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Tuesday, March 1, 2022


The first in a new series from New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray, Edgewater Road invites us into a world of family mysteries, and small-town secrets.

When Jennifer Smiley's grandmother, Ginny, leaves her an old farmhouse on Edgewater Road in seemingly quiet Ross County, Ohio, Jennifer can't pass up the opportunity for a new beginning. Almost immediately she meets a group of men who generously help her move in. When she realizes that they work for Lincoln Bennett, her next-door neighbor, she's intrigued. Lincoln is gorgeous and has dark, lapis-blue eyes she could get lost in . . . but he doesn't seem all that friendly. She's torn between getting to know him and sticking with the solitude she knows so well. Maybe she could let down some of those walls she's built around her emotions?

Lincoln Bennett likes to keep his head down and get his work done. He's been to prison and he knows that a lot of folks don't take kindly to a man with that kind of history. Plus, he's busy helping other ex-cons get back on their feet. But when he meets Jennifer, he can't help but feel an instant attraction. Will she be able to look past his unsavory history? Will she be able to accept the men he's working so hard to help?

While Jennifer gets to know Lincoln and his friends, she also begins to unravel her grandmother's story, putting together the pieces from scraps of memories and things she finds in her new home. She soon discovers that Ginny Smiley harbored some dark secrets on Edgewater Road -- and that those secrets include both Lincoln and her own absent father. Is learning the truth worth the heartache it could bring?

As the weeks pass and she and Lincoln become closer, Jennifer learns there is a lot to uncover in Ross County -- wonderful friendships, darling towns ... and more than one secret that might be better left buried.

SHELLEY SHEPARD GRAY is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of numerous romantic fiction series and mystery novels, including the Seasons of Sugarcreek series, the Sisters of the Heart series, the Families of Honor series, and others. She is a recipient of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. She has written more than eighty novels, translated into multiple languages.


I was so excited to have a chance to read the first book in a new series by this amazing and talented author. She has chosen one of my ideal settings of a small town to introduce us to the characters. There is something about a small town that makes me feel welcome and brings a sense of grace and comfort. Anything to do with a farmhouse piques my interest right away. When Jennifer inherits her grandmother’s place I was ready to walk beside her on her journey. 

I’m not sure Jennifer would think the farmhouse was great since it looked like it had been overlooked in the upkeep of the place. Oh but wandering  around in the house she knows there is history there. I loved the mystery that Jennifer uncovers about her grandmother. What a shock she had when secrets starting coming out and the hurt and disappointed she felt as the image of her grandmother suddenly changed. I’m sure we all have secrets in our family history that would be hard to deal with. Jennifer wanted the truth, but now what does she do with it? Will it change her feelings for her grandmother and father?

It is hard to say just how much I admired Lincoln. Being in prison is difficult but now that he is free he has a big heart to help others that need a fresh start like he got. I can just imagine the look on Jennifer’s face when she finds out about Lincoln’s incarceration. I loved how Lincoln didn’t shy away from telling Jennifer even though he saw the shocked look on her face. The author adds intrigue which connects Lincoln and Jennifer’s grandmother. This part of the story is where we see a man who is upfront about his past yet doesn’t want to share everything because he knows it will hurt Jennifer. What a tangled web it becomes when more secrets are revealed. 

The story is well written with characters that share something in common. They all want to be accepted and loved. Our past doesn’t have to define us when we chose to follow God. Lincoln will always have a special place in my heart because he illustrates how you can overcome your past and be an example to others who need compassion and a second chance.  

I received a copy of this book from the author. The review is my own opinion.

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