I discovered this “new” series by one of my favorite Indie authors just recently on the eve of the release of the second book. To do my followers justice (and the series), I decided to read both books as part of the blog tour. That will now rank as one of the best reading decisions I’ve made this year!
Renowned stained glass artist Callie Davis is suffering from exhaustion and is experiencing a creative drought. Faced with a coming deadline for a new exhibit, she leaves New York and finds respite in the small town of Sanderson, Massachusetts on Carter Island. She’s immediately charmed and positively effected by the town, making plans to have an extended stay. One of the first persons she meets is her rental landlord, Nate Carter who is also the sheriff. Both are immediately taken with each other but she’s cautious and he’s once bitten. When Callie begins to explore the island, she also begins to have troubling and inexplicable dreams that appear to have ties to her past and the island.
This is a really long story that takes its time to give you an extremely strong sense of place and small town community. I absolutely loved that aspect of the book, which made the length more acceptable as I enjoyed being in Carter Island and was reluctant to leave. Much attention was also given in defining the primary characters, specifically the two founding families, the Carters and the Sandersons. Callie’s backstory is fascinating and takes some time to unfold, revealing an astonishing set of circumstances. There are mysteries struggling to surface, which created an interesting angle to the story I hadn’t anticipated.
Could this have been somewhat shortened? I think so but as I say that, I also have to admit I had a tough time letting go. There are historical, cultural and creative elements that enhanced my reading experience along with everything else I was enjoying. Callie and Nate’s relationship took its time to develop, which was a good thing and I liked their romance. The mystery was the thing that really engaged me and I was stunned by the climax. This story was much more than I’d expected and I’m so happy I have the next book in the queue.
- Release Date: October 8, 2017
- Series: Carter Island #1
- Page Numbers: 599
- Publisher: Self
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For the most optimum reading experience, I highly recommend you read the first book in this series before starting this one. Trust me, you’ll be grateful you did as it lays the foundation rather nicely.
Brad Sanderson and Molly Carter have been best friends as long as they have memories. Their families are good friends and they grew up together, almost like siblings. At some point, her feelings towards him became less friendly and more…lovingly. He’s four years older and when he left for college, Brad felt her absence from his life more profoundly but knew she was too young for those kind of feelings. So, for many reasons, he stayed in Boston following medical school, creating a life independent of his family’s on Carter Island, visiting sporadically year to year. But when his family’s crisis forced his return, it also brought him back to the woman he wanted out of the friend zone. Molly’s not having any of that as she’s terrified it will ruin one of the most important relationships in her life. She runs a successful deli and bakery, her family and the island life as much a part of her soul as breathing. Life in Boston isn’t an option.
The story picks up just a couple of weeks following the end of the first book. Brad is struggling to come to terms with the devastation of his family, forcing his return to Carter Island and confronting Molly who hasn’t forgiven him for his reaction to their one night stand months before. However, friendship wins out when she recognizes his desperate need for a shoulder to lean on. The steps to repair their relationship were realistic as I could empathize with both of them and the issues were genuine. I liked both of them in the first book, loved them here. They confronted their feelings with honesty and authenticity, which could be frustrating at times but I never gave up on them as they deserved what each had to offer.
The aftermath of all the secrets revealed from the first book (you’ll need to read that for yourself) was laid bare in this one. It forced so much change, both good and not so great. It was great, however, being back on Carter Island because it had become a second home for me. I knew these characters, wanting more of Molly & Brad and getting that delivered so wonderfully. Friends-to-lovers stories are one of my favorites and this is one of the best. There isn’t any childish angst, just lots of adult anguish as these two try to preserve their precious friendship while exploring the possibility of more. Brad’s family issues will break your heart, too, as well as some other unforeseen circumstances. But there are also lots of brightness to balance it all. I loved this story, finishing it in one day. My only regret is to now having to wait for the final book in the series.
- Release Date: June 4, 2020
- Series: Carter Island #2
- Page Numbers: 343
- Publisher: Self
About the Author
Cate Beauman is the multi-award-winning, international bestselling author of The Bodyguards of L.A. County series and the Carter Island Novels. She is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense and contemporary stories.
Cate’s novels have been named Readers’ Favorite Five Star books and have won the Booksellers’ Best Award, Maggie Award for Excellence, the Holt Medallion Award, two-time Aspen Gold Medal, two-time Readers’ Favorite International Gold Medal, three-time Readers’ Favorite International Silver Medal, and the Readers’ Crown Award.
Cate makes her home in New Hampshire with her family and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack.
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Thanks to the author for my complimentary copies. All opinions are my own.