About the Book:
Author: Colleen Coble
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: Litfuse / Publisher, ARC
Publication Date: 2014
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Series: Hope Beach, Book 3
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romance / Mystery
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Review: Any new book announcement with this authors name in it is one I take notice of. With exception to one or two of Colleen’s historical novels, when I crack open the pages of her latest novel, I am nearly always confident of a pleasing literary journey. No matter the premise, her books always seem to show up on my yearly to read list because in her writing, readers are fortunate to find that happy medium lighthearted contemporary romance and a slight “edge” of mystery that isn’t terrifying nevertheless is “edgy” enough to dismiss it from falling into the parameters of being considered “cozy mystery.” Without being strictly a mystery, this third novel in her latest series is a more unique premise and is as sweet as its predecessors. Secrets are something Elin Summerhill has lived with for the three years she was married. She existed on little affection and grew comfortable in the chasm between her and husband Tim. Now two years later, Elin is moving on after his death, she’s a single mother and recovering from a heart transplant. Only trouble is, she is experiencing nightmares, dreams of her donor’s murder – and she’s convinced the killer is after her. Enter Mark Everton, an FBI agent – an old acquaintance who is a cousin of Elin’s best friend, and a part of her past she’d rather forget. He’s the one person who may be able to help Elin and the one person whose help she doesn’t want.
Pinning down exactly what it is I enjoy about Colleen’s books isn’t easy. I’m not sure which component in her writing continually pulls me in, but what I do know, whatever the curiosity it always keeps me eagerly flipping the pages. Each of the “Hope Beach” novels have been the breezy kind of reads that define the term “beach read,” and while its setting does play host to reason why, it’s the deeper scars of the characters and its premise that keeps us engrossed (not to mention wishing we had a private beach to walk). Each one of the novelist’s books has unique individualities that could be pulled out of their respective pages or nice things that might be said about their characters, it’s the inclusive impression of each story (what we are left with) and its sweetness which ensures the authenticity of the emotional markers posed. Despite not usually being a fan of the “one too many” character adage crop up – usually because in my valuation, this lessens the importance of the role the main players should play, I enjoyed meeting Sara and the various family members who surround Mark and Elin. They were supportive and endearingly annoying in equal measures, plus no matter how brief it was fun to again meet up with the “Coastie” teammates that featured in the first and second books. The progression of Mark and Elin is nice as is the climax of the mystery – this story handles the lighter themes vs. the tense mystery very well.
Something I found interesting to explore was Elin’s fear that she was losing pieces of herself every day. She saw it reflected in what her aging mother was going through and her fear confronted her each night when her dreams would remind her that someone had died, and because of that, Elin was able to live. Her changing personality frightened her and unlike most heroines, I thought that angle was one that had a great deal of depth. While I still think Tidewater Inn holds my favorite spot of this series, this third book comes in a close second. Between the distinctive out-of-body-like mystery (something that could have gone horribly sideways if it didn’t have a skilled hand crafting it) that begs to be solved and its beautiful nuances – the descriptions of a day spent on the beach or an important conversation between two people who are lost by their misconception of one another, this novel defines a “perfect summer read.” It’s a simple, lovely story with hints of history fused with the contemporary – and Colleen Coble combined everything with her signature of elegance.
Read what others are saying about Seagrass Pier.
Synopsis: In a secluded corner of Hope Beach, one woman must decipher a stranger’s memories . . . before they cost her everything.
Elin Summerall was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she get a heart transplant, but the donor was a perfect fit. A miraculously perfect fit.
But when Elin begins having violent flashbacks–and vivid dreams of being strangled–she realizes that she has been the recipient of more than just a new heart . . . Elin is remembering her donor’s murder.
Her strange affliction has attracted some unwanted attention: from the press, from the authorities . . . and from the killer himself. Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked–by a man she’s only met in her nightmares.
The police are dubious of her story, but one off-duty FBI agent is eager to help her: Agent Marc Everton, the father of Elin’s daughter.
Of course, he doesn’t know about that. Yet.
Now, in a remote cottage on Hope Island, Elin and Marc must probe the secrets buried in her borrowed heart. And there’s no time to waste. One man is desperate to silence her–before she remembers too much. – Goodreads
Sincere thanks to Litfuse for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.
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