Wednesday, February 1, 2023

In Spotlight and Shadow by Rachel Scott McDaniel: Book Review

 *Book received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Elise Malvern has a habit of letting people down. Her former boyfriend who hoped she’d be his bride. Her grandfather who hoped she’d take over the family’s auction company. But mostly she’s disappointed herself. What’s the point of pursuing her passion as a violinist, if she is too scared to audition for a seat in the Pittsburgh Symphony? Her internship at the elegant Heinz Hall places her in the wings of the stage, but never on it. By accident, she discovers an old stage prop. Her instincts tell her there’s more to the paste necklace than meets the eye. Whether a good idea or not, she accepts help from a childhood friend, who happens to be country music megastar—Pierson Brooks. Pierson and Elise share a history; one she doesn’t care to repeat. The more involved they become in the mystery, the more things get tangled, including her heart.
A century earlier…
Sophie Walters longs for center stage, her name on the marquee, and all that jazz, but climbing her way into an acting career is more difficult than she imagined. Having spoiled all her chances in Hollywood, she returns to Pittsburgh, accepting an insignificant role in a popular production. She watches her dreams pass by from behind the curtain at the illustrious Loew’s Penn Theatre. She finally gets the coveted spotlight, but not for her talent. No, her surge to fame is all one terrible mistake. Somehow, she’s suspected to be a notorious jewel thief known around Pittsburgh as The Mirage. The man she pleads for help is none other than the man she jilted at the altar five years before, Sterling Monroe.

Rachel Scott McDaniel is an award-winning author of historical romance. Winner of the ACFW Genesis Award and the RWA Touched By Love award, Rachel infuses faith and heart into each story. Rachel can be found online at and on all social media platforms. Her work is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency. Rachel resides in Ohio with her husband and two children.

In Spotlight and Shadow is the 11th Doors to the Past book. This is a series of standalone novels written by various Christian authors, and as such, it is not necessary to have read the previous books to enjoy this one. (All I have read have been great, and I would still highly recommend checking them out either way.) 

There are two things that I know are going to be true when I hear of a new Rachel Scott McDaniel's book. First of all, I know the cover is going to be absolutely stunning. More importantly, I know that the story within its pages will be just as beautiful as well. This one was no exception. This dual-timeline novel weaves the past (1920s) and present together beautifully, drawing the reader into both stories and the connection between them. It had the ideal blend of romance, mystery and historical detail that Rachel does so very well. 

If you enjoy historical romance or dual-timeline novels, this is certainly one worth adding to your reading list!


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