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Friday, February 21, 2014

A review you can use: To Find You by Linda Schmalz

Good morning!

Every so often I like to review a book that's new to the reading public, or that's got my attention.  In this case, the book I'm reviewing is both new and attention grabbing.  It's the new historical romance by Linda Schmalz, To Find You

To Find You is set in New York City immediately following the Titanic disaster.  Here;s a quick bit:

Brigid O’Brien is not in love with David Cavanaugh, but agrees to marry him and move to America to escape an arranged marriage in Ireland. All hope of a bright future fades, however, when David perishes on the Titanic. With nowhere to turn, Brigid finds work as a kitchen maid in the stately mansion of millionaire Charles Ransom and his wife Eliza. Unfortunately, Charles and Eliza each have their own plans for the new maid. Thomas Ashton is a medical student, studying in New York. Hearing of the Titanic disaster, and hoping to aid the survivors, he goes to Pier 54, but can’t reach the ship due to the crowds. It is there, however, that he meets the beautiful Irish immigrant, Brigid. Over the next few weeks, Thomas and Brigid become friends, and romance blossoms. Enter Charles Ransom who decides he’s waited long enough to put his ideas for Brigid into action. When Brigid inexplicably goes missing, Thomas teams up with Eliza Ransom, and together they search for Brigid and a missing child. Set in the spring and summer of 1912, “To Find You” is a historical fiction novel and a mystery. Most of all, it is the tale of romance between a man and a woman, and a story about the never-ending love between a mother and child.

To Find You .is Linda Schmalz's first historical romance.  I love reading historical romance novels because I don't have the patience to do the research to write one of my own.  Schmalz has a great ear for the manners and movement of this era.  She gets the smallest details right, which is so very important to a successful historical romance.

What's really good, and what makes this book a worthy read, is the way the suspense quietly sneaks up on you and grips you.  Not unlike "Downton Abbey" this seems to be a still, quiet story about an Irish immigrent. But the constant sense of foreboding turns into all out, edge of your seat suspense and you realize hours have passed and you can't put the book down.

While the book is set after Titanic, Schmalz only uses that well known disaster as a jumping off point.  She takes the reader to places in American history many of us never learned in school:  North Brother Island and orphan trains.  But even the gripping drama of history takes a back seat to Schmalz's strength:  Her characters.  Step by step you will fall in love with Brigid and her friends, and and they will stay with you long after you've finished the book.

Available at all online retailers in e-book form and at Amazon in print form, To Find You,  is as good a read on a long winter night or a sunny beach afternoon.

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