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False Pretenses (Secrets of Roux River Bayou, #1) - Kathy Herman Ten years ago, Shelby Sieger changed her name and left her home, bound for Lafayette and a new life… Vanessa and Ethan Langley have just moved into Langley House, with the intention of turning it into a B&B. But Langley House has a six-generation history that includes its share of ghosts. Meanwhile, they are renting a apartment from Zoe and Pierce Broussard while Langley Manor is being renovated. Pierce and Zoe run a cafe together. Trouble begins when a white man, the simple-minded Remy Jarvis, is lynched just 200 yards from Langley Manor. Meanwhile, Zoe starts getting anonymous notes, each the same five words cut from the newspaper: I know what you did. Her past is a secret from everyone, including her husband. Does someone know? If so, what do they know? And what will she do to prevent her secrets becoming known? The answers to these questions are slowly uncovered as the story progresses.I have to say that I really admired Vanessa in particular. I don't want to give away the plot, but at one point she is threatened. She is intelligent enough to understand that the consequences of obedience and defiance are the same and chooses to defy. In too many books and movies, when the hero or heroine are faced with deciding between giving away the good guys or being killed, they choose their own lives, even though the reader or viewer knows they are going to face death either way. It was refreshing to have a character intelligent enough to realise this, and to base her actions on that knowledge. Although Kathy Herman has apparently incorporated characters from previous books, this book (the first of the new Roux River Bayou series) can easily be read on its own. False Pretences has a good Christian message, but not overpowering or preachy and with an underlying theme of personal responsibility. It is also a story of the triumph of grace over adversity. I especially like this quotation from one of the minor characters:“A day will come when someone you know is in desperate need of grace. Remember how this moment feels and pass it on. Healing comes as much in the giving as in the receiving.”Thanks to David C Cook and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.