Sunday, February 26, 2012

Book Review: "Love Finds You in Sunset Beach, Hawaii" by Robin Jones Gunn

Summary from the publisher: When a wealthy friend offers Sierra Jensen a vacation at an oceanfront beach house, she envisions a quiet retreat where she can plan her next move. Instead, she arrives at the start of the noisy surfing competitions and is surprised to learn that her friend had an ulterior motive—namely, introducing Sierra to Jordan Bryce, the tenant staying below them. Jordan is a photographer whose lens and attention are focused on the surfers, and he is not willing to let anyone get in his way of landing the next cover shot for Surf Days magazine.

Sierra and Jordan came to Sunset Beach looking for different things. But as the surf pounds the North Shore, will they discover something better than either of them had imagined?

Reading this book totally made me feel nostalgic. I grew up reading the Sierra Jensen books (as well as the Christy Miller series) by Robin Jones Gunn and have been eagerly awaiting to see what would happen to this favorite character of mine. When the series ended, I will admit that things did not turn out the way that I had hoped. I was a little ticked off at how one character chose to treat Sierra and I felt her pain. I am glad that with this book, time has healed wounds (for both Sierra and me).

I also love books set in Hawaii and since Gunn had spent many times there (and now currently
lives there) she really knows the setting. I felt like I was drawn into a paradise but not one that is entirely free of faults. What I have always appreciated from Gunn is her ability to portray realistic characters with real emotions that don't act too good to be true. Sierra is just one of those characters. She is torn between many feelings in this book such as her relationship with others (her sister, her former love, her roommate, the new guy) and decisions about her future. She does not come looking for love around every corner even though she does yearn for true love. Jordan is the same. He is not your typical romance hero, he is concentrating on his work and just happens to find love at the same time.

This is not your typical romance story which I greatly appreciated. I never once felt like I was reading something that made me want to roll my eyes because it was so unrealistic. Sierra and Jordan acted just like how I would expect a man and a woman their age would act. Even their faith was realistic. It's there and they both share strong beliefs however they don't purposefully exploit to to the point of becoming stereotypes.

Overall I was very impressed with this book. It brought a satisfying end to a story that I have been following for years. I still think readers unaware with Sierra's story will enjoy it but for those of us that have been avid fans, this is like a homecoming for us. I would love to see this couple pop up again in the future but if it's not meant to be I know at least that they are happy.

Love Finds You in Sunset Beach, Hawaii by Robin Jones Gunn is published by Summerside Press (2011)

This review copy was provided by the publisher