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Amid the beauty of Charleston, not all is as it seems.
When her husband Liam is killed by a car bomb while their Celtic band is on tour in Charleston, singer and Irish beauty Alanna doesn’t quite know where to turn. Her father-in-law is threatening to take custody of the baby she carries, but Alanna knows she can’t lose the only piece of Liam she has left.
Alanna’s manager offers her a marriage of convenience to obtain U.S. citizenship and allow her to escape her father-in-law’s control. It seems like the perfect solution until she arrives at the family home of her new husband—a decaying mansion with more questions than answers.
Strange things begin happening that threaten Alanna’s life and the life of her child. Are they merely coincidences? Or is something more sinister at work?
A mysterious painting, a haunting melody, and a love stronger than death leave Alanna questioning where darkness ends and light begins.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Colleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series.
Read an Excerpt
Because you're Mine
By Colleen Coble
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2017 Colleen Coble
All rights reserved.
She'd never get through this final set.
Flinging her dark red hair away from her fiddle, Alanna Connolly swallowed down the soreness in her throat and danced across the polished wooden floor of the stage. She couldn't fail — not here at the great Hibernian Hall where Charleston had turned out in force for Ceol, the four-woman Celtic band she'd founded. Her fingers flew across the fingerboard, and her other hand manipulated the bow across the strings of her instrument.
Almost there. If her voice held out for one more song, she could rest. She turned slightly so she could see her husband, Liam, as he pounded out the beat on his bodhran. He twirled the double-headed tippers in his hand and nodded at her, the special sign between them. He was praying for her.
When the Irish jig ended, the applause rose in a crescendo. Alanna bowed, then stepped to the mic. Her throat thickened, and she knew not a note would clear her mouth with a true, pure sound. The pleading glance she sent Ciara caused the alto singer to step to Alanna's aid. Fiona and Ena joined them at the mic, and Ciara took the lead on the final song.
The audience fell silent as the melancholy Irish ballad "The Last Rose of Summer" wafted over the sold-out house. Alanna mouthed the words and prayed no one would miss her voice in the mix. Her face hurt from smiling, and she wanted to rush from the stage to the sanctuary of the dressing room. Her blood pounded with the thump of Liam's blows on the big bass drum behind her. Run, run, the drum said, but Alanna held her ground.
Just a few moments more.
The song ended and the four of them bowed, then Liam joined them. They bowed together one last time as the crowd roared its approval. Liam glanced at her, and she gave a slight shake of her head. There would be no encore tonight.
After their final bow, he led her out of the hot lights to the cool relief of backstage. "I shouldn't have let you sing tonight." Once they reached the seclusion of the curtains, he pulled her into his arms.
Fiddle at her side, she leaned into him and inhaled his beloved aroma, a mixture of Irish Tweed cologne and the pungent odor of the bodhran's goatskin. Weariness settled over her like a shroud. "I'll be needing tea."
He tucked her hand into the crook of his elbow. "You need some shut-eye."
She smiled at him. "That I do."
* * *
Jesse Hawthorne leaned against the doorjamb of the dressing room and watched his friend embrace his wife. Alanna should have been his — and would have been if not for Liam. He knew the precise moment when Alanna saw him, because she stiffened and pulled out of Liam's arms. Nothing would convince him she didn't still harbor some feelings for him. He approached the couple.
"Jesse, you made it!" Liam high-fived his friend and clapped him on the shoulder. "Weren't we on fire?"
"It was terrific." Jesse's gaze lingered on Fiona a moment. She'd given him a come-hither glance a time or two, but whenever Alanna was around, he found it hard to concentrate on another woman.
"Thanks." Alanna tucked a lock of burnished hair behind her ear.
Jesse stood close enough to catch a whiff of her sweet perfume. What would she do if he leaned in for a better sniff? "You should see my new Mustang. That convertible can fly! I'll take you on a ride sometime. Can't wait to get your husband out in it tonight."
She averted her glance and smiled. He took that to mean she'd like to go, and he let himself imagine a warm, sunny day with her long hair flying in the wind.
A suffocating blanket of depression settled over him. Liam had it all — beautiful wife, exciting career, and rich parents. Jesse's own life was going nowhere. If only he still had Alanna by his side. She had been his good-luck charm. When she was on his arm, he knew what it was like to ride the wave to better things.
Now he was nothing, and that was all he'd ever be.
* * *
There was something different about Jesse tonight, but Alanna couldn't put her finger on it. She'd dated him for a time, but his eyes wandered to other women. She had him to thank for introducing her to Liam, though.
