Angel’s Bay – Book #1
Reviewed by PJ Ausdenmore
Release Date – June 30th
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
There’s an old show business saying of “leave them wanting more”. That’s exactly what the first book in Barbara Freethy’s new Angel’s Bay series does. I started reading this book earlier this afternoon and just turned the final page a few minutes ago. By the tenth page I had forgotten about everything I had intended to accomplish today and found myself fully immersed in the lives of the residents of this small coastal California town, the mystery of a 150 year-old shipwreck and the possibility of angels in Angel’s Bay. Though I am still enjoying the afterglow of a satisfying happy ending for the hero and heroine of this book, I want more – more of the police chief and his dissatisfied wife, more of the young doctor who has returned home to a conflicted relationship with her widowed mother and an unwanted attraction to a married man, more of the high school heartthrob who has returned to fill the position of minister at the local church, more of the pregnant teenager and the unknown father of her child, more of the couple who fell in love in the 4th grade and are now preparing for the birth of their long-awaited baby, more of the mystery that surrounds the shipwreck of the Gabriella, and more of the angels who seem determined to bring the truth to light.
Jenna Davies and her young daughter, Lexie have been living in Angel’s Bay for two months and seem to have accomplished the impossible. Though cordial to the people they meet, they keep to themselves and nobody in this friendly, small town where everyone knows everyone else and their business knows anything about Jenna and Lexie but that all changes the night that Jenna jumps into the cold, dark ocean and saves a pregnant teenage girl who is trying to kill herself. Suddenly thrust into the spotlight, Jenna is terrified that that one moment of bravery will bring the danger she’s desperately trying to outrun right to her doorstep. With their lives at risk, she hasn’t allowed herself to trust anyone since she and Lexie escaped to Angel’s Bay but as she gets to know Reid Tanner she begins to wonder if it is time to finally lower those barriers and ask for help
Hot-shot reporter, Reid Tanner has spent the past year in a bottle trying to forget the fact that his ambition caused the death of his best friend. Nothing in life has managed to capture his interest since that fateful day, until the night he encounters Jenna Davies, the most reluctant hero he’s ever met. Suddenly, his reporter’s radar is on full alert and all his instincts are telling him that this woman has secrets, secrets that could bring him back to life and back to the front page headlines. Will he ignore Jenna’s plea for anonymity in his quest for a story? Or, as he coaxes her into an unlikely friendship will he allow himself to see Jenna and Lexie as people in desperate need of someone to protect them rather than expose them? And, as they grow closer will he finally forgive himself for his friend’s death and open his heart to the woman and child who just may be his salvation or will he need a little heavenly guidance to see the light?
Already, I can tell that Angel’s Bay is a place I’ll want to visit time and time again. It puts me in mind of the heartwarming communities at the center of stories created by Robyn Carr and Debbie Macomber, two of my favorite authors. Like those authors, Freethy has done a beautiful job of weaving a compelling story while having the patience to fully develop characters who will become our friends, characters with whom we will share joys, sorrows and all of life’s adventures. I can hardly wait!