Review: Sanctuary Cove by Rochelle Alers
Friday February 17, 2012 at 12:00 am |

Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Copyright: 2012
Publish Date: January 12, 2012
Pages: 338
Form: Paperback
Series: Cavanaugh Island (1)
Author: Rochelle Alers
Buy the Book: B&N | Book Depository

Still reeling from her husband’s untimely death, Deborah Robinson needs a fresh start. So she decides to pack up her family, box up her bookstore, and return to her grandmother’s ancestral home on Cavanaugh Island. The charming town of Sanctuary Cove holds happy memories for Deborah. And, after she spies a gorgeous stranger in the local bakery, it promises the possibility for a bright, new future.

Dr. Asa Monroe is at a crossroads. Ever since the loss of his family, he has been on a quest for faith and meaning, traveling from one town to another. When he meets Deborah, the beautiful bookstore owner with the warm eyes and sunny smile, Asa believes he has finally found a reason to stay in one place.

As friendship blossoms into romance, Deborah and Asa discover they may have a second chance at love. But small towns have big secrets. Before they can begin their new life together, the couple must confront a challenge they never expected . . .

My Thoughts:

I had high hopes for this book.  The blurb sounded interesting and I was drawn to the simple, yet colorful cover.  Sadly this book failed to impress me and on more than one occasion I wanted to toss it against the wall.  While I read well over half of this book, I got to the point where I was so annoyed that I was uninterested in finishing.  I hate to even say that about anyone’s hard work, but it’s the truth which begs the fact that everything ain’t for everybody.

While I had major issues with this book, there was one aspect that I did like and it’s probably what kept me reading as long as I did.  I really liked the small-town, close knit community the author created.  I’ve always been a fan of small-town, everybody knows everybody settings because they’re comfortable and cozy.  They allow you to see the main character through the eyes of those that know them well and grew up with them.

But while the atmosphere was nice I couldn’t get into the book.  The two leads are kind of boring and forgettable and though they both had sad things happen to them, it seemed everything presently was just too perfect.  There were no obstacles, everything always fell into place, and problems were always solved too easily.  This is not realistic and didn’t help me believe in the story or the characters.

Perhaps the biggest problems I had with the book stemmed mainly from the dialogue.  Many times I found that the characters would talk and relay way too much information at once.  Which made them seem unnatural and rehearsed.  Also, there were many times I just couldn’t follow the characters conversation.  Someone would say something and it would be followed up with a response that either had nothing to do with the first statement or just made no sense.  A lot of the dialogue just seemed forced and weird and the attempts at humor fell flat.

Another issue I had was the contradictory behavior of Dr. Asa Monroe.  At one point in the novel he’s musing that he wants Deborah to heal and get over her deceased husband like he did with his deceased wife and son.  But whenever anyone asks him about his past and his life, he is unwilling to answer, shuts down and makes no mention of losing his family in a tragic car accident.  Which lets me know he is not healed and is still just as broken and unsure as Deborah.

While I think this book had great potential, there were just too many things within the story and the writing that distracted me from getting into the book and enjoying it.  I’m sure this is a great story for someone out there, but unfortunately I was less than impressed.

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Written by Jade

Jade is a book blogger from NC. In her spare time she loves to read and build and maintain websites. She has been reading since she was four and building websites since she was 16. was born on March 8, 2011 and is a fantastic merging of her two favorite hobbies. Enjoy your stay!

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6 Responses to “Review: Sanctuary Cove by Rochelle Alers”

  1. Thanks for the honest review. I’ve only read one book by Ms. Alers and I had the same experience. I didn’t notice the dialogue thing. I do remember thinking that the characters just didn’t seem real and there was little to no actual problem in the book. I agree that there are many who will like these books though.

    • Jade Jade says:

      Well I’m glad to know I’m not the only one. People usually rave over her books and I can see the appeal for some. But this failed to draw me in, and with no conflict it was very blah.

  2. The blur did sound good, but I don’t think I would read this one. I’m sorry it didn’t meet your expectations. When you have a hard time finishing a book, it’s hard to keep reading.

  3. La Toya says:

    Dang girl that sucks. Love that you were still able to give a really good review despite not loving it so much. But you’re right, everything ain’t for everybody.

  4. Missie says:

    Yup, not everything is for everyone, so don’t beat yourself up. I like reading about small towns too, but not if the main characters are boring. Thanks for your honest review, Jade! I hope your next read is much better.

  5. Aww, it’s too bad that this book fell flat for you! The blurb really does look cool and the cover definitely draws me in, but it’s always harder to enjoy a book that doesn’t have that WOW factor. I’d choose twisting and surprisingly complicated stories over ones that wrap up cleanly any day! x)

    Still, even though you didn’t like this book as much as you hoped, this was a really awesome review, Jade! Just like complicated stories, I’d pick honest ones like yours to read any day too! <3