The two men were very similar in appearance with their brown hair and eyes — both about six feet tall and broad in the shoulder. Their coloring was so close people sometimes mistook them for brothers. Liam often teased her that she'd never know the difference between them in a dark room, but she knew better. Liam was gentle and tender, while Jesse was someone who grabbed what he wanted and pushed his way to the front of the line as if it were his due. Tonight they looked even more alike in their identical black Ceol T-shirts. Liam had given one to Jesse last week.
Jesse gave Alanna a crooked smile but spoke to Liam. "I don't know how you play that bodhran."
She managed to smile at his light tone, but she wanted to run to the seclusion of the dressing room. Dealing with Jesse was one more pressure she didn't need tonight. Liam never seemed to notice the stares Jesse sent her way. Stares that made her uncomfortable.
"You could play it, too, if you just put in a little effort," Liam said. "I dare you to give it a try."
Jesse never took his gaze from Alanna. "I just might."
The wood-frame drum was surprisingly difficult to master, and no one played it like Liam. He was an artist of the top-end style and could vary the pitch of the thumps.
They stepped into the dressing room, and Alanna collapsed onto a silk-covered chair that had seen better days. The rest of the group filed in behind them and pushed through to the connecting room they shared — all except for Ciara. She was tuned to Alanna as if they were twins, though they couldn't be more different, both in looks and background. Ciara wore her black, kinky hair in cornrows that accentuated her strong cheekbones, while Alanna's red locks fell in a curtain of curls past her waist. Ciara never needed makeup on her beautiful dark skin, and Alanna was forever trying to cover the red splotches her fair skin developed when exposed to the smallest amount of sun.
"Sure, but I'm knackered. I'll be sleeping till noon." Ciara pointed her long finger at Alanna. "The doctor told you not to sing tonight."
"I couldn't disappoint all our fans," Alanna said.
"It's better than ruining your voice and never singing again." Ciara waved her beringed hand. "You're already picking up an American accent."
Liam faced the open door, and a frown darkened his face. Alanna glanced around and saw their new manager, Barry Kavanagh, standing in the doorway. The blokes seemed determined to square off like two bulls. Their first manager had let Liam run things as he pleased, but Barry was more hands-on. His background as an attorney was probably to blame.
The man's easy smile came as he stepped into the room. "I noticed your throat is troubling you, Alanna. I took the liberty of calling my doctor to come examine you. We can't be too careful with our star." The Southern accent in his words was almost a caress.
Alanna glimpsed a man in a black suit behind Barry. She nodded. "I'd be glad to have him look at it."
The doctor unzipped a compartment in his rolling bag and extracted a light and a tongue depressor. "Say ah," he ordered. Alanna complied and the doctor frowned. He stepped closer and pulled out a mirrored instrument. He peered deeper into her throat, then flipped off his light. "A bit of a sore throat. I'll give you some medicine, and you should be fine for the weekend's performance."
Alanna's hope surged. "You see no nodules?" Maybe the other doctor had been overly cautious.
"It's just a little sore throat," the doctor said, snapping shut his bag.
"That's not what the specialist said." Liam's suspicious stare went from Barry to the doctor, then back. "She needs to rest her throat for a few months. She might even need surgery. I'm going to cancel the bookings."
She clutched his arm. "Liam, you can't! The venues are sold out. Sold out, love! Everything we've worked for, prayed for, is happening now. We might never regain our momentum."
"Alanna is right," Barry said. "Ceol could be the next Celtic Woman. They could be as big as Enya. We must capitalize on the group's rising popularity."
Liam crossed his arms, muscular from his workouts at the drums. "Not at the risk to Alanna's throat."
"We'll be having three more concerts scheduled in the next week," Ciara said. "Can she finish the tour and then take some time off?"
Liam shook his head. "Not if she wants a chance to avoid surgery. The specialist said she has to rest."
Barry nodded and put his arm around Alanna. "My doctor says she'll be fine."
His proprietorial touch made her lean away just a bit. Alanna couldn't think, couldn't decide what to do. How could she stop now when the group was a shooting star? "You think the specialist was wrong?"
"You'd be believing a bloke like this?" Liam stabbed a finger in the doctor's direction. "And get your hands off my wife."
Barry's smile dropped away and he removed his arm. Alanna glanced at Ciara and found her glaring at Barry as well. No one liked the way Barry seemed focused on her. She didn't like it either, but the man was a marketing genius, and the group had soared to a new level under his management. They couldn't afford to offend him.
Alanna touched her husband's hand. "Liam, let's talk about it privately."
