I was amazed to discover that I had read the first book in this series and rated it five stars. I began to recall some of the events as I read through this follow-up book, but I just did not find the first book in the series memorable. And after reading last year's review, I discovered that as nice a story as this book is, it falls short of the other's book's success.
Don't get me wrong. The second half of this book is action-packed and chock full of mystery and intrigue. There is no profanity and no sex scenes. Christian principles are emphasized, and it is clear that the primary characters are true Christians. The characterizations are well-orchestrated, and I felt somewhat connected with several of them. The mystery writing is pretty exceptional, and although the end is basically assured, the ride is pretty rocky at times.
My complaint is twofold. First of all, I would have loved for there to be a stronger Christian message like there was in the first book. I was concerned that the author may have been watering down her message to attract more readers. I appreciate the Christian principles, but I prefer a much more substantial message.
My other criticism is that this book follows the same formula that the first book in the series did. While the method works, I don't understand why it takes half of the book to get the story going. In my opinion, Colleen Coble is a better author than this. I still prefer her historical novels, but I would love to see the passion from those novels placed into her contemporary series.
If you have not read the first book in the series, not to worry. This book is definitely a stand-alone. I can recommend it for a quick read and a romantic suspense book that is guaranteed clean.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Rosemary Cottage on Hope Beach Island is exactly the place Amy Lange needs to grieve her brother Ben, who was out catching a wave one morning and just vanished. Amy wonders if foul play is involved, because somehow she doesn't believe that is was an accident. She is a practicing midwife, and has always been encouraged to go where the need was greatest. She sincerely feels that the need is great on the remote island where women have to cross on ferry to get to a doctor. So when Amy discovers something that makes her decision to stay on the island permanently more than just a great idea, she snatches up the chance to not only stay for her midwifery, but so she can also investigate Ben's death.
Curtis Ireland is a Coast Guard, and he is raising his niece, Raine, after his sister Gina's death. Gina was run down by a boat and killed, so there is no mystery surrounding her death. But when Amy shows up and starts planting seeds of doubt, he can't help but begin to wonder if their sibling's deaths are somehow connected. Will the evidence they find prove that the death of Ben and Gina was no accident? Or was it just a game all along?
I have to admit, this book held my interest from the first page. It's been a while since I've so greatly anticipated the release of a book in a series, but Coble does such a good job of writing romantic mysteries I couldn't help myself!! I was completely surprised by a couple twists in the story; so I can't gloat this time that I saw it coming. I read so much that I can usually guess where the story is going, but Coble does us a solid with clean romance, mystery, suspense, and of course, the beautiful scenery of the island that will forever remain a place we want to visit.
This book was provided by the publishers for free in exchange for an honest review.
I love all of Colleen Coble's books, and this book did not disappoint. I had to go back and look at the first book in this series "Tidewater Inn" to remember the story line as it was a while since I had read it. I couldn't put this book down until I had finished it and since I was on holidays I had the luxury of being able to read it quickly. I couldn't work out the mystery until near the very end, it had me stumped. There is romance also. I loved this book and look forward to the next one in the series. I hope it is not too long for it to come out.
Hope Island. Just the name draws me to want to come and spend time there in quietness. But, all is not as it seems. We were first introduced to the community of Hope Beach in Tidewater Inn, but if you haven't read that one yet, you can always pick it up and read later. Although we do meet the same people, the story is not a continuation. Colleen weaves a sweet romance in with dramatic suspense in her talented writing, and once started, this book is difficult to leave.
As in any small town, but perhaps more so in a rather isolated town, everyone knows each other, or thinks they do, and what they do not know, they assume. And often, rumors become what we take as reality because we have heard them so frequently.
Aside from being a great novel written in Colleen's unique style, this novel has deeper levels. How well do I really know my family? Amy thought she knew Ben, but did she? Curtis felt the secrets he was keeping was honoring his sister, but do we keep secrets because we are trying to shield ourselves? How far would we go to get something we want?
Definitely a novel suspense readers will enjoy.
I received this free book from Amy and Chris at Litfuse Publicity Group and Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions are my own.