.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Murder AGAIN near the Mercy Falls lighthouse March 29 2011
By Harold Wolf - Published on
Format: Paperback
1 cup suspense + ¾ cup romance + ½ cup mystery + dash of action = recipe of new murder mystery in Mercy Falls. This third in Colleen Coble's series is as compelling as 1 & 2. Although the stories from Mercy Falls do have a few characters carrying over, the primaries involved are new and this can be read as a stand-alone book. After reading "The Lightkeeper's Ball," expect to return to the scene of the crime for the two earlier murder/romance mysteries, "The Lightkeeper's Daughter" and "The Lightkeeper's Bride."

Coble's recipe for murder mystery gets spiced up with history. Haley's Comet visits (April 20, 1910 for real) and plays a part in Harrison's bi-plane adventures. He desires to defy the commoner belief that the comet will bring the worlds end, by flying through the comet's tail. Well before any of this can happen, Harrison's father attempts to have him wedded to Olivia, an arranged affair after Olivia's sister is drowned. Sis had been engaged to Harrison, but to his status-seeking dad, either sister will gain him the society influence he craves. There is a tangle of family members in NYC and California society, Mercy Falls locals, and even among the servants. And a beach-full of secrets.

Olivia travels to Mercy Falls and the family's Stuart Hall, under a different name in an attempt to look into her sister's suspicious death. Murder almost takes her own life, and Harrison proves to be as suspect as anyone. She is saved and housed at the lighthouse, till a gale & disaster strikes. Here you get reacquainted with the Jesperson's and North's. While sleuthing for her sister's murderer, Olivia plans "The Lightkeeper's Ball" to replace what was lost in the storm. But can she ever find out the truth about Harrison? And in Coble fashion, a touch of romance begins to burn as bright as the Haley's Comet tail.

A delightful novel look at the northern California redwood coast at the end of the 20th century's first decade. The books descriptions of aeroplane flight action and surroundings are as vivid as any Victorian DVD. Mystery is paramount (good news for us guys), but love (her joy) is wedged in this fast-paced story that includes financial espionage, revenge, envy, and greed. Enough for every reader, from an author who seems to defy classification into a single genre.

Reading Guide Questions provided at the book's end for group discussions or personal contemplation. Coble's Mercy Falls is to Christian Murder Mystery, what Karon's Mitford is to quirky small-town life. Hopefully the series will continue to a similar number of books.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
I really tried, but I can't read any more Aug. 16 2011
By kirSib - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I chose this book because I thought it sounded exciting and interesting and it had a beautiful cover. When I received it in the mail saw it had less than 300 pages, I was almost disappointed. I was sure the story would be over too soon.

Unfortunately, once I started reading, the ending couldn't come soon enough.

The best way to describe how this book made me feel, was like watching an old movie where they jerk and jump between scenes with no warning. There was just no flow. The characters felt like puppets to me, and the author pulled their strings in often contradicting directions.

page 1) deliver devastating news to heroine that her sister has drowned

page 2) cut to heroine standing by boat railing, a mysterious assailant pushes her overboard

page 3) heroine is saved by hero

page 4) after being rescued, heroine decides not to reveal her true identity and thereby creates a major plot point

page 5) hero takes heroine to a jewelry shop

*cue record scratching* Wait, what? Why are they in a jewelry shop? Didn't they just wash up on a beach?

It just jumped around and struggled between wanting to be a murder-mystery and wanting to be a romance/feel-good tale of a woman making new friends and helping them plan a charity ball to rebuild their lighthouse. I felt like the author was throwing every plot device she could think of at me, and none of them were working.

*warning: potential spoilers*

There was a murder attempt, a big storm, a sprained wrist, a picnic, a kitten in a tree *gag*, an airplane crash, a sprained ankle (by this time the heroine should have been hospitalized just to save her from herself) and even with all that, after 150 pages, I just didn't care and could not continue.

Based upon the variety of reviews this book is receiving, I suppose it will entirely depend on your tastes whether this book is for you. I'm a Christian, but I don't like preachy fluffy Christian romances. In fact, I avoid them at all costs. I like stories with grit and heart and characters that convince me they are real, such as Francine River's Mark of the Lion series.

