Book Review – “Mona Lisa: The Carlingford Chronicles, Part I”

Mona Lisa - Carlingford Chronicles 1



I really don’t consider myself to be a huge fan of romance novels, so when I was first approached about writing this review I’ll admit I had my hesitations. But in the end I rolled the literary dice and took a chance on this Christian novel, and I’m glad I did.

Mona Lisa, by Whitney L. Schwartz, is a truly heartwarming story of love and second chances, set against the charming backdrop of Old Ireland. As you encounter the first few pages you may feel slightly bogged down by the old Irish jargon, but once the colorful characters and their fiery Irish spirit steal your heart you’ll be grateful for the wit and subtle sarcasm of their daily banter.

The story introduces readers to Mona Lisa McLeod, a spunky Irish beauty who turns the head of nearly every man in town with her quick wit and hot temper. Of course, the one man she will absolutely not give the time of day is the quiet and mischievous Brogan Shay, whose family has been feuding with hers for more than a hundred years. As tragedy strikes the small town of Carlingford, Mona will have her faith – and her ideas about love – tested to the breaking point.

My favorite part of the book is the way the strong personalities of its characters really come through, driving the plot forward and keeping a smile on your face.

Along with this, several of the author’s descriptions are poetic and breathtaking, giving a real feel for the unique flavor of this people and their culture. Here is one of my favorite lines:


“Music was a huge part of the lives of this people. It was in their blood, it was in their heritage, it ran through the veins of Ireland in a rich, coursing history that carried on, just like the hills, forever.”

Finally, I appreciate the way this story provides a passionate and captivating romance while keeping the storytelling clean and approachable for all ages. Give this one a chance… at first you’ll feel genuinely amused, but once you’re halfway through your eyes will be glued to the page!



For more information on this book and other works by Whitney L. Schwartz, you can visit





11 thoughts on “Book Review – “Mona Lisa: The Carlingford Chronicles, Part I”

  1. I’m not a fan of the romance genre either (bleh), and actually, I am just about to finish my first one ever! I’m so grateful it fell under the Christian Romance category because I found the love story to be subtle and a pleasure to read.

    I have to agree that the author’s writing is almost lyrical in the quote you’ve shared; I so enjoy this style of writing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, you’ve convinced me to give it a try. I’m definitely not opposed to Christian Romance as a genre, though it’s not my favorite. But your description has made it sound intriguing. I’ve put it on my reading list. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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