About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Monday, May 8, 2023

In the Shadow of the River by Ann H. Gabhart

In the Shadow of the River

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.


"The Kingston Floating Palace. This showboat was the third for the Kingston family. Her family, whether her name was Kingston or not."

I always enjoy this author's books, and I now have a new favorite! It has characters who stole my heart, a unique setting, and a story that kept me turning the pages. I loved the description of the Kingston Floating Palace showboat and the entertaining shows that were presented for the people who lived along the Ohio River during the late 1800s, but it's Jacci Reed's story that snagged my heart and wouldn't let go! It begins when Jacci is five and continues into her young adult years, and it's a beautiful tale of a deep family love that isn't solely determined by blood ties. The families who live aboard this showboat may be 'show people' but they're loyal, caring people, and oh, how they treasure Jacci!
In the Shadow of the River
has many of my favorite elements. It is an engrossing tale of family and faith but author Ann H. Gabhart adds a delightful blend of history and mystery. Jacci knows that her life has been ruled by secrets, but will these secrets destroy the life that she's come to love? There's also a sweet friendship between Jacci and Gabe Kingston that begs to become so much more! Can she ever see him as anything but a 'brother'? I loved this book and I highly recommend it to all who enjoy historical Christian romance.

I received a complimentary copy from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Ann H. Gabhart grew up on a farm in Kentucky. By the time she was ten she knew she wanted to be a writer. She's published over thirty novels. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren and she still lives on a farm not far from where she grew up. She loves playing with her grandkids, walking with her dog, reading and, of course, writing. Her Shaker books, set in her fictional Shaker village of Harmony Hill in the 1800's, are popular with readers. The Outsider was a Christian Fiction Book Award Finalist in 2009. Her Heart of Hollyhill books are Small Town, America books set in the 1960's. Angel Sister, a Rosey Corner book set during the Great Depression, will be followed by Small Town Girl. She has also written two books about Mary Breckinridge and the Frontier Nursing Service: These Healing Hills and An Appalachian Summer. 

To learn more visit Ann's Website      Facebook     Twitter    Instagram   Pinterest

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