Libby Holladay, owner of a company that restores old buildings, finds herself reeling after her business partner, Nicole, discovers a link to Libby's past while scouting out properties on beautiful Hope Island. Not only does Nicole inform Libby that she has just inherited the grand Tidewater Inn- a landmark of the island- but that Libby also has a brother and sister that she never knew existed. However, before Libby can process this new branch in her family tree, she witnesses Nicole's kidnapping on a beachcam and races to Hope Island to find her friend and kidnappers. As the novel progresses, Libby is introduced to her not-so-welcoming siblings, explores the now somewhat dilapidated Tidewater Inn, and meets Alec, a Coast Guard Lieutenant, who helps her search for Nicole and becomes a romantic interest.
I rarely give poor reviews, but I just couldn't help it with this one. There were so many scenarios in the book that were so completely unrealistic that it almost became comical. Would Alec's nephew really not put two and two together and make the connection that the lady he delivers supplies to could be the woman who was kidnapped that the entire town is talking about? And, how about the hurricane- I doubt Nicole would survive it on a tiny deserted island with a shanty shack as her only protection (which of course was still left standing after the hurricane!). I could go on and on with more examples, but I might risk spoiling the plot. I was also disappointed in the romance between Libby and Alec. It just seemed a little forced to me. This was my first read by Coble. Hopefully, the next one will be better.
This review contains my own thoughts and opinions. I have not been compensated for this review in any way.
I love all of Colleen Coble's novels and this story is no exception! Colleen has you gripping the edge of your seat from the very first page! While the story is a little unrealistic (they don't call it "fiction" for nothing!), it is still exceptionally written. Most of the time, I can guess how the mystery is going to play out. Colleen does an excellent job of keeping you guessing until the very end. My suspicions were completely wrong! I love that type of story!
Libby, as a rather new Christian, is faced with obstacle after obstacle. It was great to go through her spiritual growth journey with her. She is also a strong, yet tender and loving female lead character. She would be someone I looked up to. Alec is a good, godly man. Yet, Colleen Coble gives him enough human characteristics to make him normal. He struggles just like any other man. With a cast of secondary characters like Vanessa, Brent, and Aunt Pearl, the story is never boring or drama-less. It was also nice to catch up with Bree and Kade from the Rock Harbor series!
The overall theme of the story - greed and generosity (as stated by Colleen herself) - is repeated through the decisions and situations the characters deal with. The story repeatedly makes them ask the time old question: "What Would Jesus Do?" Facing trials and tribulations is part of every life, but especially Christians. As Alec is quick to point out, "Being a Christian doesn't mean trouble never comes our way... It just means God is here, and he gives us the grace to get through the heartache." When a particular decision has to be made that is really hard, the reward can be equally great.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story, as I do all of Colleen Coble's works. I highly recommend this story as well as any of her other works!
Libby's friend and business partner was kidnapped before her horrified eyes from Hope Beach. The family she never knew she had until her father died doesn't like her and is extremely antagonistic. The Inn she inherited requires a lot of work and capital. Is it hopeless? A dream come true has become a nightmare.
Colleen Coble's first in her Hope Beach series is a winner. The characters are believable and lovable. The mystery is daunting. The romance is intriguing. You'll love every minute you spend on Hope Beach. This one gets 5 stars - can't wait for the next book in the series to find out more!
After reading Tidewater Inn, I am excited to read more in this series. The storyline kept my interest all the way through the book. There is a nice love story threading its way through, as well.
At the beginning of the book, Libby witnesses the abduction of her friend and business partner, Nicole. This abduction is viewed over a web cam from hours away. Libby immediately contacts the authorities and the search for her partner begins. Along the way, Libby must deal with learning that there is family that she didn't know existed. These family members don't just fold her into their group and love her_it's a battle to try to get them to accept her. She must also face suspicion by law enforcement and attempts on her life. Figuring out who to trust will be key.
The characters are well-written and the plot was enjoyable. I must say that I was pretty surprised when the villain was revealed. Good, solid romantic suspense.
I have to admit that this was a difficult read for me. I was only aware of Colleen Coble's historical romances, and this was the first time I ever have come in contact with a more contemporary romance from this author. I have to admit that the first portion of this book was rather slow for me. I actually did not think I would like it very much at all.
But as I got into the book more, the author drew me into the story. The mystery became quite intriguing, and I found myself not wanting to put the book down. I cared about the characters, and I wanted to know if everything worked out all right. I found myself often on the edge of my seat.
I began to see the things that I know in love in this author's works. I found romance, history, and a strong faith in God. God is real in this story, and you see His hand at every turn. Bad things happen, but somehow it all works together for good. It either brings people running back to God or else people turn their backs on Him. Everyone has to make the decision about what they must do with God.
I did enjoy the portions that the author inserted concerning the history of this sleepy island. Being a lover of historical fiction, I am so glad to have found this in a contemporary romance. I don't know if I would have enjoyed it as much without this!
This is truly a well-crafted story. Do not let the slow story keep you from pressing on. In the end, all will make sense. You will appreciate every detail the author gives you. And it is, of course, a bonus that there is no profanity or sex scenes! Justice is served, and all is explained in the end. And I bet you won't figure everything out!
If you have a day or two to set aside for a riveting read that will keep you guessing at every turn, this is definitely the book for you. You won't regret picking up this book!
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.