Midnight Sea (Aloha Reef Series #4)

Midnight Sea (Aloha Reef Series #4)

4.7 14
by Colleen Coble

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"Lani opened her eyes fully, straining to see something, anything. It was as though she swam in a black sea that blacked out all light, all visual sensation. 'I can't see,' she whispered. 'I can't see!' Her shriek rose and echoed off the blackness."

A seemingly random shooting at her aunt's coffee farm has left Lani Tagama blind. Now she must learn to navigate in


"Lani opened her eyes fully, straining to see something, anything. It was as though she swam in a black sea that blacked out all light, all visual sensation. 'I can't see,' she whispered. 'I can't see!' Her shriek rose and echoed off the blackness."

A seemingly random shooting at her aunt's coffee farm has left Lani Tagama blind. Now she must learn to navigate in a world of darkness. With the help of an embittered ex-cop, Ben, and a half-trained guide dog, Fisher, Lani discovers she can regain a shadow of her former independence.

But strange and dangerous secrets lurk behind the beauty of this seaside paradise. Suspicion grows that this was not a random shooting, but an attempted murder, one with its roots in a hippie commune burned over thirty year ago. Lani realizes she is a target, and that she must find the shooter before he strikes again.

Product Details

Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
Aloha Reef Series , #4
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

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Read an Excerpt


Taylor Camp, Kaua'i 1973

Thresh tossed a cigarette into the water. "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." The roar of the waves nearly drowned out his words. The six of them were seated Indian style around a campfire on the beach. Thresh glanced around the circle: Blossom, Ash, Goob, Angel, and Reefer. Not their real names, of course. No one here went by real names.

Blossom had her gaze on Ash, and Thresh shuffled on his rock. He knew one way to get her attention. She hated the president. "Nixon is the Antichrist," he said loudly. "Someone should take him out."

"Who cares?" Ash lay back with his head propped on a lava rock. Thresh slumped when Blossom continued to stare at Ash and didn't even remark on his comment. The sweet scent of roasting marshmallows mingled with the salty breeze. The blue sky was a curtain above their heads. He tried to think of some other way to capture her attention.

"I still haven't seen Elizabeth Taylor," Blossom said, clasping her arms around her legs as she sat on the sand. "Her cousin owns this place. You'd think she'd come visit sometime. She's so fab."

Thresh smiled at her. "No one is more fab than you, Blossom."

As fragile as an orchid, she could sit on her black hair. Dressed in a bikini with a ginger blossom in her hair, she looked a little like Annette Funicello. Thresh watched as she fingered the pearl peace symbol on her necklace.

Taylor Camp had been their home for three months. They had inherited the tree house above his head from a couple of residents who got busted for growing weed. The tree house had real glass windows and doors. It looked right up the Na Pali Coast. The camp used to be on the beach, but the winter rains kept washing it out, so the residents took to the trees. About a hundred residents wandered in and out of camp on a regular basis. Thresh never wanted to leave here.

Ash stood. "I'm bored. Let's go for a swim."

Thresh glanced around. The others were all too stoned to move, but a swim sounded good. "I'll go. Want to come, Blossom?"

She shook her head. "I'm going to take some clothes to the stream and wash them. Have fun."

Her dark eyes seemed illuminated from within. He watched her sashay across the sand, stepping lightly from one black rock to another.

"Shake it, don't break it," Ash called after her.

She turned and blew Ash a kiss. Ash grabbed at the air as if he'd caught it, and Thresh wanted to puke. Was something going on between them? "You going to stand there staring all day?" Thresh snapped.

Ash flipped Thresh the bird. "Climb it, Tarzan," he said. He stalked toward the ocean.

If Thresh weren't so angry, he wouldn't brave the surf, but he plunged after Ash, anger giving him power against the waves. The blue-green water enveloped them, and they kicked out in long strokes to get past the breakers. In the next moment, a riptide grabbed hold, and the waves tugged Thresh down. His lungs burned, and he fought the panic that had him in an even tighter grip. The rocky bottom rushed past in a kaleidoscope of brightly colored coral, golden sand, and black lava rock.

The next instant, the churning waves slammed his body onto the bottom. Rocks battered Thresh's chest, and streaks of red ran through the water. Which way was up? He was too dazed to even watch the bubbles rise as they hissed from his lips. He had to breathe! His lungs burned with a nearly unbearable desire to draw in oxygen, but it was impossible to break the undertow. Swimming parallel with the beach, Thresh quit fighting and let the riptide have its way. Ash tumbled past, his eyes wide, and a silent scream opened his mouth. The two collided in the churning current and grabbed instinctively at each other. The tide tumbled them around, then just as suddenly, it released them.

Thresh bobbed to the top like a seal. He took a huge lungful of the best air in the world and stared up into the blue sky. He floated there a moment and tried to collect his thoughts, but he felt another tug, and before he could react, the current took hold again. He managed one gulp of air before the riptide took him under again. Fish rushed past, or rather, he rushed past them. He had a vague impression of parrot fish.

