by Denise Hunter,
Thomas Nelson, 2009
I don't often read romance novels, but I've written a few short stories in the genre and feel it's important to read one once in a while. I doubt I could have made a better choice than Denise Hunter's Seaside Letters, third in a series of Nantucket love stories.
Sabrina Kincade's cousin and fiance betrayed her when they fell in love over a year ago. Hurt and humiliated, she fled from Florida and spent her honeymoon alone in Nantucket. When the "honeymoon" was over, unwilling to face her family, Sabrina found a job and somewhere to live on the island, determined never to let anyone access her heart again.
Enter Tucker McCabe, the man she serves coffee to every morning at a Nantucket cafe. Devilishly handsome and seemingly good-hearted, Tucker has fallen for a woman he's met online and wants Sabrina to help find her. The problem is, Sabrina is that woman, and she doesn't want to be found. Especially since she knows something about her past that Tucker must never discover. Can she pretend to search for Tucker's mystery woman and spend hours in his presence without letting her guard down? And what will she do if Tucker falls in love with someone else?
My biggest problem with the romance genre in general is that it sets women up to have false expectations of a man, and to have an incorrect picture of what love looks like in real life. I understand that it's "escape" reading, but escape reading can have dangerous real world consequences. That said, I like Hunter's expressed goal for the Nantucket series: "to show the love of Christ through the relationship of the hero and heroine." I think she achieves her goal well, and the reading guide questions at the end of the book encourage a deeper probing of this aspect.
Conclusion/confession? Denise Hunter has created a very readable book, with a well-developed plot line and three dimensional characters. I am going back to read numbers one and two in the series: Surrender Bay, and The Convenient Groom, and look forward to reading more of this talented author's work.