ANGELS LANDING - Rochelle Alers
Cavanaugh Island , Book 2
St. Martin's Paperbacks
Cavanaugh Island, off Charleston, South Carolina - The Present
When Attorney David Sullivan writes to Kara Newell asking her to attend the reading of Taylor Patton's will, she is astounded. She is a social worker in New York about to take a vacation with her parents out West. She didn't know anyone by that name in South Carolina. At the reading she discovers Taylor Patton was her biological father and that he has left her everything: a twenty-two room mansion, two-thousand acres of land, and lots of money. There is one condition. She must live on the property for five years and restore the house at Angels Landing on Cavanaugh Island. It seems the Patton name is one of the oldest and most powerful on the island. The rest of Taylor's family is not happy about the situation. David Sullivan is concerned enough to have his cousin Jeff Hamilton, Sheriff of Cavanaugh Island, keep an eye on Kara and Angels Landing. It seems developers are interested in getting control of the property.
Jeff Hamilton retired from the Marines to take care of his Grandma Corrine when she became ill. This is more than he did for his former fiancée, who demanded he leave the Corps. Corrine raised him after his mother died, and he made this career change from love as much as duty. Upon his return to Cavanaugh Island, he was appointed sheriff of the island's police department. To escape island gossip, he has avoided all the eligible women who live on the island…until he meets Kara.
Kara and Jeff's romance is a foregone conclusion, but it is fraught with tension that will keep the reader entertained, especially when unexpected things start happening to Kara. Other characters help develop the sense of community that encompasses Cavanaugh Island. Concern about any large commercial development taking over the island is important as it will destroy the community. Jeff is an upstanding man with not only good moral values, but he also has a strong sense of ethics to uphold those values. Kara is an outsider, a well-educated and good woman who has worked in the trenches and seen what happens to poverty-stricken families and abused children. She must also deal with the issues surrounding her birth, and why her parents never told her. Everyone tells her she looks like her tyrannical grandmother, but when Kara comes to Cavanaugh Island, ANGELS LANDING takes on a completely new meaning. Evil forces are at work, though, so a happy ending is by no means assured.
SANCTUARY COVER was the first Cavanaugh Island book, and I'm sure a third story will be out soon. These are strong character-driven books that always contain interesting twists, and a strong sense of place.