Disclaimer: This review is part of a Reviewer Tour for JustRead Tours. The words and opinions below are my own.
I’ve a special affinity for the city of Pittsburgh. It’s the first American city I visited, back in 1996, and something about seeing that skyline – whether it’s through the tunnels to the south or on the highway to the north – still excites me. Naturally, I love reading historical fiction set in western Pennsylvania. Above the Fold grabbed my attention in the first paragraph, where the windows of the Allegheny County Courthouse are described as “soot-stained.” Those few words captured the essence of the Pittsburgh in the 1920s.
I once heard that you should write what you know. Debut novelist Rachel Scott McDaniel is from western Pennsylvania, so it’s probably no surprise that she chose to set her novel in a city she knows. I loved reading about a city that I know and neighborhoods that I don’t know, and discovering historical gems known and unknown. I loved the thrill of, “I know that place,” that went through me when I recognized something, and the sense of, “Ooh, that’s interesting,” when I came across something I didn’t.
The plot wasn’t bad either. Although there were misunderstandings between the main characters, they didn’t last long enough to frustrate me. Their arguments didn’t feel contrived in order to make the tale longer. Sure, there were a couple of side details that didn’t make sense – to me – but not enough to lessen my enjoyment. The dramatic conclusion made me want to read more novels with these characters, especially Cole’s cousin Sterling who had a pivotal role in the story. Overall, yes, I’d definitely read more novels by this writer… especially she sets them in my favorite American city!
Publisher: Smitten Historical Romance (an imprint of LPC Books)
Publication Date: 26 November 2019