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  • A historical mystery with a touch of romance

    “Benjamin Booker sat in the Old Bailey, pulse pounding. His most important case to date had finally been called to trial—his chance to prove himself to the firm’s partners.” - Opening lines of “The Bridge to Belle Island” by Julie Klassen This Julie Klassen novel is full of mystery! It had me hooked from the first page to the last! In “The Bridge to Belle Island”, our leading man, Benjamin, finds himself at a murder scene with his mentor and the law firm’s senior partner. When the investigation doesn’t progress swiftly enough, Benjamin is sent to Belle Island to observe our leading lady, Isabelle, and establish if she’s involved in the murder. Both Benjamin and Isabelle are wonderful characters supported by interesting and complex ones. The mystery is multi-layered and full of twists! The writing is beautiful, descriptive without slowing the pace of the story. To this, Julie adds a delightful romance, slow-growing and realistic. The principles of Christianity form a backbone to the story and something to think over once the novel ends. If you love historical mysteries, with a touch of romance, this one is for you! It’s a five out of five on the en-JOY-ment scale and highly recommended!

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  • The Bridge to Belle Island!

    Julie Klassen is a masterful storyteller— deliciously serving up novels reminiscent of the great Brontë sisters, Victoria Holt, and Jane Austen. The Gothic ambience, descriptive imagery of Belle Island, and colorful characters all intermingle to create another fan favorite, 'The Bridge to Belle Island'! I found this novel to be a bit slower at first than Ms. Klassen's previous novels and was more mystery than romance. The romance didn't really "do" it for me, because even though I dearly loved the kind-hearted heroine and the handsome hero, I didn't feel their chemistry much throughout the book—except for the fact they seemed to like one another a bit and there was an attraction. Things began to liven up, however, as suspect after suspect came forward and I didn't know who to trust! The author bravely and with dignity to the sufferers, incorporated the little-known subject of agoraphobia, anxiety attacks, and also vertigo. With many a twist and turn and memorable characters...be sure to put 'The Bridge to Belle Island' on your wish list! I was given a complementary copy of this novel by Bethany House publishing in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review.

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  • Job Well Done

    I’ve been a fan of Ms. Klassen for years, but she has outdone herself with this one. I found it outstanding and wishing Belle Island was real so I could move there. I could identify with Isabelle and her anxiety and loss of family. To see her real life struggles made her strong in my eyes. The murder mystery flowed from one scene to the next like the Thames that flowed by Belle Island sometimes smooth and sometimes roaring. Toss in Benjamin Booker and many lovable lesser characters and you feel like you are home in a community of family. I love the research that goes into Historical Fiction as you have a better knowledge of the times and in this case how the legal system worked. I find it fascinating. I find this one “A Job Well Done” in every aspect. Highly recommended. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher/author. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.

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  • Delightful story!

    The Bridge to Belle Island by Julie Klassen is a fascinating historical novel. I believe this is Julie Klassen’s best novel yet. The story contains rich, developed characters. The authors vivid descriptions made the characters come alive for me. I enjoyed the depictions of their clothing along with the scenery and homes. I thought Julie Klassen captured the time period. It was fascinating to learn more about the Thames. Living on Belle Island when there are heavy storms is like living in Florida when a hurricane approaches. The water level rises subjecting the inhabitants to flee to the mainland and hope that their homes will still be there when they return. The mystery was fascinating and fun to solve. Someone with access to Percival Norris’s home must have done the evil deed and we get to follow the clues to discover which individual committed the crime. The romance plays out slowly which I liked. Ben is understandably hesitant to trust any woman and Isabel has her own reasons for distrusting men. Julie Klassen’s writing is compelling and drew me right into the story. The pacing is languid which suits the time period and story. The Bridge to Belle Island has romance and mystery in Regency England which is a fabulous combination.

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  • Interesting Mystery

    I enjoyed reading this book. Isabelle was very unique, I couldn’t imagine staying in one place for so long, but she loved her island and loved those who live on it with her. This story had many twists and turns I didn’t see coming, and Klassen kept my interest the entire time. The lawyer Benjamin Booker was a original character as well. I enjoyed seeing their chemistry and watching them fight the attraction they had for each other. Benjamin being burned by a female before wasn’t ready for it to happen again. Isabelle not leaving the island seemed too weird, and couldn’t possibly be true could it? I was taken on an adventure trying to determine who killed Isabelle’s trustee, and what motives were behind it. At one point it seemed that almost everyone had motive, but who actually committed the crime? I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Historical Romance with some mystery thrown in. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers and was in no way forced to post a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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