Book 2 of 2 in The Secrets of the Montebellis series
Orphaned in 1888, Adriana Montebelli’s life is governed by self-serving men intent on deciding her fate. Instead of breaking her, their cruel deceptions toughen her resolve to take control. Though she rises to manage the vast Van Buren estate, she wonders if her shattered heart will have the strength to love again.
In this historical prequel to The Secrets of the Montebellis, Adriana Montebelli navigates the challenges of woman's suffrage, union violence, and the tragic hardships of love and loss.
what readers are saying:
“The Secrets of the Montebellis is by far one of the best books I have read in a long time…What a fabulous book!...Cheryl did a fantastic job of portraying characters that you love and those that you!...Can’t wait till the next one comes out!”
Wait no longer! What readers are saying about book two:
Carol A. Brown
I have read a number of really good books but it has been a while since I’ve read one that kept me as entranced as Adriana’s Secrets! (Confession—I read it in a single sitting! Couldn’t stop.) It is a historical romance involving family, life and death, greed, treachery, abandonment, love and loss. Set in the Wild West, before prohibition and regulation, at the time women were beginning to speak; to become more than an appendage on their husbands’ arms.
The language was clean without sacrificing reality of life, and the writing was wonderfully tight. I didn’t find any slow spots. Oh, there were places where you could begin to breathe again, but before you could relax the next catastrophe came! I began to feel sorry for the characters…would the bad things never stop? Couldn’t love somehow win?
The characters were perfectly portrayed—you hated the bad guys and loved the good guys. You wanted the bad guys caught and put away and you wanted the good guys suffering to stop. And of course, you feel rather helpless. I wanting to counsel, and even to yell at people about what they were about to do….but all you can do is turn the next page to see what happens!
You could understand why Adriana came to not trust men and formed the conclusion that it was useless to pray. I loved how God surprised her. Written with a Christian worldview, Adriana’s Secrets was an overall enjoyable read. I will savor the mental images for days. It is a book I can and will recommend easily to anyone, but specifically to history buffs, lovers of romance, and lovers of a good story. This book has it all.
Barbara Ann Derksen
The story of Adriana Montibelli enfolds a life of sacrifice, terror, murder, and loss all wrapped up I. The protection afforded her by the Heavenly Father. Secrets written and eventually revealed surround a life of hardship, betrayal, and hatred but also contains love from usual and unusual sources. Read Adiana's Secrets to be entertained, engrossed and taken to another place in history. Pioneer spirits run rampant through this story, spirits that shaped the world as we know it but not without sacrifice. Cheryl Colwell does a magnificent job of drawing her readers into the life and time of the Montibellis.
Just as engaging as her first book 'The secrets of the Montebellis'. Did not want to put it down as I could not wait to see what happened next. It gives a better understanding of how life was in the years before women got the vote and a voice for themselves. The tragedies and the action keep you turning the pages. A very good read.
Lisa J. Lickel
My heart is still racing!
I'll sheepishly admit I didn't read book 1, but I plan on remedying that shortly.
This installment does stand alone. Taking us back a hundred years in California, Colwell sets the stage for betrayal, family dysfunction, greed, suffrage, unions, and above all else, second chances and love. And a pesky bear, as the cover alludes.
Two orphaned sisters handle their parents' deaths in very different ways. Older sister Adriana, at seven, is a gentle and innocent soul, while little sister Ladonna, is a hellion. Who knows what she would have been like if their parents had lived. In this small traditional village with many Italian descendants, life if hard, and the family who took in the girls end up having to give Ladonna away, while second born son to Adriana's ward harbors life-long hatred on many levels.
The story takes the reader along the path of the girl's journey of loss and triumph through their personalities and choices, and the events manipulated by others.
Nicely wrapped from the opening through the flashback around Adriana’s life story, to the ending; told from multiple viewpoints, Colwell has devised a well-crafted tale in the vein of Steinbeck and the Grapes of Wrath. Those who enjoy American history and especially Steinbeck, will enjoy Adriana's Secret.
Karen S Tiede
Endless suspense, intertwined with love and tragedy! Overall, you realize that a loving God is there all the time! Beautifully written!