“Time Will Tell” by Cindy A. Christiansen is the author’s first book in a series of romantic suspense novels. The author has already published ten romance novels that have a touch of suspense. This book takes place in Salt Lake City and introduces the other shop keepers as it tells a story about the clock shop run by Kipp Waterbury.
Kipp injured his leg, and asks his niece, Holly, to help run the shop while he heals from surgery. Holly is compulsive about order, and finds the messy hoarding of Uncle Kipp to be unnerving. She begins cleaning the store, filling the dumpster with old magazines and boxes, which blocks the alley from being used by other vehicles.
Zach Abberley and his brother, Zeke, run the antique store two doors down. He’s fed up with Kipp’s blocking the alley, and goes to the shop to confront him. Holly is manning the fort, and mistakes his work clothes for that of a homeless man begging for food. Zach is immediately drawn to her charming good looks, but because of his father’s multiple marriages, and his belief that all women are gold diggers, he decides to play along with the misunderstanding to see if Holly will like him even if she believes that he hasn’t any money.
Believing that he needs work, Holly hires him to help her clean the store. This keeps him hopping between his own store and the clock shop, and between his own family and hers.
The story is nicely paced, well written, and keeps the reader’s interest. Most of the characters are believable, with the exception of Uncle Kipp. If he really is a hoarder, then it would take something major to make him agree to clean out the clutter in his shop. The story contains a good enough reason (being evicted by the neighborhood committee) but the author doesn’t use it to the fullest extent possible to make his reaction logical. Instead, Holly and Zach protect him from the knowledge of the looming eviction, to show how kind and considerate they are. However, sometimes tough love requires that a person with a severe problem be faced with the consequences in order to bring about a change. In this case, it would have been more believable if Uncle Kipp knew about the eviction, and the fear of losing everything he loves was used as the motivation to make him face the music.
The story is mostly about romance, with a touch of suspense thrown in. The gaps between clues and break-ins were a bit long; five chapters in some spots. I thought it needed a bit more clues, a bit more foreshadowing, to keep the suspense going. What she has works well, ties up the loose ends, and comes to a satisfying ending. It’s a pleasant read.
The sex level is very mild; just kissing and attraction. The violence and language level is very mild as well. It’s not a Christian book, but it would appeal to readers who choose Christian titles because they want a clean read about people with strong moral values.
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