Monday, November 25, 2013

Castaway Cove - JoAnn Ross (Signet - Aug 2013)

Series: Shelter Bay (Book 6)

They've never met. But they're destined for each other....

Single dad Mac Culhane has traveled to some of the world's most dangerous war zones, but now he and his young daughter have settled in Shelter Bay, where he's become the late-night DJ for the local radio station. The last thing he expects is to connect over the airwaves with a caller....

After a painful divorce, Annie Shepherd opened up a scrapbook store in town and started volunteering with local senior citizens. Although she loves her work, dreams of the family she longs for keep her up late, listening to Mac Culhane's voice on the radio.

When Mac and Annie finally meet in person, the attraction between them is instantaneous. But Annie isn't ready to lay her heart on the line, and neither is Mac. Fortunately, no one in Shelter Bay is about to let a perfect match escape the magic of true love.... 

Terrific book.  Mac has brought his daughter and returned to Shelter Bay after his divorce in order to have help from his family while raising his daughter.  Annie has also come to Shelter Bay after her divorce, looking for a new start.  Neither is looking for a new relationship until they connect over a late night call to the radio station.  

I loved Mac.  He was a terrific father, moving back to Shelter Bay so he could get the family support he needed.  He was also wonderfully patient with his grandfather, who has Alzheimer's. I loved the way he showed that family was important to him.  He was also a bit insecure about his abilities as a father but determined to do the best he could. I liked the way that he owned up to his part in the failure of his marriage though I'm sure his ex had a share of it too.  I loved the way that he felt his job in Afghanistan had been important enough to keep doing it and how he didn't just stay in the relative safety of the base.  The description of his personality and actions before the war show that he matured a lot during his time overseas and after he returned.  I enjoyed seeing the way he connected with his listeners during the late night show.  I loved seeing the way that he and Annie really related to each other during that first phone call.  His interest in her was immediate. It was fun seeing how he used different songs to get her to call him again.  It was a lot of fun seeing the way he figured out who she was and talked her into going out with him.  It didn't take long for him to be interested in seeing where the relationship could go.  He didn't get impatient with Annie's reluctance but kept up a gentle, but persistent pursuit.  I really liked the way that he was understanding of her fears.  I loved the present he gave her when he proposed.

Annie had a rough life growing up.  She spent her entire childhood in foster homes, some good and some not so good.  All she really wanted was a family of her own.  She married a man older than she was that she thought she loved, but it ended with issues they couldn't agree on, especially her desire for children.  She moved to Shelter Bay, where she had some happy memories from when she was a child, and opened a scrapbooking store.  She quickly settles in, becoming part of the community.  She loves volunteering with the senior citizens where she meets Mac's grandfather.  She still wishes for a family but is now cautious about dating.  One night, feeling particularly lonely, she calls in to Mac's radio show.  The instant connection she feels to him spooks her and she doesn't identify herself.  She is startled when she sees him in her store and feels an intense attraction to him.  She's blown away by the kiss he sneaks and allows herself to be talked into having lunch with him.  She's really drawn to him but there are things about her that she thinks will prevent her from having any kind of future with him.  She keeps trying to push him away, but he won't go.  I loved the way that his patience finally got her to open up with him  and see that he really cares for her.  I also loved seeing how good she was with Mac's daughter.  Her understanding of his grandfather's memory issues and the way she helped him with his scrapbooks was really sweet.  I loved the way it was something that his grandfather said to her that convinced her that she could have that happy ending.

I loved the parts that Emma and Charlie had in the book.  Emma's attitude was a cute mixture of little girl and teenager.  I loved her defense of her grandfather and how she had no problem standing up to the little boy on the playground.  I really liked the way she told off her friend at the sleepover, though her actions afterward sure caused a lot of stress on her poor father.  Charlie was a real sweetheart of a man.  I felt so bad for his frustration in dealing with his Alzheimer's.  He was wonderful with Emma and she seemed to be able to break through his memory problems.  I really loved the parts where he talked about his wife and the memories he had of the war.

Once again the people of Shelter Bay have a big part in the romance between Mac and Annie.  Annie's friends, especially Sedona, are the ones who convinced her to give Mac a chance.  I also enjoyed seeing the various couples and catching up on how they are doing.  There were also some pretty fun situations involving the interest the entire town took in their romance, including the betting pool on their first date.  I really liked Kara's comment to Annie about what his reaction would be to seeing Annie in her red dress - "It's always fun to see a man swallow his tongue."

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