Sand Castle Bay by Sherryl Woods
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 26th 2013 by Harlequin MIRA
ISBN 0778314367 (ISBN13: 9780778314363)
Series: Ocean Breeze #1
When a hurricane wreaks havoc on the North Carolina town of Sand Castle Bay, the Castle sisters return home to help their grandmother, Cora Jane, get her restaurant back in running order. Gabi doesn't have far to go as she also lives in North Carolina, Samantha arrives from New York, and Emily arrives from the West Coast. As they begin the clean up process, Emily discovers that her high school sweetheart, who she's not seen in ten years, is a widow with a young son. What she's not sure she can do is clean up the mess she left when she left him ten years ago.
This is the first one in the Ocean Breeze series and my first time reading one of Sherryl's series from the beginning. After absolutely falling in love with the O'Brian family from the Chesapeake Shores series, I was a little worried at first that I wouldn't know the characters and wouldn't have a strong connection with them. Ha, I should have known...I don't know how Sherryl does it. She has a way of creating such strong characters and such a sense of family that you can't help but feel a part of them.
I was rooting for Emily and Boone from the beginning. I won't say I understood why Emily left Boone ten years ago, but I do understand her worries with beginning a relationship with him now. She's finally at a good point in her career where it can become more meaningful to her and have a purpose other than just income. She is willing to make concessions in order to try to make a relationship work, but not ready to completely step away from her career.
Boone is such a gentle, lovable man. He tries to be as honest as possible, but is not willing to compromise just yet, which is understandable seeing as how he's raising his son BJ by himself. And on top of that he has a mother-n-law, Jodie, who was, understandably so, devastated when she lost her daughter. However, what Jodie does is wrong, threatening to take away her grandson from his father. Left me shaking my head A LOT!! (I find the mil's name hilarious, as that is MY name! It was very weird to read a book with my name in it, spelled exactly like mine, and have that character just really rub me the wrong way. I felt like I didn't like myself. ha!)
I could really go on and on about this book. I just loved it! The characters were very realistic, completely lovable, and I can't wait to reconnect with them in the next book of the series.
For my Christian readers, this is a secular read and I've added the "speak no evil" book because there was ONE use of profanity in the book. It was close to the end and the situation was intense, so for me, I just overlooked it and it took nothing away from the story for me. I've also added the "see no evil" book because there was premarital relations, but none of them were described in any explicit detail. You just knew what happened. Just wanted to be honest and share those points with those that may be looking for strictly Christian fiction.
I was graciously provided a free digital copy of this book from Harlequin/MIRA in partnership with NetGalley to review it. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.
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