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 . . .
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.
Filed in: Black Fiction, Fiction, Reviews, Romance Tags: Black Fiction, Books, Fiction, Review, Rochelle Alers, Romance