Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Book Review: "Surrender Bay" by Denise Hunter

When Samantha Owen's estranged stepfather dies, she inherits his cottage in Nantucket--a place she left years ago, never planning to return. As a single mom, Sam can't afford to pass up on a financial windfall like ocean-front property. So she travels home to fix up the house and sell it . . . never suspecting that Landon Reed still lives two doors down. As their long-dormant romance begins to bud again, Sam must face the fact that Landon still doesn't know why she left the island. Will the secrets she's hidden all these years tear them apart . . . or is Landon's love really as unconditional as he claims?

Denise Hunter has a way of drawing the reader into the story that many authors seem not to be able to accomplish. Every time I read one of her books, I immediately get sucked into the minds of the characters and the setting to become one with the story. With this book the reader travels to Nantucket Beach, a place where Samantha never wanted to return. Her past is something she wanted to leave behind but circumstances have brought her back. She brings along her young daughter who wants to know about her past but doesn't have all the details. Sam's return to the beach house brings her back in contact with her childhood friend Landon who was devastated at Sam's sudden leaving years ago.

While I really enjoyed the story, there were times when Sam really got on my nerves. I understood why she had built up this wall around her and her distrust in men. However she began to fall into the stereotype of women who always go after the bad guy instead of the good guy. Landon was a GOOD guy without being unreal. There was nothing wrong with him yet for some reason Sam either could not or refused to see this and insisted on continually hurting him. She would go after guys she knew were not good for her and would treat her horribly. Therefore it would get on my nerves to see her treat Landon like dirt and he still keep trying to pursue her.

Even though this is a Christian fiction book, it is not preachy at all. In fact it is more allegory/parable than a straight up Christian book. There is no mention of anything Christian at all in the book. It may be a love story but it's not a perfect or even pretty love story. Hunter has written an extremely put together book and I really enjoyed traveling to Nantucket and meeting the characters. If you enjoy women's fiction, this is a great book to pick up.

Surrender Bay by Denise Hunter is published by Thomas Nelson (2007)

This ARC was provided by the publisher

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