Sunday, January 8, 2012

Contemporary ARC Review: Sanctuary Cove by Rochelle Alers

SANCTUARY COVE by Rochelle Alers
GENRE: Contemporary
PUBLISHER: Forever (January 1, 2012)
ISBN: 9781455501403

Still reeling from her husband's untimely death, Deborah Robinson needs a fresh start. So she decides to pack up her family, box up her bookstore, and return to her grandmother's ancestral home on Cavanaugh Island. The charming town of Sanctuary Cove hold happy memories for Deborah. And, after she spies a gorgeous stranger in the local baker, it promises the possibility for a bright, new future.
Dr. Asa Monroe is at a crossroads. ever since the loss of his family, he has been a quest for faith and meaning, traveling from one town to another. When he meets Deborah, the beautiful bookstore owner with the warm eyes and sunny smile, Asa believes he has finally found a reason to stay in one place.
As friendship blossoms into romance, Deborah and As discover they may have a second chance at love. But small towns have big secrets. Before they can begin their new life together, the couple must confront a challenge they never expected...
Where To Find Rochelle: Author Site | Twitter | Facebook
Where To Buy: Amazon(pb) | Kindle | B&N(pb) | Nook
I really liked it.
Ecclesiastes 3 is one of my all time favorite verses in the Bible. I'm not going to get all religious but it's the verse provided at the beginning of the book. You know the one (variations and all): "To everything there is a season... a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance..."

Deborah Robinson is a recent widow who has sold her house and moved her family from Charleston to her grandmother's home in Sanctuary Cove. She's got 2 teenagers, is opening a bookstore called The Parlor and reconnecting with old friends. Sanctuary Cove is a small town where everyone knows everyone else's business (thanks to the town gossip) including Deborah's. Her husband was accused of having an affair with a student and later drowned saving someone.

She's come to Sanctuary Cove as a way to start over. Her kids and The Parlor are her main concerns. At least until the handsome and charming Asa Monroe catches her eye. He's a snow bird, just coming down for the winter and going back home in the spring.

Asa Monroe lost his wife and child in an accident. He's been traveling from place to place, repressing his grief and all the while waiting to hear from Doctors Without Borders. Coming to Sanctuary Cove might be the best thing that's happened to him since the death of his family. In the form of one, Deborah Robinson.

Of course, Asa has had women throw themselves at him while he was staying at the boarding house but none have intrigued him as much as Deb. He knows she's looking to hire someone part time to manage The Parlor so he steps up to the plate and offers his knowledge. In a spoken agreement (after some negotiating) between Deb and Asa, he would live in the apartment above the bookstore if she could give him food money.

Once the The Parlor opens, business is booming. Deb has events planned for the bookstore including themed months, book clubs and tea time,  just to name a few. Asa is a fantastic piano player and this brings the ladies in. Things are going great. Asa and Deb are getting closer even though they're still a bit hesitant to succumb to their feelings. Deb knows that Asa is only there temporarily but her friends urge her to take a chance. She looks content and happy, like before her husband died.

She may not have been the traditional employer, but there was no way she was going to permit someone to work for free. And she knew instinctually Asa Monroe was worth more than fifty dollars a week, perhaps even ten times that amount. His intelligence, take charge approach, and the fact that he was a very attractive man was certain to bring customers into The Parlor---female customers in particular.
OVERALL: This is such a heartwarming story of a woman and a man who lost someone very close to them but found love again. I liked the fact that Deborah was a little older than most of the heroines I normally read about (I do get a tendency to get stuck in the Regency era) and she also has older children. I think the children add a little something more to the story. They're not just fillers. Asa's inner turmoil was heartbreaking. Of course, Deb's situation was as well but losing both a spouse and child is hard. Ms. Alers introduced quite a few of the townsfolk that had me laughing, cursing and wondering. The teaser at the end of the book definitely will have me coming back to Cavanaugh Island.

***review copy provided by publisher***

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