Monday, May 30, 2016

Sandra Ardoin reviews: MERMAID MOON by Colleen Coble

Sandra Ardoin reviews Mermaid Moon by Colleen Coble.

The Short Version:

Mallory’s mother died fifteen years ago. But her father’s last words on the phone were unmistakable… “Find…mother.”
Kevin and Mallory made mistakes in their early lives. Each has paid the price…still pays it. For Kevin, it involves his family dynamics. For Mallory, it’s a number of things, not the least of which is guilt over her mother’s death. 
Today, Kevin is a divorced, custodial father of a blind little girl. Mallory is a widowed jewelry designer with an obnoxious teen daughter. After a failed, young-love relationship, the last thing either of them wants is to be thrown together while investigating the mysterious death of Mallory’s father. 
It’s the beginning of a suspenseful tale of greed, murder, dysfunctional families, and buried secrets that lead Mallory and those around her into an intricate plot that spans decades. It’s also a high-octane romantic reunion.
My Take:

First, let’s get the two minor issues I considered bothersome out of the way:

One - I questioned the reason for the couple of scenes from the point of view of Claire from The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Book One in the Sunset Cove series. They threw me out of Mallory’s story and didn’t seem to add much that couldn’t have been revealed through the main characters. Yes, I got the first one (no spoiler), but it yanked me right out of the present story.

Two - I’ll be honest, I sometimes have minor technical issues with the editing in Ms. Coble’s books—mainly repetitious words that annoy me. (I know. I’m probably the only one.)

However, I rarely take issue with Ms. Coble’s romantic suspense plots. They’re page turners that leave the reader guessing, and this one is no exception. Right off the bat, she gets the suspense juices flowing through a fear for Mallory’s daughter’s safety at school.

Her breath caught in her throat when she saw her fourteen-year-old daughter talking to someone in a gray van. Wasn’t that the same gray van she’d seen parked outside the house last week? That definitely had not been her imagination. […] The van’s tires squealed as it peeled away from the curb. Mallory tried to see the driver as it sped past, but the windows were tinted and she couldn’t see more than a shape inside.

What mother wouldn’t worry over that?

The suspense rises with each new twist in the plot, and so does the romance. I won’t say the antagonist mastermind was a total surprise, but while that’s important in a mystery, it isn’t always the mark of an enjoyable romantic suspense. The key is how many fingernails you bite while reading. By the time you get through the climax of Mermaid Moon, you’ll need a manicure.

In summary, don’t forget to pack both novels in the Sunset Cove series for reading at the beach this summer!

Sandra Ardoin writes inspirational historical romance. She’s the author of The Yuletide Angel and A Reluctant Melody. A wife and mom, she’s also a reader, football fan, NASCAR watcher, garden planter, country music listener, antique store prowler. Visit her at and on the Seriously Write blog. Connect with her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Goodreads, and Pinterest. Become a part of her newsletter community and receive a free short story.

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