One thing that I love about being a New Christian is that there is a whole genre of fiction I have not read. It is called Christian Romantic Suspense fiction and over the last several weeks I’ve been reading books by authors in that genre.
Two authors I’ve been reading recently are Colleen Coble and Terri Blackstock – though I have a feeling that list is going to grow. While I’ve liked everything I’ve read by them so far (sit tight for more reviews) I wanted to begin with The Inn at the Ocean’s Edge by Colleen Coble.
Many of Coble’s books are set by the ocean and you can feel her connection to the sea in The Inn at Ocean’s Edge. While the settings are lovely her main focus is on her characters. The Inn at Ocean’s Edge is readable and suspenseful and the plot unravels at a very good pace, always withholding some valuable bit of information.
Why is the main character rich girl Claire Dellamare having a panic attack? Why are their holes in her memory? Is Coast Guardsman Luke Rocca really the one?
Most of these answers came at the right time and made reasonably good sense. While I anticipated a few events in advance, the tension still held.
I did notice a couple of minor hiccups in the plot – not this-is-impossible hiccups – but small things that didn’t seem completely credible (the attitude of law enforcement for example toward the protagonist).
I did really appreciate the way Cobble layered Christian faith into the story in a meaningful but balanced way. But what impressed me the most was the way Coble handled the relationships between members of two not so perfect families.
If that was me, I found myself thinking, I would walk away from that family and not look back. Except that in the real world we don’t.
Coble seems to get that in way not every author does. As evidenced by a single passage at the end of the book that rang so true to me that I chose to share it with my (grown up) son.
“You have to hear this,” I told him. “It’s about family.”
I tried to read it out loud and then teared up. “Here,” I said handing him my kindle. “Read it for yourself.”
We were at the kitchen table. I was cutting vegetables and I kept on cutting while he read. But I was watching him as I did. I saw that when he finished, he paused. It was just a couple seconds but I knew he was moved.
Thank you Colleen Coble for a truly lovely book!
The Inn at Ocean’s Edge is currently on sale on kindle for 8.99 and should be an easy find in most public libraries. The book ends with some great discussion questions and would be a perfect choice for any Romantic Suspense book club, Christian or not.