Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Tangled Ashes" by Michele Phoenix

Lamorlaye, France and a castle combine to test the skills of architect Marshall Becker. He doesn't want to go, but is forced to by those who care. Once in France, he finds that not only are the people interesting, but the story of the castle (Meunier mansion) is as well. Can Marshall muster the desire necessary to complete the project, or will someone get in the way?

Marshall needs a break from his normal work, so he is sent to France to complete a massive renovation. Little did he know in the beginning that there is no where enough time to complete it, nor did he understand the type of people involved. The new owner wants things ready for his wife's birthday, which seems impossible, but Marshall is willing to do what he can. Then he meets the owner's children and their nanny, and even a "squatter." Each person he meets has a story and a secret, but will Marshall take the time to unravel them all? The castle also has a story, one that just fifty years before was one of Nazi occupation and "master race" design. It is a story that is almost forgotten. What will Marshall learn? Is there any danger involved in the investigations he launches? Can Marshall find the calm he needs to rid himself of the secrets that haunt him? Throughout the story, the pieces of the puzzle fit together for an ending that you might not see coming.

I love stories that make me think and follow the author as they tell a story. This one is crafted with the keeping the reader reading and guessing, and definitely lives up to its title. Ms. Phoenix uses two distinct time frames to tell her story, leaving readers satisfied that she completes it. I found the story well written and fun to try to figure out, and the characters realistic and interesting. This is the first book I have read by Ms. Phoenix, but I definitely want to read more! I received my free review copy from Handlebar Publishing for an honest review.As

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