More reviews for The Pretender: A Blackguard in Disguise:

I absolutely LOVED this book! I was 1/2 way through it before I realized it. It was an easy and intriguing read. Some Christian-based books tend to skirt the secular issues (drugs, alcohol, premarital sex, etc.) Mrs. Hanscom does not skirt the issues. While she does not dwell on them, they are a part of the story and redemption that is taught in the book.


Each character has much depth. I am looking forward to seeing where she takes them and how they grow in their faith and family. I laughed, cried and rejoiced with each one.


The story focuses on Tilly, and she is by far my favorite character. She reminds me so much of myself. She has a tender heart and wants to do right by God and her family.


Mrs. Hanscom does a great job giving details in each setting you find the characters. I feel as if I am there with them.


I look forward to reading book #2

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The Pretender: A Black Guard in Disguise is the first book in Ta'mara Hanscom's series, The Caselli Family and it is fantastic. This is the first book in a series of 5 books. As a fan of Christian Historical Fiction I was excited to read this. Ta'mara Hanscom writes with authority on South Dakota and the United States in 1975, the Vietnam War and the affects it had on the soldiers, Italian families and their traditions, photography, drawing, and practicing of Christianity. I fell in love with this story from the start, I could not put this book down and it left me wanting more. I love Ta'mara Hanscom's style of writing especially the pace of the story and the way the words come alive in my mind so that I felt like I was there with Tillie throughout this journey. The characters in this book are well written and very realistic. I really loved Tillie Caselli's character. She is a talented artist and has the ability to see the good in people. She tries hard to follow the Italian traditions her family holds dear. Her faith is strong and she helps others to believe in God. This story really touched me. I felt so many emotions with reading this book. I chuckled in parts, held my breath in parts, and cried in the other parts. This book and author are fantastic and I cannot wait to read the other books in this series. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will NOT be disappointed. I give this book 5 STARS.

Ta'Mara Hanscom is a new author to me. And she has certainly caught my attention with The Pretender! There are four other books in the series and I will be reading them as well. In this first book, readers are introduced to the Caselli and Hansen families through Noah and Tillie. This cast of characters is absolutely intriguing. There are so many secrets and family dynamics at play. I got only a couple of pages in and was completely invested in the story. And the ending! Hanscom leaves readers hanging. I especially like how Hanscom had the gospel woven throughout the story; not in a preachy way but as a natural part of the characters' interaction with one another. And speaking of characters, Maggie might just be my favorite!

More reviews for Pit of Ambition

I was excited to read book 2 in the Caselli Family Series. Sometimes a story captures your heart. I just loved the first book in the series and all the characters and the story line just grabbed my attention immediately. If you haven’t read the first book, The Pretender: A Black Guard in Disguise the second book could be read as a stand-alone book as the author does a wonderful job getting you up to speed with what happened has transpired from the first book. However, I highly recommend that you read it first as you will really get to know the characters and fully understand all the details in this story. The first book is also a wonderful book...This series has been an all time favorite of mine. I read a lot of books and I have few that grab my heart like this one has. Thank you Ta’mara Hanscom for an amazing heartfelt story.

Book two is even better than the first one in this continuing saga of The Caselli Family. I need the third book, as I can’t wait to see what happens next. This series has me in its grip and has captured my heart. You will laugh and cry with the happy times and the sorrows that plague Noah and Angel in their lives, as the secrets family and friends hide get closer to unraveling. I fall more in love with some of the characters the farther I read in the series...it is well worth your time, as I find it captivating. I love the Faith shown throughout and watching the family dynamics develop and grow. It reminds me of a slow moving river that ebbs and flows over the rocks to reach the climax of a waterfall. Very enjoyable and entertaining.

I am writing this review for my daughter, who is 16. A friend of ours gave us a copy of the first book, and my daughter read it and loved it! It ended on a cliff hanger and she immediately asked if we could get the next book. She was so pleased when she found out it was available on the kindle because it meant immediate access. She devoured this book as well and now can't wait for the third book. I, as her mother, am so pleased to have found Christian literature which edifies and enlightens teens about relationships and provides an exciting plot while remaining true to Christ and not comprimising morality. This is clean literature with an engaging and suspenseful plot, yet it teaches young girls to remain true to themselves, their future mate, and to their Creator.

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