His lungs began to burn again. The current propelled him toward a rocky finger that jutted into the water. If the water rammed him against the rocks, he'd die. Thresh dove deep, trying to break the current's grip. The riptide seemed to weaken, then it took a stronger grip and hurled him toward the rocks, then down along the bottom.

He realized Ash was on the same course he was. They rushed through a narrow tunnel so dark they couldn't see anything, adding to the sense of impending doom. Then the grip of the undertoe relaxed. Feeling as though his lungs were about to explode, Thresh kicked up and up, past glowing plankton on the walls, past a colony of shrimp, until his starving lungs could take no more. He inhaled water just as his head broke into air. The shock of salt water in his lungs made him gag and sputter, but he managed to keep from vomiting.

Ash bobbed up beside him and flailed in the still water. "Where are we?"

"Some kind of cave." The ceiling hovered only about five feet overhead. The water was as clear as a goldfish bowl, and plankton lit the area enough for Thresh to make out Ash's face. Thresh glanced around. "Hey, look at the coral. I've never seen anything like it."

"Far out!" Ash dove to the bottom and grabbed a piece of the lapis lazuli-colored coral.

Thresh knew enough about coral to realize they were looking at some of the rarest and most valuable coral on the planet. Aware his mouth was gaping, he closed it. Ash bobbed to the surface with a piece held up in his hand like a trophy. "Blossom will dig this."

Thresh's heart clenched at the mention of her name. "I thought you were gone over Angel."

Ash shook his head. "I already plucked that flower, man. And she's knocked up. Can you dig it?"

He was always on the make. Blossom would be his next victim. Unless Thresh stopped him. Blossom deserved better. "Hey, dude, do me a favor and lay off her," he said.

Ash widened his eyes. "Jealous, Thresh?"

Ash's smirk sent a white-hot wave of anger over him. Thresh launched toward him, his hands digging into Ash's throat. Gulping in a lungful of air, the hated face went under the water against the coral reef on the bottom. After the ride on the current, Ash struggled very little, and it was over quickly.

Thresh stared at the body floating in the water. He backed away as Ash's body bobbed closer. Then the sea foamed, and dorsal fins emerged from the sea. He gasped and flailed back as three tiger sharks zoomed around the enclosure. They were easily twenty feet in length, and he saw a flash of teeth from the closest one. He expected to feel those sharp teeth at any minute as they circled, but the scent of fresh blood pulled them away. They homed in on Ash's body. It was tugged around in the water, then disappeared under the surface.

In moments, the sea boiled blood red.

Thresh knew the sharks would not be satisfied with Ash's body for long. They would destroy him next. He slammed his eyes shut and waited to feel the first shark's teeth tear into his leg. His heart thundered in his ears, and he prayed to Kanaloa, the god of the sea.

Time stretched out until he thought he would howl. Then the sound of churning bodies in the water faded, and he opened one cautious eye. Then the other.

What was that he heard? Whispers of voices seemed to radiate from the walls, but the sharks were gone. It was a sign. Kanaloa, Hawaiian god of the ocean, must have intervened. Thresh answered the voices: "I hear, Kanaloa. I hear and serve."

Meet the Author

USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has written several romantic suspense novels including Tidewater Inn, Rosemary Cottage, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series. Visit her website at www.colleencoble.com Twitter: @colleencoble Facebook: colleencoblebooks

