Tuesday, April 14, 2015

"The Inn at Ocean's Edge" by Colleen Coble ~ A Review

Sunset Cove Series #1

Publisher's Description:
In 1989, Claire Dellamare disappeared from her own fourth birthday party at the Hotel Tourmaline on the island of Folly Shoals, Maine. She showed up a year later at the same hotel, with a note pinned to her dress but no explanation. Nobody knows where Claire spent that year—and until now, Claire didn’t even know she had ever been missing. But when Claire returns to the Hotel Tourmaline for a business meeting with her CEO father, disturbing memories begin to surface . . . despite her parents’ best efforts to keep them forgotten. Luke Rocco lost his mother under equally mysterious circumstances—at the same time Claire disappeared. After a chance encounter reveals the unlikely link between them, Claire and Luke set out together to uncover the truth about what happened that fateful year. With flashbacks swimming just beneath her consciousness and a murderer threatening her safety, Claire’s very life depends on unscrambling her past . . . even if her family refuses to acknowledge it. Someone—maybe everyone—is hiding something from Claire Dellamare, and it will cost her everything to drag the truth out into the light.

My Thoughts: 
Suspense,  twists and turns, a bit of romance, family lies, deception, murder.  These are the ingredients that make up this newest novel from Colleen Coble.  When Claire shows up at the Hotel Tourmaline unannounced to help her father with a company merger, she has a confusing panic attack right in the hotel lobby.  This sets off a whole series of events that has her witnessing a murder nobody believes happened, memories surfacing from her childhood and a mult-layered mystery that involves not only her family but that of Luke Rocco, whose mother went missing from the same area when he was just a small child.  As Claire starts having flashbacks that confuse her someone is trying to keep her permanently quiet.  Together her and Luke work on putting the pieces together and in the process find an attraction to each other.   Add to the mix a young woman named Kate who is bent on meeting up with her father who disengaged from her life when she was just a child.  Though her mom begs her to leave things be because it would change their lives she is determined to find and confront the man who blatantly walked away from her and left her life in confusion.  All things conspire to bring these individuals together in a mystery that threatens to overtake them all unless Claire and Luke manage to unscramble her past.

I really enjoyed this book.  It grabbed me from the beginning pages where a young girl witnesses a man in confrontation with a woman and runs to hide and then through the rest of the story as the many layers of lies are revealed.  I never really guessed until the very end  what the full story was.  Just when I thought maybe I had an idea another twist or revealed lie would surface.  The story is complex with two families lives being laid out, both involving mysteries of missing persons but it was never confusing, mysterious yes, but not confusing.  In the author's notes, she explains she wanted to explore family, both blood ties and other connections that make someone feel like family.  The trials and how they reacted to them shaped the people in this book, some for the better and some for the worse, and that is explored through the story.  The only thing that stood out to me as a negative in the story was the familiarity of the usage of the term "Honey" that Luke would call Claire very early on in their relationship, even while they were yet just acquaintances.  It just struck me as odd and pretentious and every time he said it it annoyed me.  Other than that small detail, I really enjoyed this page turner and am looking forward the next in the series.  Recommended.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson Publishing for providing this book free of charge for my honest review.  All thoughts and opinions were my own and I'm not required to give a positive review.

The Inn at Ocean's Edge is available for purchase here.


Faith said...

Oh i think i would LOVE this book!! going on the "look for" list for my library bag! :)

Barbara H. said...

I read a number of her books years ago about a rescue dog and his owner that I really enjoyed. This sounds very good.