Driftwood Bay – Irene Hannon- Hope Harbor #5 – Revell – Published 2 April 2019
After tragedy upends her world, Jeannette Mason retreats to the tiny Oregon seaside town of Hope Harbor to create a new life. Vowing to avoid emotional attachments, she focuses on running her lavender farm and tea-room–until a new neighbor with a destructive dog and a forlorn little girl invades her turf. But she needn’t worry. Dr. Logan West is too busy coping with an unexpected family, a radical lifestyle change, and an unruly pup to have any interest in his aloof and disagreeable neighbor.
Yet when both Jeanette and Logan find themselves pulled into the life of a tattered Christian family fleeing persecution in war-torn Syria, might they discover that love sometimes comes calling when it’s least expected?
Driftwood Bay returns readers to Hope Harbor, where faith and romance, friendship and community come together to give hope and new beginnings.
Jeanette likes the privacy her little lavender farm and tea rooms in Hope Harbor give her. She is good at shutting out the world and she likes it that way. When Logan West and his niece, along with their boisterous beagle, move next door they, along with the new refugee family in town, threaten the walls Jeanette has built around her heart. Will she let them in and risk her heart again, or will fear keep her from the chance of love and new friends.
I have really enjoyed reading the Hope Harbor series. Each book, with its laidback and charming setting and strong collection of friends, is relaxing and an easy book to sink into. However, I have enjoyed some of the other titles in the series more than I enjoyed this latest instalment. Driftwood Bay, despite a few exciting moments, is a slow-paced book. Complications arise due to the reluctance of each of the characters to integrate with each other. Logan’s niece is unwilling to respond to his care, Jeanette doesn’t want to become entangled with Logan and his niece Molly, nor with the community at large, and members of the Shabos family, a new refugee family recently moved to town, feel isolated and removed from the community.
There are some sweet moments as these characters slowly learn to welcome others in. There are also some familiar moments from previous books with Charley giving sage advice and chatting to his animal friends. However, the romance fell a little flat for me. While Logan can be commended for his care of Molly and his endless desire to help and love her, I did not like the way he goes about convincing Jeanette to give him a chance. A sudden kiss given without warning just after a conversation where she tells him she’s not interested shocked me. I will be interested to hear what other readers think, but to me the relationship between Logan and Jeanette felt manipulative and lacked true emotional depth. I think I was disappointed by this story because I have loved the previous titles of the Hope Harbor series so much, all of which I can highly recommend.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Adult fiction
Genre: Christian – contemporary.
Themes: Family, community, refugees, hope, loneliness, children, grief, dogs.
Published: 2 April 2019 by Revell.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 368 pages.