The Pretender: A Blackguard in Disguise by Ta’Mara Hanscom
Caselli Family Series Book One
Review copy from the publishers through Litfuse Publicity group for review purposes. All thoughts stated in my review are purely my own.
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
About the book:
Set in South Dakota in 1975, where eighteen-year-olds could order 3.2 beer in a bar, and loaded guns were kept under the counter.
Frankie Valli sang “My Eyes Adored You,” and American soldiers returning from Vietnam struggled with their new reality.
It’s within this tumultuous season of American history that Tillie Caselli meets Noah Hansen, and they are never the same again. Their lives were mysteriously intertwined-and had been for many years-yet they had no idea.
From the moment they met, Tillie and Noah wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, but a deliberate omission will keep them apart—and that same omission will be responsible for the escape of a murderer, and a bride’s deception.
Hmmm, I don’t know where to start with this review. You see, this book has me a little torn. More than a little, I suppose.
I liked it, but I didn’t. Somehow, I got extremely emotionally invested into it, but the ending wasn’t what I was hoping for, and it was a cliffhanger on top of that.
The focus of the book confused me. The first half of the book was so focused on a story plot, that it seemed to only have been concluded in the expected way, but then the latter half was totally different, and almost as if that first half never happened. It was weird. I was fully rooting for the first half to be brought to a satisfying conclusion, but it wasn’t to be so. If it had, I think this could’ve become a favourite book. The cover is beautiful too. But instead, it left me…discontent for the story.
I loved Noah, pretty much from the beginning. His parts of the story were my favourite, and seeing his redemption play out was good, though maybe a little fast. I liked Tillie a lot too. But I questioned her character towards the second half, and how she reacted to a certain occurence.
I admire Noah’s choice for one of his decisions, and reluctantly came to terms with that. He was a great character, but the book wasn’t what the reader hopes for, and therefore you find yourself feeling disappointed. At least that is how it was for me.
So, like I said, it’s almost as if the first half never happened in regards to how the second half continued.
And I know that life doesn’t always end “happily ever after” but this ending, I felt, was kind of uncalled for as far as unhappy endings go.
Another thing that was a pretty big caution to me was how the parents were sure to say that nothing can thwart God’s will (and that’s only true when we fully submit to His will since we can definitely thwart His will when we let our own will get in the way), but then later on at the end, and in the description for the second book, it was a contradiction – the parents clearly regret their decision, as if admitting that they indeed sought their own will, not God’s And yes, we can certainly mess up and not follow God’s will mistakenly, but the fact that they were so adamant that this decision was God’s will and then later said perhaps they were wrong as if to say God’s will was wrong, when in actuality they just didn’t seek or heed His true will – this just didn’t sit well with me.
So yes, very conflicted. The story definitely grabs your attention – and emotions – but there were several things that I just wasn’t too happy with.
About the author:
Born and raised in South Dakota, Ta`Mara loves to write about the Great Plains and the beauty and people of Italia. While her husband and children manage their two pizza ristoranti, Ta`Mara works full time on The Caselli Family Series, and ministers to women. It is Ta`Mara s prayer that as the readers explore the truths in these volumes, they will come away with a new perspective on love, forgiveness, obedience, and God’s plan for marriage
Despite just meeting each other, Tillie and Noah’s lives have been mysteriously intertwined for many years in Ta’Mara Hanscom’s The Pretender. From the moment they met, Tillie and Noah wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, but a deliberate omission will keep them apart-and that same omission will be responsible for the escape of a murderer, and a bride’s deception.
Join Ta’Mara in celebrating the release of the second printing and new covers by entering to win her $75 prize basket giveaway!
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A copy of The Pretender
- A $75 Amazon gift card
- A decorative box containing measuring cups, ten recipes from the book, a potholder, a kitchen towel, pepper and salt grinders, kitchen utensils, and an olive oil dispenser
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on October 11. The winner will be announced October 12 on the Litfuse blog.