It’s finally Carrie’s time. After a difficult childhood that most would not have survived, she’s living a great life. She loves Christ, she owns her own business, she has practically raised her younger sister into adulthood, and she’s finally getting a chance at romance with her long-time crush, Greg. Just as it appears that things couldn’t be any better, her abusive mother comes back into her life, she has a bad accident, Greg can’t figure out what he wants, and a murder happens. Is this the end of Carrie’s happily ever after?
Shadows on the Sand by Gayle Roper begins in Carrie’s Cafe, where the plot quickly begins unfolding. It took a while for me to figure out who was who in the long list of characters, and before I could get to know any of them, the story took off. The premise of the cult and the corruption that surrounded it was okay, but I think the ending was given away much too quickly. This book was advertised as a mystery, but about halfway through, the solution was obvious and the only mystery that remained was how the two main characters went from barely knowing one another to being madly in love. While Greg’s mourning was easily believable and made his character more real, Carrie’s almost juvenile feelings and actions towards him pulled him away from reality, going so far as to making their relationship almost comical at certain points. I would have preferred for the author to actually write some of the more difficult scenes that piqued readers’ interest, especially when Carrie finally speaks with her mother after sixteen years of estrangement, rather than just telling me that it all somehow worked out. I would much rather have read that conversation than three more of Carrie and Greg discussing their relationship.
Many thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for providing me with a free copy of this book to review. All opinions expressed are mine entirely.