Liam's jaw worked, then he glared at Barry. "This is our decision, not yours."
Barry shrugged, then ushered the doctor toward the door. "I'll leave you to discuss it."
The moment he was gone, Ciara flipped her cornrows away from her face and scowled. "What an eejit. We'll wait for you in the hall. You two can be hashing it out."
Alanna didn't ask if she meant Barry or the doctor. The band trooped out the door.
Liam shut the door behind them, then went to the keyboard and pulled out the chair. He settled in front of the keys and began to play.
"What's that?" The haunting tune filled the room, evaporating her anger, lifting her spirits as she finally placed the melody. "It's from my sister's music box." She stepped closer to him and laid her hand on his shoulder.
"It is." He continued to play.
The melody with its pure passion sent chills down her spine. One of her clearest memories was of a music box her sister, Neila, had been given by their great-grandfather. Alanna never heard the melody anywhere else, though she'd never forgotten it and had picked it out on her fiddle the moment she learned to play.
Liam began to sing and Alanna gasped. "You wrote words for it."
His intense gaze fastened on her, and love shimmered in his eyes. "Two souls bound and none can sever. This nightsong is for you. Our love will last through darkness, fire, and trouble. This nightsong is for you. Though death may try to break our hearts, I'll find you where'ere you go. This nightsong is for you."
The words bound themselves to the music and filled Alanna's heart. "I've never heard anything so beautiful," she whispered as the music stopped and faded.
He took her hand. "We're beautiful together, love. We can't let anything come between us. Not Barry, not Ceol, not our families." He rose from the chair and took her in his arms. "Promise me."
"I promise." She burrowed her face against his chest and inhaled the scent of him deep into her lungs, into her very being.
His lingering kiss ignited her senses, and she snuggled closer, then sighed and rested her head on his shoulder. "In just five months, we'll be parents, Liam. We must tell everyone soon. Your parents, our mates."
"It's lucky we are that you aren't showing much, but yes, we will need to let the world in on it soon."
She put her hand on her belly, and his cell phone rang. She sighed and pulled away. "It's Jesse wanting you."
"I know." He pressed his lips to her hair, then opened the door for her.
They found the rest of the group, along with Jesse, waiting by the exit. Jesse opened the heavy metal door into the dark alley where their van and Jesse's car were parked.
Some fans lined the back alley and screamed out Fiona's name. The beautiful blonde played Irish spoons and sang backup vocals. Fans bought the Celtic jewelry she designed, and Alanna spotted more than one of the beautifully crafted necklaces and earrings.
Fiona, Ciara, and Alanna stopped to sign a few photographs, but Ena kept her pink-dyed head down and ran for the van with her pennywhistle without looking at any of the fans calling her name.
Liam tugged Alanna to the van, then dropped a kiss onto her lips. "I'll be back in a few hours."
"Have fun. You think Jesse will let you drive?" He grinned. "I doubt it. He's smitten with that car."
She watched him disappear around the corner to join Jesse, then climbed into the back of the van with her friends.
"Deadly concert tonight," Fiona said. "We'll be having them all the time now." When no one answered her, she glanced at the set faces and shut up.
Alanna wanted to say something to break the tension, but she ended up leaning her head against the back of the seat and closing her eyes. The music industry was filled with examples of people who left the operating room with their singing voices changed forever, husky and rough, and she refused to think about a fate like that. But the high notes she used to hit with ease had become harder and harder to reach, and Barry's blather hadn't dislodged her fear.
An explosion shook the van, and she turned to see smoke pouring from the corner where she'd last seen Liam.
"Liam!" She screamed. She pushed open the van door and rushed to the corner.
She rounded the end of the concert hall and gasped when she saw flames billowing from a yellow sports car. "Liam!" She started for the car, but Ciara grabbed her.
"The fire department is coming. You can do nothing."
A siren's wail grew louder and mingled with her own sobs as Ciara held her close. Alanna couldn't tear her gaze from the burning car and could make out no figures inside. Deep inside, she knew no one could survive the intensity of those flames.CHAPTER 2
Alanna rubbed her eyes, gritty from crying. She padded on bare feet to the window of her hotel room and turned up the air conditioning. Peering through sheets of rain, she stared down onto the wet street.
Liam was dead. She still couldn't process the reality. The fire department had taken two men away, and the driver was clearly dead. She'd clung to hope that Jesse hadn't allowed Liam to drive, but when a paramedic asked the survivor his name as he was loaded into the ambulance, the badly burned man had whispered, "Jesse."
