When Secrets Strike by Marta Perry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 27th 2015 by HQN Books
ISBN 0373788568 (ISBN13: 9780373788569)
Sarah has decided that since she couldn't have her first love, then perhaps love isn't meant for her. She devotes her time to her job in the quilt store, helping her family, and visiting with an elderly neighbor. When Sarah's community finds themselves in search of an arsonist, she soon finds her life in danger. Being at the right place at the right time to catch a fire burning, turns out to be the wrong place at the wrong time. Now, her first love, Aaron, is determined to not "fail" another woman he cares for and pushes Sarah away. When he ends up a possible suspect in a local death in the community, Sarah pushes to figure out what is going on in her community and to try to win Aaron's heart.
I was absolutely shocked that I was able to figure out who the "bad guys" were! Normally, I get so caught up in the story, that I miss details and then can never figure out who it is. Marta wrote so many subtle details into the story about the "bad guys" character and actions, that before the end, I had it figured out.
"We must forgive, but we must also keep him from doing more evil if we can." Many times in Amish stories, I feel that this is often looked over. The Amish are so against having police interference, that sometimes I feel they let bad people continue to do evil things because they won't speak up. It was refreshing to read that the Amish in this community understood that while they didn't want the police involved, they knew that if they didn't, the arsonist would continue to burn down their barns and cost the community a fortune.
I loved the little thought provoking sayings throughout the story as well. "I say it's what you do with your life that counts, not what you came from." I loved that quote from the elderly neighbor, Julia. She was quite the character and I loved her spunkiness! Lots of people come from a bad past or have rough childhoods, but it's what you make of those experiences and what you do with them that counts! We all have to grow up at some point, and we can't continue to blame our parents, or people in our past, for our current failures.
In the Net Galley copy I received, there was one, just one, use of profanity at the very end, from the "bad guy." I was kind of surprised at first, but it didn't take away from the story for me. Maybe in the final printed version, the word will be omitted. But, if not, it's still a great read, and easy just to skip right over.
As a romantic, I really enjoyed watching the relationship unfold between Sarah and Aaron. Funny what you will do when your heart is involved. I enjoyed the tenderness between the two and the caution that Aaron exuded. What I enjoyed the most though was the wonderful balance between suspense and romance. Great job Marta!
I was graciously provided a free digital copy of this book from HQN in partnership with NetGalley to review it. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.
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