Audio Book Review: A Merciful Secret by Kendra Elliot

Posted March 2, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Audio Delight, Reviews / 14 Comments

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Audio Book Review: A Merciful Secret by Kendra Elliot
A Merciful Secret
Narrated by Teri Schnaubelt

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: Mercy Kilpatrick #3
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Brilliance Audio
Released on January 16, 2018
Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
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The Delight

A third installment in a series to which, frankly, I’m addicted, brings Mercy and Truman into contact with a gruesome pair of murders that get them tangled up with modern-day witchcraft.  The case nudges Mercy a little bit further along the path toward Truman who is trying to be patient as she works through her fears.  I clicked on the audio and settled in for yet another story to have me holding my breath and working out the case right alongside a wonderful group of characters.


A Merciful Secret is book three in the Mercy Kilpatrick series.  It presents a new case which resolves within this book, but this is not a series I recommend getting out of order or standalone.  The relationship build ups and not just between Mercy and Truman, but with her estranged family and their situations works when gotten in order.

Mercy is up at her prepper cabin where she goes to keep making her preparations and checking on how its fairing for the winter since the area of central Oregon is being hit by brutal winter snow storms.  On her way back, a frightened young girl flags her down in the road and she encounters a vicious murder.  The case is in the hands of the county until a similar murder is discovered in Portland making it an FBI case.  Mercy and Truman are on the peripheral, but Mercy needs to be involved to help that young girl who was seemingly raised by two practicing witches- or Wiccan as her partner at the Bureau explains.
Meanwhile, Truman doesn’t know what to think when he spies the housing brochures on her table, but Mercy hasn’t included him in any house hunts.  He gets that she can’t be pushed, but he really thought the next moving venture would involve them both.  Mercy knows they need to have a conversation about this, but involving Truman will mean relying on another person, even one she loves, which still terrifies her to death.  She knows that he’s all in and she needs to get past all this.

I don’t want to just gush or repeat my high praise from previous stories so I’ll try to bring out further thoughts on the ongoing series..
I love the characters were not developed to a point and then stagnated or that the author felt the stagnation and thought unnecessary angst would fix it.  Blessedly, these characters are still growing naturally within the situations at work, from their pasts, with their family and the community around them, and with each other.  I get impatient with Mercy, but she isn’t deliberately sabotaging things and she is working toward something permanent with Truman.
I really love how sensible these characters are when it comes to their difficult and dangerous jobs.  They don’t do stupid things- sure, heat of the moment stuff, but nothing calculated to make me question their law enforcement training or intelligence.  Seeing them working the case and gathering impressions and facts is great.

Each book is set in the area of Bend, Oregon and the small town of Eagle’s Nest across the mountains, but that is the end of the similarities.  The author shows a different facet of the community each time.  In this instance, it is those who live and worship as Wiccans and how they fit in the community.  Salome was an angry teen and tried to prey on the town fears while her mother, Olivia, stayed quietly in their cabin in the woods doing business with those who wanted salves and notions for things.  Alongside the preppers, it was an interesting new element that worked.

The mystery wasn’t actually difficult for the reader who had access to all the players and their thoughts, but it was still neat to see them figure out the pieces and arrive at that exciting and dangerous climax scene.

In summary, it was abso-fab and left me dancing with need for the next book.  Schnaubelt’s performance is stellar as always and I love the added layer of goodness she brings to the books.  Those who enjoy thriller qualities, romance, relationships, and small town settings with a gritty mystery, look no further.


Literary Pickers #30 French Doors
Audio #10


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Anne - Books of My Heart

Yes I’m also all in for this series. Wonderful review!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I’m caught up and must impatiently wait for the new release with everyone else now. 🙁
Thanks, Anne!

Mary Kirkland
2 years ago

I haven’t read this author yet but her books have been all over the blogs. I’m gonna have to give her a try at some point.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Yep, you are definitely going to need a book date with the first book, Mary. 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

I really enjoyed the first book, and I plan on reading the 2nd one soon. Glad to hear that Mercy’s fear about commitment isn’t too frustrating. I hate it when a character pushes away a good thing. Hopefully, she gets over her cold feet soon. Great review, Sophia Rose! 🙂

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Yeah, I don’t like a lot of nonsense around the romance, either. She’s taking her time, but still with forward motion. She’s learning as she goes so I can roll with that type of thing.

Carole Rae
2 years ago

I am so glad the story is staying good! I hate when characters revert or stagnate! The worse!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Yes, so true, Carole. One of my favorite series that I’ve been reading into the double digits and I had a sad break up last fall. The heroine’s personality totally went off the rails for me. But, yes, Mercy is holding steady, but sure. 🙂

Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)

I’ve not read any of this series, but I’m glad the novels are consistently good for you. The cover image is seriously creepy though. I just know something bad has happened from that trail across the snow …

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

There can be some intense moments in the series, but I’m a wuss so maybe they aren’t intense to others. LOL But, yes the covers do convey a certain atmosphere.

Melanie Simmons
2 years ago

I asked my library to buy a copy of the first book on audio, which they did, but I haven’t had a chance to listen to it. I’ll probably have to request it again when I have time. Glad the series is still going good.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

It will be good when you get the chance. 🙂 Oh, I bought the first one in that mountain sect series you reviewed. Looking forward to it.

2 years ago

Sounds like an exciting read. I always like that in cozy mystery series how you see the character develop throughout the series, even tough each mystery gets resolved in that book. It sounds fun to read about these characters again and still see them grow too. And that sounds awesome how sensible they both are. They mystery might be a bit too gritty for me, but the rest sounds great. And good to know this is a good narrator.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Lola

Yes, you understand perfectly what this series is like. I like that slow build and development in characters and relationships that some series are really good at.

Um, yeah, these can get gruesome at times. The first book starts out with a really bad scene and I nearly cashed in the chips. This is borderline squeamish for me, but stays on just the right side. 🙂