Generations of Irish women before her had faced widowhood with their chins held high. She must show similar strength. A cry of Why Liam, God? hung on her tongue, but she kept it locked inside. There was no answer to such a question. Liam had possessed a strong faith. Her own was weak in comparison, especially now when faced with such suffering.
When she had called the hospital fifteen minutes before, Jesse was still clinging to life. His parents had the top plastic surgeon in the country standing by for 3-D facial reconstruction, and that would be done as soon as he stabilized. She should be glad he lived, but why couldn't it have been Liam? Why was her husband in the morgue while an eejit like Jesse would recover?
Alanna closed her eyes. Would she want Liam to go through what Jesse was enduring right now? Liam would have been grieved to see his old friend in such bad shape. The doctors had put him into a medically induced coma as they worked to save his life, and she'd been told he would require many surgeries. Maybe Liam was the luckier man.
Her eyes filled again. Liam would never flip his longish hair out of his eyes so he could wink at her. He'd never come in from planting flowers with mud under his fingernails. He'd never step into the yard with his bubble-blowing tools.
How could such a bright light just ... cease to exist? He'd been her real family. She hadn't seen her mum or her sister in years, and the Lord alone knew if they were even still on this earth. She touched her belly. At least she had his child.
A knock came on her door, and she turned. The police had called an hour ago, and she'd expected them before now. She opened the door to find Barry standing there with two policemen.
Her manager stood in the hall with his hands in the pockets of his impeccable suit. A lock of blond hair fell across his forehead. His grave eyes looked her over, and both policemen were somber.
Alanna focused her blurry gaze on the nearest policeman. She wiped her eyes, then drew in another trembling breath. "Come in." She stepped aside to allow them to enter, but her pulse throbbed in her throat. "Do you know what happened yet?"
Excerpted from Because you're Mine by Colleen Coble. Copyright © 2017 Colleen Coble. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love Colleen Coble's writing so much; her books just never disappoint. Because You're Mine truly is one of those page turners you can't put down. Even though I somewhat had a few key mysteries figured out early on, I never imagined how everything would entwine together like it did. The relationships are interesting, the situations thrilling, the scenery depicted so you can easily imagine them in your mind, and there is just enough faith inserted to make some lovely points. If you are considering this book as your next read, think no more and get it. Very enjoyable read!
Love, mystery and suspense. Great read! Slow at parts but it all comes together.
Complex story but definitely a page turner! I enjoyed reading it!!
When Alanna’s husband is killed by a car bomb while their Irish band is on tour in Charleston, Alanna doesn’t know where to turn. Her father-in-law is threatening to take custody of the baby she carries, but she doesn’t want to lose the last piece of Liam she has left. Their manager offers her a marriage of convenience to gain her U.S. citizenship and allow her to escape her father-in-law’s control. It seems like the perfect solution . . . but maybe not. She’s never really liked Liam’s friend, Jesse who was injured in the bombing and now she can’t seem to get away from him. When he takes Liam’s place in their band, it’s almost more than she can bear. Truthfully, I really did not like the book all that much. The book started out feeling as if it were the story of Celtic Women, a group of Irish women who perform with men percussionist. I tend toward mysteries. When I read the description, I thought this one would be solving of the mystery regarding the car bombing. But it just wasn’t all that gripping. It didn’t see that there were enough suspense and clues for you to follow to the end. Yes, there is a solution to the bombing but it wasn’t that hard to figure out where things were going early in the story. The characters weren’t all that wonderful either. In fact, I didn’t find much to admire in Alanna and there wasn’t any other character that you could admire or feel good about. Then when she takes the easy way out ‘for her baby’, she becomes more disappointing. And most of the other characters were only superficial. Just not a book to my liking. I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Confused, implausable story line; unbelievable, cardboard characters. Not Colleen Cobles' best effort, but I'll still look forward to her next work - we all deserve second chances
Alanna does not know where to turn or what to do. Her husband has been killed in a car bomb and she is left alone and pregnant. Her only hope at a new life away from the controlling hands of her father-in-law is to marry her manager. It seem like a dream come true. Alanna’s dream, however, quickly turns into a nightmare. First, I have to point out, Alanna is from Ireland!! so for part of the story it is set in that beautifully scenic country. IRELAND! And then colleen brings us to America’s Southern charm. The family heritage from both sides of the waters, both accents, the family home in Charleston…. And of course the mystery. What on earth is going on? (MINI SPOILER ALERT- The only thing I did not like was no satisfactory explanation, as in NO explanation whatsoever, of the large painting). *I received this book free from Thomas Nelson and Fiction Guild in exchange for my honest review. What I have expressed are my own thoughts.*