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Midnight Sea (Aloha Reef Series #4) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Colleen Coble in her new book “Midnight Sea” Book Four in the Aloha Reef series published by Thomas Nelson takes us into the life of Lani Tagama. From the back cover: Losing her sight turns Lanie’s world upside down, bringing danger, mystery…and unexpected romance. A seemingly random shooting at her aunt’s coffee farm has left Lani Tagama blind. Now she must learn to navigate in a world of darkness. With the help of an ex-cop named Ben and a half-trained guide dog, Lani begins to regain her former independence. Then Lani and Ben discover that her injury wasn’t caused by a random shooting. It was a botched murder attempt. They must work together to discover the identity of the would-be murderer before he strikes again. The novels in Colleen Coble’s popular Aloha Reef Series combine mystery and suspense with tender romance in an irresistible island setting. “Dangerous Depths” has a random shooting which may be a botched murder attempt. Lani is more than a handicapped victim she is a determined young woman who not only seeks justice but wants to make sure he cannot kill again. Ben is an ex-cop who helps in her investigation and is her romantic interest. Both Ben and Lani have issues that need to be resolved not only with each other but with God. The wonderful thing is God will forgive them and will help them heal from their past hurts. This is a fast-paced read that will keep you guessing as to what is really going on. Whenever you pick up anything by Ms. Coble you can be sure you will be reading a top-notch exciting story and a wonderful romance. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great addition to a great series. Gripping plot full of mystery, suspense and romance. Great read full of action and adventure. Good character development and such rich description I feel like I've been to Hawaii.
Shay14 More than 1 year ago
Colleen Coble does it again! I cannot say enough good things about this writer. From the first page, I was hooked. The mystery, suspense, and romance were expertly weaved into a story of deception and trust. The plot was interesting and kept me guessing the entire time. Lani Tagama was my favorite character. After her ordeal in Black Sands, she becomes a Christian. It's nice to see the human side of someone who is a new Christian. She struggles to put her trust in someone she can't see, and that makes her more real. Ben Mahoney is struggling to cope with the accident that claimed his friend's sight. He is also struggling with trusting the One who controls all things in our lives. The author did a very good job of portraying their development in this area. The message, as I've stated before, is trust. Learning to trust that God has everything under control, especially when you feel your life is spinning out of control, is hard. Colleen Coble does a great job of weaving that message throughout the story. Overall, this was a very enjoyable story and I'm sad the series has come to an end. Go read it, today!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I had read another book, Alaska Twilight, written by this author. I doubted that ¿Midnight Sea¿ could be as terrific a book as the former. I was wrong! Colleen¿s way of telling a story couldn¿t be any better in keeping a reader glued to the pages. The story locale is Hawaii in the midst of the many coffee plantations. Leilani Tagama, known as Lani, is the featured girl in the book. Lani has a terrible accident that leaves her blind and prevents her memory from seeing who she had seen murder a good friend. Lani had always been a very active person and she could not imagine how she could live a decent life without her sight. In her previous years Lani had been very loose in her many romances with men. She had recently turned to God to get her life in gear and now could not understand why God allowed this blindness to occur. Ben Mahoney had taken on training guide dogs to assist those that had lost their sight to live a much better life. At this time he was training a two-year old golden retriever and ¿Fisher¿ was doing quite well. He was almost ready to help those in need of his services. While in training, Ben and Fisher had run into Ben¿s former police partner, Yoshi Tagama, a cousin of Lani¿s. Yoshi requested the help of Ben and a guide dog for Lani. Ben wasn¿t sure that Fisher was ready for active work yet but finally gave in and told Yoshi he would take Fisher to Lani to see how it would work out. His hesitation was further enhanced knowing Lani¿s past reputation as being too free with the men but realized Lani needed help with her total blindness. Ben¿s brother, Ethan and wife, Natalie, are almost always spaced out on alcohol, leaving their adorable daughter, Meg, without caring parents. A boating accident takes the lives of Ethan and Natalie but somehow Meg survived in her life vest. The accident also exposed criminal activity taking place in the area. Ben and Lani then cared for Meg. The story continues as it brings Ben and Lani closer together through Meg and their feelings for each other even though they did not express those feelings to each other. Lani¿s life was at risk because the killer felt Lani had seen him before her sight was lost and would someday remember who he was. Lani and Fisher made a great team as they adjusted to life together and Lani grew so attached to him that she told Ben she could never give up Fisher even if she regained her sight, which she felt she would some day. Yoshi stayed as close to Lani and Meg as he could but he had other police work to do and could not spend every hour protecting them. Lani had several attempts on her life and her senses had saved her along with her friends being on the alert constantly. She even got to the point where she could distinguish by feel the ripe coffee beans and helped in the picking with Meg sometimes at her side and other times with friends and family watching Meg. Meg loved gum and everyone knew that fact as she insisted loudly that she wanted some gum! The Christian atmosphere all through the book stand out especially well as Lani sometimes wonders why God let all these thing happen but then realized that God had done so many good things for her too. Midnight Tea is a page-turner that is extremely hard to put down. The reading is easy but pleasant and certainly not boring. There are no slow sections to bog you down. I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this book, Colleen Coble crafts another tight suspense plot filled with twists and turns and rich characters. She transports readers back to Hawaii, the setting for her Aloha Reef series. While this book stands completely on its own, if you read and enjoyed the Aloha Reef series, you will enjoy the reappearance of characters from that series. Lani is faced with something I think most of us fear ¿ she wakes up one morning unable to see anything. In the midnight sea of darkness, she must learn to cope and strive for some independence. Ben reluctantly agrees to help her learn how to use a guide dog and adjust to her new world. However, he¿s heard too much about her to be drawn in by her beauty. The characters struggle with real questions about how their faith can sustain the circumstances of life. And they are brave enough to ask the questions many of us would love to scream to the heavens. As they wrestle with the mystery and their doubts, they also develop a relationship that could extend beyond friendship if they could let go of their pasts. The book is rich with layers of characters and plots. And Coble does a fantastic job bringing all the layers together into a cohesive and compelling book. And if you¿re looking for a book to transport you to the beaches of Hawaii on a cold afternoon, this book is the one for you. Coble again creates a vivid setting and a story that could only be set in Hawaii.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With the help of a handsome ex-cop, a blind woman searches to find the man who did this to her before he comes back again. Like all of Coble¿s books, Midnight Sea has an endearing animal (a golden retriever who makes me want to hug my dog!) and is filled with fascinating characters, unexpected twists and a pace that leaves you breathless from start to finish. You'll want this one on your shelves!