Secrets of Sloane House - Book Review

My dear readers,
I posted another book review earlier this morning
written by Suzanne Woods Fisher.
You can read it by clicking here.

* * * * *

Secrets of Sloane House

Against the backdrop of the 1893 World's Fair,
a young woman finds employment with an illustrious Chicago family-
a family who may guard the secret of her sister's disappearance.

~  ~  ~

Sloane House is among the most gilded mansions of Gilded Age Chicago.
Rosalind Perry, the new housemaid, pours the morning coffee
before the hard gaze of her mistress.
"It's simple, Rosalind," she says.
"I am Veronica Sloane, heiress to one of the country's greatest fortunes.
You are simply one in a long line of unsuitable maids."
Back on the farm in Wisconsin, Rosalind's plan seemed logical:
Move to Chicago.
Get hired on at Sloane House.
Discover what transpired while her sister worked as a maid there-
and follow the clues to why she disappeared.
Now, as a live-in housemaid to the Sloanes,
Rosalind realizes her plan had been woefully simple-minded.
She was ignorant of the hard, hidden life of a servant in a big, prominent house;
of the divide between the Sloane family and the people who served them;
and most of all, she had never imagined so many people could live in such proximity
and keep such dark secrets.
Yet, while Sloane House is daunting,
the streets of Chicago are downright dangerous.
The World's Fair has brought a new kind of crime to the city. . .
and a lonely young woman is always at risk.
But when Rosalind accepts the friendship of Reid Armstrong,
the handsome young heir to a Chicago silver fortune,
she becomes an accidental rival to Veronica Sloane.
As Rosalind continues to disguise her kinship to the missing maid-
and struggles to appease to her jealous mistress-
she probes the dark secrets of Sloane House 
and come ever closer to uncovering her sister's mysterious fate.
A fate that everyone in the house seems to know. . .but which no one dares to name.

My Thoughts

History. . .Secrets. . .Adventure. . .Love. . .Faith

Rosalind begins the journey of finding her sister as a very quiet, meek, and scared young lady,
but as the begins to uncover clues about her sister's disappearance 
she realizes time is of the essence and each day her boldness and courage grows
along with her relationship with Christ.
The residents and employees of the Sloane House seem kind and considerate in the beginning,
but the longer Rosalind is in their proximity she realizes they are quite callous 
and hard-hearted with only cares and concerns for themselves.
They crush and degrade anyone that gets in their way. . .

Reid is doing his best to make the most of the life he has been given by his father and mother.
His parents weren't always among the wealthy and are somewhat new to the elite social circle.
Reid's parents desire for him to marry into a wealthy, influential family
and live a life with all the bells and whistles of the upper class.
When Reid begins to have feelings for Rosalind, a mere maid, 
things start to unravel in his perfect life and
he wonders if marrying into a wealthy family is truly all that important. . .

Secrets of Sloane House is book number one in The Chicago World's Fair Mystery Series.
This book held my attention throughout the entire story.
And the ending. . .was a total shock! 
I do believe my mouth fell open in complete surprise.
I admire an author who can weave a spell-bounding story 
with an ending that catches the reader off guard {in a good way}.
Shelley Gray does exactly that and I applaud her writing abilities.

What I loved most about this book and the relationship Reid has with his Heavenly Father.
He places Christ first in his life and truly desires to have God's will lead him.
Rosalind as well grows in her faith and later in the book realizes she must allow the Lord 
to direct her steps for only He can help her find her sister.
I always appreciate fiction books with an emphasis on God and a personal relationship with Him;
it's a blessing and encouragement.

What I loved least about this book was Rosalind and Reid's relationship.
It was obvious that their feelings grew for one another throughout the story,
but I would have liked a little more spark between the two.
Maybe it's just me being "too picky," but their relationship lacked excitement.
Also, the Chicago World's Fair is mentioned in the book, 
but is visited by Rosalind and Reid only a few times.
I would have loved more history and scenes at the fair - maybe in the next book?
Speaking of the next book, I am already looking forward to book number two!

All-in-all Secrets of Sloane House is well-worth reading 
and will hopefully leave your mouth hanging open in surprise just like it did to me.

** I was given a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers
for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and no other compensation was received. **

About the Author

Shelley Gray is the author of The Heart of a Hero series. 
Her Amish novel (written as Shelley Shepard Gray), The Protector
recently made the New York Times best seller list. 
A native of Texas, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Colorado 
and taught school for ten years. 
She and her husband have two children and live in Southern Ohio. 
Visit her website at www.shelleyshepardgray.com 


Scrappy quilter said...

Shelley is again another favorite author. I will have to see if I can get this book at the library. They are pretty good at bringing new inspirational books in which I so appreciate. Hugs

Cranberry Morning said...

Secrets of Sloan House sounds really good to me. I think that time, The Chicago World's Fair of 1893 is fascinating. It is hard to believe that the city was transformed so completely with all the buildings and Ferris wheel built just for that fair - and all but one of the buildings came down afterwards. Wish I could see back into time to view it - or better yet, to get a virtual visit there. :-)

Cranberry Morning said...

P.S. We have an old piano (beautiful maple burl wood, I think it's called) that was built especially for the Chicago World's Fair. We don't play that one because the sound board is shot, but it is still a beautiful piece of furniture. :-)

Zaa said...

I'm caught...loving that particular era setting ...Secrets of Sloane House sounds like a fabulous read ... especially if it's historically correct... I must look for in Chapter's ..Thanks for the fabulous review.. and your sweet visit...Hugs

mamasmercantile said...

Another impressive book review.

Sola Scriptura said...

This sounds like a very interesting book! Thank you for telling us about it :)

Maria said...

Sounds like a very interesting book! You give an excellent review! Hope you have a wonderful week! Take care and many blessings to you, hugs!

Christine said...

I haven't read anything by this author but your review has whet my appetite to try this!
Thanks so much.

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Dear Stephanie, this one sounds good and I appreciate your review for us.
I always love your blog music!!
Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week.
Hugs and Blessings

Dee said...

I love your book reviews. I'll have to check this book out along with Christmas at Rose Hill Farm. Have a wonderful day... :)

Red Rose Alley said...

This sounds like a good book, Stephanie. I must get back to reading. You know, Nel has a study filled with books. It sounds like you enjoy reading as much as her. Thank you for your thoughts on my post today. My blog friends are truly a blessing to me.


Wanda said...

Wonderful book reviews. Bet you got A's for your book reports in school.

In high school I was hooked on all the Grace Livingston Hill novels. They were wholesome romance stories for young teen girls.

Marci Smith said...

I am always looking for good, faith filled books. Thanks so much for your review! :)

Anonymous said...

Stephanie, that book sounds so suspenseful! When I get all settled, I am looking forward to reading again!

NanaDiana said...

That sounds like a good book, Stephanie-except for the lackluster relationship between the couple. I love to read but find myself getting pickier about books as I get older. I want a really good story that draws me in and I love to see excitement created between characters. xo Diana

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

This sounds like a wonderful book, Stephanie and one I think I would like to read. I love a good mystery and a jaw-dropping one is even better! I also read your review of 'Christmas at Rose Hill Farm' and that also looks good. I have read a few of the new Amish books and have found them very endearing. Thank you for sharing your reviews, it makes it much easier to decide if a book is worth reading or not! Hugs xo Karen

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