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Friday, January 8, 2016


Lydia Bancroft loves her work at the library. She is surrounded by masterfully written books that are just waiting to be read. Her job is to work in the Reading Room where she helps patrons select books , issues library cards and sneaks in a bit of reading whenever possible  She is also trying to care for a very demanding mother while trying to pay bills after the death of her father. She definitely has  her hands full. Maybe she needs a little adventure in her life. A patron comes  in one day to the library whose name is  Sebastian Marks. Lydia notices him right away. What has caught her eye,  I wonder? Is it his dashing good looks,  his impeccable attire or maybe what books he has selected to read? Sebastian  is not the typical upstanding gentleman Lydia thinks he is. He runs a place where drinking and gambling take place, much like would be called a saloon . He is quite wealthy and is determined to make his life better then when he was growing up.his past is not pretty and he wants to erase it and move forward.  They say opposites attract and we are about to see what happens when these two people get together.

When Lydia finds out about Sebastian's gambling club , she ignores the seeming overprotective friends and stubbornly chooses to be with him. He is mysterious and that intrigues her. She wants excitement in her life and she gets that and more.  What happens one evening at the club will change Lydia forever. What did she witness? Is she responsible for  a crime?  The book is cleverly written with intrigue and a mystery that is sure to keep you glued to the pages. We get a glimpse of the seedy side of Chicago and it's dark and unsavory characters. The author  describes this time period with superb accuracy and makes the city come to life.

I loved the fact that Lydia was a librarian and I  felt connected to her right away as I worked at a library for fifteen years. You meet all types of people that are intriguing and friendly. Lydia is written with a fierce strength and willingness to support her mom . She does have an issue with trusting people and Sebastian will have her questioning if she can trust him or not. Don't miss this engaging story set in Chicago right after the World's Fair during the late 1890s. The story is fascinating with characters that must rely on faith , friendship and prayer to overcome obstacles. At the end  of the book, is several discussion questions that could be used in a book club or for personal use. They are thought provoking and helps you take a deeper look at the book and it's wonderful message of hope, love, faith and prayer.

I received a  copy of this book from The Fiction Guild for an honest review.

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