About the Book
If all the world’s a stage, Jacci will play her part.
She only hopes her story does not turn out to be a tragedy.
In 1881, Jacci Reed is only five years old when a man attempts to kidnap her from the steamboat her mother, Irena, works on. Badly wounded during the confrontation, Irena takes Jacci aboard the Kingston Floating Palace, a showboat tied up beside them. There, Jacci’s actor grandfather tends to her mother and Jacci gets a first taste of the life she will come to lead.
Fifteen years later, Jacci is an actress aboard the Kingston Floating Palace, and largely contented with her adopted family of actors, singers, and dancers. Especially Gabe, who has always supported her, and the gruff grandfather she has come to know and love. Jacci’s mother has been gone for years, but the memory of the altercation that ultimately took her life–and the cryptic things Jacci has overheard about her past–is always there, lurking in the back of her mind.
When someone on the showboat tries to kill Jacci, it’s clear her questions demand answers. But secrets have a way of staying in the shadows, and the answers she craves will not come easily. Gabe only hopes they come in time for him and Jacci to have a future together.
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In My Opinion
First of all, isn’t the cover of this book gorgeous? The cover alone made me want to read In the Shadow of the River by Ann H. Gabhart, but then I read the back cover and knew it was a must read.
The first 100-ish pages of the book take place when Jacci is a child. I’ve got mixed feelings about this because while it does give us Jacci’s history, it also feels like an info dump (mostly coming from Jacci’s mother). Today, authors are told to sprinkle in backstory, but this author just gives many (most) of them right up front. I kind of felt cheated out of discovering all of those pieces of Jacci’s history along with her. Then again, there were things learned from Jacci’s mom that Jacci herself truly discovered.
Although, once past that first 100 pages, the story picks up with lots of differing personalities on the showboat. When someone mentions a special guest, I knew right away there were going to be problems. This book is all about the romance between Jacci and Gabe. There are some tense moments for Jacci and a few possible culprits, but Gabe and Jacci are the true stars of the story.
Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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