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Book Review – Keepers of the Gate by E. Denise Billups @DeniseBillups @digitalreadsbt #BookReview #BookBlogger #histfic

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A riveting story with great command over the prose, author E. Denise Billups added another feather to her cap with this mixed genre book. A herculean task, according to me, as the book managed to assimilate historical fiction, suspense, time-slip, along with soulmates kind of romance.

Set on the backdrop of Native American history, the book was slow to start as it took me time to familiarize with the characters and settings. Once I got into the rhythm, it became quite easy to read the book at one go. Just stay with the book for the initial 20-25 pages, then it is smooth writing.

Pilan and Teke’s deaths in the 1700s were the trigger for the reincarnation and the time-slips of the characters. I liked when the book got to the present setting as it felt more like fantasy, and the prose wrapped itself around me.

The words gave the right imagery to the Twilight Ends B&B whose land held a powerful secret, protected by the spirits of the forefathers. Tessa was its matriarch and the guardian of the great secrets.

Her death caused her daughter to take charge and investigate the paranormal happenings in the inn. Billups managed to evoke a sense of curiosity and righteousness in me when granddaughter Twyla understood what was needed of her.

The past was beautifully entwined with the present, made more powerful by the strength of the lyrical words. The atmosphere held a sense of foreboding as if the ghosts of the Iroquois natives were presiding over the land and this story.

This was an immersive read where each secret revealed brought out its own paranormal joy. Romance had more of an ethereal quality making me believe in soulmates.

Sometimes the prose didn’t state the fact but forced me to make my own judgments, which felt a bit off to me. I liked things well slotted. Also, not a big fan of the cliffhanger that the book ended with.

Overall, the story was captivating with a novel backdrop and interesting characters, and hidden truths.


Rating: 4 out of 5.


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In 1779 Kanadasaga, Sullivan’s Expedition torches a Seneca village and many others, destroying the Iroquois Confederacy. Awakened from sleep, Pilan and Teka flee their blazing longhouse into the woodlands. After a soldier’s bullet thwarts their escape, Pilan vows to meet his beloved Teka again in another life.

Two hundred years later in present-day Geneva, New York, historical relics rise. Twilight Ends, a grand Victorian bed-and-breakfast run by the Newhouse family, sits on the property the Iroquois village used to thrive on.

After Twilight Ends’ long-standing matriarch Tessa Newhouse dies, her daughter and granddaughter, Skylar and Twyla, discover two artifacts under the maple tree in the backyard, and an ancient mystery as old as time begins to unravel.

But will they have the courage to follow the path their ancestors did? 


Publication Date: 2021

I downloaded the digital version of the book from an online retail, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.

All my reviews can be found here.




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