Author: J. Clare
Series: King's Ransom #1
Release Date: February 11, 2023
Publisher: Old Dominion Press
The secret history of America’s founding revealed in the lives of those who carry on the perilous responsibility to preserve a noble tradition.
Too strange to believe? Too real to forget!
Jeb Carter, owner of the Shop, has settled in Virginia’s Northern Neck to rebuild his life after the death of his wife. A lawyer by training, he’s come to small town America to raise his daughters and build a lifestyle business as a paddleboard eco-tour guide along the beautiful creeks and bays of the Chesapeake’s western shore. Just when life seems to be getting back on track, his life is upended with the arrival of a quirky visitor who befriends his daughters.
Amanda West, estranged from her father, is trapped in a career she dreads as a CIA logistics officer. Learning that her father has become engaged, she begins a quest to locate her mother’s wedding ring, a family heirloom with unusual maritime etchings. Abetted by two of her co-workers, she returns incognito to her hometown with the tradecraft of a pro.
No man has ever touched her heart, but in Jeb, she’s found her alter-ego—in so many mysterious ways—and a man that seems able to quell her impetuous nature. Get ready for a wild ride as the two suspect each other of ulterior motives. Although Amanda senses foul play in the death of Jeb’s wife, they work together to unravel the unusual history of the ring and other pre-colonial artifacts tied to Captain John Smith and the founding of Jamestown.
Will their discoveries cause them to turn on each other? … or possibly ... miraculously, bring them together?
Reviewer: Kristina Hall
If you’re looking for a contemporary novel with a historical twist and a hint of mystery, Queen of the Bay is the book for you!
Jeb and Amanda were well-developed characters with interesting backstories that added to the plot. I did think the romantic angst and Jeb and Amanda’s determination to hate each other went on too long. I understand that their relationship needed room to develop throughout the rest of the series, but I wish they’d handled things in a more mature manner. My favorite side characters had to be Jeb’s daughters and his mom.
Queen of the Bay definitely felt like the first in a longer series. It was great for introducing the characters and the mystery thread, but I wanted more of a plot and for the mystery to play a bigger role. I really enjoyed the illustrations included in this book and thought they added a cool element. I also appreciated the attention given to the setting. It is obvious that J. Clare is quite familiar with the area. I’m grateful that the language was clean, and I liked the theme of forgiveness.
Overall, Queen of the Bay was an entertaining read I’d recommend to those who enjoy Christian fiction and contemporary novels.
I received this book free from Old Dominion Press through Interviews & Reviews. My opinions are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.
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