Shadow in Serenity

by Terri Blackstock

Paperback, 2011



Call number




Zondervan (2011), Edition: 1st, 352 pages


Fiction. Romance. Suspense. Carny Sullivan grew up in the zany world of a traveling carnival. Quaint and peaceful Serenity, Texas, has given her a home, a life, and a child. Logan Brisco is the smoothest, slickest, handsomest man Serenity, Texas has ever seen. But Carny Sullivan knows a con artist when she sees one�??and she's seen plenty, starting with her father. As far as Carny Sullivan can tell, she's the only one in town who has his number. Because from his Italian shoes to his movie-actor smile, Logan has the rest of the town snowed. Carny is determined to reveal Brisco's selfish intentions before his promise to the townspeople for a cut in a giant amusement park sucks Serenity dry. Yet, as much as she hates his winning ways, there is a man behind that suave smile, a man who may win her heart against her will.Shadow in Serenity is a modern-day Music Man, penned by a Christy Award-winning, New York Times bestselling auth… (more)


Original language


Physical description

352 p.; 8.38 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member southernsassygirl
I have been a diehard fan of Terri Blackstock since I first started reading Christian fiction over ten years ago. I have always been able to rely on Terri to provide suspenseful stories that keep me awake until the wee hours of the morning. However, this was not one of her stronger novels.

While the
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carnival/amusement park idea was unique, I felt that I had to suspend belief for a large portion of the story. Like Carny, I wondered how in the world all of Logan's plans would come to fruition if he wasn't in fact a con artist. Without giving too much away, the end of the story was where this was most evident. Considering the amount of time that had passed between Logan's first visit to Serenity and the final chapter of the story, everything progressed much faster than it would in the real world.

On the flip side, I felt that the characters in this story were extremely believable, Logan in particular. His reflections on his past as a product of foster homes combined with the years spent with his con artist mentor made him the most complex character of the story. Having personally met a con artist in my life (but thankfully not his victim), I could identify with some of the techniques Logan used to persuade the town into parting with their hard-earned money.

I appreciated that Terri went back to her last novel written for the general market and rewrote it to appeal to a Christian audience. Never once did it seem that the story was rewritten as all the Christian elements blended seamlessly throughout the story. But if I compare it to some of her recent novels, it was not up to the same caliber that I've come to expect from her. It was only slightly suspenseful and romantic, yet still engaging enough that I wanted to read it to the very end. My rating is 4 Stars.
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LibraryThing member MichelleSutton
Shadow in Serenity is the type of story that sticks with you after you finish the book. Not only is it well-written, but it made me cry a few times. There were some precious, yet heart-wrenching scenes in this story that rang so true I forgot several times that I was reading fiction. The people in
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the story seemed real to me. I loved the characters' arcs as well. The theme about childhood always being with you and shaping who you are--but that didn't mean you couldn't change--was very inspirational and emotionally moving. There were a lot of things about this story that were powerful. It's hard to say much without spoiling it for the reader, but I will say that this is a beautiful and touching love story about learning to trust and discovering hope for the future.

I have always been a believer in change, but not many books show just how difficult and scary it is for people to really do that. The ability to trust is not possible when someone is continually guarding their heart and closing themselves off to others. Then to learn that change was possible and to desire that so much that you are willing to risk everything? That was so well done and so convincing that I couldn't help but fall for Logan myself. He really did want to experience love and not be lonely anymore. The story of his childhood that he shared with Jason was so touching that it was impossible not to cry. I felt a bit panicked toward the end along with Carny. The author did a very convincing job of setting everything up. This was the perfect romantic suspense and I'll still be thinking about the story days from now. Because of that and a number of other reasons it's making my best fiction list for this year.
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LibraryThing member vintagebeckie
I like to listen to audiobooks when I walk. My route takes 50 minutes, so I get a good workout and a good amount of time to enjoy a book. Shadow in Serenity was my latest listen. It was so good, it made me anxious to put on my trainers and jump back into the story.

Logan Brisco is a conman out to
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make his biggest score yet among the residents of Serenity, Texas. The only trouble is that Carny Sullivan lives there too. She is the daughter of carnies and can’t be conned. Logan does his best to keep things all business, but he is drawn to the free-spirited Carny and the town she loves. Carny also finds herself falling for Logan and is dismayed when she starts to believe the story he is feeding the town.

Billed as a modern-day take on The Music Man, it also has echoes of Carousel. Logan’s character is deeply wounded by a childhood spent wondering where his mother is. He was befriended by Montague, a consummate grifter, who made him feel wanted and taught him all the tricks of the trade. But Logan has always been an outsider and in Serenity feels that even more. But the peace and belonging Carny has found is a lure he can’t ignore. The ending is a surprise to the reader and to Carny and was truly satisfying. I really enjoyed the narrator as well. She was great at capturing the accents and flavor of a small Texas town.

Although this is not a suspense novel for which Blackstock is so well known, Shadow in Serenity is a great story excellently written.

Highly Recommended.

Great for A Book Club.
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LibraryThing member jnut1
Can a con be conned?

Logan comes to the small town of Serenty to con the town out of their money.
Carney, who parents are cons and travel with the circus, sees through him day 1 but can's convince the town that he is not who he says he is. The town still gives him all their money.
Can Logan figure
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out a way to make everyone happy, including himself? Can Carney trust Logan with her feelings?
Carny has a son, Jason, who adds smiles to the book.
There is a dog thrown in and that is how I feel that he was thrown in. I can see why he was introduced but he needed a bigger part or to be left out of the book.

I enjoyed this book, their was less religion in this book than I expected but it didn't take away from the story or how much I enjoyed this book.
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LibraryThing member JenniferRobb
Past hurts often influence future interactions. Emotional scars run deep in Carny but she prides herself on being able to spot a con a mile away. When Logan sets up shop, she's convinced he's out to rook her neighbors of their life savings. But God can change the greediest of hearts if He's invited
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