I wanted to read The Tidewater Inn by Colleen Cable for a pretty silly reason – I love stories about hotels, inns, bed & breakfasts, etc. However, the novel is not really about the Inn. I was a bit disappointed. Instead, Cable’s novel addresses family bonds, forgiveness, greed, and survival instincts. The Inn is only a small part of the action in the story.
We start out by meeting Libby Holladay, owner of Holladay Renovations, as she speaks to her partner Nicole on the telephone about a Lifesaving Station they bought to renovate on Hope Island. An attorney on Hope Island has been looking for Libby because her father recently passed away and left Libby quite a bit of land and the Tidewater Inn. This comes as quite a shock to Libby because she thought her father had passed away when she was five. (Conflict #1) Nicole set up an appointment with Libby’s new half-sister to discuss the land while Libby views the meeting via the beach cam. Before Libby’s half-sister can arrive for the meeting, Libby watches as Nicole is kidnapped by unknown men and taken off the island. (Conflict #2) Libby races off to the island to find Nicole, investigate her new property, and meet her new family – family members that are not excited to meet her. (Conflict #3).
Once on the island, Libby quickly meets Sheriff Tom Bourne and his cousin, Alec. Sheriff Bourne comes to view Libby as a suspect as Alec views Libby as a possible love interest. (Conflict #4). To complicate matters further, Alec’s nephew is causing problems at home and may know where Nicole has been taken. The town attorney gives Libby a package from her father which causes even more problems between Libby and her new brother and sister. The brother wants to sell the land and Inn to a developer for $10 million, but his plans are upset when Libby inherits that land. (Conflict #5).
After various other dramas and conflicts, the conflicts are resolved and we have a happy ending. I wanted more of the coziness of the inn and less conflict. Often the anger of the family members seems forced rather than a natural reaction to Libby. We are told that Libby’s father shared information about Libby, but the siblings act as though she is a new entity with a dubious motive for showing up on the island. I wanted to like this novel, but the conflicts and over-reactions made the story more antagonistic than interesting or comforting.
I give the novel 3 stars out of 5.