Sunday, September 18, 2011

Review of Seaside Letters by Denise Hunter

Rating: 3.5 Stars

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Synopsis from  Sabrina never intended to fall in love with Tucker McCabe, the man she serves coffee to every morning at a Nantucket cafe-especially since he's unwittingly tied to a past she deeply regrets. But she's fallen hard, though she's kept her feelings a secret.

When Tucker learns Sabrina is the research assistant for a local mystery writer, he asks Sabrina to help him with a little sleuthing of his own. . . locating an elusive woman he's fallen for online. If Sabrina accepts the job, she'll spend her evenings in close proximity to a man who can never be hers. If she turns him down, he'll hire someone else-and that would be a disaster. Because if someone sifts through all those letters and finds out the truth, Tucker will discover her secret. . .

Review: I read The Convenient Groom a few months ago and found it very enjoyable.  Last week, I saw Seaside Letters at the library and decided to check it out.  It was the perfect weekend read and a nice last minute "vacation" to the beach as a cold spell settled over my area. The star of Seaside Letters is Nantucket. Denise Hunter's descriptions bring the area to life and lures the reader into the charm of the island.  I've always wanted to travel to Nantucket, and this series has reawakened that dream.

Seaside Letters introduces us to less-than-perfect characters. Both Sabrina and Tucker have flaws and make misguided decisions.  I found myself cringing every time they decided to bend the truth, tell an outright lie, or refused to reveal their secrets.  Denise Hunter definitely shows the reader the implications and tangled web that one indiscretion, and one lie can create.  The plot was twisted, but understandable. Each chapter opens with a quotes from Sabrina (Sweetpea) and/or Tucker (Harbormaster) and offered insight into their characters and hints into what would transpire in the chapter. 

The majority of the first half of the novel is spent with Sabrina and Tucker skirting the truth and their feelings for each other. Sabrina knows her that Tucker is "Harbormaster", and Tucker knows that Sabrina is "Sweetpea", but Sabrina doesn't know that he knows her identity. What's a girl to do when she is too afraid reveal her identity and the depth of her feelings?  The full truth is not revealed until the very end of the novel.  After the secrets that held Sabrina and Tucker apart in the "real world" are uncovered, the resolution seemed a bit fast. Overall, I enjoyed the second half of the novel more than the first, which became redundant at times.  Even so, I recommend Seaside Letters, and will certainly read more of Denise Hunter's novels in the future. 

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