RCR: Maid of Ballymacool by Jennifer Deibel

RCR: Maid of Ballymacool by Jennifer Deibel

It’s time for a new season of the Unlocking the Past Reading Challenge: Unlock an Adventure. I’m so excited to be joining you on an adventure this year with guest reviews from members of our reading challenge participants. If you have a review you’d like to submit for upcoming months, feel free to sign up for a month here and use the Google form to submit your review. As my time has become too limited to do a suggestions post each month, I encourage you to jump over to the Unlocking the Past Reading Challenge page and ask for suggestions from there or from any of a number of amazing reader groups like Avid Readers of Christian Fiction and you can visit Christian Historical Fiction Index.

*The list of prizes available from my prize shelf can be found here.*

June’s Theme: Treasure Hunt

July’s Theme: Heroines in Unusual Professions for Their Time

The Maid of Ballymacool

by Jennifer Deibel

Review by: Crystal Caudill

This was my first Jennifer Deibel book, but it will not be my last. I was thoroughly transported to early 20th-century Ireland–so much so that after listening to the audiobook, my accent was slightly altered for days. Oops. The mystery surrounding Brianna’s life was enjoyable and had several twists I hadn’t expected despite having a good idea of where things were going. The spiritual thread was natural and refreshing. The romance was sweet in ways that become even sweeter as more of the story was revealed. The characters were multi-layered, real, and became some of my best friends. When you are an avid reader (and now a writer in my case) it becomes harder and harder to find stories that just completely absorb you. This one did, and I’m looking forward to reading through Mrs. Deibel’s other books.  

For Fans of: Irish settings, family mysteries, historical romances that make you feel a part of the world, spiritual threads that refresh and make you think without hitting you over the head

Genre: Historical Romance, early 1900s

Plot Overview:

Brianna Kelly was abandoned at Ballymacool House and Boarding School as an infant. She has worked there since she was a wee girl and will likely die there. Despite a sense that she was made for something more, Brianna feels powerless to change her situation, so she consoles herself by exploring the Ballymacool grounds, looking for hidden treasures to add to the secret trove beneath the floorboards of her room.

When Michael Wray, the son of local gentry, is sent to Ballymacool to deal with his unruly cousin, he finds himself drawn to Brianna, immediately and inescapably. There is something about her that feels so . . . familiar. When Brianna finds a piece of silver in the woods, she commits to learning its origins, with the help of Michael. What they discover may change everything.

Fan favorite Jennifer Deibel invites you back to the Emerald Isle in the 1930s for this fresh take on the Cinderella story, complete with a tantalizing mystery, a budding romance, and a chance at redemption.

Purchase Links:

Amazon  |  Baker Bookhouse  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Books-a-Million  |  Christianbook.com


For your chance to win a print copy, comment with what book YOU read for this month, and you will also be entered into the year-end Grand Prize Reader Basket. Use the Rafflecopter below for extra entries and to mark that you left a comment. Entries end on the 7th of each month at midnight EST, and the winner will be drawn sometime that week and notified by email. The winner will be announced don’t the Rafflecopter widget. (This month’s giveaway will be drawn later as I will have limited internet connectivity until the middle of the month, meaning my response comments will also come at the middle of the month.)

*Open to all residents of the contiguous USA, legally able to enter, and an e-book format or Amazon Gift Card will be awarded to those outside that range who are legally able to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Suggested reads for July:

Courting Misfortune & Engaging Deception by Regina Jennings

Angelinga’s Resolve by Cindy Ervin Huff

Enduring Dreams by Sandra Ardoin

The Icecutter’s Daughter by Tracie Peterson

To Disguise the Truth by Jen Turano

A Model of Devotion by Mary Connealy

What did you read for the challenge? What were your thoughts on it? Would you recommend it? Any suggestions for July’s book challenge?

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