Harbor Secrets

Harbor Secrets

by Melody Carlson


Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, October 24


A Peaceful Coastal Town…Threatened by a Storm of Secrets

It's 1916 when newspaper woman Anna McDowell learns her estranged father has suffered a stroke. Deciding it's time to repair bridges, Anna packs up her precocious adolescent daughter and heads for her hometown in Sunset Cove, Oregon.

Although much has changed since the turn of the century, some things haven’t. Anna finds the staff of her father’s paper not exactly eager to welcome a woman into the editor-in-chief role, but her father insists he wants her at the helm. Anna is quickly pulled into the charming town and her new position…but just as quickly learns this seaside getaway harbors some dark and dangerous secrets.

With Oregon’s new statewide prohibition in effect, crime has crept along the seacoast and invaded even idyllic Sunset Cove. Anna only meant to get to know her father again over the summer, but instead she finds herself rooting out the biggest story the town has ever seen—and trying to keep her daughter safe from it all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781946531322
Publisher: WhiteFire Publishing
Publication date: 08/15/2018
Series: Legacy of Sunset Cove , #1
Pages: 324
Sales rank: 466,611
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.73(d)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Harbor Secrets 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
WishEnd 9 months ago
3.5 Stars HARBOR SECRETS is a story of forgiveness, mystery, and family. This story is full of small-town charm, the goings-on of the local newspaper this family has operated for years, and the mystery surrounding rum-runners during prohibition weaved throughout. Historical readers are sure to enjoy the setting and cozy mystery readers are sure to enjoy the mystery that unfolds. This story was fun, in a cozy mystery way. The small-town setting and historical period were well done. I also enjoyed the characters, although I felt Anna was a little too overindulgent of her daughter, Katy. There really wasn't any romance... there were suitors who were mostly friends, but no sparks or anything more. That might change in future books. I thought the family dynamic of the story was the strongest. There was quite a theme of forgiveness, but that would be the extent of the inspirational aspect of the story, which I didn't mind. It makes it a story that would appeal to both Christian and non-Christian cozy mystery readers. In the end, was it what I wished for? I enjoyed reading this. It's on the lighter side with likable characters, some suspense and danger, and plenty of promise for more in subsequent books. Content: Clean Source: I received a complimentary copy from CelebrateLit, which did not require a positive review nor affect my review in any way.
RealWorldBibleStudy 9 months ago
What I Liked About Harbor Secrets  Harbor Secrets tells the story of a 1916 newspaperwoman who takes over her father's paper and takes on the smuggling trade in prohibition Oregon.  I love the way this woman takes a leadership role in a business where women had no say.  She takes her (supposedly temporary) role with a good head for business and an excellent resume and earns the respect of the men reporting to her. I love that we get a story of a dogged news(wo)man that is still a clean story!  I love watching how Anna's daughter brings her father back to life when he has sunk into depression following his stroke.  I really liked how the romance element was present in this story, but didn't by any means dominate the story. There were powerful themes of forgiveness and reconciliation throughout this story.  It didn't quite make sense for Anna's reconciliation with her father to go so well, so fast, after so many years away from home (though nothing is impossible with God!), but throughout the story we see characters making the hard choices to forgive (and recognizing that those choices are hard and that trust must be rebuilt).  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and mystery or suspense. I received a review copy of this book; all opinions are my own.
PianoLady831 9 months ago
I thoroughly enjoyed Harbor Secrets, book #1 in Melody Carlson’s new Legacy of Sunset Cove series. Carlson’s Christmas novellas have long been a favorite part of my seasonal reading, and while I was sure I would enjoy this different type of story from her, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. The small-town setting of Sunset Cove on Oregon’s coast combines with historical detail, resulting in an atmospheric and multifaceted story. The summer of 1916 wasn’t an easy time for talented, strong women like Anna McDowell, for while they had won the right to vote, they still weren’t welcomed as leaders in the workplace. Oregon had enacted Prohibition laws, but big-city crimes of smuggling and rum-running made their way to quiet coastal areas like Sunset Cove. Just the right amount of light suspense and tension comes in other ways, such as criminal elements in city politics and the return of Anna’s mother, who had abandoned her family years earlier. Anna returns to Sunset Cove with her daughter after her father’s stroke, and one of my favorite parts is the relationship between 16-year-old daughter and grandfather. Anna feels confident in taking over the newspaper during her father’s recovery, and there’s a great scene when she confronts the existing editor-in-chief, a man of questionable character and motives. As far as romance, Anna finds herself with three suitors, but I didn’t sense any chemistry with any of them at this stage. I think that as the first book of three, Harbor Secrets lays a strong foundation of characters and events, with much more development to come. In spite of that, I was caught up in this story and found it hard to put down. I am certainly eager to read the next book, Riptide Rumors. Recommended. I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Virginiaw 9 months ago
I enjoyed this book with a little romance and some mystery. I love reading about newsman during the days before the Second World War started. I love small towns during this time period. I loved the characters and how they worked with each other. I am looking forward to seeing what might happen in the next story. It was interesting to read about the rum runners. I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
KrisAnderson_TAR 9 months ago
Harbor Secrets captured my attention right away and held it until the very end. I liked the characters and the quaint town of Sunset Cove. Anna McDowell is a strong, intelligent and independent female protagonist who has become a successful reporter at the Oregonian. When she receives word of her father’s illness, Anna quits her job and heads home with her daughter, Katy. This is Anna’s chance to end the estrangement between her father and herself. She did not anticipate becoming editor-in-chief of the Sunset Times which was started by her grandfather. Then Anna stumbles onto a big story, but there are those that will do anything to keep their secret. I thought Harbor Secrets was well-written, plotted and paced. The author crafted a novel with family drama, mystery, friendship, intrigue, danger, and a hint of romance. Melody Carlson captured the time period especially with how men (not all men) felt about women in the workplace. Katy added lightness and humor to the story with her easy going manner. Harbor Secrets is a jam-packed novel with rum-running, a dirty mayor, the running of the newspaper, the upcoming mayoral election, Anna’s mother returning to town, Mac’s rehabilitation and Anna’s search for answers. The mystery was intriguing and kept me reading to find out more. I look forward to reading the next book in The Legacy of Sunset Cove series. Harbor Secrets has secrets, illegal hooch, family drama, handsome men, and one determined newspaperwoman.
