One of the things that a love about Kathy Herman is the fact that she takes characters from her last series, sets them in a different location and gives them their own stories while introducing us to new characters. I love this because I think that it mirrors real life.
I loved reading about Vanessa and Ethan (Sophie Trace series) and meeting Zoe and Pierce. Through in a little mystery and I thought this was a great start to a new series.
Zoe Broussard loves the life she and her husband Pierce have built in her beloved Louisiana hometown-especially their popular brasserie Zoe B's, to which folks drive all the way from Lafayette for lunch or dinner. It seems like heaven.
But it's about to become hell. A series of anonymous notes is making her life a misery-because Zoe has a secret so terrible it could leave the business in shambles and tear her marriage apart. Can she find the courage to face her past?
The first in a new series from Kathy Herman, False Pretenses is a gripping suspense novel that leaves a lasting impression about honesty and accountability.
This was an enjoyable mystery that kept me on my toes waiting for the other shoe to drop. I found the 4 main characters at the start to be confusing at the start I found it a great story builder and increased the pace of the book. Zoe, while having done something extremely wrong was an interesting twist on the main character. It was great to have a character remind me that the grace of Christ can cover and prompts us to love the lost not their sin. It was an ongoing theme of the book. I am looking forward to reading the other books in this series.
I would like to thank Net Galley and David C. Cook Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
Ten years ago, Shelby Sieger changed her name and left her home, bound for Lafayette and a new life_
Vanessa and Ethan Langley have just moved into Langley House, with the intention of turning it into a B&B. But Langley House has a six-generation history that includes its share of ghosts. Meanwhile, they are renting a apartment from Zoe and Pierce Broussard while Langley Manor is being renovated. Pierce and Zoe run a cafe together.
Trouble begins when a white man, the simple-minded Remy Jarvis, is lynched just 200 yards from Langley Manor. Meanwhile, Zoe starts getting anonymous notes, each the same five words cut from the newspaper: I know what you did. Her past is a secret from everyone, including her husband. Does someone know? If so, what do they know? And what will she do to prevent her secrets becoming known? The answers to these questions are slowly uncovered as the story progresses.
I have to say that I really admired Vanessa in particular. I don't want to give away the plot, but at one point she is threatened. She is intelligent enough to understand that the consequences of obedience and defiance are the same and chooses to defy. In too many books and movies, when the hero or heroine are faced with deciding between giving away the good guys or being killed, they choose their own lives, even though the reader or viewer knows they are going to face death either way. It was refreshing to have a character intelligent enough to realise this, and to base her actions on that knowledge.
Although Kathy Herman has apparently incorporated characters from previous books, this book (the first of the new Roux River Bayou series) can easily be read on its own. False Pretences has a good Christian message, but not overpowering or preachy and with an underlying theme of personal responsibility. It is also a story of the triumph of grace over adversity.
Thanks to David C Cook and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
Review Summary: This was a good read. The storyline was solid and the pace of the story moved well. I enjoyed most of the characters, the only one that bugged me was Ethan Langley who too often wore his "therapist" hat when he should have been wearing his husband and father hat. The one thing that really touched me in this story was Remy Jarvis. The author did an excellent job of making me feel the pain and anguish that should be felt when anyone faces those type of circumstances.
Digging a Little Deeper: This story deals with several topics, but the main one being â€˜honesty is the best policy.' Zoe Broussard had been running from her difficult and painful past and living a lie for ten years. When it suddenly starts to fall apart even as she tries to tell lie to cover up another one. This story also deals with prejudices that too many of us live with and don't even realize it.
This cast of characters all have flaws that normal people can relate to at some level. Zoe has lived a lie for so long she can almost believe it, yet when her world starts to tumble she finds herself struggling to keep her lies straight. Her husband, Pierce has his own struggles and tends to be judgmental which adds to Zoe's fears. Their tenants Ethan, Valerie and Carter Langley are new to town and feel that because they're not Cajun they are being shun by some of the townspeople. Ethan tended to step into "therapist" mode way too often analyzing the actions of others including his wife. Valerie seemed to be the most problem free person. The regulars of Zoe B's restaurant were great. They added some fun and some very touching moments to the story.
Recommendations: If you enjoy Colleen Coble or Terri Blackstock you should enjoy Kathy Herman. Her writing is very good and flows for a quick read.