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A Carol for Kent by Hallee Bridgeman
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 sights, the clock is ticking down to her destruction. Will the two find love, or is their sonata striking a dangerous final chord?
Hallee Bridgeman is a best-selling Christian author who writes action-packed romantic suspense focusing on realistic characters who face real world problems. Her work has been described as everything from refreshing to heart-stopping exciting and edgy.
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) (http://www.halleethehomemaker.com). 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
|Anita Cook||Kris Markovich|
|Fran Bott||Carol Smith|
|Becky Lewis||Jackie McNutt|
|Sonnetta Jones||Kay Hodge|
|Linda Ortiz||Donna Cochran|
|Amy C||Pamela Hargraves|
|Donna McGinnis||Sarah Baker|
|Chris Harry||Karen Dean|
|Debora Wilder||Kim Ferland|
|Karen Ketcham||Melissa Lemaire|
|Kelsey Perkins||Kristine Morgan|
|Heather Bireley||Marilyn Johnson|
|Amy Smelser||Michelle Prince Morgan|
I am thrilled to see some familiar names on this list and I am very excited that you will have the opportunity to read part three in this series. I am writing this quick note to let you know that everyone on this list will receive a printed book. I had them shipped here first and I will personally autograph each book and mail it out to you this week. This is my small way of saying that I really appreciate what you are doing.
To write this book, I was privileged to actually go to Richmond, VA and "shadow" an ACA throughout her day, there. It was incredibly interesting. As a result of my research, I am very much looking forward to your reviews with great anticipation.
I cannot thank you enough for leaving your honest reviews. As usual, I have assembled a collection of links to popular booksellers and review sites where your honest reviews can be copied and pasted.
I am so blessed by each of you and very much looking forward to your favorite (or least favorite!) parts of the story.
God Bless you!
I still haven't received this book from September. Do you still have a copy? Thanks.
Yes. I'll get it in the mail to you.
Have not yet received this book. Have others?
I mailed all the books yesterday (Friday). Everyone should start getting them early next week.
I just finished posting my review for A Carol for Kent! It has 5 stars and is posted on Deeper Shopping, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, Goodreads, and my blog.
I currently have links for Amazon, Goodreads, and my blog (respectively):
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 so much for the opportunity to read this book! As you can tell (hopefully) I loved it!
This is the third in the Song of Suspense series, and I think this would be fine as a stand-alone. However, reference is made to characters and events in earlier books, and the reader just has to try to deduce the backstories. I would definitely recommend getting and reading the first two in the series to fully enjoy the way the author has woven together the separate stories so that old friends from the MELODY FOR JAMES and ARIA FOR NICK return to enrich this book’s storyline.
The author has created a great sense of menace, and tension builds as the story processes. A serial killer is pursued, and it appears the victims all resemble Carol, the heroine. We get a glimpse of the killer’s sick mind through journal entries in which the ramblings of insanity add chill and horror. There are enough plot twists to keep the reader guessing until the end as danger and the body count rise.
The frustration and struggles of the law enforcement representatives in understanding and finding the killer alternate with sweet family moments among the main characters. Lisa is a delightful child character, and Bobby and Carol are likeable folks who live their Christian faith while dealing with real-world problems. Bobby and Carol have been separated for almost nine years because of the lies of Lisa’s grandparents, which were only made worse by their attempts to justify their actions. It was heart-warming to observe the relationships develop between Bobby and Carol and Bobby and Lisa as they move forward to life together rather than dwelling on the what ifs and if onlys.
This book has a lot to say about God’s perfect timing and the need for forgiveness. I so appreciate good suspense stories with well-developed, very human characters and no vulgarity. I highly recommend this book for lovers of mystery with a believable Christian witness. I received this book through The Book Club Network, but the opinions expressed are solely mine. .Reviews left on Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, CBD and Deeper Shopping
Thanks, Hallee & TBCNI, for the read! Here is my review:
“In another way, it’s disastrous. This is the end. There can be no others. No more fakes. No more counterfeits. Just her. Just Carol Mabry. Her in all her original glory,” the final journal entry states in Hallee Bridgeman’s novel, A Carol for Kent.
Complete review: http://connywithay.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/a-carol-for-kent/
This review will be posted on The Book Club Network, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Suspense with a Message...
Hallee Bridgeman's A CAROL FOR KENT takes the reader in brief snatches inside the mind of a serial killer, and we can see the stage being set for several young women to have their lives methodically wiped out. It is up to Carol Mabry, assistant D.A. of Virginia, to figure out who this deranged psychopath is and how to stop the killing spree he has begun.
That's just Carol's professional life. Her personal life is in tatters as she has just discovered the father of her eight year old child had no knowledge of his daughter. To further complicate life, said father, Bobby Kent, is rich and famous, which invades both her personal and professional privacy needs.
The past threatens the present and the future. How will Bobby figure into, if at all, Carol and her daughter, Lisa's lives? Will Carol forgive Bobby for eight years of absence? Will either or both Carol and Bobby be able to forgive his parents for their deception? What about the killer's past...will it cause him to snuff out Carol's present before she can start a future?
This book was very suspenseful and intriguing. It certainly stood well by itself, but it also is nice if the reader has read all (or in my case, one)of the other novels of the series. Forgiveness is the major theme of this book. Bobby talks to his pastor, who reminds the superstar he needs to forgive his parents. "The truth is, you don't have to accept them. You don't have to pretend they were right, and don't have to condone their sin. But you have to forgive, and you have to honor. The price for their sin should not be your soul." Don't we all struggle with forgiveness many times in our lives, on many different levels. Only God can help us forgive what we as humans feel is unforgivable.
With discussion questions, recipes, and excerpts from Hallee's other books, the reader gets to stay in the story a bit longer until the daze wears off.
I received this book from bookfun.org in exchange for an honest review. I also left reviews on Amazon, B&N, Booksamillion, CBD, DeeperShoppping, Goodreads, LibraryThing, with links to FB and Twitter, Parable, and Shelfari.
Am I right that we can only review on Smashwords what we purchase on Smashwords?