Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Shadow in Serenity
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on September 29, 2011
Logan Brisco, a man who never stays in one place too long, landed in Serenity Texas. Once a thriving oil town Serenity is looking for a way to get back on the map. Logan is a very smooth talker, an expert on the ways of words and "get rich" schemes.
Carny Sullivan doesn't buy what Logan is selling. She was raised in a traveling carnival and has seen more con jobs than anyone, her wisdom going far beyond the circus tent. Trying to protect her son Jason from the life she has seen becomes a constant battle. Carny is cautious of Logan as the town rallies behind the ideas he presents during a crowded meeting at the bingo hall. From what Carny knows to be true actions say alot about a person and behind that contagious smile lies her greatest challenge yet.
This is a novel of love, sacrifice and hardship and one that will draw the reader from the beginning guaranteeing hours of reading enjoyment. With excellent character development this novel will capture your heart and will keep you guessing until the end. Highly recommend, excellent in every way! Thanks so much to Zondervan and Netgalley for my ARC copy for this review!
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on February 3, 2012
You can't con a con--but can you love one? Carny Sullivan--named for the carnival in which she was raised--was taught from a young age how to spot a mark and how to run a con. But when she arrived in Serenity, she left the carnival and her former life behind. When Logan Brisco arrives in town trying to raise investment funds for a new theme park, Carny recognizes a con artist when she sees one. She's determined not to let him ruin Serenity's peace--and Logan is determined not to lose. Despite her best intentions, Carny finds herself drawn to Logan. Is he seeking riches--or redemption?

There are a lot of good things about this book. I thought the former con-meets-con storyline was fresh and well written. Both Carly and Logan are complex, well-drawn characters. It's the conflict between these characters that really drives the novel. I also liked the way Blackstock incorporated the theme of redemption and restoration into the novel. Many Christian novels include the faith plotline almost as an afterthought, but here it's more integral. This is especially notable since the book was originally published under a different title as a secular romance novel.

Where it didn't work for me, however, is that it's really slow. I'm used to more action from a Blackstock novel. I made it through the first half of the novel and wound up skimming the rest just to see how it wound up. It just didn't hold my attention for a thorough read.

If you're looking for a character-driven romance, you might want to give this one a try. If you're expecting something with some action or suspense, though, you might want to look elsewhere.
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on October 2, 2011
The last several Blackstock books have been intense dealing with darker issues of life, one particular was Predator. This latest book is very different than these recent books. No dead bodies) However, it is another excellent story that was both entertaining and insightful. The characters are wonderful! Carny Sullivan is a beautiful, street smart, motorcycle riding, single mom. She loves the Lord and the people in Serenity. She instantly sees through Logan Brisco, the smooth talking con artist who has his eyes set on making a fortune in Serenity. The exchanges between Carny and Logan are go from fun filled to deeply touching and everything in between.

Terri Blackstock brings home the ago old question nature or nurture. Carny and Logan both grew up under difficult circumstances, but the outcomes were very different. This story reminds me as a parent the importance of instilling good values in my children as well as a Christian investing in the lives of children around me.

This is definitely a feel good story that you will enjoy reading.

Source: [...]
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on December 13, 2012
4.5 stars

Shadow in Serenity was way better than I expected! I really liked how the story dealt with con artists and scamming people - very unique from most books I've read.

I loved how Carny instantly saw through Logan and realized he was a con man. I also loved how redemption and forgiveness were major parts of Shadow in Serenity.

Overall, Shadow in Serenity was a great read that I enjoyed very much! Unlike most Terri Blackstock novels I've read, there wasn't much (if any) suspense, but I didn't even miss it! If you enjoy stories like this, then I think you'd like Shadow in Serenity. Recommend! :)

*I received an eBook copy of this book via Netgalley for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
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on November 20, 2011
When Logan comes to the small town of Serenity to swindle a naive town out of its hard-earned money, he didn't count on meeting Carny, a former con artist herself. Will he be able to pull of the ruse without losing his heart in the process?

Terri Blackstock is one of my favorite Christian suspense authors, so I found this book a little slow as it focused more on a romance than a mystery. The characters are vivid, the town is enrapturing, but the plot dragged on for a little too long.

Fans of Terri Blackstock will enjoy this book, but it's definitely not my favorite by her.
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on September 30, 2014
This book was a good story, but honestly not my favorite Terri Blackstock book. I am used to more murder and suspense whodunit stories and this one didn't have that. Having said that, the story was a good one and was full of very memorable characters, a lot of whom I wish I could call my friends. It is a lot more slower paced than a typical Terri Blackstock, but I would still give it a chance! Maybe if you went in knowing this, it would change your opinion about the book. I would also like to say you should read the note from the author at the end and it explains it a bit more. I still love you Terri and am happy to say I will still be reading your books. It's nice to see that you can easily go between murder and romance stories!
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on May 25, 2016
This book ended up good but was far below Terri Blackstock's other books I have read and believe me I have
read many, many of her books. It had neither the excitement nor the message that all of her other books I have
read had. It is better than most other writers books but not up to par for Terri Blackstock.
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on May 11, 2016
I wish that in the description of the book that it hadn't said it was a modern "Music Man." For me that ruined the reading of the book, as I then knew what was going to happen from the beginning. Even though I didn't know the details of how it would work out, I was right. If that was removed from the description and if I had realized that this was not a typical "suspense/action" from Blackstock (and that was my fault), then I would have given it a 5 star. I was tempted to give it just 3 stars, due to the description and my expectations but it was still a good story.
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VINE VOICEon September 27, 2011
I have been a diehard fan of Terri Blackstock since I first started reading Christian fiction over ten years ago. I have always been able to rely on Terri to provide suspenseful stories that keep me awake until the wee hours of the morning. However, this was not one of her stronger novels.

While the carnival/amusement park idea was unique, I felt that I had to suspend belief for a large portion of the story. Like Carny, I wondered how in the world all of Logan's plans would come to fruition if he wasn't in fact a con artist. Without giving too much away, the end of the story was where this was most evident. Considering the amount of time that had passed between Logan's first visit to Serenity and the final chapter of the story, everything progressed much faster than it would in the real world.

On the flip side, I felt that the characters in this story were extremely believable, Logan in particular. His reflections on his past as a product of foster homes combined with the years spent with his con artist mentor made him the most complex character of the story. Having personally met a con artist in my life (but thankfully not his victim), I could identify with some of the techniques Logan used to persuade the town into parting with their hard-earned money.

I appreciated that Terri went back to her last novel written for the general market and rewrote it to appeal to a Christian audience. Never once did it seem that the story was rewritten as all the Christian elements blended seamlessly throughout the story. But if I compare it to some of her recent novels, it was not up to the same caliber that I've come to expect from her. It was only slightly suspenseful and romantic, yet still engaging enough that I wanted to read it to the very end. My rating is 4 Stars.
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on August 12, 2013
I have probably read just about all the books Terri Blackstock has written. She never disappoints. Her characters always come alive and her plots are new and exciting. I have several favorite Christian authors and she is definitely on the top of my list. Great book!
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