Book Review: Rope of Sand

14 Jul

Rope_of_Sand_COV1-196x300This third volume, set in rural Maine’s deep winter, follows the developing relationship between British historian, Emma D’Eresby, and American surgeon, Matthew Lynes. Emma unravels Matthew’s alarming past and begins to comprehend how very diff erent her future might be with a man whose identity must never be revealed.

Emma nervously meets Matthew’s family. She encounters his seventy-year-old son, Henry, and learns how unique the family really is. As Christmas approaches, it is clear that Emma is not welcomed by all: what does Matthew’s great-granddaughter have against her, and what might his sinister psychiatrist granddaughter, Maggie, be prepared to do?

Bound by their faith, Matthew and Emma have accepted that they must wait to be together until his wife dies. Very reluctantly, Emma meets Ellen—an elderly woman with a core of steel—and learns how living with Matthew will mean concealment and lies. How can they have a life together?


cfdunnC. F. Dunn runs a school in North Kent for children with developmental disabilities, dyslexia, and other difficulties. Explore the author’s website HERE.


My Impressions:

Rope of Sand is book 3 in C. F. Dunn’s The Secret of The Journal series. It is definitely not a standalone novel. (Click on the titles to read the reviews of book 1, Mortal Fire and book 2, Death Be Not Proud.) I liked the first two books and really looked forward to another installment in this supernatural, romantic suspense/mystery series. Unfortunately, Rope of Sand didn’t really measure up for me.

Emma D’Eresby has been swept up and back to America by Matthew Lynes. Emma’s presence in patriarch Matthew’s life is met with caution by some and out right hostility by others. The machinations of some of the family force Emma to confront her stalker and attacker, Kort Staahl in court. But the bulk of the book is spent on the deepening relationship between Emma and Matthew.

I liked Emma and Matthew when I met them in books 1 and 2. However, In Rope of Sand their relationship consisted of a lot of giggles, tickling and sweeping up into each other’s arms. The supernaturally youthful Matthew is old enough to be Emma’s great, great, great–, well you get the picture. But their love story just seemed very immature. Emma is young, but as a professor with established credentials, she is no blushing ingenue. The romance really got on my nerves! The focus on the Lynes family peculiarities — youthfulness, strength, agility, etc. — was what I wanted more of.

The question is will I read book 4 when it comes out? Absolutely! I am hoping the young love phase will be past and the series can again focus on the mystery surrounding the Lynes family. So there you have it. I liked the first books of the series, #3 not so much, and am hoping for a return to the twisting, eerie mystery found in the first books.

Please note: Although Rope of Sand is billed as Christian fiction, the British definition of such is a bit broader than the American. There is profanity and a good deal of sexually charged scenes, although no actual sex.

(Thanks to Lion Hudson for a review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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