The River Beautiful by Andrea Carmen is a romantic suspense novel about history, a treasure, and true love.
This was, foremost, a romance novel with suspense and mystery as subplot. I did figure out who the killer was early in the book, as I surmise most readers will, but I enjoyed the clues that Lena and Will went on to discover what Lena’s father left for her to find.
A lot of this book settles on Lena’s development as a character. She begins angry and hurt in the beginning and by the end she has let it go and moved on. I think that was the biggest theme of the book: learning from the past but always moving forward. Ms. Carmen did a great job of creating a believable person who finally finds peace in God.
Mentions of faith and God were scattered throughout the novel and I had no doubt that this was written by a Christian. Will was solid in his faith and never let doubt creep in, no matter the circumstances. And there were plenty of moments where that could have happened.
There were some areas that felt a little like info-dumping and one or two instances where a plot thread never resolved. But, for a first novel, it’s quite good.
This is a good romantic suspense novel with a unique historical twist that I think most who read this genre would enjoy.
GoodReads Rating ★★★☆☆ I liked it.
About the Book
Book: The River Beautiful
Author: Andrea Carmen
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: May 26, 2020
A difficult past. A strange letter. An unsolved mystery.
Someone is following Lena, mapping her every move.
Where strength can be weakness and vulnerability-an asset, the greatest danger that threatens Lena may just be herself.
After the death of her father years ago, Lena ran from the quiet community of Kennerdell, but she’s back, forced to face a past she’d rather forget.
To make things more difficult, awkward, and terrifying, her old friend, Will, is back in her life. Even worse, she needs him there if she hopes to figure out what the letter she found in her father’s study means. They’re on a mission to find answers before her stalker does.
The River Beautiful mingles history and legend in a fast-paced ride through the deceptively peaceful Allegheny Mountains on a quest for answers amid loss, strength in the face of love, a whirlwind of self-discovery, and learning to use faith to illuminate even the darkest places.
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About the Author
Andrea Carmen enjoys writing Romantic Suspense and Sweet Romance from a Christian perspective. A lover of bygone times, her modern-day novels contain a spark of history, a hint of mystery, or a little bit of both. Andrea finds inspiration by getting outdoors every chance she gets to explore and enjoy nature, but her favorite pastime is spending time with her family and best canine friend, Zoey.
More from Andrea
The River Beautiful is my first novel. The story means so much to me, and I am so happy to finally share it with you all.
This book has been years in the making and covers so many topics that are important to me. Many of them were fun to write about, but a few were hard to deal with at times.
Three elements stand out to me when I think of Lena’s story:
Love, Loss, and Legend.
Love- Love is a beautiful gift. In fact, I would say it is the most precious gift God ever gave us. Love, in its correct form, is free, unconditional, and the basis our salvation. God’s love for us cannot be altered or blocked by darkness, not even the paralyzing darkness of grief. So, when love comes into play in this story, it comes from that perspective. Lena struggles to accept love, but I think that is a place many of us have been at one time or another.
Loss can be lifechanging and usually not for the better. To turn The River Beautiful into the story it is, I had to bring up emotions from my own experiences with grief. Churning up those feelings after I’d had them tucked away for so long resulted in many tearful typing sessions. But at the end of the day, I think it brought unexpected healing and a level of authenticity to the story that it would not have had otherwise.
Legend- Researching the legends of the Lenni Lenape people was enlightening. I have always felt a connection to history and the past intrigues me so that I could not help but bring in some element of mystery from the area’s indigenous inhabitants. My usual go-to when it comes to history tends to be Early American and European, but for this project I was able to bring in a blend of all three for a fictional retelling of key events—and that was exciting!
By combining the elements of Love, Loss, and Legend, I hope I have created a story that not only entertains but moves readers as well. And I hope you love it!
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 25
Reading Is My SuperPower, June 26
For the Love of Literature, June 27 (Author Interview)
Mary Hake, June 27
Just the Write Escape, June 28
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 29
Texas Book-aholic, June 30
A Baker’s Perspective, July 1 (Author Interview)
April Hayman, Author, July 1
Inklings and notions, July 2
For Him and My Family, July 3
Vicky Sluiter, July 4 (Author Interview)
Betti Mace, July 6
Book Love, July 7 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
deb’s Book Review, July 8
To celebrate her tour, Andrea is giving away the grand prize of a $75 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.