Linda reads : Wind Chime Point and Sea Glass Island by Sherryl Woods

Wind Chime Point is book two of the Ocean Breeze Trilogy.  It would be helpful to read the first book, Sand Castle Bay, although the author does a wonderful job of tying in book one’s story.

Hardworking, ambitious, and independent Gabriella Castle is facing personal and professional challenges that prove too daunting for her to handle alone.  She retreats to her grandmother’s home in Sand Castle Bay, NC. and the welcoming arms of her family.

Wade Johnson is a cabinet-maker and wood-carver with a tragic and secret past.  He’s been intrigued by Gabriella whenever she’s visited and is happy when she returns to town.  He’s also a friend of Emily’s finance, Boone.

Gabi is having a lot of trouble deciding what to do about her future.  For the first time in her life, she is plagued with doubts and uncertainty.  She finds a friend in Wade and his easy-going style and good listening skills are both helpful and comforting.  She didn’t expect or plan for her feelings for Wade to blossom into love.  Wade knew he had strong feelings for Gabi, but he is unsure if he’s ready to take the next step.

Although this book focuses mainly on Gabi and Wade, the secondary characters play an important part in the story.  Gabi’s sister Emily is busy planning her wedding and her other sister, Samantha is facing her own crisis about her           career.  Grandmother Cora Jane is still playing matchmaker and the sister’s  father, Sam, has an expanded role in this book.

Sea Glass Island is the third and final book of the trilogy.  Samantha has been living in New York City pursuing her dream of being an actress.  But lately, the parts she auditions for are all going to younger actresses.  She goes home to North Carolina for her sister’s wedding and to reflect on what to do with her life.

Ethan Cole is a doctor at the local clinic in town.  He lost a leg while serving in Afghanistan, and his fiance dumped him shortly thereafter.  He’s having a hard time overcoming the hurt caused by his finance.  He doesn’t know that Samantha has had a crush on him since high school, or that her family is relentless on their determination to get them together.

There are several interesting subplots in this book and plot lines from the previous two books are tied up quite nicely.

These are  captivating, realistic, heartwarming romances.   The setting is a place you want to visit and the characters are people you want to know.  This is a character-driven trilogy with witty dialogue, beautifully descriptive scenes, warm and loving family interactions, and sweet love stories.  This trilogy is Ms. Woods best work yet.

BOOK REVIEW: Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts

I have mixed feelings about this latest book from Nora Roberts.  It was very good –  entertaining, intriguing, enjoyable – but it just didn’t flow as well as some of her other books.

Eli Landon is a Boston lawyer who endured an intense year being accused of murdering his soon-to-be ex-wife.  There wasn’t enough evidence and the case was dismissed, but his reputation, life and career are ruined.  He needs to get away and he chooses to go to his family’s home in Whiskey Beach, Mass.  Bluff House has sat above Whiskey Beach for more than 300 years and not only is it stunning in its appearance, it holds the key to a long ago mystery of death, treasure, and betrayal.  Eli not only needs to heal from his ordeal, but he has promised his grandmother, who lives at Bluff House, but is currently recuperating in Boston from a fall, that he would look after the house.

Abra Walsh has been caring for Bluff House and Gran for a few years now.  She was once a mover and shaker in Washington, D.C., but has escaped to Whiskey Beach to become a jill-of-all-trades:  maid, cook, massage therapist, yoga instructor, jewelry maker.  She, too, is escaping a terrible ordeal and chose Whiskey Beach to do her healing.

It takes awhile for Ms. Roberts to give the reader some insight to Abra’s past and Eli’s troubles.  The story moves a bit sluggishly.  But the characters have vintage Roberts’ charm and likeability.  You are still drawn into the story (there is danger, murder, mystery, pirate treasure and romance) and are anxious to read the book to its conclusion.  The characters are multi-faceted and likeable, although Abra Walsh seems just a little too good to be true.  I was quite disappointed in the ending.  It took a long time to get there, then was hurried and stingy in details.  But the theme of love, trust, and friendship ring true.

Nora Roberts fans will enjoy this book, she truly has never written a bad book.  It just doesn’t have the “zing” some of her other books have.