But all of that changes when Libby’s best friend, Nicole, is kidnapped right before her eyes. Arriving on Hope Island, Libby finds herself the prime suspect in Nicole’s kidnapping, and her newly-discovered family just wants her to leave. With developers hounding her at every turn, Libby wonders if her dream has become a nightmare. A local Coast Guard Officer, Alec Bourne, seems to be the only one who believes Libby’s innocence. But will they be able to figure out who really took Nicole before it is too late?Suspense, family relationships, and romance all collide in the first novel in the Hope Beach series.
I have said in the past that I like how Colleen Coble’s novels start off with a bang. This one definitely delivered on that, since Libby’s friend, Nicole, is kidnapped in the opening chapter. However, there was a lot of discussion in that first chapter between Libby and Nicole about the island and Tidewater Inn and Libby’s new family that left my head spinning. While I liked getting the suspense part of the story started right away, I felt as if leading up to that it was almost information overload.I loved the setting of this novel. I have never been to the Outer Banks, but it sounds as if the combination of historic places and quaint towns would be right up my alley. I also liked how the characters in this novel loved their town and wanted to do what was best for it. The connection Libby felt to the island almost immediately after arriving there was so enjoyable.
The situation that Libby was in was unique, which made the suspense portion of the book really good. I was able to figure out whodunit, but not until close to the end, which is exactly what I like in the suspense genre.Libby’s circumstances in this novel also set up some wonderful examples of ways to extend grace to those who treat us poorly. There are many instances of forgiveness that occur in this novel that model the grace that Christ shows to us. However, I thought that Libby’s constant reference to WWJD (“What Would Jesus Do”), while a great reminder of how Christians should be thinking, came across as…how can I say this? Too 1996. The message of truth was great, but the delivery was a little distracting.
The romance side of the story was pretty good, but I did feel as if the characters moved a little too quickly toward their amorous feeling for each other. They acknowledge this fact, but I still think it comes off as far too idealistic, and it felt forced.I almost feel as if I like this book more now that I have finished it than I did when I was reading it. After having some time to think on it and to reflect on the book as a whole, the overall story was very interesting. While I was reading the book, I sometimes felt distracted or like I was missing something. I felt as if I did not get to know the characters as well because so much from their past was being explained to me rather than being experienced by me. Also, the main male character, Alec, sometimes seemed too good to be true; he was almost too perfect.
The ending of this novel, however, is exciting. This is something else I really like in suspense novels, and something I have come to expect from Colleen Coble. It will be interesting to see where she takes us in the next novels in this series.
I will give Tidewater Inn … 3 ½ BookWorms.