If you're looking for a good Christian story filled with suspense, action, and romance, Colleen Coble's Rosemary Cottage is a great choice. The setting is inviting, the characters are well-developed, and the suspense grabs you from the very beginning.
This story illustrates one of the main reasons I read Christian fiction almost exclusively. The love story is an important element in the book. You observe the relationship growing between the characters, but it is presented in a way that is God-honoring; no steamy, inappropriate actions or thoughts are needed to tell their story.
The mystery is well played, up to the very end of the story. I had some of the pieces figured out, but I have to admit that parts of the final resolution caught me completely by surprise.
Rosemary Cottage offers a return to Hope Beach, the setting for the first book in this series, Tidewater Inn. Although the inn and some of the characters from that story show up here, you will have no problem following the story of Rosemary Cottage as a standalone. (Of course, I would recommend you go back and read the first book as well.)
Thanks to the BookSneeze blogging program for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Amy Lange has so many wonderful memories of her and her brother, Ben at Rosemary Cottage and their long hours playing on the beach. But this year Ben isn't with her at Rosemary Cottage but his memory is here. Ben lost his life in a surfing accident. Amy was looking for closure in her brother's death. She may even move her midwife practice to Hope Island.
Amy can't help but wonder if his death was really caused by an accident.
Curtis Ireland has also lost a sibling, his sister, Gina was was killed in a boating accident. She left something very valuable to Curtis's care, Raine, Gina's daughter. Curtis will do anything to protect his niece from intruders. That is until he meets Amy Lange and then his world is turned upside down. But is that a good thing or a bad thing?
This is a nail biting, chills running up your spine, suspenseful story. Your brain will be working overtime to find the secrets that will solve THE mystery. Aside from all the suspense is an on and off romance between Amy and Ben, with littIe Raine in the middle.
I get really into the books I'm reading and forget sometimes that the characters can't hear me giving them some well needed advice.
This author never seems to let me down when I read one of her books and I have read several of them. All winners, in my opinion.
I highly recommend not only this book but this series and especially this author.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson/Litfuse Publicity Group for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. This review is my honest opinion.
In her second installment of her Hope Beach novels, Colleen Coble writes another suspenseful mystery. Amy Lang, a registered midwife, is investigating her brother's suspicious death, as an anonymous email implies that it was no accident. Curtis Ireland has mixed feelings when she shows up - he has always admired her, but her scumbag brother was the father of his niece, and he hasn't gotten around to telling her family yet, since he does not want a custody battle, given that his recently deceased sister left year-old Raine in his care. However, the truth must come out, and Amy and Curtis spend a lot of time together as they discover that the deaths of their siblings seem more and more related.
I like Amy a lot - she is in a profession of which conventional medicine does not wholly approve, and she believes in the delicious healthiness of dairy fats like butter and cream. In addition, she is generally calm and a keeper of the peace; she doesn't like conflict, but she is not crippled by it - she can deal with it effectively. I do not really understand Amy's idea that she constantly hides her true self - she hides her medical issues, but that is a private matter and shouldn't define her; her actions and reactions typically reflect her thoughts, though occasionally she tempers her them so not to cause any more unnecessary upset. So is she hiding herself, or does she have wisdom to know when to sit down and not rock the boat? The personality that I see (having been privy to her thoughts) lines up with the personality the other characters see, so I guess I'm not sure what the author is getting at.
The plot is twisty but easy enough to follow, and the reasons behind the murders and kidnapping fit the perpetrators; and while I was on the right track, I did not actually figure out the mastermind behind the murders. Some things never were explained, though, so I am not sure if they are supposed to be red herrings or what; the drugs in the garden and Dara the Mysterious Man-hungry Modeling Campaigner seem significant for some time, but as events come to a head, they drop out of the plot entirely as the book rushes to an incredibly quick close. Also, the relationship between Amy and Curtis didn't ring completely true for me; they are constantly exploding at each other and then the next time act like nothing happened. Sometimes they are miffed for a few seconds after meeting again, but next thing they are as chummy as ever, at least until one disparages the memory of the others sibling once again, at which point they mentally and/or verbally explode. It happens a lot.
While the main characters seem to be strong Christians, there is not much of a Christian message or lesson to be learned. Other books by Coble do have stronger messages than this one, which I prefer. It was a nice continuation of the series, but "Tidewater Inn" (the first in the series) and some of her other novels are better.