Wednesday, February 1, 2023

In Spotlight And Shadow By Rachel Scott McDaniel

In Spotlight and Shadow
by Rachel Scott McDaniel
Publisher: Barbour
Series: Doors to the Past
ISBN: 978-1636094762

I was excited to learn I was on the launch team for this new book by one of my favorite authors. To find out she was doing this split time thrilled me to no end. I didn't know how much I was going to enjoy it, but it was absolutely wonderful!


A Gem of a Mystery Takes Center Stage

​Walk through Doors to the Past via a new series of historical stories of romance and adventure.

Elise Malvern has a habit of letting people down. Her former boyfriend who hoped she’d be his bride. Her grandfather who hoped she’d take over the family’s auction company. But mostly she’s disappointed herself. What’s the point of pursuing her passion as a violinist, if she is too scared to audition for a seat in the Pittsburgh Symphony? Her internship at the elegant Heinz Hall places her in the wings of the stage, but never on it. By accident, she discovers an old stage prop. Her instincts tell her there’s more to the paste necklace than meets the eye. Whether a good idea or not, she accepts help from a childhood friend, who happens to be country music megastar—Peirson Brooks. Peirson and Elise share a history; one she doesn’t care to repeat. The more involved they become in the mystery, the more things get tangled, including her heart.
A century earlier…
Sophie Walters longs for center stage, her name on the marquee, and all that jazz, but climbing her way into an acting career is more difficult than she imagined. Having spoiled all her chances in Hollywood, she returns to Pittsburgh, accepting an insignificant role in a popular production. She watches her dreams pass by from behind the curtain at the illustrious Loew’s Penn Theatre. She finally gets the coveted spotlight, but not for her talent. No, her surge to fame is all one terrible mistake. Somehow, she’s suspected to be a notorious jewel thief known around Pittsburgh as The Mirage. The man she pleads for help is none other than the man she jilted at the altar five years before, Sterling Monroe.

My Review:

I absolutely LOVED this story!! It's a split time and I loved both time periods equally.

If you like laughing out loud you'll LOVE the "current" time storyline. Of course, mix in a mystery, romance, and strong faith, and you've got the recipe for a fabulous story. If you like your heart strings being pulled and a second chance romance with a mystery thrown in, you'll be in seventh heaven with the historical story.

Elise is living life not knowing her father and her mother having passed away. With an unexpected run in with her former boyfriend, she ends up chasing after a mystery of an emerald necklace. I loved seeing the world through Elise's eyes. While she deals with anxiety when trying to perform, her work at Heinz Hall is important to her. With Pierson back in her life, and challenging her to do "scary" things, they become quite the team. I will admit that I laughed so much throughout their storyline. At one point it was loudly! Their banter was fantastic. Pierson was SO great at helping Sophie challenge herself!

Getting to know Sophie in the past was more heart wrenching and where the mystery starts. Sophie was a fun character to get to know and for the life of me I couldn't figure out a) why she left Sterling at the altar and b) how the timelines would be connected. When Sophie finally explains what happened in her past I was incredibly surprised. I liked Sterling's broody and strong presence in her life.

I enjoyed how both storylines unfolded and was absolutely absorbed in the story. The faith that was evident in the characters lives showed how God made an impact in their lives. I appreciate when authors use characters to share the Truth of the Savior. It was well done in this story.

About the Author:

Rachel Scott McDaniel is an award-winning author of historical romance. Winner of the ACFW Genesis Award and the RWA Touched By Love award, Rachel infuses faith and heart into each story. She currently enjoys life in Ohio with her husband and two kids. Rachel can be found online at and on all social media platforms.


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