I think I've raved before about Colleen Coble. I love her books for their ability to be new and refreshing and not just the same-old same-old. The Hope Beach series is no different. The series is set on a little island in the Outer Banks, where love and danger go hand in hand.
Rosemary Cottage is the second book in the series. It is the story of Curtis and Amy, who have both recently lost a sibling in a mysterious accident. Amy is convinced her brother, Ben, didn't drown while surfing, and she's determined to find out what really happened. Curtis agrees to help her, and along the way realizes there may be more to his sister, Gina's, death than he originally thought. The more they investigate the more sinister the plot becomes. They also begin to realize their feelings for each other, but Amy has a painful secret that may just scare Curtis away for good. But before they learn the truth about the deaths, they will come across murders, kidnappings, lies and drugs. The answers may just surprise them all in the end.
I loved this book so much!! I blame it partially on my love for the Outer Banks. It's one of my favorite places to visit, and Ms. Coble really made it come alive in the pages of this book. The scenery as she described it was beautiful, and made me wish it was summer already. Her characters are very real, honest people. Even the main characters have flaws that they have to deal with. They seem like people we could all know and relate to. I especially found this to be true in the relationship between Curtis and Amy. Curtis loved Gina, and Amy loved Ben. The more they learn about the events that led to their siblings' deaths, the more Curtis and Amy realize that one of them wasn't all they seemed. Both of them are unwilling to believe their family capable of wrong, and want to believe the best. It leads to arguments and disagreements between them, but in the end they have to accept the truth that we cannot control what other people do. Even our closest friends and family aren't always what they seem.
I thought I knew where this story was headed and was going to end, but I was wrong! It's not often that I'm totally surprised by the ending of a book, but this one really was a shocker! Every time I thought I had it figured it out, it took another twist that left me wondering again.
I not only recommend this book (as well as Tidewater Inn, the first book in the series) I believe that you're missing out if you don't read it. It's not just a romance and it's not just a mystery. It's a perfect mixture of the two. This romance/mystery hybrid is what makes me a great fan of Colleen Coble and her books. Can't wait to read the next book when it comes out this summer!
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.