Book Review | The White City by Grace Hitchcock

Book Description:

Mysterious Disappearances Taint the Chicago World’s Fair
Step into True Colors — a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

While attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a policeman, for bodyguard.

Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim? 

This was my first historical fiction based on real life novel and I LOVED IT!

Henry Howard Holmes (among other aliases) was an actual serial killer believed to be running around the Chicago’s World Fair, establishing relationships with women and then murdering them in his “Murder Castle”. I ended up doing a little bit of research online before jumping into the book, which made it that much more interesting.

This book starts out with 19-year old Winnie Wylde witnessing a tall man holding a revolver to a woman’s side and rushing her through the crowd at the fair. Because she is the daughter of an investigator, she is intrigued and begins to follow this man to a building nearby. Against her father’s wishes, she gets his permission to investigate, but only as long as she will take an escort for protection. She is assigned a new detective, Jude Thorpe, who recently moved to Chicago to secretly investigate the death of his brother-in-law.

Winnie’s being raised in a well-off home, by her aunt, as her mother passed away when she was younger. Her aunt is intending to help her become a bride, so she is setting up men to “call” on Winnie. She is briefly courted by Percival who happens to be the author of the romance novels she loves to “escape in” and though he is handsome and charming, she also begins to have feelings for Jude.

Winnie also establishes a relationship with H. H. Holmes and obtains an interview, as well as a job at his building, where she does odd jobs and only goes through files he allows her access. When in the building, she explores and finds certain items that lead her to believe that there is indeed some nefarious happenings in the “castle”.

The element of faith in this novel was endearing. Jude is forbidden to have a relationship with Winnie, primarily because he is her escort and protection, but also because Winnie’s dad knows the pain he caused Winnie’s mother by being gone long hours as an investigator, and doesn’t want his daughter to endure the same loneliness and heartache. Jude demonstrates his faith, as does Winnie, by offering prayers up throughout the story. Their inner desire for each other, among the focus of the investigation and the danger they ultimately enter, tries their faith and boundaries of love.

I thoroughly enjoyed this light romance novel, with faith and plot twists. It was easy to read, a great pace, humor was peppered in, and also suspense and terror. I would definitely read another book by Grace Hitchcock and enjoyed this genre debut! I’ve got a few more TRUE COLORS novels on my TBR list with reviews coming soon, so stay tuned!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Barbour Publishing and NetGalley.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 ( “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review | The Subway Girls by Susie Orman Schnall

subway girls susie orman schnall

Book Description:

Book Review | Rest Assured by Vicki Courtney

Rest Assured cover

Where are my weary women?  Are any of you reading this review while you’re hidden in the bathroom, trying to get just five minutes of peace?  Did you see the cover and are intrigued, but the thought of reading a book right now, just isn’t feasible? I know I’ve got some marathon sprinting moms who can relate.  Looking for some quiet, peace and rest,  but are unsure how in the world to get it??

ATTENTION:Carve out some time and grab this book.  Seriously…use a black Sharpie marker and put it on the calendar.  Then, DO NOT LET ANYTHING TAKE YOU AWAY FROM THE KNOWLEDGE YOU WILL GAIN FROM READING THIS BOOK.

Schedules can make us feel overbooked and exhausted.  There’s nothing wrong with having one, but as women, when we follow one, sometimes we just keep going.  We stretch ourselves to the limit and even after the point of no return, we still press harder through.  For what?  In managing our businesses, careers, jobs, families, social events and volunteering, we have zero down time for ourselves and have no clue how to rest.  The big question is WHY?

This author, Vicki Courtney delves into what it is inside of us that makes us feel we have to be so busy, why we push ourselves when we have no fuel left, and dares us to question where our motives are coming from.  The best part?  She doesn’t leave us there.  She then gives practical advice on how to squash the desire to push to impress and gives biblical wisdom that counters our American mindsets.  I loved at the end of the chapters, her “rest stop” which is a series of questions to read and pray over, and then her “intervention” where a nugget of truth is uncovered for application.  I am pleading with you to take some time to read this book, and follow what she offers.  Take it from someone who used to move moment to moment by a calendar alert, to someone who now silences the notification tab.  You can do this.  You need to do this.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”