Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Sea Glass Sunrise - Donna Kauffman (Zebra - June 2015)

Series: Brides of Blueberry Cove (Book 1)

In seaside Blueberry Cove, Maine, friends are just another word for family, and big-city politics take a backseat to local pride. But the real treasure on these shores is always love…

When D.C. lawyer Hannah McCrae heads home for her brother’s wedding, she’s dragging a lot of baggage along with her -- and she doesn’t mean suitcases. Betrayed personally, and humiliated professionally, the last thing she wants is a new man. That’s fine with square-jawed, rugged contractor Calder Blue. He and Hannah may be wildly attracted to one another, but all he wants is to build the town’s hotly contested new yacht club and mend a centuries-old family feud. Yet thanks to resentments old and new, day after day the pair wind up tangled in each other’s business -- and maybe soon in each other’s arms.

Every bride needs something “blue”…

Fun start to the new series. Hannah is on her way home for her brother Logan's wedding (Pelican Point). Her family doesn't know that she's coming home to stay after a relationship gone wrong that also wrecked her career, and she hopes to keep it that way until after the wedding. The last thing she expects is to be involved in a car accident and rescued by a hot visitor to the town, putting her "no men" resolution at risk.

Calder Blue is a contractor who has been offered the job of building the new yacht club. He has come to Blueberry Cove to scope out the job, but also to see if he can end a long-standing family feud. Getting involved with a local woman is not on his list of things to do.

The book starts with a bang and doesn't really let up. Hannah is driving through town, thinking about the mess her life is in when she nearly hits another vehicle. Though she misses it, she ends up crashing into a sign hard enough that her airbag deploys, dazing her. I loved this first encounter between Hannah and Calder, as each makes assumptions about the other. I enjoyed their banter as each tries to deal with the situation in their own way. There are also some definite sparks between them which they try to ignore. Over the next twenty-four hours, they run into each other several times, each time in increasingly amusing situations.

Hannah and Calder are both terrific. The disaster back in DC has dented Hannah's confidence in herself, but being back home gives her the chance to rediscover who she really is. I loved seeing her reconnect with her family members and friends and soak up the atmosphere that nourishes her soul. She is intelligent with an awesome sense of humor that really comes out when she's with Calder. Calder is laid back, confident, and charming. He's been burned once and wary of getting involved again. His sense of humor is right up there with Hannah's, and some of their conversations are downright hilarious.

I loved the development of their relationship. The sparks between them are intense each time they encounter each other. I loved how quickly they connected and how easy it was for them to confide in each other. I liked the way that Calder's interest in her helped Hannah get past her treatment by her ex. I also loved how Calder was able to tell Hannah about his suspicions over the yacht club project and her willingness to help him figure out what was going on. The attraction continued to build, and the kisses became even more incendiary. But it wasn't just the physical connection that was growing. Both Calder and Hannah found themselves thinking of each other as far more, and it freaked them each out a little bit. Neither was sure that they could trust something that was moving that fast. However, they hit a bit of a road bump when the yacht club issue escalates, then Calder's father is taken ill, sending him back to his hometown. There's a period of self-doubt that made me want to reach into the book and shake them. Hannah comes to her senses first, and I loved her big moment as she takes a chance on the future she wants. Calder's vulnerabilities show also, but he comes through like a champ.

The underlying mystery of the book was good. One of the residents, Winstock, has plans to build a fancy yacht club and most of the town doesn't want it. The man has been pretty ruthless in his methods of getting it done. Calder is suspicious of why the man wants him as the contractor, especially considering the family feud going on with another of the waterfront owners. Concerns mount when Winstock keeps delaying his meetings with Calder, then an explosion on the docks throws suspicion on Calder. The mood is lightened a little bit as Hannah gets involved in defending Calder to her brother, the police chief. Calder's and Hannah's investigations raise more questions than answers until one piece of information suddenly makes all clear. But it may not be soon enough, as a situation arises that puts a little girl's life at risk. Calder reaches hero status with his actions in a tense confrontation. The revelation of the culprit was a bit of a surprise, as it was not who I thought it was.

I loved the closeness of the McCrae family. Hannah, Fiona, and Kerry each have their own distinct personalities, but their love for each other and Logan is obvious. I loved the stories that they told about each other. I also loved how they had each other's backs at all times. Fiona's appearance at Hannah's accident was heartwarming and hilarious. The events leading up to the wedding, instigated and planned by Fiona were a riot to see. I loved Hannah's protectiveness in keeping her problems to herself until after the wedding so that she didn't ruin the happiness of it. Fiona sometimes seems manic in her actions, until it comes out that she's going through some issues of her own. Kerry just seems wild most of the time, but I have the feeling that she's hiding some issues of her own. I am looking forward to reading their stories.

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