Wednesday, February 1, 2023

IN SPOTLIGHT AND SHADOW by Rachel Scott McDaniel, Reviewed by Kim and Paula #ReleaseDay

I LOVED In Spotlight and Shadow! Rachel McDaniel is an incredible story teller. I was literally hooked from the first page all the way to the very last word! Normally, in a dual time novel, I prefer one story over the other, but in this case, I loved them both equally.

Can I just say that Rachel McDaniel knows how to write heroes?! Sterling and Pierson were both totally swoon worthy! It would be impossible to choose whom I liked better. I also really loved Elise and Sophie too! I've read so many snarky, unlikable female characters lately, so it was such a joy to read about ones who are kind, smart, and likable. I loved both of these stories, the relationships in them, and how they beautifully connected at the end.

This story has it all: romance, laugh out loud moments, mystery, some tense moments, and great characters. I seriously didn't want this book to end. It's definitely one of my top reads of 2022! Don't miss this story - or any other story penned by Ms. McDaniel!!! They are all excellent and not to be missed.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is light. All the stars!!

Split time story from a favorite author.

From Speakeasy Prohibition to a modern 50s themed birthday party, this story has charm and wit.

With a clever turn of phrase, Ms. McDaniel has us invested in both time periods. I loved both Sophie and Elsie and kept turning pages to see how each timeline turned out. The connection started out in the theater Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, formerly Lowe’s Penn Theatre in the 1920s. Both girls reconnect with men from their past: Sophie with Sterling who is now a private detective and Elsie who counted famous Pierson as her best childhood friend.

Some favorite quotes:

Elsie “did not express her feelings well. It was best to keep her emotions locked inside, with several layers of protective wrap around them. But Pierson seemed like the guy who enjoyed snapping the bubbles.”

“They had already had more almost-kiss moments than the entire archive of Hallmark movies.”

“The man was fluent in the language of touch, and I quickly caught the translation.”

With lines like these, the swoon factor is definitely there!

Lots of layers with suspense, romance, hilarious scenes and an enduring faith thread. This is my kind of Dual-time story.
*I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from the author. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
5 stars and a strong faith thread.

BackCover Blurb:
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. 
Barbour Publishing, 
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audio:


  1. Thank you so much for these gorgeous reviews!!

    1. Also for some reason this comment got published as Anonymous. But yeah, it’s me Rachel 😂


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