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Friday, November 02, 2007

Surrender Bay by Denise Hunter


I'll be posting an interview with Denise in the near future, but for now, here's my review from Amazon for the book:

I've read everything Denise Hunter has published. I've seen her transition from historical to woman's fiction and was amazed at the growth and finesse she showed. So it's no question, I was really looking forward to her newest book, Surrender Bay.

Immediately I was drawn into the life of Samantha Owens. A young single mom, doing the best she can to provide for her 11-year-old daughter. When she gets news that her estranged stepfather died, she learns that because he never had a will, she's inherited his oceanfront cottage in Nantucket. For the first time in her life, she has hope. Hope for a future for her daughter. She plans to renovate the cottage and sell it for top dollar. Using the money to pay for her daughter's future college fund.

Once back at the cottage, the painful memories of her childhood assault her full force. She struggles to get the job done as fast as she can. What she hadn't counted on was her childhood best friend, Landon Reed, still living two doors down. Landon and Sam were soul mates. Two kids that shared everything.

Landon has wondered for years why Sam ran away and he's never fully moved on or found anyone to love like he loved Sam.

What Landon doesn't know is that Sam is hiding a secret. A secret that she's sure will change the way Landon sees her.

This is where Denise Hunter did a fabulous job. This wasn't your typical romance book that you can figure out right from the beginning. As usual of her writing, she has a twist that kept me guessing until the end.

She masterfully created real life characters who make choices like real people make. The turmoil the characters felt was so real I felt like I knew them and wanted to comfort them.

Something worth mentioning is that even though it's published by Thomas Nelson, it's not overtly "Christian" in tone. There's no long-winded sermons or scriptures to skim over and there's no pat answers for the problems facing these characters.

However, this book moved me more than any I've read in a long time. Sam has to come to the realization that Landon's love can't be earned. She doesn't have to do anything to gain his love...just accept it. When you see the love between the characters and can feel the correlation between how God loves each of was simply beautiful.

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