I'm always impressed when authors can pull off writing in several genres and keep my interest in all of them! From contemporary romance to historical fiction to intriguing suspense, I've enjoyed everything I've read by Colleen Coble so far!
Within the first pages of Tidewater Inn, Coble packs a powerful punch with a kidnapping and the surprise that Libby's father (thought to be dead for 20+ years) only recently died. Throw in the fact that the police and townspeople are convinced that Libby isn't as innocent as she seems, and I knew I was in for a treat! The quick pace and writing style were right up my alley. And the cast of characters was diverse enough to keep me wondering who would come out of the woodwork next! I loved the setting of Hope Beach and told my husband that we needed to find a little island like it for our next vacation! A few times I felt like the story jumped a little, but it was never enough to pull me out of the book. I also was really confused at how quickly some of the relationships/friendships developed.
Overall, though, the book was wonderful. The suspense was intriguing and I was completely surprised by the ending. I also loved the romance that developed between Libby and Alec. And Aunt Pearl was the perfect addition to the story! The faith elements were strong without being preachy, and I really liked how the changes in several characters took place. I'm definitely looking forward to the next in this series. [4 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity and Thomas Nelson in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Beautiful beach, fear, distrust, kidnapping, greed
August 8, 2012
Age: Over 65
About the book: Welcome to Hope Beach. A place of intoxicating beauty . . . where trouble hits with the force of a hurricane.
Inheriting a beautiful old hotel on the Outer Banks could be a dream come true for Libby. The inn cries out for her restorer's talent and love of history. She's delighted to learn of the family she never knew she had. And the handsome Coast Guard lieutenant she's met there on the island could definitely be the man of her dreams.
But Libby soon realizes that the only way she can afford the upkeep on the inn is to sell it to developers who are stalking the island. The father who willed her the inn has died before she could meet him, and her newfound brother and sister are convinced she's there to steal their birthright. Worst of all, her best friend and business partner has been kidnapped before her eyes, and Libby's under suspicion for the crime.
Libby's dream come true is becoming a nightmare. Her only option is to find her friend and prove her innocence, or lose everything on the shores of Hope Island.
My thoughts: Although Colleen Coble is an established writer with an assortment of books to her credit, Tidewater Inn is the first book by her that I recall reading. Friends, I don't think it will be the last one, though. When given the opportunity to review Tidewater Inn, I thought, "Now this should be interesting to see how she treats my beloved North Carolina shore line and its people." You see, I'm a North Carolina native and was raised in Wilmington which is the southernmost tip of the state whereas the Outer Banks is the upper shoreline of our ragged coastline. So I wasn't reading it as one who has never seen the ocean roil or the wind guest. Nor seen the gulls at play along the sand dunes and foaming waters of the Atlantic. No, I'd played in that surf and swam in the calm inland waters as well as the mighty ocean swells. So what did I find that Ms. Coble had to say and how she positioned her characters?
I had trouble "finding" Hope Island, but we do give writers a bit of license with some details. I could "see" the island because there is much off the coast of North Carolina in the way of broken shore lines and bits and pieces of land. Her description of the ocean and the troubles of a category 1 hurricane hitting at high tide are "right on."
But the story is not just about the shores of North Carolina, it is a story of people. Of danger. Of greed. Of kindness and of anger. Of discovery and of secrets. Of faith and reconciliation. It is a gentle love story. It is a story of triumph over evil and deception.
Our main characters are Libby and Alex. Libby is a historical architect looking at property on Hope Island with her business partner Nicole. Alex is a Hope island resident fisherman and Coast Guard officer.
The story opens with Libby preparing for her trip to Hope Island when her world is shattered as her business partner and friend, Nicole is kidnapped in view of a cam camera and Libby just happens to see it via her computer. From that point on, the story runs. So hold your breath, sit tight, and get ready for a twisting, turning, tantalizing story that will keep you guessing who, what, and when until the very end.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of Tidewater Inn by Litfuse Publicity Group on behalf of Thomas Nelson Publishers and the author, Colleen Coble in exchange for a review expressing my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own and no requirement for a positive review was required.
Tidewater Inn is Colleen's first book set on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The setting plays a strong role in this book -- I can't imagine the story taking place anywhere else.
Libby inherits a hotel from a father she thought died years earlier. The problem is her friend has disappeared and now the cops are looking at her. A Coast Guard lieutenant tries to find her friend, but isn't sure what to think about Libby. The plot twists and turns through a hurricane and the race to fine her missing friend. Through in love, sibling rivalry and the decision whether she can keep the inn keep the plot moving. This is a cast and locale that I loved and can't wait to return in another book. Please?!?
Libby and Nicole are in the business of restoring historical buildings along the east coast. While Libby looks at one possible project, she sends Nicole to Hope Beach to begin work on another project. But Nicole finds more than a restoration project on the island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Nicole arranged for Libby to watch her on a beach cam as they talk on the phone. But to Libby's horror, she watches as two men kidnap Nicole.
That is just the first of many mysteries Libby encounters as she arrives on Hope Island. She is surprised to find that she has inherited a large inn from the father she thought was long dead. She also has siblings she didn't know existed. As Libby tries to find her kidnapped friend and understand her newly found family situation, she becomes a suspect in Nicole's kidnapping. Even when some of Nicole's clothing washes up on a beach, Libby refuses to believe her closest friend is dead.
This is another good novel from Coble. She develops a good mystery along with a supporting romance. You learn about life on the Outer Banks islands, especially one accessible only by boat. There is a strong theme of Christian character and growth as well as restoration of severed relationships. You get to experience a little history too as a cave on the island contains a pirate stash.
I felt there were some minor problems with the novel. Libby has a personal history that plays into this novel and I was surprised this was the first in a series. I thought there had been a previous novel setting the stage for this one. Also, there seemed to be a real disconnect between the character of Libby's father years ago and his character later in life. There was never any explanation for the change. Also, Coble created quite a red herring as to who arranged Nicole's kidnapping. I felt that red herring was a loose end not tied up at the novel's conclusion.
Nonetheless, this is a great summer read. I look forward to more in the series.
I received a complimentary egalley from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
I recently read Tidewater Inn by Colleen Coble. I've been wanting to read one of Coble's books for a long time, so when I logged onto Booksneeze and saw that Tidewater Inn was one of my review options, I jumped on it.
This book is about Libby who finds out that her father, who she thought was dead for years, has just died and left her a historic inn in Hope Beach, a small town on the outer banks. On top of trying to connect with a family she never knew she had, Libby must also search for her business partner who has been kidnapped in the area.
I thought this book was enjoyable. The characters were likable, and even though it seemed to start out slow, the mystery aspect that became apparent in the second half of the book kept me reading to the end.
There was a nice little romance thrown in, and Libby struggles throughout the book with how to treat her new siblings, who are acting hostile toward her, in a Christ-like manner.
This was a suspense/mystery book that included lessons to be learned, without being too heavy or serious. I think it would be a great vacation/beach read, and I'm definitely going to check out some of Coble's other books!
Note: I was given this book for free by Booksneeze in exchange for this review. This is my honest opinion of the book.