Home to Seaview Key, by Sherryl Woods

January 27, 2014 Book Reviews 8 ★★★★

Home to Seaview Key, by Sherryl WoodsHome to Seaview Key by Sherryl Woods
Series: Seaview Key #2
Published by Harlequin MIRA on 2014-01-28
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Midnight Promises, Where Azaleas Bloom, Catching Fireflies, A Seaside Christmas, Swan Point, The Christmas Bouquet, Dogwood Hill, Willow Brook Road

Falling for a handsome stranger on the very morning they meet is hardly what recently divorced Abby Miller planned for her return to Seaview Key. Hoping to mend an old friendship and to give back to the community she loves, Abby's definitely not looking for love.

For ex-soldier Seth Landry, Seaview Key seems like the perfect place to heal a broken heart…eventually. And when he rescues a beautiful woman on the beach, his nightmares about the past are eclipsed by daydreams about the future.

Neither Abby nor Seth are looking for forever, but powerful love has its own timetable. And taking a chance on the future will test their courage in ways neither of them could possibly have anticipated.

Review

Home to Seaview Key is the perfect sequel to Seaview Inn: a delightful, straightforward romance, heartwarming in its simplicity.  There are no major conflicts or disasters here, just two people growing together in friendship and learning to take a chance on unexpected love. Abby and Seth are perfect for each other, despite some obvious differences and past experiences that make them both a bit cautious when it comes to getting serious.  What I really loved is that they talk about their issues like the reasonable adults they are.  That’s all too rare in romance novels, which too often rely on misunderstandings that could easily have been prevented by talking or asking questions. Woods is good at this, and at making the romance compelling without relying on many of the usual romance tropes.

Abby has come back to Seaview Key for two reasons: to rediscover the woman she was before her marriage sucked the life out of her, and to develop the land left to her by her parents.  Her plans are complicated by mayor’s determined opposition to the project.  I hesitate to call this last a subplot, because Woods effortlessly braids the development story with Abby’s growing and complicated relationship with Seth.

Seth, a paramedic and friend of the town’s doctor (Luke, the hero from Seaview Inn), has some emotional baggage of his own to deal with, not only from his tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan but also with his feuding sisters. But on the whole, he’s handling it with same the maturity and good sense that Abby shows in dealing with her own past.  I found them and their relationship really refreshing, to be honest (and I was just wishing for a romance with a heroine in her 40s or older.  Serendipity!)  In terms of heat, there’s plenty of chemistry between Seth and Abby, but no really explicit scenes.

Friendships between women are one of Wood’s biggest strengths (along with believable romances you can really invest in) and I have to applaud her handling of the relationship between Abby and Hannah, the heroine of Seaview Inn.  Once best friends back in high school, the women’s friendship is complicated by pain, time and distance, and Hannah’s understandable insecurities — her husband Luke and Abby were quite an item back in high school, and now Abby is newly-divorced and back in Seaview Key.  Again, there’s no major drama, just two women working to rebuild a friendship they both want.

Seaview Key is a small Florida fishing village-cum-tourist destination.  Like many seaside towns, its laid-back atmosphere is part of its charm.  The main and major secondary characters from Seaview Inn form an integral part of the narrative, but don’t worry if you haven’t read the first book; Woods gets you up to speed pretty quickly and seamlessly – no annoying info dumps.  She also gives the reader just enough description and a variety of minor characters, mostly fellow residents/business owners, to make Seaview Key feel like a very real place.  I’d certainly love to stay in the Seaside Inn sometime!

I had only one minor quibble with the entire book.  Toward the end, Woods throws in a scene which resolves the subplot involving Seth’s sisters in a way that felt a little too facile and glib.  The situation didn’t need to be tied up in a neat bow for the main romance to work well, and in real life, things don’t always go quite that perfectly.  (Not to mention that Woods might have been able to get another good book out of it, involving one of the sisters.)  In every other way, Home to Seaview Key is a thoroughly satisfying read.

 

four-stars

About Sherryl Woods

Sherryl Woods grew up in Virginia, graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in journalism, and spent more than 10 years in journalism, mostly as a film critic. Dell Candlelight Ecstasy published her first book, Restoring Love, in 1982 under the pseudonym Suzanne Sherrill. The same year, her second book, Sand Castles, written as Alexandra Kirk, was published by Bantam. Silhouette began publishing her books in 1986, at which time Sherryl began writing full time. She is now published by Harlequin MIRA, and her popular small-town romances routinely hit paperback bestseller lists. She has also written two mystery series.

Ms. Woods divides her time between Florida and Virginia. When she’s not writing, she enjoys gardening and watching baseball.

8 Responses to “Home to Seaview Key, by Sherryl Woods”

  1. Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf

    I love the sound of this one…the town sounds like the perfect setting and I love that the characters sound mature. I hate plots that are only furthered because none of the characters communicate!

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      I loved that aspect of it. So refreshing! And it’s funny, because I’m not a beach person by and large (I sunburn really easily), but I really enjoyed both this book and the first book, Seaview Inn.

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      Yes, me too. And particularly in this case, where there was the potential for their relationship to not go well, and both of the women have to work hard to regain the trust and friendship they had when they were young. That’s something you really don’t see much of in genre fiction generally, and I applaud it.

  2. Herding Cats - Burning Soup

    I really need to give her a try. I’ve read a few like that where there’s no major drama or issue and it’s just an easy romance growing. Nice to find a good portrayal of friendship as well!

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      Yes. It sounds very lukewarm to describe a book as “nice”, but this book is “nice” in way that’s not at all mediocre or boring. “Nice” in a really enjoyable way, in fact.

  3. Bea

    I haven’t read Woods in years. I might need to get this one. I do prefer romances where the author doesn’t rely on misunderstandings but the couple actually talks to each other and try to work it out.

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      Oh, me too! It drives me nuts when the H&H could have cleared up 200 pages of misunderstandings and hurt feelings if they had just TALKED to each other. You know that phrase TSTL — too stupid to live? I think sometimes the protagonists are TSTL — too stupid to love. I really do prefer it when they handle things like intelligent, caring adults.