Thursday, July 4, 2013


Publisher:   Signet
Date published:   December 31, 2012
ISBN:  978-0451238931
Genre:   Contemporary Romance
Book format: Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina

When teenaged son Matt Templeton takes a downturn in behaviour and grades at his tony Beverly Hills, California school, his mother Claire packs up and they head to Shelter Bay, Oregon. Claire knew about Shelter Cove from her travels to the Pacific Northwest as she built her jewelry and blown glass business and the community looked exactly like what she and her son needed. Never mind that Matt looks to be the answer to Shelter Bay’s winning a season Basketball championship. At the Beverly Hills phenom Matt has all the moves that could get the boosters and town folks what has been, till now, out of their rearch.

Fresh from Afghanistan as a bomb demolishioni expert Dillon Slater is looking for some peace and normalcy. While he brings some of his chemical and physics no how to his job as a teacher at Shelter Bay High, it is his skill as a basketball coach that clinched the job for him. Despite the booster’s exuerberant welcome for Matt, Dillon is all about the team and making everyone feel welcome and part of the team.

All that becomes a game changer when Dillon meets Claire. He finds he cannot help himself and begins to pursue the single mother. Claire is determined that Matt won’t be treated any different and she certainly doesn’t want to squelch his chances at a college scholarship and going pro. In Shelter Bay where love always seems to find a way, can a relationship for Claire and Dillon work out?

I’m a huge Joann Ross fan and in particular, her Shelter Bay series.  SEA GLASS WINTER is yet another fantastic read.  When I first started Dillon and Claire’s story I thought “oh no, not another wounded warrior rescuing a kid with troubles” story. Over and over in contemporary romance the past few years there seems to be a formula of a wounded warrior, either a young child or teen who needs rescuing, and usually a strong catholic or mainstream Christian religion. You don’t see any characters who are Jewish or pagan in the stories. While I understand and support the thought behind paying homage to our military and what they have experienced, it has started to look like all that changes are the characters’ names because the stories all follow the same pattern.

While Ms. Ross features former military, often injured former military, in her stories, they aren’t cookie cutter and while some of them have PTSD issues, their military background is woven into the story in unique ways. Each character exists on his or her own merits and they are wonderful complex and memorable. For instance Dillon uses his training in demoltion to not only guide the basketball team to be a cohesive unit, he uses his expertise in explosives to make the science class he teaches more interesting for the students. He’s a great character.

And Claire’s business—that of making jewelry and blown glass, was fascinating to read.  I have a few pieces of glass that I have a whole new appreciation for not just because of who gave them to me but after seeing what the artist brings of his or herself to the piece.

I was happy to see more of Noah and Phoebe but would have really enjoyed them having a full story for themselves.  It may still happen though, might’n it?  Adele and the other Douchetts were such integral parts of the earlier books I was disappointed not to see more of the family in general and there was no mention of Adele. But with other characters and couples to catch up with there is time for her in another book.

Of all the Shelter Bay books SEA GLASS WINTER is the easiest to read as a stand alone because the focus shifts from the original characters to the two newcomers, Dillon and Claire.  That said, this is a series where you don’t want to miss a book.  I can’t wait for the next in the series, CASTAWAY COVE.

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

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