Reviewed by Paul F. Murray for Readers' Favorite
Alone by SM Ford is one of the finest, best-written novels that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It is free of grammatical and punctuation errors for readers to trip over. But beyond that, SM Ford has written a novel with both beginning and more experienced readers in mind. The novel starts off with a prologue that has the viewpoint character, 25-year-old Cecilia Gage, housekeeper for young, handsome, best-selling author Mark Andrews, pondering why her boss is in jail. This lets readers know that intriguing as the romance story is (and it is one of the better ones I’ve read over many years), there is much, much more to this story than simply who Cecilia falls in love with and whether or not her love will be requited.
Cecilia patiently develops a friendship with Mark Andrews, her employer, despite Mark’s initial surliness and withdrawn personality. But then, Cecilia also attracts amorous attention from Mark’s friend, Simon, something of a lecher; from Stan, an acquaintance; and even from the elderly minister, Reverend Francis Peters. With the help of her prayers to God, which of these men—if any of them—will Cecilia decide is the right man for her? But then, when Mark’s mother is found dead in his house, is Mark being framed, and can Cecilia help him prove his innocence? Or…maybe, is Mark Andrews’ dark side resulting in him becoming a murderer?
Alone by SM Ford will keep both new and experienced readers of Christian romances turning the pages to find answers to all of the questions with which Cecilia is faced. In so many novels, experienced readers can guess the outcome fairly well when the book is only halfway read through. Not in this case. I loved this novel because the uncertainty and suspense do not let up, and the only way to learn what happens is to read the entire novel from the first page to the very last. Here, there is no early guessing of the outcome.