Tag Archives: runaway slaves

Book Review: Refuge on Crescent Hill

24 Oct

Jobless, homeless, and broke, Camden Bristow decides to visit the grandmother she hasn’t seen in years. But when Camden arrives in Etherton, Ohio, she discovers that her grandmother has passed away, leaving her the 150-year-old mansion on Crescent Hill. The site of her happiest summers as a child, the run-down mansion is now her only refuge.

When Camden finds evidence that she may not be the mansion’s only occupant, memories of Grandma Rosalie’s bedtime stories about secret passageways and runaway slaves fuel her imagination. What really happened at Crescent Hill? Who can she turn to for answers in this town full of strangers? And what motivates the handsome local Alex Yates to offer his help? As she works to uncover the past and present mysteries harbored in her home, Camden uncovers deep family secrets within the mansion’s walls that could change her life — and the entire town — forever.


Melanie Beroth Dobson‘s first novel (Together for Good) was published in 2006, and she has now authored nine contemporary and historical novels including Love Finds You in Nazareth, Pennsylvania which releases in November 2011. Melanie and her husband, Jon, met in Colorado Springs in 1997 at Vanguard Church. Since they’ve been married, the Dobsons have relocated numerous times including stints in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Berlin, and Southern California. These days they are enjoying their home in the Pacific Northwest.

Prior to launching her own public relations company in 1999, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family where she was responsible for the publicity of both events and products. Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master’s degree in communication from Regent University. She worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for more than fifteen years including two years as a publicist for The Family Channel.

Jon and Melanie have two daughters — Karly (8) and Kiki (7). The entire Dobson family loves to travel and hike in both the mountains and along the cliffs above the Pacific. When Melanie isn’t writing or playing with her family, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.

My Impressions:

History and mystery combine in Melanie Dobson’s novel, Refuge on Crescent Hill.  The house known as Crescent Hill has known its share of mysteries.  There are rumors of secret tunnels, ghosts and a lost treasure.    Its current owner has died and left it to her oldest granddaughter, Camden.  Camden has always felt a connection to the house.  It really is the only place she ever had any roots.   But now the mansion is in disrepair and she is without the resources to fix it up.  She joins forces with the city marketer/developer, Alex Yates, as they try to work out a plan to save the house from being torn down by the city.  Others with less altruistic motivations are interested in the house as well, or really the treasure the house may hold.

Refuge on Crescent Hill started out a bit slow for me.  There were lots of story threads that seemed unconnected.  But as the reader is let in on more and more of the secrets, the novel picks up pace.  I enjoyed how the personal aspects of the Civil War, including the Underground Railroad, were incorporated in the story. Not to give too much away — pay attention to the quilts — their history is fascinating.  I did think the ending a bit abrupt, but all in all it was a good read, full of puzzles and hints and questions a good mystery contains.


Beginning October 31, Refuge on Crescent Hill will be FREE for Kindle.  Click HERE to get your copy.
(I received Refuge on Crescent Hill from Kregel Publications in return for a review.   The opinions expressed are mine alone.)