Reviewer: Jane Daly
Moonlight in Manhattan is a sweet holiday love story. The two main characters, Justin and Sarah, are believable and down-to-earth. They are an unlikely couple who meet after Sarah’s next-door neighbor, Lillian, is taken by ambulance to the hospital. Conflict arises as Sarah, a driven self-starter, thinks Justin is taking advantage of his grandmother, Sarah’s next-door neighbor.
There was a plot twist that I would have liked to see developed: a mystery anomaly of Lillian’s blood tests. It would add more tension to the story.
All in all, the story is an enjoyable read. The release is a timely one, right around the holidays. It made me want to put up Christmas lights and drag out my Nativity scene.
Reviewer: Mary Hemlow
Sarah Montgomery lives and runs her own business in Manhattan. A health emergency with one of her neighbours, an elderly woman, leads to Sarah’s discovery that the woman would benefit from her help. There’s only one problem. In order to help her, Sarah has to cooperate with the woman’s deadbeat, but attractive grandson, Justin. As Sarah gets to know Justin, she finds herself being attracted to him, against her better judgment. Justin isn’t being completely open and honest with Sarah. Added to everything are Sarah’s feelings of abandonment by her wealthy, money focused parents. Will Sarah deal with her fear and allow a man who loves her into her heart?
The story offers a glimpse into the lives of two characters, strengthened by their faith, but wrestling with doubts about relationships and emotions left by events from their pasts. Sarah’s heroism lies not only in these struggles but in that she lives and runs her own business in one of the largest cities in the world. The book delivers in the romance reader’s format. It’s an engaging read.
The title and cover promise a journey to a different place, which I think could have delivered more. The city itself is weakly portrayed. Names of places will be well known to those who have visited New York, but as a person who has not had that pleasure, I was unable to make the connections with the places and would have appreciated more descriptive detail about them. In spite of this minor deficiency, I give the book five stars.
Reviewer: Edwina Cowgill
Moonlight Over Manhattan is a fun read for this time of the year! Set during the months of November and December, there’s just enough seasonal undertones to put you in the holiday spirit, or keep you there!
Ms. Turansky has done an excellent job in writing and developing characters who wiggle their way into your heart early in the book.
Although not the heroine, “Miss” Lillian will remind you of your grandmother. With her gracious manners and mischievous matchmaking, she quickly becomes your favorite character.
Justin, the hero, is Lillian’s grandson and has come to stay with her as she recuperates from a fall. He is the “boy next door” that every mother longs for her daughter to fall in love with. Strong, honest, good-looking…need I say more?
And then there’s Sarah. An independent woman who is a professional organizer and owns her own business, she is determined to marry a like- minded professional, who can easily support himself and a family. And therein lies the conflict.
This story is written from a Christian perspective and Ms. Turansky does a good job in balancing the romance angle with the Christian perspective.
Moonlight Over Manhattan is a book you will enjoy reading and a story you will remember for a long time to come.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
Moonlight Over Manhattan by Carrie Turansky is a novella set in New York during Christmas and is a great way to get yourself into the Christmas Spirit.
The two main characters, Justin and Sarah, meet by chance when Justin's grandmother Lillian has a fall in her apartment. Sarah takes care of Lillian's dog Molly, while Lillian is in hospital. When Justin shows up to take Molly back they discuss Lillian's cluttered apartment. One gets the impression she is a hoarder. When Justin discovers Sarah is a professional organizer, she is hired to get Lillian's apartment in order by the time she gets back from hospital. The author does an excellent job of introducing us to the characters and of presenting Sarah as a no-nonsense kind of gal who knows her job and does it well. But as "put-together" as Sarah is she does have a few insecurities and the author presents them well. Justin, on the other hand is clearly a strong Christian, but with a secret which we discover further in the story.
One issue that does need to be addressed bothered me through to the end of the story. It was the insinuation that while in hospital the doctor's discovered something strange in Lillian's blood. Right away one starts thinking this may be a very sad story that will bloom with romance and heartache, because of Lillian's supposed illness, bringing our two main characters together to support one another. Unfortunately, the subject is never addressed again. We are left wondering what the doctors found. So, as I said, I think this part of the story needs to be addressed.
Another aspect I found wanting was the assumed belief that everyone was a Christian. This is not done in real life, so it was not something that felt natural. I got the impression early on that Sarah was not a Christian and yet a few chapters in she is talking about her conversion to Christ. So this confused me somewhat. In addition, the actual relationship and growing attraction between Justin and Sarah felt forced. Justin's actions towards Sarah seem awkward and slightly creepy for someone who had just met her. And Sarah, while admittedly enamoured by his looks, makes it more than clear she is not interested. So when things changed between them it didn't feel right.
That said, the author is a very good writer who still manages to keep you reading and draws you into the story. The spirit of Thanksgiving and Christmas are heavily featured and so it makes for a short read (it's only ten chapters) that will get you in the Christmas Spirit. The author is very good at placing the reader in the action and I could clearly see Lillian's apartment, New York at Christmas and the church service where Sarah has her epiphany. Despite a few inconsistencies, I did enjoy this book and would recommend it for your Christmas reading list.
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