First, I must confess that I’m already a fan of Colleen Coble’s books. Having said that, Because You’re Mine is one of my favorite Colleen Coble books. It’s packed with mystery, suspense and twists that kept me interested throughout. The story is set around a Celtic Band, which was fascinating by itself, and the members who are dragged into a sorrowful time when one of their members dies in an accident. The band’s loyalty was admirable. The storyline of a marriage of convenience is nothing new, but Ms. Coble did a great job of weaving an interesting tale from a popular topic. I wanted to see Alanna find the truth and of course, see her defeat those so determined to hurt her physically and emotionally. She was a great character with depth and likability. With so many bad guys to choose from, it was hard to know who was worse. And when I thought I had the story figured out, I was tossed into a twist that I never saw coming. I loved the way the story’s red herrings were dropped along the way and wrapped up beautifully at the end. I received the book from the Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson Publishers. Because You’re Mine is another great read and I give it five out of five stars. https://wordynerdyblog.wordpress.com/2017-book-reviews/because-youre-mine/
Because You’re Mine take an Irish Celtic group singer and drops her into the dark and forbidding world of Charleston with alligators and snakes lurking in every dark corner. After her husband is killed in a strange car bombing in Ireland, Alana agrees in desperation to a marriage of convenience with her manager. She then finds herself lady of a run-down and neglected manner in Charleston - a world away from her own Emerald Isles. But nothing is as it seems - her husband’s best friend Jesse, a character who always gave Alana an uneasy feeling was seriously injured in the blast that killed Liam. Was he a innocent bystander or was this a warped murder - suicide plot that went horribly wrong. Because You’re Mine is an engaging tale which places it’s characters in some pretty unique settings. It’s a quick read and would appeal to anyone who loves their suspense with a touch of romance thrown in. My only criticism is a few odd frequent references which kept throwing me out of the story - liberal use of ‘mate - as in ‘my mates’ ‘seeing her mates’ etc and some of the language choices and local slang words felt a little forced to me. Small issue but the mate one had me cringing by the end - it was used so often and it hadn’t struck me as a particularly Irish turn of phrase. All in all though, another solid suspense novel to enjoy on a whet dreary day - a great curl up and blob out book (if thats a thing).
An interesting read. Several twists and unexpected turns. I had to really concentrate on it or it would have been confusing. Read about Alanna and Liam. They have an Irish group called Ceol and are on their way to the top of the industry when tragedy strikes. Will Alanna be able to move past her grief and protect her baby from her controlling father-in-law? Of will she end up in more trouble?
2.5 stars Because You’re Mine by Colleen Coble is a stand alone novel published by HarperCollins publishing group. I’ve never been a huge fan of this author’s works, but when the publisher asked me to give this latest release a try, I accepted anyway. Unfortunately, it turned out worse than any other book by this author that I have read. I’m not a big fan of the murder-mystery/suspense genre, but when I do read books in said genre, I at least expect them to be unpredictable and hold my attention. This book was both hard to get into and, like another reviewer said, I guessed the ending (correctly) within the first 50 pages of the book. Now that’s frustrating, especially when the book is over 330 pages. In addition to finding this book predictable, I found it to be generic; by this I mean that it has all the elements one would expect from a murder mystery, such as bombs and guns and knives, as well as all the things one would expect from a suspense novel, for example, ghosts and lies and storms and snakes. In addition to these elements, there is an unfortunate amount of talk of ghosts, being haunted by someone else’s spirit, demons, a random alligator, plot holes galore, and a lot of gory details. Being in the Christian fiction genre, I did not expect the main characters to entertain so frequently beliefs in ghosts, curses, spirits leaving one body and appearing in someone else’s body, and all the gore. I suppose the main theme of the story was supposed to be something along the lines of love living even after death, but even that was drowned in the murky mess of this story. This was most certainly the book least resembling my cup of tea as any of Colleen Coble’s books, and I do not plan to read any more from her (I’ve read at least five of her works, ranging from historical to contemporary, from novellas to novels, from being set in the MidWest to New England to the South, so I’d say I’ve given her a fair chance). Thank you to Thomas Nelson publishers for providing me a copy of this book through Net Galley to read and review. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive. *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
This book intrigued me from the start and I would consider it a modern day take on a gothic story. The mysteriousness of the storyline compelled me to continue to turn the pages long into the night. I could not quite connect with the character of Alanna. I somewhat understood why she did what she did, especially when her life took such an unreal turn. Pregnant and alone and receiving no help from family made her decisions more realistic. Her background was also a reason that made some of what I felt were poor decisions, more in line with her character. As I was reading this I was unsure of what and whom to trust. Everyone seemed distant and untrustworthy. Ms. Coble definitely throws in some twists that make you think and second guess as Alanna, Jesse, and their bandmates did. However, some of the conclusions that they came up with were doozies and I was not sure what to make of them. At times I couldn’t wrap my mind on why they were thinking the way they were when a believable solution was not that far out of reach. For what it was, along the lines of a gothic novel, it was interesting and at times a creepy read. I just had to keep reality suspended. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
