Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Edgewater Road by Shelley Shepard Gray

 Edgewater Road
Book Summary

The first in a new series from New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray, Edgewater Road invites us into a world of family mysteries, small-town secrets, and perhaps a little romance along the way.

When Jennifer Smiley’s grandmother, Ginny, leaves her an old farmhouse on Edgewater Road in seemingly quiet Ross County, Ohio, Jennifer can’t pass up the opportunity for a new beginning. Almost immediately she meets a group of men who generously help her move in. When she realizes that they work for Lincoln Bennett, her next-door neighbor, she’s intrigued. Lincoln is gorgeous and has dark, lapis-blue eyes she could get lost in … but he doesn’t seem all that friendly. She’s torn between getting to know him and sticking with the solitude she knows so well. Maybe she could let down some of those walls she’s built around her emotions?

Lincoln Bennett likes to keep his head down and get his work done. He’s been to prison and he knows that a lot of folks don’t take kindly to a man with that kind of history. Plus, he’s busy helping other ex-cons get back on their feet. But when he meets Jennifer, he can’t help but feel an instant attraction. Will she be able to look past his unsavory history? Will she be able to accept the men he’s working so hard to help?

While Jennifer gets to know Lincoln and his friends, she also begins to unravel her grandmother’s story, putting together the pieces from scraps of memories and things she finds in her new home. She soon discovers that Ginny Smiley harbored some dark secrets on Edgewater Road—and that those secrets include both Lincoln and her own absent father. Is learning the truth worth the heartache it could bring?

As the weeks pass and she and Lincoln become closer, Jennifer learns there is a lot to uncover in Ross County—wonderful friendships, darling towns … and more than one secret that might be better left buried.

My Thoughts

Jennifer Smiley inherited her grandmother’s farmhouse on Edgewater Road.  She is unaware that her hunky neighbor runs a program for ex-cons out of his home nor that that the neighbor is an ex-con himself.  Jennifer works at home as a medical transcriptionist and rarely ventures out.  She is surprised when Lincoln and his friends offer to help her move in.  They then begin showing up with offers to help.  Jennifer finds herself looking forward to their visits, especially Lincoln’s.  While cleaning out her grandmother’s bedroom closet, she finds a box of receipts and a ledger that arise Jennifer’s suspicions.  It seems that her grandmother had secrets and the only person who can help her learn the truth is Lincoln.  Can Jennifer handle what she learns about her namesake?

Edgewater Road by Shelley Shepard Gray is the debut of The Rumors in Ross County series.  I thought Edgewater Road was well-written with developed, realistic characters.  I could relate to Jennifer who prefers her own company to that of others.  I liked all the secondary characters that included Bo, Seth, and Wayne.  Wayne was a great addition and provided a nice twist (a young Amish boy).  I did feel that the romance between Lincoln and Jennifer was pushed into the background, but I did not mind (you know I love mysteries).  I preferred the suspense and mystery portion.  Jennifer discovers that she never really knew her grandmother and searches for more information on her.  It is a good thing that her grandmother was a pack rat.  There is drama in the story and a scary situation.  There is violence that is very descriptive.  I did have some trouble getting into the story.   Once I did get into it, I was curious to see how the story would turn out.  I found this story different from the author’s Amish novels.  The Christian element was light, but it was nicely woven into the story.  I did have some unanswered questions at the end of the book.  I was curious as to why there was so much ammo in the barn and why did Jennifer’s father want the house (greed or was it something else).  I liked how the ex-cons helped Jennifer and came to care for her.  Edgewater Road mixes romance, family drama, secrets, hope, second chances, curiosity, and faith into one charming story.

Edgewater Road is available from Amazon*.  Shelley Shepard Gray has Happily Ever Amish coming out October 25.  You can find Shelley Shepard Gray's other novels here.  Thank you for visiting today.  I will be back tomorrow with my thoughts on When She Disappeared by Steph Mullin and Nicole Mabry. I am going to go work outside.  I have a raised planter to put together. I hope that you have a safe and happy spring day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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