Linda Reads: You’re The One By Robin Kaye

This is book two in Robin Kaye’s Bad Boys of Red Hook series.  They do not have to be read in order.  Book one is Back To You and is available at the Cheshire Library.  The series concentrates on three men who bounced around the foster care system until a New York cop took them under his wing.

You’re The One centers around Logan Blaise, the manager of a successful Napa Valley winery.  He’s engaged to the winery’s owner’s daughter and living the high life.  When his foster father becomes ill, Logan heads back to New York to temporarily oversee his father’s restaurant, the Crow’s Nest.  No sooner does he arrive, the chef has a family emergency and has to quit.

Skye Maxwell comes from a famous restaurant family in San Francisco.  She has four brothers who were gifted with their own restaurants on their 30th birthday.  Being an exceptional chef, all Skye has ever wanted was a kitchen/restaurant of her own and she expects to receive her own restaurant on her 30th birthday.   Instead, she is promoted to Business Manager of all the family restaurants.   Devastated,  she very quietly and secretly disappears.  She heads to New York City, hoping  to find a job as a chef on her own merits, not on her family’s reputation.   She ends up in Brooklyn and stumbles upon the chef wanted sign in the Crow’s Nest’s window.

Right away there is an attraction between Logan and Skye – a love/hate attraction.  Both characters have to overcome formidable obstacles in their pursuit of love, happiness, independence, and acceptance.  Both have families interfering with their journey, both have self-doubts to overcome, but neither one can deny the incredible chemistry that exists between them.

Ms. Kaye writes a heartwarming, believable story set in the wonderful backdrop of Brooklyn and San Francisco.  It is warm, funny and very entertaining.  Secondary characters add another interesting layer to a very well-written story.

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: Sand Castle Bay by Sherryl Woods

Sherryl Woods is a master storyteller when it comes to bringing small town living alive with warmth, emotions, and character-driven stories.

Sand Castle Bay is the first book in her new trilogy Ocean Breeze.  Emily Castle, the youngest of three sisters, is a very successful interior designer on the West Coast.  She left her life in North Carolina to follow her dreams.  She also left behind the man she loved, Boone Dorsett, a successful restaurateur.  A hurricane barreling straight towards her grandmother’s home has Emily heading back to North Carolina.

Neither Emily nor Boone were looking forward to seeing each other, but it was inevitable.  There is still a lot of built-up emotion between the two.  The hurt, betrayal, and misunderstandings of ten years ago still lingers.  The author weaves a captivating story of these two characters working out their differences to get a second chance at love.  There are complications thrown in – Boone’s young son and his ex in-laws – and trust issues, and it is all told with such attention to detail you feel you are part of the story.  The supporting characters draw you in and make you feel like part of the community.  The author beautifully sets the background for Emily’s two sisters and their stories, and I can’t wait to read the next two books in the trilogy.