I really like Colleen Coble's books a lot. This one, not so much. Alanna and her husband are in a celtic band called Coel. At the onset of the book, Alanna's husband, Liam, and his friend, Jesse, are involved in a car bomb. Liam dies and Jesse survives. Alanna is heartbroken and pregnant. Liam's family has decided that because Alanna comes from a family of gypsies that she is an unfit mother and they are going to raise the child themselves. Meanwhile, Barry, the band's manager, has proposed that he will marry Alanna, give her American citizenship and Liam's family can't touch her or her baby. Parts of this book were really, really good. Then there are parts that were very flimsy and I could see right through them. I knew very early on something that was plain to see that one of the characters did not see. And because of that, I had a hard time with the book. The character made a LOT of bad choices and was not a strong character. The book was suspenseful though with a very evil character and a nasty mother-in-law. I could not believe some of the things that she did. This book did not turn me off of Colleen Coble. I just had a problem with the choices that the main character was making. I didn't have a problem finishing the book as I did want to see what happened. Thanks to Harper Collins for sending me this book in hopes that I would read and review it.
Everything was right in Alanna’s world, until her husband, Liam, is killed by a car bomb while they’re on tour in Charleston with their Celtic band. Just when she thought it couldn’t get worse, her father-in-law threatens to take her child from her. When her manager offers her a marriage so that she can become a U.S. citizen and be free from her father-in-law’s reach, she jumps at the idea. However, after she moved into the family’s run-down mansion and had several life-threatening accidents, she’s beginning to wonder if someone is purposely trying to harm her. Will she be able to figure out who is behind it all and save herself and the life of her unborn child? Fast-paced and full of suspense, this is a book that you will not put down. I was so enthralled in this book. I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next. It’s a story of love that is stronger than death. It’s beautifully written, and several times I felt like I was right there with Alanna trying to figure out what was going on and what to do next. It kept me guessing most of the way through. If you love suspense, you will love this book. I highly recommend it! **I received this book free from the publisher through the Fiction Guild program. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
What I was hoping to be a "pull-me-in-and-don't-let-go" read from Collen Coble ended up being a bit of a flop. Collen's books are known to be quick reads with stories that have enough scare factor to them that I feel the need to get up and close the blinds. This book lacked this quality. In fact, there wasn't a scare factor for me as much as a creepy factor. I liked the premise of this book but once I started reading I felt like I had read this story before. Especially when they got to the estate outside of Charleston. I didn't really feel a special closeness with the main character and at times wondered what she was thinking. She seemed to waiver between missing her late husband and having the hots for her manager/new husband. And he just made me feel like I needed to take a shower and wash the creepiness off me. While it may seem that I just didn't really like the book that is not the case. Even though some parts of this thriller were easy to solve there was enough going on to keep me interested and turning the page. This is a good book but just not my favorite from this author. It didn't seem to be written in the same high-caliber way her other books are. This book just lacked that something her other books have. If you are an established Collen Coble fan then give this book a go. If you haven't read any of Colleen's books I wouldn't recommend this one as an introduction to her as her other recent books are much better. Not a bad book, just not the best from this author. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.
I’ve always been fascinated by anything Irish, well actually anything European. I don’t know a ton about the Irish, but it was intriguing and refreshing to have an Irish character. Many authors in the Christian fiction world have introduced characters from England, Scotland, Germany, and even Roseanna M. White introduced us to a Russian character recently. Usually these types of characters are found in historical fiction so it was refreshing to see a different ethnic background in a contemporary novel. This was the first time that I discovered an Irish character. The Irish sentence structure is different from ours here in America, but the way the characters spoke didn’t seem authentic. It reminded me more of Yoda speak. A lot of their wording was repetitive while speaking the same sentence. In the beginning, it annoyed me. However, as the book continued, I noticed it less. There is talk about demon possession or whether or not a dead person’s spirit can enter someone, a banshee, and an exorcism. I thought these topics were kind of odd. Especially since some of the scenes were predictable. While this was an enjoyable read, this wasn’t my favorite. I’m not sure if this would be one that I would recommend. It’s definitely not of those that I think you need to read, but it wasn’t Coble’s best. I would recommend her most of her other novels over this one. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher 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.
