This is the first of Becky Melby's books that I've read, and it left me wondering why I've never read her before. I was truly captivated by the plot from page one! I could never have guessed all that would happen, or the surprising twist at the end. Today's Shadows is the story of Heather Conrad, who has escaped for a summer to Racine, Wisconsin, to nurse a broken heart and work on a business plan. She has been hired by her former boss to house sit for a month, but her plan gets changed when she finds out she's also babysitting a seven-year-old. When she meets Ryan Tobin, a local security guard, her life gets turned upside down even more. The house where Heather is staying seems to have a few secrets. Nearly a hundred years ago it was occupied by a family at the heart of the women's suffrage movement. Their story is told through the eyes of Maggie, the young lady who was their maid, but wanted so much more. The house is filled with secret passages and doors, and more than a little mystery. Before they figure it out, Ryan and Heather will be up to their necks in suspicion, intrigue and misunderstanding. This story will have you sitting on the edge of your seat and holding your breath all the way to the end!
This is one of the best books I've read in a while. The story idea was new and interesting. There was enough action to make it exciting, but not so much that it was over-the-top and unbelievable. My favorite part of this book was the characters. They were perfectly true-to-life and quirky. Their actions and reactions were very real and didn't feel forced. Ryan was my favorite. He was an unusual hero, but he brought the story a little closer to home. After all, who doesn't know a dorky security guard who wishes he was a policeman? I thought he was endearing and charming. Izzy was another of my favorites. I thought seeing things from a child's viewpoint was a refreshing aspect to the story. I also like reading a story that is told from different peoples' point of view. Although Heather and Ryan are the main characters, we get to see it through the eyes of at least three of the supporting characters, which adds another layer of interest and intrigue.
The spiritual aspect of this book cannot be ignored. It was centered around women who feel that they don't measure up, and are always trying to be what the man in their life-whether it be a father, boyfriend or husband, wants them to be. Through Maggie's writings Heather comes to realize it doesn't matter if she measures up to what others expect. She is God's daughter, and He loves her no matter what. So many times in a really good book the spiritual message is pushed to the side, or barely there at all. But Ms. Melby hits it straight on in a way that makes it real, but not preachy. It literally brought tears to my eyes. I think it's an important message for women everywhere.
I can definitely say that Today's Shadows will not be the last of Ms. Melby's books that I will read. I'm even going to add it to my list of favorite books. It reminded me that the "perfect person" isn't always who you thought it would be. Sometimes it's the guy who thinks he's a super hero, and always just "gets you" even if you can't find a way to say what you mean. If you like an unconventional love story (or a book with more than one love story!) this is a book for you! I highly recommend it!