CASTAWAY COVE – JoAnn Ross
A Shelter Bay Novel , Book 6
Shelter Bay, Oregon, Present Day
Mac Culhane is back in Shelter Bay, a civilian again after being wounded in Afghanistan where he'd been a deejay for the American Forces Network. He'd hoped to be in time to save his marriage, but he's too late. His wife got tired of waiting for him after he'd broken his promise not to re-enlist for another tour. She left him…and their soon to be six-year-old-daughter Emma. Eight months later, Mac is the night deejay at a local radio station and he and Emma are happily living with Mac's step father, Dr. Boyd Buchanan. (Mac's own father, an Air Force pilot, was killed when Mac was young; his mother died two years ago.) Just recently, Mac's grandfather Charlie moved to a “memory care home” for Alzheimer patients. Charlie's memory often fails him, but somehow he always remembers Emma's visits. (There's a lot of love in that family.)
After a failed marriage, Annie Shepherd moved from Washington, D.C. to Shelter bay, about as far away from her ex as possible. She opened a scrapbook store, Memories on Main, and bought and fixed up a house. (Annie had never had a real home and married for security. It was doomed to fail.) Annie feels at home in Shelter bay and does a lot of volunteer work in her spare time. She often visits Charlie, a World War II vet whose late wife was also named Annie. On a visit one day, she literally bumps into a very handsome man who gets on her bad side right away with disparaging comments about cats.
Annie doesn't date; she's not about to trust another man, but she does get lonely. She often listens to Midnight Mac on the radio when she can't sleep. She's intrigued one night by the topic under discussion and she calls in, but gives her name as Sandy. She and Mac enjoy talking to each other as a song plays. They both feel a connection. However, when they do meet in person, they don't realize who the other one is, yet the intrigue persists, at least in a physical way. Annie doesn't trust this man, and Mac isn't ready to date and disrupt Emma's life.
The main romance in CASTAWAY COVE has a long way to go, but it will be fun to watch as the two become friends…without benefits! Meanwhile, there are many others we get to enjoy. Emma is a delight; she loves her father, and her great grandfather Charlie's story is both heartwarming and poignant. Then there is the rest of the town. It's a close knit community, which means everyone knows all and sees all, but it also means good friendships abound. Many of the people will be known to readers of the earlier books in the series, especially the women who have become friends of Annie's and Mac's friends from his growing up days. There are the familiar places, too: the Take the Cake cupcake shop, the Bon Temps Cajun restaurant, and the restaurant at Lavender Hill Farm to name three. (Better have a snack handy when reading these books.)
CASTAWAY COVE is a lovely book about real people in real situations. It carries on the tale of a place you'd love to visit. And while references are made to events and people from earlier books, it's not really necessary to have read them to enjoy this one. But why not start at the beginning? Check out the author's web site to learn more about the series and the setting. www.joannross.com