I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.The View from Rainshadow Bay by Colleen Coble
Series: Lavender Tides #1
Published by Thomas Nelson on 2018
Genres: Christian, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense
"Prepare to stay up all night with Colleen Coble. Coble's beautiful, emotional prose coupled with her keen sense of pacing, escalating danger, and very real characters place her firmly at the top of the suspense genre. I could not put this book down." --Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author of Shattered
After her husband, Jack, dies in a climbing incident, Shauna has only her five-year-old son and her helicopter charter business to live for. Every day is a struggle to make ends meet and she lives in constant fear of losing even more than she already has.
When her business partner is murdered, his final words convince Shauna that she's in danger too. But where can she turn? Zach Bannister was her husband's best friend and is the person she blames for his death. She's barely spoken to him since. But right now he seems her only hope for protecting her son.
Zach is only too happy to assuage his guilt over Jack's death by helping Shauna any way he can. But there are secrets involved dating back to Shauna's childhood that more than one person would prefer to stay hidden.
In The View from Rainshadow Bay, suspense, danger, and a longing to love again ignite amid the gorgeous lavender fields of Washington State.
I am not one of the multitude that chooses books by their covers. I mean I appreciate a pretty picture now and then but for the most part covers play little to no actual role in my choosing to read a book. If that were the case I would never have chosen to read ‘The View from Rainshadow Bay’. It’s no big secret, though I am judged for it constantly, that I do not like the color purple or any variation thereof. If I had chosen to skip this book because of the cover I would have missed out on a pretty intriguing reading experience. That being admitted to I also have to say that many times reviewing ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) or galleys can be hard. They aren’t ‘final’ and sometimes there are still errors and quirks and you don’t know if they were cleared up before the final edits and copies went out. Sometimes you hope so and other times it really doesn’t make a wit of difference. A missing word here, a made up word (mouther? I think you meant mouthed but I’m just guessing) there. A character with a two instance name change that you are pretty sure was just a trial name that was changed later but two instances were overlooked and hopefully found before the final print. Hopefully. These things make for fun and quirky reading and sharing experiences but make for a harder time knowing if they actually need to be addressed. Wait, I sorta just did 😀
Let’s talk characters for a minute. I really liked the characters and the way they were developed. It broke my heart when a few of them turned up dead, I mean people were dropping like flies here! Shauna was an interesting mix. Emotionally wounded by the loss of her husband a year prior and the loss of dear friends right at the beginning of the book, she was a shell of the person you could tell she had been. However, despite all of this she felt overly needy of ‘help’ or ‘protection’ for someone who was former military. Don’t get me wrong, I get some of this need but for the love of gravy woman stand up for yourself! That takes me to Zach, the husband’s best friend who took the blame for Jack’s accident. He lost me at about 16% and I didn’t care how great he turned out to be later, he is a jerk with a capital J. ‘You need a man between you and danger, someone the killer won’t mess around with.’ Really? You’re kidding right? A man? Because a woman can’t protect herself even if she tired and even with her military training? You sir, are a toadnugget. I don’t care that you went on through the book and were really kind and helpful and caring and well who voluntarily cleans up vomit. You are still a jerkwad toadnugget.
Let’s talk the mystery and twists and turns and whatnot. I was pretty sure I knew exactly who was behind all of this by about 20ish% into the book. I was right, just so ya know, partially. The reasons I was leaning toward never materialized however. By the time it all came into play there were things that took me completely by surprise. There were things that almost made me feel like I was reading a middle grade version of Dean Koontz (I mean that solely in the idea that we take something that seems improbable mixed with something that is legitimate and come up with a scenario that you can kinda buy into). While I did figure out one fractional part of the whole there was so much more to take me off guard. There was another side thread that I believe is where the series is going to take us next. Shauna’s background includes a rather large earthquake that ultimately took her mother’s life. She also had a younger brother at the time and a baby sister who was actually born just after the earthquake. Both went missing and were presumed dead. Presumed being the operative word. Many unidentified/unclaimed children were turned over to CPS under the assumption that their parents had died as well. Threads through the story led back to those children. The epilogue hints to probably location of her brother which leads me to believe very strongly that we will get to know him in the next Lavender Tides novel, and I can’t wait to read it.