Tag Archives: Colleen Coble

Review: Seagrass Pier, by Colleen Coble

Seagrass Pier, by Colleen CobleSeagrass Pier, by Colleen Coble (Thomas Nelson, 2014)

Elin Summerall is a young widow caring for her preschool-aged daughter and for her mother, who’s slipping into dementia. Elin is also the recent recipient of a heart transplant—and now she’s remembering details of her donor’s murder.

The police don’t believe her, but it seems that the murderer does.

FBI agent Marc Everton’s investigation of the murder leads him to Elin. They’ve met before, but Marc didn’t know their one night of passion produced a child. Now Marc has to protect Elin, for the sake of his daughter.

I had trouble getting into this novel. Perhaps if I’d read the previous books in the series, it would have been easier. There is a large-ish group of secondary characters connected to Elin, with some inter-connections to Marc. I felt as if I’d walked into a room full of people and had to somehow remember their names and their relationships. Some of those relationships are complicated.

As well as the danger to Elin, her chemistry with Marc and her fears for her mother, there’s someone searching for an object hidden in Elin’s new home. Again, lots for readers to keep track of.

Ultimately I enjoyed the story, and I’m glad I kept reading. The suspense is good, and behind it is a subtle thread about identity and how it changes. Elin’s mother shows one facet of this, as she’s losing herself, and also in the way she talks about her youthful dreams and how they shifted over the course of her life. Elin explores another aspect. She’s been a wife. What does it mean now to be a widow? And along with the memories, her personal tastes are changing. Is the heart transplant turning Elin into her donor?

Colleen Coble is a USA Today best-selling author of romantic suspense, both contemporary and historical. Seagrass Pier is the third novel in the Hope Beach series. I don’t think this is her strongest novel, but it’s still a good read. For more about the author and her books, visit her website: colleencoble.com

[A review copy was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.]

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Review: Butterfly Palace, by Colleen Coble

Butterfly Palace by Colleen CobleButterfly Palace, by Colleen Coble (Thomas Nelson, 2014)

In 1904 Lily Donaldson leaves small-town Texas to work for the wealthy Marshall family in Austin. It’s not the best time to enter domestic service in the city, with the Servant Girl Killer on the loose. When Lily saves a young woman from an attacker, does she catch his attention?

Lily is a confident young woman, hard-working and skilled, but the opulent home they call the Butterfly Palace takes a bit of getting used to. And she’s creeped out by Mr. Marshall’s collection of exotic butterflies.

She’s even more upset to meet her former fiancé, who deserted her at her father’s death. He’s using an assumed name, Drew Hawkes, and passing himself off as a businessman. Drew is a guest in her employers’ home, so Lily can’t avoid him—or the hurt that seeing him brings. She discovers he’s working with the Secret Service to break a counterfeiting ring.

Lily is assigned as ladies’ maid to Belle, the family’s beautiful niece. Belle has her eye on Drew, but her aunt and uncle have a more suitable match in mind. At first this looks like the familiar story of good servant vs. shallow rich woman, but the story doesn’t stop there.

Belle has been sheltered all her life, but she’s intelligent and courageous. When she discovers a plot to kill her uncle, Drew connects it to the counterfeiters. Despite their differences, Belle and Lily team up to help Drew uncover the villains. Will they be in time to save Mr. Marshall’s life?

I had no idea butterfly collecting was such a big thing among the rich of the day: sending explorers to Africa to collect specimens and cocoons, flaunting the owner’s latest acquisitions, and rivalry among collectors.

Butterfly Palace is another richly-crafted romantic suspense from best-selling author Colleen Coble, who writes both historical and contemporaries. For more about the author and her many books, visit her website. Or click directly to her Butterfly Palace page to view the trailer—and discover why this book has such a special place in the author’s heart. To read a preview, visit the Thomas Nelson site.

[A review copy was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.]