BOOK REVIEW: Strands of Truth by Colleen Coble (Romantic Suspense)



Colleen Coble

on Tour September 9 – October 4, 2019

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Date of Publication:  September 10, 2019
Number of Pages: 336
Purchase Links:  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Goodreads

Strands of Harper Taylor’s childhood are resurfacing—but will the truth save her…or pull her under? Harper Taylor is used to being alone— after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own. So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name? Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.

January 1990
St. Petersburg, Florida
Lisa ran to her Datsun Bluebird and jerked open the yellow door. Her pulse strummed in her neck, and she glanced behind her to make sure she wasn’t being followed. She’d tried not to show fear during the confrontation, but it was all she could do not to cry. She couldn’t face life without him.
She’d been on edge ever since yesterday.
Twilight backlit the treetops and highlighted the hanging moss. Instead of finding it beautiful, she saw frightening shadows and shuddered. She slid under the wheel and started the engine, then pulled out of her driveway onto the road.
She turned toward the Gulf. The water always calmed her when she was upset—and she had crossed upset moments ago and swerved into the scared zone.
Her belly barely fit under the wheel, but this baby would be born soon, then she’d have her figure back. She accelerated away from her home, a dilapidated one-story house with peeling white paint, and switched on her headlights.
The radio blared full of the news about the Berlin Wall coming down, but Lisa didn’t care about that, not now. She switched channels until she found Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’ ”playing, but even her favorite tune failed to sooth her shattered nerves. Could she seriously be murdered over this? She’d glimpsed madness in those eyes.
She pressed the brakes as she came to a four-way stop, but the brake pedal went clear to the floor. She gasped and pumped the pedal again. No response. The car shot through the intersection, barely missing the tail end of another vehicle that had entered it before her.
Hands gripping the steering wheel, she struggled to keep the car on the road as she frantically thought of a way to bring it to a stop that didn’t involve hitting another car or a tree. The baby in her belly kicked as if he or she knew their lives hung suspended in time.
“We’re going to make it, little one. We have to. I can’t leave you alone.” No one would love her baby if she died. Her mother couldn’t care for her child. She cared more about her drugs than anything else.
Lisa tried to tamp down her rising emotions, but she’d never been so frightened. The car fishtailed on the sandy road as she forced it back from the shoulder. Huge trees lined the pavement in a dense formation. Where could she drive off into relative safety? A field sprawled over on the right, just past the four-way stop ahead. If she made it through, it seemed the only place where they might survive.
Had the brakes been cut? What else could it be? She’d just had the car serviced.
Lisa approached the stop sign much too fast. The slight downhill slope had only accelerated the speed that hovered at nearly seventy. Her mouth went bone dry.
Taken from “Strands of Truth” by Colleen Coble. Copyright © 2019 by Colleen Coble. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.

I received a copy of this book for free. This is my honest and thoughtful review.

What an impressive introduction into the work of a hugely popular and well loved author! While I am familiar with the author’s books, I had never read one before, so I was incredibly delighted at how much I really enjoyed this story. Now, I’m looking forward to taking a look at her vast repertoire to discover more!

This story opens with a powerful bang, thrusting readers back to 1990, and lays the foundation for the mysteries that follow. The characters are richly developed and woven together to create a masterful storytelling experience. With a unique premise and complex plot that spans three time periods, the author’s writing style is amazing in making the connections with no confusion. Intertwining mysteries in both the past and present kept the twists coming until the shocking and absolutely stunning truth is finally revealed. While I had my suspicions about what would ultimately be revealed, I did not expect nor anticipate how it all came together. The author was able to brilliantly sprinkle out the clues across the story that will keep you thinking until the final moments. The pacing was fantastic and reinforced the mounting tension all the way to the very end, which is so hopeful and inspiring given the amount of turmoil wrecking havoc throughout the entire story.

“The right time for the truth is every minute of every day.”

We all know that the truth will set us free, and this was a fascinating exploration of just how devastating secrets and lies can be even for generations to come. Every one seemed to have something to hide, which certainly came back to haunt them as time went on. Despite the overwhelming sense of family dysfunction surrounding these characters, the conclusion sparks support for acceptance, forgiveness, and grace.

The story’s romance is incredibly clean and tender almost to the point that the classification of romantic suspense is somewhat misleading. I am a huge fan of the hate-to-love trope and really wanted to see that play out more as characters discovered their true feelings. I was slightly disconnected from the passion that was trying to play out on the page and would have appreciated more emotion on both ends of the spectrum. 

Overall, an immensely entertaining and highly recommended read that will be hard to forget!

Colleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series.

Connect with Colleen online!


Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

Many thanks to Partners in Crime Book Tours and Colleen Coble! It was an absolute pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and extras!

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