Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rosemary Cottage by Colleen Coble

Amy is not convinced her brother, Ben, died in a winter surfing accident near their family's Outer Banks summer home. She decides to move into Rosemary Cottage to see what she can find out. She might even stay and set up her midwifery practice on the island. With no land bridge, pregnant women must go to the mainland for a time to await the birth near a hospital.

Coast Guard officer Curtis recognizes Amy immediately. He wants to get to know her better, much better. He too is mourning the loss of a sibling. His sister, Gina, had been killed by a speeding boat as she was out in the water too far from shore for anyone to prevent the horrible accident. Curtis is now raising his sister's infant daughter, having been designated guardian by Gina's action just a couple of weeks before she was killed.

Amy's presence on the island is troubling, though, because Gina claimed Ben was the father of her daughter. Curtis has kept that information from Amy's wealthy family. He knows they will try to take the child away from him.

As Amy and Curtis get to know each other better, the mystery surrounding their siblings' deaths increases. It soon becomes clear that their lives are in danger too.

This is a pretty good mystery and romance. As the mystery around the deaths is slowly unraveled, Coble added enough twists, turns, and characters to keep me interested to the very end. I have to admit, I thought I had identified the murder but was surprised at the final revelation.

There are a couple of prominent themes in the novel. One is how well we really know other people, even a sibling. Amy finds out that Ben was not who she thought he was. Another theme is that of forgiveness. Amy exemplifies a Christlike attitude when she forgives a teen for her part in the intrigue.

I always like it when I learn something in a romance novel. In this one I was introduced to winter surfing, Amy touting the benefits of cold water immersion. Amy is a midwife and we learn quite a bit about that profession too. She is also a proponent of natural remedies and I learned about several of those as well.

Although it is the second in a series, it can certainly be read as a stand alone novel. There are discussion questions included so this would make a fine choice for a reading group. The Christianity of the characters is presented well.

Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA’s RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the
Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Find out more about Colleen at http://www.colleencoble.com/.

Thomas Nelson, 338 pages.
Please visit your local Christian bookstore to purchase this book.

I am taking part in a blog tour of this book. You can find more reviews here.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through a publicity group for the purpose of this review.
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