Alanna Connolly, on tour in America, is four months pregnant when her husband, Liam, and his best friend go for a ride. Just minutes after their concert, a strategically placed bomb causes the car to explode. Alanna doesn’t know what to do or where to go; her in-laws are threatening to take her baby-her only connection to Liam-and she needs to find a way to support herself and the baby. When her band manager, Barry Kavanagh, a wealthy Charlestonian attorney, offers her a marriage of convenience and legal assistance, she jumps at the chance. Set in historic Charleston, Colleen Coble weaves a story of mystery and suspense evocative of low country folklore. As you read the richly illustrated Because You’re Mine, you are transported to the muggy, humid Southern days, redolent with the images of brackish water, chirruping insects, croaking frogs and a splashing alligator. Also, the imagery of the once stately mansion, now in sad disrepair, transports you to a bygone era, leaving a feeling of sadness and despair. The haunting imagery and eerie, suspenseful tale, with its creepy folklore, will have you on the edge of your seat as you read. I enjoyed reading Because You’re Mine. Although aspects of the book are seemingly predictable, the outcome is still shocking. There are some spine-chilling, macabre and unnerving events in the book. Nonetheless, it added to the overall edginess and tension. I received this book free through the Fiction Guild program in exchange for an honest review
Another good suspense and mystery novel from Colleen Coble. There are characters with whom to love and connect, some to pity, and some to loathe. The question is who belongs in what category? An interesting plot with a terrific twist, a creepy mansion, and several secrets all make for a great read. At the end you may have figured out the mystery. Part of the mystery is pretty much solved early on in the book, but the suspense still held this readers attention. That doesn't always happen. If you enjoy good clean mystery/suspense novels I recommend any of the books I've read by this author. I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Once I started this book I simply could not put it down. I had to find out what happened. In my recent memory, I finished this book in record time. The story involved several elements and a very different mixture of characters. Alanna, a member of a touring Celtic band, loses her husband in a car bomb. As it's investigated her only thought is to protect her unborn baby, all that's left of her husband. When her father-in-law threatens to take custody of her baby when it's born, she flees to America with her manager/lawyer Barry. His solution is for them to marry in name only. He takes her to a secluded mansion that is old and falling apart in places, with a resident gator named Pete. It seems she is almost held as a prisoner. He is very protective. Her only comfort is her band members and the music they make together. Strange things begin to happen. It seems someone is trying to kill or at least harm Alanna in this new environment. Screams sound in the night and haunting music is heard throughout the hallways. She misses her dead husband and her native Ireland and thinks of both often. And at the top of her thoughts is protecting her baby at all costs. What other strange things will happen and will the person that planted the bomb be found? Why was it done? So many questions. Colleen Coble in her excellent writing is able to combine all these mysterious and sinister elements together in the end. This is a story you will be thinking about long after you finish it. There were two or three errors in the editing but not enough to distract from the story. I received this book from the Fiction Guild and was not required to write a review, positive or otherwise.
I fell in love with this book right from the start. The characters were intriguing, the storyline kept me on my toes, and some of the scenes had my heart racing. I felt the two main storylines progressed nicely and the author didn't give too much information away too soon. One of the things I found most enjoyable was the inclusion of Alanna's Irish heritage. Not just in the way she spoke, but in some mannerisms and the determination to find her sister. She was not ashamed of her heritage at all, something I found to be very refreshing. I felt Alanna was naïve in her thoughts towards Barry at times, but overall was a strong female character. There were a couple of things I would have liked to see more of. While there was a little bit of a back story on Deirdre, I would have liked more about her and the specific impact her portrait made on the whole family. This was addressed slightly, but I felt it may have had a bigger impact to the story to have a few flashbacks or more discussion on it. I also would have enjoyed hearing more from Miss Hattie. It was obvious that she knew a lot about Barry and his family, and I assumed that more information would have escaped her lips. This could have brought another interesting dynamic between Alanna and Barry. And lastly, I expected to hear more from Alanna's father-in-law. He was the reason she was in her current position and I thought that could have been a fun storyline. Overall it was a fast paced, exciting read. The Jesse storyline kept my interest just as much as Alanna's. If you're like me, you'll find yourself reading this in about a day or two just so you can figure it all out and get to the ending! I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Fiction Guild and was not required to write a complimentary review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Because You’re Mine by Colleen Coble Things I liked about this book: the characters, especially Alanna, Liam and Alanna’s mates the character development especially of “Jesse” the plot pace the plot twists the unusual setting, alligator included! not everything is as it seems Things I didn’t like about this book: Some questions that I had didn’t get answered, such as how was Diedra connected to the Kavanaugh family? And why was Barry so obsessed with her? Why would their neighbor not say much about the family and just what did she know? It was a riveting story and I enjoyed it very much. After finishing the book, I found myself still thinking about the characters and wondering what they were doing now. I received a free copy from the publisher for my honest review.
