Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bonus Review: Wind Chime Point

Wind Chime Point
By Sherryl Woods
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Release Date: April 30, 2013

Gabriella is the Castle sister most driven to win the approval of her emotionally distant father. She chose her career with this in mind, and she has devoted herself to being the best in her job as a public relations executive for a biomedical research company. But an unplanned pregnancy leaves her without a job and her boyfriend’s response to her pregnancy is to forget their five-year relationship and remove himself from the picture as rapidly as possible. What’s a girl to do when her perfect life lies in pieces and she has major decisions to make? If you are a Castle, the answer is to leave her Raleigh, north Carolina apartment and head to the Outer Banks and Sand Castle Bay where her grandmother, Cora Jane Castle, will supply hugs, food, and advice and her sisters Emily and Samantha will be her support system while they plan Emily’s wedding.

Wade Johnson, cabinet maker and wood carver extraordinaire, fell for Gabi at first sight, and even a visibly pregnant Gabi fails to dim his interest. Gabi is not interested in a new relationship or in being the latest Castle subject to her grandmother’s matchmaking. But Cora Jane is an irresistible force, and Wade’s good looks and gallantry prove irresistible too. The HEA is in sight, but there are obstacles that must be overcome first. Gabi wants the best for her baby and that may mean adoption. Wade still has unresolved issues related to the wife and unborn child who died in an accident, and he has a bossy sister bent on protecting her brother.

Wind Chime Point is the second book in Sherryl Woods’s Ocean Breeze series. Once again the author gives her readers likeable characters in a charming setting with a sweet love story as the main course and a side dish of family dynamics.  Fans of the first book in the series, Sand Castle Bay, will be pleased to see Emily and Boone in the midst of wedding plans, and a secondary plot involving a deserving teen befriended by Wade and the Castle family adds interest. This is a gentle, agreeable read that contains few surprises.

I was surprised—and not happily--by the speed with which Gabi and Wade begin having quite intimate conversations. The two are mere acquaintances when Gabi returns to the island, and yet he asks about the father of her child immediately.  And she gives him a detailed answer. The conversation at that stage felt off to me, and it seemed out of character for Wade, an extraordinarily sensitive man. Except for that scene and Wade’s sister whom I found irritating, I liked this story well enough to look forward to Sea Glass Island, Samantha’s book, which releases on May 28. It promises a more complicated hero and the resolution to some sibling tension between Emily and Samantha.

Two of Sherryl Woods’s most popular series are her Sweet Magnolia novels (ten books) and her Chesapeake Shores stories (nine books). The Ocean Breeze books evidently will end with the third book. Do you prefer short series—trilogies and quartets—or are you happy to see a favorite series run to a dozen books or more?

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