Thursday, September 11, 2014

My review: A Carol for Kent

A Carol for Kent is the third book in Hallee Bridgeman's Song of Suspense series!  It follows A Melody for James and An Aria for Nick, both of which I enjoyed immensely and this one is as wonderful as the other two!
A Ruthless Serial Killer Seeks to End a Love Song Eight Years in the Making
Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Carol Mabry heads up an investigation into a string of stranglings in Virginia's capital. The serial killer known as Richmond Red remorselessly snuffs out beautiful young women with violin strings before ritually enshrining their lovely lifeless bodies inside a pentagram of blood red candles.
Country music superstar Bobby Kent makes an unscheduled return trip to his Virginia home for the first time in years. To his shock, he discovers that he and Carol have a young daughter, Lisa. His parents have kept Lisa hidden from him her entire life while simultaneously deceiving Carol about Bobby's interest in fatherhood. Angry and hurt over the deception, Carol and Bobby strive to cope with this newly discovered reality. They struggle to overcome harmful secrets and years of lies to decide whether they have a future. Neither of them realize how every waking moment they move closer to the serial killer who harbors an unnatural and deadly obsession. With the beautiful Carol locked in Richmond Red's sites, the clock is ticking down to her destruction. Will the two find love, or is their sonata striking a dangerous final chord?

About the Author:
An Army brat turned Floridian, Hallee finally settled in central Kentucky with her family so that she could enjoy the beautiful changing of the seasons. She enjoys the roller-coaster ride thrills that life with a National Guard husband, a teenaged daughter, and two elementary aged sons delivers.
A prolific writer, when she's not penning novels, she blogs about all things cooking and homemaking at Hallee the Homemaker(tm) ( Her passion for cooking spurred her to launch a whole food, real food "Parody" cookbook series. In addition to nutritious, Biblically grounded recipes, readers will find that each cookbook also confronts some controversial aspect of secular pop culture.
Hallee is a member of the Published Author Network (PAN) of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) where she serves as a long time board member in the Faith, Hope, & Love chapter. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the American Christian Writers (ACW) as well as being a member of Novelists, Inc. (NINC).
Hallee loves coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband. Above all else, she loves God with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength; has been redeemed by the blood of Christ; and relies on the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide her. She prays her work here on earth is a blessing to you and would love to hear from you. You can reach Hallee at
(Description [italics mine] and cover photo from Deeper Shopping. About the author from Amazon.  All rights reserved.)

My Review: 5 stars
Another Hallee Bridgeman book for the keeper shelf!
A Carol for Kent is the third book in Hallee Bridgeman’s Song of Suspense series. I was extremely excited to read this one, after reading the first two and I can happily say it was great! Mrs. Bridgeman’s books just keep getting better!
While this is technically book three, you don’t have to read them in order. I would suggest it if possible, because they are all great and you would already know all the reoccurring characters. But, if you can’t or don’t want to, then it’s not a big deal. The plots don’t overlap and there are no cliffhangers that require an explanation.
As always, Halle does an excellent job with the descriptions and details. It’s obvious she put a lot of time and research into this story and I really enjoyed all the little nuances I learned. The plot was also very interesting. This is one of the few mysteries that was able to keep me guessing throughout the book. I had to fight the urge to flip to the end and find out “whodunit” - it was driving me nuts, not knowing!
Carol Mabry is a great heroine and I quickly fell in love with her character. She is An Assistant Commonwealth Attorney, but while that is her job, it isn’t who she is. She’s a Christian, a mother, and a friend. She is strong, kind, loving, and at times, stubborn. I appreciated how she was able to leave her work behind and focus on her daughter, Lisa. She is the kind of lady that you admire for her strength, but more so for her transparency and ability to be vulnerable. I loved how easily I could connect with her, though I have nothing in common with her.
Bobby Kent is an interesting hero. He is a bit the typical hero in that he is strong, stubborn, but also kind and loving. But that’s where the comparisons end. He is famous and very wealthy, but that doesn’t really go to his head. While he has enough money to purchase whatever he desires, the only thing he can’t get is what he longs for the most: the time he lost with his daughter. What most impressed me about Bobby? How real he is. He gets angry, loses his temper, struggles to forgive, but he also desires to follow Christ and live a life honoring Him.
I also really enjoyed Carol and Bobby’s relationship. While they obviously knew each other in the past, that actually didn’t play into it that much. Carol had spent the past 8 years loathing Bobby (her words, not mine), but when she learns that he was lied to as well, she quickly lets go of her anger. As they reconnect and get to know each other again, they find that the love they shared years ago has changed. They aren’t the same people they were before, they’ve grown and life has changed them. I really liked the honesty in their relationship. They have both been lied to, so trust and honesty is very important to them.
Hallee did a great job with the mystery! As I already mentioned, it kept me guessing until the very end. I had suspects, but wasn’t entirely sure and it twisted and turned so much that just as I thought I might know who it was, something else would happen and mess up that theory. I was still partially wrong in the end, though I wasn’t terribly upset about that. I was too busy being impressed with the complexity of it all and how she managed to bring everything back together again. I have to confess, I found the entries from the killer a little disturbing, but that was undoubtedly intentional. The killer was creepy, so it stands to reason that anything from their point of view would be too.
I love how much importance was placed on God in this story. One of the main spiritual themes is forgiveness, which both Bobby and Carol struggle with after being deceived for years. The reality in their emotions and reactions really touched my heart. The subject wasn’t glossed over or portrayed to be easier than it actually is. I love this quote, “Father God, I pray that You help me release the anger clutching my heart and taking over my mind. Help me to be Christ-like in all things, including this thing. Amen.” - Bobby Kent, page 138 I think it sums up quite well what the characters were facing and struggling with, but also how they handled it.
You’ll notice this review has five stars, a rarity for me. When I went to rate it, I couldn’t think of a single thing I didn’t like. There wasn’t anything I could nitpick or comment about, so five stars seems appropriate.

I highly recommend this book if you enjoy mystery, suspense, and wonderfully realistic characters!

I received a complementary copy of this book from the author, through The Book Club Network, for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
*Quotation used with permission from the author. All rights reserved.

Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed my review!  :)
A little birdy told me that A Carol for Kent is currently on sale in eBook for $4.99 if you're interested.  Here are a couple links, if you want to check it out, maybe consider purchasing a copy.


Barnes & Noble

Christian Book 

I hope you're having a lovely day!


1 comment:

  1. This is an amazing review. Thank you, so much, Sarah. You have honored me with this.