Publisher: Brisk Press
Noel Carpenter always knew that she was adopted and had no interest in meeting her birth mother, so she is naturally surprised when she receives news from a lawyer that her mother has died and left her a bed and breakfast in Rehoboth Beach. Noel truly enjoys teaching third graders in Baltimore and has no interest in a B&B or Rehoboth, but goes there to see her inheritance and decide what to do with it. Toni Hooper would like to buy The Sandpiper, but she doesn’t make enough money on her salary as a handywoman and Noel isn’t willing to cut a deal that will help her. Instead, Toni finds herself working for Noel to make improvements so that the home can be sold. Toni has a reputation for being the town playgirl and Noel has just been dumped by her partner of ten years, so, when there is a physical attraction between them, there’s nothing to stand in their way of having a sexual relationship. Both women start out thinking that will be enough, but, as time passes, each begins to have deeper feelings. Neither knows how the other one feels and their lack of communication makes the situation difficult. If they can’t overcome that, they will never be able to work out the other obstacles to their relationship.
This is a routine romance. Two women are trying to overcome obstacles so that they can be together. Neither character shows much depth in the beginning and since they agreed to be just sex buddies, that’s basically what the book consists of, one scene after another of them getting together and ending up in bed. Eventually more begins to develop, but the story never becomes compelling. There are a number of questions raised in the book that don’t really get answered and the characters don’t really seem to fit the parts they’re playing. There are too many scenes where one of the women jumps to a wrong conclusion and goes off the deep end only to turn around completely before the page is over. The most distracting thing about the book is the way Meagher switches dialogue from one character to another and makes it difficult for the reader to tell who is speaking. She often starts a paragraph talking about one character and then has the other one talking, but without using the name to indicate that. The reader frequently has to double back to pick up the thread of what is happening and try to figure out what the flow of the story is.
Meagher is a very capable writer, as she has proven in other books, but this one doesn’t come up to her normal style. If you’ve never read any of Meagher’s books, this isn’t the one to start with.