Wind Chime Point (Ocean Breeze #2)
By Sherryl Woods
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Facing a personal crisis, ambitious and driven Gabriella Castle retreats to the welcoming arms of her family. Everything she’s worked for has been yanked out from under her, and she seeks the serenity of her grandmother’s home on the North Carolina coast. With difficult decisions to make about her future, the last thing she wants is an unexpected love.
Wade Johnson fell for Gabi the first time he saw her. It’s not the only time he’s found himself in the role of knight in shining armor, but Gabi isn’t looking for a rescuer. To get her to stay, Wade will need a whole lot of patience and gentle persuasion and maybe the soothing sound of wind chimes on a summer breeze.
Add Sand Castle Bay (Ocean Breeze #1) to your Shelf
Last month, I read and really enjoyed the first book in this series, Sand Castle Bay. It had been a while since I’d read a lighter adult contemporary that had that small-town, family feeling and it satisfied a craving I didn’t even know I’d had. Wind Chime Point is a wonderful sequel, a little more of a character study, a little less intense romantically, but just as satisfying in its own way.
When we last saw the three Castle sisters, they’d been leaving Sand Castle Bay after helping their grandmother Cora Jane clean up her restaurant after the hurricane. Career-driven, Type-A personality Gabi had seemed unusually troubled and hard to reach, and the reasons are quickly apparent. Back in Raleigh, Gabi is in a situation she of all people would never have expected: she’s pregnant and jobless. At a loss for the first time in her life, she retreats back to Sand Castle Bay to decide what to do.
The last time she was there, sneaky matchmaker Cora Jane had seen that Gabi’s superficial relationship in Raleigh wasn’t working out and had tried to start something between her and cabinet maker/wood artist Wade Johnson, but Gabi wasn’t having any of it. But Wade…he was definitely interested. Now that the boyfriend is out of the picture, he’s ready to make his move, but the timing couldn’t be worse for her to think about romance.
Gabi and Wade’s story was so different from Em and Boone’s that I barely know where to start. Maybe starting with the similarities would be easier: I love that the same sense of family and community is here, that the sisters, Cora Jane, Jerry, Boone and Ethan are all in the story as well as some new residents of the area. It makes everything feel so cozy and with the beachy setting, someplace I really want to be. The relationships from the first book are flowing right through the second, taking the backburner, but still there. Em and Boone are in and out from their home and making big plans and Samantha is continuing her issues at work and fending off Cora Jane’s matchmaking efforts.
While Em and Boone had a past to reconnect them, there isn’t that with Gabi and Wade and they’re starting off at a really stressful time in any woman’s life, more so with Gabi. Much of the story felt like a blend of women’s lit and light romance, with the focus on the sisters and Gabi trying to figure out what she wanted for herself. It ended up being a minor thing, but I thought it was odd that the minutiae of pregnancy was almost never addressed: there were reasons things like setting up a nursery wasn’t a big topic, but there were no real trips to the OB-Gyn, morning sickness or talk about weight gain and the usual aches and pains beyond some superficial comments. I mean, this is a pregnancy.
It took me a little longer to warm up to Gabi than Em, but she’s a much less emotional character and it shows in her relationship with Wade. Their romance in the story is more of a courtship than a full-fledged relationship, since Gabi has so much to work out and as it turns out, so does Wade. He’s very sure of himself and I loved that about him, but he was a little too perfectly astute sometimes. I wanted him to be completely wrong about something and have to grovel, just to shake things up and bring some real, wild passion into the story. There’s nothing wrong with a strictly PG romance, but I was hoping for some Tabasco as a reward for the long journey I’d taken with Gabi.
As with Gabi’s story in Em’s book, there’s a lot of foreshadowing about Samantha’s story in this one and I can’t wait to get to it. I know Gabi and Wade’s romance will continue to blossom in it too, so even if I won’t get anything more than some heated kisses for them, at least I’ll get to watch them continue to have a satisfying future unfold.
My Rating: B+
June 3rd, I’ll have my review for the final book in the series, Sea Glass Island, along with a giveaway for two paperback sets of the entire Ocean Breeze series by Sherryl Woods, courtesy of Harlequin MIRA.
About Sherryl Woods
With two other careers to her credit before becoming a novelist and four states in which she’s lived for extended periods of time, Sherryl Woods has collected friends and memories, along with way too much unnecessary junk.
“The friends are the only things I’ve brought with me through the years that really matter,” she says. “I could probably live without one more chintz teacup, another tin-litho sandpail or another snowglobe, but I need those friends.”
Author of more than 100 romance and mystery novels, Sherryl Woods grew up in Virginia. Over the years she had lived in Ohio and Florida, as well as California. Currently she divides her time between Key Biscayne, Florida and Colonial Beach, Virginia, the small, river-front town where she spent her childhood summers.
A graduate of Ohio State University School of Journalism, Sherryl spent more than ten years as a journalist, most of them as a television critic for newspapers in Ohio and Florida. For several years she also coordinated a motivational program for the more than 8,000 employees at the University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Medical Center.
Her first book, RESTORING LOVE, was published in 1982 by Dell Candlelight Ecstasy under the pseudonym of Suzanne Sherrill. Her second book, SAND CASTLES, under the pseudonym of Alexandra Kirk, was published later that same year by Bantam. She began using her own name when she moved to the Second Chance at Love line at Berkley Publishing. In 1986, she began writing full-time and also began her long career at Silhouette Books with the Desire title NOT AT EIGHT, DARLING, set in the world of television which she covered for so many years.
In addition to her more than 75 romances for Silhouette Desire and Special Edition, she has written thirteen mysteries — nine in the Amanda Roberts series and four in the Molly DeWitt series.
When she’s not writing or reading, Sherryl loves to garden, though she’s not at her best on a riding lawn mower. She also loves tennis, theater, and ballet, even though her top spin has long since vanished, she’s never set foot on a stage, and she’s way too uncoordinated to dance. She also loves baseball and claims anyone who’s ever seen Kevin Costner in “Bull Durham” can understand why.
Biography courtesy of SherrylWoods.com