Review: Sycamore Circle by Shelley Shepard Gray

Sycamore Circle was a book that was hard to set down! It is book two in the Rumors in Ross County series, but can easily be picked up and enjoyed on its own, without having read book one, Edgewater Road. Since I had read book one, I already knew Bo and some of the other men who helped ex-cons adjust to life after prison. They were also ex-cons themselves, including Bo. It was very clear that Bo had changed his life years earlier and that he was a good and honorable man. He had a worldly roughness about him, yet also a caring and protective side. He went above and beyond to help his friends, family, and those he cared about.

I really liked the way the relationship developed between Bo and Joy. They were both such nice characters and it was fun to see such a kind and caring many fall for Joy after she had spent the last four years knowing that her husband had cheated on her and left her for another woman. Now a kind, handsome, younger man was showing interest in her and treating her daughter with respect and thoughtfulness, as well. It was sweet.

There was a thread of suspense in the story relating to texts and letters that Joy was receiving from what appeared to be a potential stalker. The author did a great job of keeping me guessing at who it could be. There was also a nice side story involving a romance that grew gently between Joy’s teenage daughter, Chloe, and an Amish boy, Finn.

I am really enjoying this series and look forward to reading more books from it in the future.

(4.5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.


There’s a lot going on in Joy Howard’s life. She’s got an ex-husband who starts acting like he doesn’t want to be an ex anymore, a sixteen-year-old daughter in need of a guiding hand and a lot of rides to dance practice, more orders for paintings than she has time to paint, and a roster of tutoring clients who sometimes need far more than she can give.

What she doesn’t have is time for a new relationship.

Samuel Bo Beauman is a lot of things. He’s a counselor for transitioning ex-cons, a good friend to many, a construction worker, a brother and son, and even a part-time model for a high-end sportswear catalog. He’s also a man searching for redemption.

One thing he isn’t is a man in need of a girlfriend.

But none of that seems to matter when Bo hears Joy’s kind voice in a crowded coffee shop. He instantly knows she’s someone he wants to know better. The two of them hit it off–much to the dismay of practically everyone they know–but Bo doesn’t care what other people think. He feels at peace whenever he’s with Joy, and he won’t let her go without a fight.

When Joy starts getting mysterious texts and phone calls from unknown numbers, she tries to ignore it. But instead of going away, the messages escalate and Joy realizes she can’t handle it alone. But she is juggling a jealous ex-husband, a handful of students with little to lose, and a brand-new boyfriend who spent several years behind bars. Who can she trust?



Photo Credit – Dianne Bomar

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.


About Brittany

As a homeschooling mom and avid reader, I get great joy through reading and reviewing books. I focus my reading and my reviews on Christian fiction, primarily Christian romantic fiction. I also review sweet, clean fiction. I hope you will find my reviews helpful in your decisions on what books to read.
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1 Response to Review: Sycamore Circle by Shelley Shepard Gray

  1. Cindy Davis says:

    Great review! I have not read this one yet but I did enjoy the first one!

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