Friday, May 25, 2012

Review of The Tidewater Inn by Colleen Cable

Tidewater Inn (The Hope Beach Series)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.

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