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Edgewater Road–second chance for ex-cons

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Edgewater Road

by Shelley Shepard Gray

Jennifer inherits her grandmother Ginny’s old farmhouse with acreage in Ohio and soon discovers that her neighbor is John Lincoln Bennett, an ex-con who has a business managing properties. He also helps other ex-cons reintegrate into society when they are released. Jennifer works in her home as a medical transcriber but wants to reach outside the shield she has established to avoid trusting others. Lincoln is immediately drawn to her and feels very protective of her.

Edgewater Road contains romance, but the real focus is on the characters as their backgrounds are revealed and relationships are developed. There is also some gripping action and danger along with moments of humor as the characters interact in some awkward situations. Lincoln is a natural leader who instills respect, and Jennifer is almost too nice and trusting for her own good. Both are characters that you want to be successful individually and together. The ex-cons in general turn out to be helpful and respectful, especially Bo, Lincoln’s right hand man and Seth, formerly Amish and very polite and trustworthy. Wayne, a young Amish boy, needs to earn money, and his role in the story adds interest as does that of Chad, a semi-feral cat that Wayne finds in Jennifer’s barn.

Author Shelley Shepard Gray excels with plot action. The book is a page turner for me with Gray alternating telling the story from Jennifer’s perspective and from Lincoln’s. Without sugar coating a life of crime, Gray presents the difficulties that might lead one down a bad path, what prison is like, and the reactions of people to ex-cons. They are often viewed with suspicion and distrust and many end up back in prison for various reasons.

I highly recommend Edgewater Road and look forward to the next book in this series.

I would like to extend my thanks to NetGalley and to Blackstone Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: General Fiction (Adult), Romance

Notes: 1. #1 in a new series, The Rumors in Ross County.
2. Although the books deals with some rough ex-cons, there is nothing graphic or offensive in the book, and it is clean in all aspects.

Publication: March 1, 2022—Blackstone Publishing

Memorable Lines:

There was a part of him that was drawn to her like a prisoner to a decent meal.

“That woman’s got more work that needs to be done than an old lady at the plastic surgeon.”

Back when he’d started this, his goals had been almost noble. He’d wanted to give men like him, men who’d made mistakes but were still decent, a second chance… Now, nearly eight years later, his aspirations weren’t quite so lofty. Oh, his heart still searched for the good in people, and he often shared some of the teachings he’d learned from the Bible. However, he’d also learned that not everyone could be rehabilitated.


  1. WendyW says:

    This sounds good. I can’t imagine what it’s like to learn to trust an ex-con. but It’s admirable that she’s able to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      He is such an honorable man and that becomes evident as you learn more about him and see how he interacts with other ex-cons. I agree that the trust would be hard.


  2. this sounds interesting Linda, and what you said about a lot of plot action and being a page turner seals the deal, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gretchen says:

    I really enjoyed this one, too! Shelley Shephard Gray rarely disappoints. I am eagerly awaiting the second book in the series.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Carla says:

    I really like the sound of this one, Linda. I think the last quote you selected sums up how I feel about ex-cons. Many made a mistake, served their time and if given a chance can start a new life, but some will be lifetime criminals. I am definitely adding this book to my TBR. I found it on Hoopla through my library. Excellent review.

    Liked by 2 people

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