Monday, June 10, 2013

THE NEWCOMER by Robyn Carr

Publisher:   Harlequin/Mira
Date published:   June 25, 2013
ISBN:  978-0778314523
Genre:   Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Book format: Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Mac McCain waited a long time to trust his heart again. After his wife, Cee Jay walked out on not just him but their three little children ten years before Mac was devastated. He put everything he had into his children, moved them in with his Aunt Lou and took a steady job as the deputy sheriff of Thunder Point. Bit by bit he rebuilt the family’s life and finally, not so long ago, opened his heart to Gina James. For the past several years single parents, Mac and Gina were best friends, taking their kids to different school functions, standing by each other in tough times and putting their own feelings to the side. Now, on the heels of their friend Sarah opening her heart to new Thunder Point resident, Cooper, they have decided that they can no longer put their feelings for each other on hold. Slowly but surely they have begun to build their own relationship. But before that relationship can begin Mac receives a shock—Cee Jay has returned and it’s not just to see her children. She wants Mac back.

As Mac struggles to do what is right for his family, Carrie has her own fears and concerns. Her teenaged daughter, Ashley has lost the love of her life to another girl and is slowly giving into an encompassing depression.  Mac’s oldest daughter, Eve, tries to help her best friend, Ashley, but Ashley’s painful situation has Eve wondering how secure she can be with her own boyfriend, Landon. Landon, meanwhile is trying to come to terms with his feelings for Eve and while in the past he could turn to his older sister, Sarah, Sarah is preoccupied with her own relationship and a deeper secret she needs to work out for herself. Before Sarah can talk to Cooper about her own problem Cooper receives a phone call from the woman he loved and lost years before. With each couple on the verge of losing the one they love can they trust that love long enough to have the future they deserve?

THE NEW COMER is book two of Robyn Carr’s Thunder Point series.  I loved book one, THE NEWCOMBER which moved Ms. Carr into an auto buy and read author for me. She drew me into the lives and loves of the characters and I couldn’t wait for book two to come out. Sadly, I found myself disappointed in book two. Not that it was a bad read, but parts of it were a struggle. The first 70-80 pages were a narrative backstory. It reminded me somewhat of the block buster movies that came out in the 1970’s like Airport and Towering Inferno where each character is on screen 2-3 minutes and the audience is given a snapshot of their role in life, what they may be running or hiding from, and who their actions might affect. While I appreciate knowing the backstory of characters and a little narrative is fine, the beginning of THE NEWCOMER seemed a bit too much. If I had not taken the book for review I would have put it down and moved on to another read.

After the character introductions the story does pick up and I had a hard time putting it down. I did want to know what was going on in the character’s lives, I wanted to know what Cee Jay was up to and if she was going to suck Mac into her drama. I wanted to see where the woman from Cooper’s past took him and if Downy would do the right thing by Ashley before it was too late. All that and more was answered as the story went on and I found myself sitting up in bed telling myself “one more chapter, just one more chapter and I’ll go to sleep.”

While THE NEWCOMER is billed as Mac and Gina’s story it was as much a continuation of Cooper and Sarah’s story. Both couples took center stage in the story and I felt that the book could have easily been broken into two books—one a continuation of Sarah and Cooper’s story and the other taking us to Mac and Gina’s. With the myriad characters and couples I can see this series going on through maybe a dozen books—I want to know what happens to Lou and Joe, Ashley and Frank, Landon and Eve and what will happen if Spencer moves to town. I will read the next in the series, THE HERO, to see where Ms. Carr goes with this series.

There were parts of THE NEWCOMER that were so poignant and gripping. It was all the backstory and trying to tell too many couples’ stories that kept it from being a stellar read.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.


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