That was not this book.

I suggest that you read the five star reviews before you decide whether this book is for you, because it takes all kinds and obviously somebody is enjoying this book, but for me, the lack of good characterization and the choppy scenes and the muddled plots and the terrible cliches just turned into one big hot mess. I wish I could rate it higher, but I just can't.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
best of the three May 8 2011
By Lydia - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is the third and strongest novel in the Mercy Falls series. As a whole this series was pleasant and the books were literary snacks to unwind with at the end of the day. I hate to say it, but what stayed with me the most after finishing all three books was the stunning cover work.

There are two common links between the three books in this series: the setting and the men moving from deceptive spoiled women to their heroine sisters.
-The Lightkeeper's Daugher: John was married to Addie's sister
-The Lightkeeper's Bride: Katie's mother is actually her aunt because her father first had a relationship with his wife's sister, Katie's biological mother. (There has to be an easier way to summarize that)
-The Lightkeeper's Ball: Harrison was engaged to Olivia's sister Eleanor

I don't know if this was an intentional theme but I wondered why this recurred in all three books-by the third time the approach was a little stale.

Olivia was a heroine that I could not empathize with; she was too hoity-toity, self-righteous and manipulative. I actually didn't think she deserved the humble and honorable Harrison. She did have redeeming qualities that made her more endearing towards the end but it took me a while to warm up to her, especially since after a certain point it was no longer "necessary" to continue her deception. But then again, if she was perfect it wouldn't be nearly as interesting, would it? There were several highly implausible scenarios surrounding Harrison and Olivia's courtship and inconsistencies that were conveniently overlooked. On the other hand, there were also some lovely romantic moments that drove the story forward.

For me, the star of this book was Harrison. I really enjoyed learning about the pioneers in airplane engineering through his entrepreneurial enterprise and his excitement about aviation was contagious.

Rating: 7/10
**A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a positive review**
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Fun historical romance marred by clunky writing June 17 2011
By Esther Schindler - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Olivia Stewart was raised as one of The Four Hundred -- the richest families in America, centered around New York. But six months after her father dies in a mining accident, the family finances are in shambles. Her father had made an odd bargain with his mining partner, to marry off Olivia's sister Eleanor to the man's son in Mercy Falls, California. Eleanor dies before she marries fiancé Harrison Bennett... and Olivia doesn't believe her sister could possibly have committed suicide. The elder Harrison is just as happy to buy his social position by marrying Harrison to Olivia (one girl's as good as another for the purpose), but Olivia objects. She sets off for California under an assumed name (an inherited English title) so that she can judge the situation (and Harrison, whom she is certain was behind Elanor's death) with fewer preconceptions.

And, naturally, the situation isn't exactly what she expected.

That certainly seems to be the right ingredients for a nice summer read: a historical bodice ripper with a little mystery thrown in. Unfortunately, the story is told in a clunky fashion. The prose is... lumpy. You know how it feels to be in a car with a driver's-ed student who's never driven a stick shift before? Yeah. Like that. Instead of being taken for a ride (and pleasantly suspending my disbelief), I was bashed around, noticing the writing instead of the story.

Plus, I'm as willing to Play Pretend as any fiction reader, but Olivia and Harrison (who is, of course, rich and smart and creative as well as hunky) put themselves in situations that strain my credulity. I'm not speaking of Our Hero just-so-happening to be in the right place at the right time, but it has to be *plausible.* I rarely read a page without thinking, "A woman in her position in 1910 simply would not do that." Or, "Why wouldn't he ask about that?"

The "historical" part of the story is pretty lightweight, too. You learn a little bit about airplane experimentation in the era as well as the common perceptions about the imminent Halley's Comet, but if you are interested in those subjects I suspect reading the Wikipedia entry will give you more hard data.

Yet -- yet -- I kept reading. I read the novel all the way through. I did want to find out what happened (even if I was disappointed in the answer). So it must have _some_ merits. And perhaps I'm just too darned picky. This is supposed to be light fiction, after all. Still, if I were to recommend books set in that era, this wouldn't be anywhere towards the top of the list.

The book is the third in a series, but I didn't read the earlier ones and I didn't feel as though I had missed anything.