Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Story Time . . . DRIFTWOOD LANE by Denise Hunter
I have now read two books by Denise Hunter (the first being Seaside Letters) and I can now safely say that I love this author. When Driftwood Lane arrived and I saw it was another Nantucket Love Story, I slid this one onto my personal to-read shelf rather than the shelf for other reviewers--and I'm so glad I did!
Meredith Ward has a carefully ordered life in St. Louis--job as safety inspector, fiance who's an accountant, excellently laid out five-year-plan. After a chaotic childhood, she doesn't need any surprises. But the phone call she gets from her estranged-father's lawyer--well, that's certainly a surprise. She hasn't seen her father since she was a child . . . so why did he leave her guardianship of his other three children?
Meredith heads to Nantucket to meet her half-siblings, determined to wrap up this whole mess as quickly as possible. The minute their other living relative, an uncle, returns from motorcycling around the South, she'll hand them over and be done with this. But in the meantime, she has little choice but to bring their family's B&B up to code. If only money weren't tight, she could afford a contractor other than the dangerously-appealing Jake to make the repairs.
The longer the uncle stays away, the more she wonders if she can really leave these precious, emotionally-fragile children in his hands . . . and the more she knows she needs to get away from this place before she forgets why love is too chaotic to be worth the risk.
Within the first chapter of Driftwood Lane, I was hooked. It was one of those cases where I'd read plenty of books with similar plots, but Denise Hunter managed to breath life into with a charming setting and the perfect cast of characters. Her heroine is so rules-oriented that you just gotta love the slant she puts on everything. Most of us would walk through an oceanside bed and breakfast and note the lovely features. She walks through and notes every safety violation and loose board. It lends an unexpected perspective to the story and makes such perfect sense with the character herself that you can't help but admire the author for thinking of it.
And the hero! Jake is in many ways the alpha-male romances are famous for, but one about-face in the beginning of the book sets him up to be crafted into the kind of hero this book needs--a Christian man who messes up and then fixes his mistakes, who judges and then regrets it, who loves with all his heart and sets out to prove it--just as originally he was trying to prove something else altogether. Toss him into the same room as tight-laced Meredith, and it's no wonder the sparks fly! (Which, let it be noted, is a safety hazard.)
Denise Hunter weaves a story with a touch of maritime magic, a dose of Nantucket charm, and a cast of characters you'll fall in love with. I couldn't put this book down, couldn't wait to see what mess, either emotional or literal, would pop up next for the characters to deal with. Driftwood Lane tugged at my heart, soothed my soul, and spurred me to scratch another name onto my Favorite Authors list. I can't wait to see what Denise Hunter has in store for us next!
This book was provided by a publisher or publicist for review purposes; no other compensation was received.