The vibrant imagery and haunting events of Because You’re Mine gripped me from the beginning, and the twists and turns of the plot kept me turning the pages until the very end. The setting and the gothic atmosphere of the story are absorbing and the unique cast of characters is quite engaging. While Because You’re Mine is a bit of a departure from Coble’s usual fare, I thoroughly enjoyed this atmospheric tale. I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.
I received this book from the Fiction Guild for an honest review and am not being paid for it Colleen Coble writes wonderful books that keep you intriqued until the very end. This book had a few twist and turns in it and made for a wonderful story line, Alanna and Liam were in love and part of a Celtic music group. Then one night after a performance her husband and his friend get blown up in a car and they thought he was dead and his friend was alive. She went back to bury him in Ireland and her father in law threatened to take her unborn child away from her after she gave birth. So Barry who was from New Orleans offered to marry her so she could get US citizenship. But little did she know that he had other motives for wanting her. Thinking she belonged to him because of a painting but she didn't know that there were a lot of things she didn't know. I love all the twist and turns in this book. Keep writing terrific books Colleen.
** “Her anger toward God had made her tune out his leading. … The fix was simple enough — all she had to do was let go of her bitterness. Easier said than done.” ** Colleen Coble’s “Because You’re Mine” is a brilliant Hitchcockian tale full of twists and turns. Alanna Connolly seems to have the dream life — four months pregnant, married to the love of her life Liam, and becoming a rising star in her increasingly popular four-woman Celtic band, Ceol. But it all comes crashing down one night when Liam, who is testing out his buddy Jesse’s new car, is killed in an explosion. What follows is a dark, twisted, crazy story as Alanna moves to a formerly glorious estate in Charleston, S.C., with her manager Barry, who offers to marry her and keep her and her baby out of the clutches of Liam’s influential parents in Ireland. With a spooky old southern belle of a house, a murderous gator in a too-close-for-comfort swamp, mysterious disappearances, possession, obsession and murder, “Because You’re Mine” is very much like an old gothic tale, reminiscent of many of the old film noir movies — Alfred Hitchcock would swoop up this tale in a heartbeat. But besides being a great suspenseful mystery, “Because You’re Mine” offers up some deep lessons too — overcoming bitterness; the power of love (“Love doesn’t destroy what is important to the other person,” as Alanna says to Barry); the fact that God knows us even from the womb; and having the knowledge that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, each individually in God’s eyes. Besides a dark plot and an ending with more twists than a soft-serve ice cream cone, “Because You’re Mine” does have some soft moments — Alanna’s remembrances of times with Liam, her rescue of an adorable kitten and the scruffy stray dog Prince, and her love of all things bare foot! Colleen Coble has written an incredible story for fans of dark and suspenseful, yet redemptive tales. Five stars out of five. Thomas Nelson provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.
Toward the beginning of this book, I felt a little disappointed because I had figured out what was going on with one of the main characters already! :( However, by the end it did get better! :) It was a quick read, because I wanted to know what was going to happen next (especially the 2nd half or so). The negative is that it was a bit predictable, and the Irish stuff (speech, etc.) seemed a bit forced, especially at first. The positive is that there were a few twists to the plot, and the main character was likeable, if a bit naive... Plus, there was not too much focus on the weirdness of the bad guy-I can't stand to read too many details about some psycho's thoughts! Anyway, if you like Colleen's mysteries, you will probably like this one too!! It is a little different than her usual, and that is good. :) I received this book from the Fiction Guild in exchange for an honest review.
Colleen Coble is a stellar author of suspense and she doesn't disappoint in this one. I couldn't put it down because of the need to find out what else can happen to Alanna. She acts out of desperation when she makes bad choices due to trying to protect her unborn child. Never a dull moment in this book as it moves quickly. I liked that it wasn't an ordinary read, but still contained some prayer and Jesse searching for the Faith that Liam had. I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Fiction Guild. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.