Review Double Feature: The Invention of Sarah Cummings by Olivia Newport & Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris

The Invention of Sarah Cummings by Olivia Newport
The Story:
In a world where everyone is putting on a show, there is a love that is genuine.

Sarah Cummings has one goal in life--to break into Chicago's high society. Desperate to stop serving dinner to members of the wealthy Banning family and to start eating at society tables, Sarah spends her meager free time altering cast-off gowns to create the perfect wardrobe for her future life.

When opportunity knocks at a chance meeting, she presents herself as Serena Cuthbert, weaving a fictitious past to go with her fictitious name. But as she gets closer to her goal--and closer to Simon Tewell, director of St. Andrew's Orphanage--Sarah finds that she must choose between the life she has and the life she dreams of.

Can she piece together the perfect life from scraps? Or will it all come unraveled in the face of true love?

My Thoughts:
The Invention of Sarah Cummings is by far the best book in the Avenue of Dreams series. Caught up in a deception that she believes will spur her rise to wealth and the life she's always dreamed of, Sarah juggles life in service with the life of a socialite. In the midst of a sweltering Chicago summer while the family's away, she thinks it will be easy to keep up the charade but little does she know that when she's found out, her life will forever be changed and not necessarily for the better.

Sarah Cummings is an interesting sort of character. In spite of living in the 1800s, she's relevant. A lot of people wish they could change and rise above current situations in their lives, thinking that wealth and fame will somehow make life better. With the help from friends who work with her and the director of the orphanage where she once lived, she realizes that it's not the things that are important but being true to oneself and being where God wanted her. There's a bit of romance too. Where the previous books may have had a bit more of a romance woven in, I thought that this felt the most authentic. It was sweet and really tugged at the ol' heartstrings.

The Invention of Sarah Cummings is definitely not a story that you want to miss. Even if you're like me, not a big fan of the two previous books, I highly recommend this book. It's not preachy, but subtle in it's spiritual message so even if you aren't necessarily a fan of Christian fiction you may want to give this a try!

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

“Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris
The Story:
She's dedicated her life to ending violence. But has she moved too deep into a treacherous world?

When two Jane Does are killed on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, detective and behavioral specialist Avery North discovers they share something in common--a magnolia tattoo on their shoulders. Suspecting a serial killer, Avery joins forces with medical examiner Jackson Bryant to solve the crimes and prevent another murder. As they venture deep into a sinister criminal world, Avery and Jackson are taken to the very edge of their abilities--and their hearts.

Dangerous Passage exposes a fully realized and frightening world where every layer peeled back reveals more challenges ahead. You'll be hooked from the start.

My Thoughts:
Bones (the TV series) -- that's the first thing that came to mind when I read this book. That's not a bad things but when it comes to Christian fiction it's a bit new and interesting! Crimes scenes, murder, human trafficking, autopsies, they all happen here. Did I mention the workplace romance? Oh yeah, it's there and it really adds to the drama of the story. It's not as volatile as the Booth/Bones thing, but nonetheless interesting.

Suspense fiction centered around police departments and big cities have kind of dropped off of my reading radar but I am SO glad to have picked this one up. It's gotten kind of boring. I've seen more damaged characters in Christian fiction than you can shake a stick at since I've been reading for almost 30 years, but Avery North was more complex and interesting. I think some of her story was a bit overkill but all in all Dangerous Passage really impressed me. I LOVED that a major thread in the story was left open, which leaves me to believe that some major secrets are going to be revealed that shake up Avery's life even more. Way to hook your reader's, Lisa Harris! I can't wait to read what happens next!

Dangerous Passage is a must-read for suspense fans and readers who like a bit of mystery. If you like a bit of a cliffhanger, this is definitely a book to look into. Visit your library and request this one!

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

“Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

*I received complimentary books for review from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*

Happy Reading!


  1. Great reviews! I was really happy to read your review of The Invention of Sarah Cummings since after The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow I was kinda dreading it! Glad to know it's actually good! And I can't wait to read Dangerous Passage! I just won it and I'm really looking forward to reading it!

    1. Thanks for reading my review! I'm so glad that you won Dangerous Passage, I really enjoyed it! I hope you like The Invention of Sarah Cummings -- it's by far the best of the bunch!

  2. First book: YES! This was the best from this series. Didn't love this series as a whole (I'll probably not re-read them) but Sarah's was the best of the bunch.

    Second book: YES! Glad you liked 'Passage' also. I thought it was one of the best suspense books I've read in a long while. The characters were developed very well unlike most in its genre.

    FABULOUS reviews, Renee. :)

    1. I agree, Rissi. This wasn't my favorite series but I loved this book! As for Dangerous Passage, it was also a terrific suspense which hopefully means the books that follow in the series will be worth reading too!

  3. A CF Bones? Whoa. Sign me up. I'm off to add it to my wishlist.


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