Love in Catalina Cove
By Brenda Jackson
Catalina Cove - Book 1
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Reviewed by PJ
In the wake of a devastating teen pregnancy that left her childless and heartbroken, Vashti Alcindor left Catalina Cove, Louisiana, with no plans to return. Now, over a decade later, Vashti reluctantly finds herself back in her hometown after inheriting her aunt’s B and B. Her homecoming gets off to a rocky start when the new sheriff, Sawyer Grisham, pulls her over for speeding, and things go downhill from there.
The B and B, a place she’d always found refuge in when it seemed like the whole world was against her, has fallen into disrepair. When a surprising benefactor encourages Vashti to reopen the B and B, Vashti embraces a fresh start, and soon old hurts begin to fade as she makes new memories with the town—and its handsome sheriff…
But some pasts are too big to escape, and when a bombshell of a secret changes everything she thought was true, Vashti is left reeling. With Sawyer and his teenage daughter determined to see her through the storm, though, she’s learning family isn’t always a matter of blood—sometimes it’s a matter of heart.
In this first book in her new Catalina Cove series, Brenda Jackson introduces readers to the residents of Catalina Cove, Louisiana with a sexy, heart-tugging tale that kept me turning pages from beginning to end. Vashti and Sawyer have chemistry off the charts and I was invested in their journey from the moment they met...as he was writing her a ticket for speeding. Their relationship takes a while to heat up but once it does these two set the sheets on fire. However, while I certainly enjoyed their physical journey, it's their emotional journey that had my heart yearning for both of these strong, and honorable, characters to find their happiness. Jackson doesn't make it easy for them, especially with Vashti's mistrust of men and relationships, understandable once her past is revealed, and widowed, single-dad Sawyer having no intention of marrying again. Both characters are caught off guard by the deepening physical and emotional bond growing between them but as secrets are revealed, and the story twists and turns, Sawyer and Vashti will have some difficult truths to face, and forgiveness to find, if they have any hope of moving beyond the past and forging a future together. Some of those secrets are almost insurmountable, and I'll admit, there are actions of some (secondary) characters that I'm not sure I'd have been able to forgive.
Jackson creates a real sense of community in this book and populates Catalina Cove with some very intriguing characters, dropping hints of future stories along the way. There's a future hero with amnesia (Forget Me Not - March 2019) and former best friends with a secret in their past who are ripe for an enemies to lovers story. I'm on board for both!
The characters in this book are skillfully portrayed, realistically flawed, and vivid enough that I would fully expect to meet them in the local cafe or at Vashti's inn were I to travel to Catalina Cove. One of my favorites is Sawyer's romance novel loving, teen daughter, Jade. She has such a great relationship with her dad and is very likable in her own right. I'm hopeful we'll see more of her, as well as Sawyer and Vashti, in future books.
Have you read a Brenda Jackson book? Do you have a favorite?
In Jackson's next book, Forget Me Not, the hero has amnesia. I've read plenty of books featuring heroines with amnesia but I can't remember one with a hero. Have you read any that you'd recommend?
One randomly chosen person who leaves a comment before 11:00 PM, October 30 will receive a copy of Love in Catalina Cove from TLC Book Tours. (U.S. only)
I met Brenda Jackson at Avon's KissCon in Atlanta last week and brought home a signed copy of Love in Catalina Cove. It goes to a second randomly chosen person who leaves a comment before 11:00 PM, October 30. (U.S. only)
Click for a schedule of tour stops for Love in Catalina Cove.