Gathering Shadows (Finding Sanctuary Book 1) by Nancy Mehl

Gathering ShadowsGenre: Mystery, Romance
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Publication DateMay 2014

Wynter Evans is headed up in life, with a promising career as a reporter for a St. Louis television station. But all her success can’t erase the dark past she harbors or the pain of losing her brother nine years earlier. When she stumbles across the picture of a boy with an uncanny resemblance to Ryan, Wynter can’t help but wonder if she’s found her missing sibling.

Under the guise of doing research for her latest assignment, Wynter sets out for the small Mennonite town of Sanctuary. Her arrival is met with instant resistance from the inhabitants who don’t appreciate a reporter barging in, disrupting their lives and shining media light on their reserved town.

Thankfully, Sanctuary’s young and handsome mayor, Reuben King, comes to her rescue. He helps her gain the trust of those around her while pursuing the truth behind her brother’s kidnapping. It soon becomes evident that secrets run as deep in this town as their loyalty toward each other, and some will go to great lengths to ensure they remain hidden.

Gathering Shadows is a fast-paced and pleasurable read brimming with romance and suspense. Nancy Mehl rivets her readers with entertaining characters and a quaint setting. With vivid imagery, the author seamlessly dropped me into the streets of Sanctuary and the town’s simple and peaceful ways filled me with tranquility.

Readers can sympathize with Wynter’s struggle to cope with the loss of her brother and can’t help but root for her as she searches for Ryan. Reuben walks onto the page ready to sweep Wynter off her feet with his charm. However, the author doesn’t stop there. She goes on to infuse life into her story, creating a fun and quirky secondary cast. I loved Esther’s big heart and hospitable ways. Zac kept me in stitches with his spunk and brotherly protectiveness and devotion. Like Wynter, I initially cringed, gritted my teeth, and thought it would be a long stay in Sanctuary if Zac didn’t knock off his foul attitude. Boy, did things turn around! It didn’t take long for me to like him as much as Wynter and Reuben. I really hope we’ll see more of him in the next installment of the Finding Sanctuary series.

I recommend Gathering Shadows to anyone searching for a sweet romance and a light, yet suspenseful, mystery. If you are new to fiction that explores a Mennonite background and simpler way of life, don’t worry, so was I! Starting out, I didn’t know what to expect and wondered how much I would enjoy something so different from my typical reading. My hesitancy proved unwarranted. Without a doubt,  every minute of my stay in this small town was delightful and I hope to return again very soon.

Review copy provided by publisher. Thanks!

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10 thoughts on “Gathering Shadows (Finding Sanctuary Book 1) by Nancy Mehl

  1. Gathering Shadows sounds like a great story as I love mysteries! Hopefully I can get my hands on a copy this summer when school is out! We had so-o-o many snow days that we don’t even get out of school ’til the 2oth. Our last day WAS supposed to be June 6th : – ( Blessings to you, Elizabeth!

    • School till June 20th…now you guys can experience what I lived every year! That’s the normal date for school to let out in Spain. 🙂

      I hope you can find this book too. Let me know what you think!

  2. Life has been vERY busy here, so I’ve missed a few of your posts! This looks like another great read that will accomodate the “lightness” of summer reading (picking up, putting down, picking up….). Thanks for sharing and one of these days I will be reading…..

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