Category Archives: Moses Lake Series

Review: Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate

wildwoodTitle: Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate
Moses Lake Series Book Four
Publisher: Bethany House Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Christian, Fiction, Romance, Historical Elements
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


With love and loss tangled together, how was she to know where her life would lead?

Allie Kirkland has always heard the call of her father’s unfinished destiny. When she’s offered a production assistant’s job on a docudrama filming in the hills near Moses Lake, Texas, the dream of following in her director-father’s footsteps suddenly seems within reach. The reenactment of the legendary frontier settlement of Wildwood is a first step into the film industry. A summer on set in the wilderness is a small price to pay for a dream.

But in 1861, the real Wildwood held dangerous realities. Town founder Harland Delavan held helpless residents, including young Irish schoolteacher Bonnie Rose, in an iron grip. Mysterious disappearances led to myths and legends still retold in the region’s folk songs. Eventually, the entire site was found abandoned.

When filming begins, strange connections surface between Allie and the teacher who disappeared over a century ago, and everyone in Wildwood–including Blake Fulton, Allie’s handsome neighbor on the film set–seems to be hiding secrets. Allie doesn’t know whom she can trust. If she can’t find the answers in time, history may repeat itself…with the most unthinkable results.

The Review:

In Wildwood Creek, the fourth installment in the Moses Lake series, Lisa Wingate brilliantly blends the past and present into one fascinating story. A little different from her usual novels, it is none the less a captivating read with an intriguing mystery about long ago events and a sweet modern day romance.

Frontier life is fraught with danger as Bonnie Rose and her family quickly discover. Limited options force Bonnie Rose to accept a position as a school teacher and along with her sister, they begin the treacherous journey to Wildwood Creek. Bonnie is uneasy around the town’s founder Harland Delevan and when residents begin disappearing, rumors begin to swirl that Bonnie is somehow responsible. In the aftermath of unspeakable horror, the fate of Bonnie, her sister Maggie May, two slaves and Wildwood Creek remain a mystery for well over a century.

Allie Kirkland’s best friend Kim talks her into trying out for a role in an upcoming reality show based on a mysterious Texas town and its missing inhabitants. Meticulous research goes into recreating the 1861 town of Wildwood Creek and the actors completely immerse themselves in their roles, giving up all modern conveniences once filming begins. Allie begins as a production assistant and is soon cast in the role of Bonnie Rose, the young Irish immigrant with a tragic past who traveled to Wildwood Creek with her young sister to teach the town’s children. Allie is fascinated by Bonnie’s story and her efforts to uncover the truth about what happened to Bonnie lead to unexpected consequences.

Like many young adults, Allie is caught between following her dreams and living up to her family’s expectations. Deciding to join the reality show is her first real act of independence and provides her the opportunity to pursue her career goals. Filming the show poses challenges she is not sure she is equipped for but remembrances of her Grandma Rita’s sage wisdom guide her during the coming months. Equally helpful is charming but mysterious Blake Fulton. Blake is reluctant to reveal any personal information about himself but their close proximity leads to an easygoing friendship. With little to distract them, Blake and Allie spend quality time getting to know one another and their quiet moments together lead to deeper emotions.

The historical portion of the plot is richly detailed and rings with authenticity. Scrupulous attention is paid to speech patterns and I could literally hear the dialogue in my mind as I read the passages. The cultural differences between the German and Irish settlers figure heavily into the unfolding drama and adds another layer of interest to the overall storyline.

With a distinct and unique plot, Wildwood Creek vibrantly springs to life through its enthralling cast of incredible characters. Lisa Wingate beautifully incorporates a terrible time in America’s history into a deeply moving and compelling story of faith and love that is truly unforgettable.

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Filed under Bethany House Publishers, Christian, Contemporary, Fiction, Lisa Wingate, Moses Lake Series, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Wildwood Creek

Review: Firefly Island by Lisa Wingate

Title: Firefly Island by Lisa Wingate
Moses Lake Series Book Three
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Christian Fiction
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: A

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley



Mallory Hale’s life quickly veers off course when she falls hopelessly in love. After a whirlwind romance, Mallory finds herself leaving the bustle and action of Capitol Hill for the remote town of Moses Lake, Texas–with husband, stepson, and a U-Haul in tow.

A sweet, mishap-filled journey into marriage, motherhood, and ranch living ensues, and Mallory is filled with both the wonderment of love and the insecurities of change. But what she can’t shake is the unease she feels around her husband’s new boss, Jack West. Jack’s presence–and his mysterious past–set her on edge, and when hints of a scandal emerge, Mallory finds herself seeking answers… and comes to realize that the middle-of-nowhere home she wasn’t sure she wanted is the very place she’ll risk everything to save.

The Review:

Firefly Island by Lisa Wingate is a beautifully written novel about the romantic and sometimes stressful early months of marriage. It is also a wonderful story of self-discovery and making the best of what life brings. An intriguing mystery and a little bit of political intrigue provide added interest to this fast moving and compelling third installment of the fabulous Moses Lake series.

It is love at first sight for Mallory Hale and Daniel Everson, and they embark on a whirlwind courtship. When Daniel receives an offer for a job in the small and remote town of Moses Lake, they hastily marry and begin married life together. Mallory is a fish out of water as she begins her new life as a wife and stepmother. She is also ill-prepared for the challenges facing her in their isolated home. Adding to her unease are the rumors circulating about Daniel’s enigmatic boss, Jack West. When she comes across a secret that threatens her new life, Mallory discovers she is willing to risk everything to protect the town and people she has slowly begun to love.

Mallory is the kind of heroine I love-feisty, strong and willing to rise to the challenges facing her. That is not to say that she does not have her moments of self pity. She wrestles with self-doubt and insecurities but she is quick to jump in with both feet and take action when needed. Her new life becomes a journey of self-awareness as she uncovers hidden strengths and a newfound faith in God.

Mallory is also conflicted about her new role as a wife and stepmother. Her sense of identity is shaken when she is no longer a career woman. She is forced to re-define herself as she begins a new life. Mallory has to adapt to small town living and appreciate what the new community has to offer. The new people she meets and friendships she makes challenge some of her long held beliefs.

The romance portion of the storyline is understated but realistic. Like many newly married couples, Mallory and Daniel have a few adjustments to make for married life. Mallory is frustrated by Daniel’s new job and the amount of hours he works. Jack West is a difficult man to work for and Daniel is reluctant to voice any dissatisfaction. Daniel and Mallory have disagreements and arguments, but they also share many sweetly romantic moments.

They mystery subplot of Firefly Island is well executed. It is does not overpower the overall plot but it is quite interesting and believable. Ms. Wingate presents some fascinating insight and information into the inner workings of politics and political action committees.

Firefly Island is an engrossing and thought-provoking romance. Underlying themes of community, friendship, love, acceptance and God are interwoven throughout the story. Lisa Wingate always provides her readers with valuable reflections about appreciating life and the importance of slowing down and enjoying what you have.

Although it is the third novel in the Moses Lake series, Firefly Island can be read as a standalone story. This is my favorite book of the series, but I highly recommend Larkspur Cove and Blue Moon Bay as well.


Filed under Bethany House Publishers, Christian, Contemporary, Fiction, Firely Island, Lisa Wingate, Moses Lake Series, Rated A, Review, Romance