Erin_Slocum 9 months ago
My Thoughts on Harbor Secrets: Melody Carlson is a favorite author of mine. There are very few of her works that I have not loved and enjoyed every moment of reading. This book was amazing and gets added to the list of all the ones I recommend. First, the characters are very down to earth and relatable. I loved getting to know them. Mac especially is a fun character and I enjoyed that he was portrayed as having suffered a stroke. Being a nurse I always love when medical stuff comes in and I can say hey they got that right or hmm maybe they should check their facts again. Second, it was a super fast read. It's a clean read. I literally sat down to rock my baby for her nap, held her for her nap, and boom half the book was done. It read quickly and effortlessly. I did not need to flip back to find out who characters were or where they fit into the big picture of things. I enjoyed seeing Anna try to help out her old school friend. Having their daughters become friends is a nice touch as well. And should I mention the THREE gentlemen coming calling on the main character? Or how much I love fiery redheads? And of course, we all know that I definitely believe women can be and are wonderful writers. Can Anna save her father's newspaper? What about her own reputation? Will her father survive his stroke and get back to his former self? Why is her mother back in town? And where is the alcohol coming from and who is responsible? Great book! Highly recommend as a fast clean read. Some mystery, some conflict, some shady characters, and a tiny bit of romance. I would not call this a Christian book in that it is not full of scriptures and such though it does have good themes to it. It would definitely be called good fiction in my book. Possibly even good historical fiction as it covers being just pre-war and centered around prohibition and women's rights. I have voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from Celebrate Lit. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.
Deana0326 9 months ago
I enjoyed getting to know Anna and how independent she was. The story takes place in 1916 when prohibition was gong on. It was interesting to see Anna and her daughter Katy travel to Sunset Cove after hearing that Anna's father had a stroke. Anna is a bit apprehensive about going since she has not been on good terms with her father. Being home again brings old hurts up for Anna , but maybe this will be a time for her and her father to heal and forgive each other. I really liked Katy and how she took to her grandfather right away. She decides to help her grandfather recover and it was nice to see a bond form between them. Anna's father asks her to run the newspaper while he is recovering and that's when the story really gets interesting. To say that Anna ruffles a few feathers at the newspaper office is an understatement. Someone seems to think he is in charge and is quickly demoted. I could feel the tension in the air as Anna begins to make changes in the office. Not everyone believes a woman should be in charge, but Anna reminds them that women did get the right to vote so they can keep their opinions to themselves. There is a big secret in the community and Anna is set to find out what is going on. She doesn't seem to worried about her safety and is determined to unearth the crime. Rumors are going around that liquor is being smuggled and some members of the town are involved. I did like the mystery surrounding who it was and the danger the author included to give the story a little intrigue. It's a nice story that isn't just about crime but about forgiveness and reuniting a family. I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Ourpugs 9 months ago
Harbor Secrets A very exciting book. Anna and her father hasn’t spoken in years. He doesn’t even know he has a granddaughter. Mac had a stroke. So Anna goes home to help run his newspaper. The book is set in 1916. Women did not run a business during that time. I loved the characters. That were so real. Katy who is Mac granddaughter and Anna daughter really helps Mac. She is a big part in his recovery from the stroke. There is also a lot of excitement with criminal activity. Anna is determined to find out what is going on. I received a complimentary copy of the book from Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write an positive review. This review is my own opinion.
Stardust_Fiddle 10 months ago
“Maybe it wasn’t the criminals who should be scared right now…maybe it was the folks who were trying to stop them.” Melody Carlson’s The Legacy of Sunset Cove series opens with “Harbor Secrets”, which blends elements from different genres to create a small-town tale from the last century. Set in 1916, this story takes place in the coastal Oregon town of Sunset Cove. Women have been slowly making strides in the fight for suffrage and job opportunities, and the United States has not yet entered into what will become World War I. Sunset Cove seems to be an idyllic place, but there is a growing undercurrent of unease. Small towns are, after all, known for their secrets. After her estranged father Mac suffers a stroke, widow Anna McDowell and her 16-year-old daughter, Katy, travel to Sunset Cove to spend the summer with him and to reconcile. Being a newspaper woman, Anna is perfectly positioned to take over Mac’s duties as head of the local paper, despite opposition from some of the staff. Before long, she discovers that local crime has infiltrated the town with the prohibition on alcohol, and her desire to pursue the story conflicts with her need to keep her family safe. With an interesting premise and setting, “Harbor Secrets” provides a rather congenial reading experience with light suspense and hints of romance. However, I did have some issues while reading. The slang used at the beginning of the novel seemed to me to be too modern and was jarring, especially as I was trying to step into the setting of the narrative. Family drama and relationships form an integral part of this story, and while I enjoyed some of the characters, to me they seemed somewhat superficial, and I did not feel that I really connected with any of them. The suspense aspect added interest but was very light, and I personally found the last section of the book anticlimactic. The story did come to an end, which I always appreciate, especially in a series, while leaving an opening for book two. As for the faith component, I valued Anna’s praying during times of stress and how clean the storyline is but would have liked to have seen more faith woven into it, as there are numerous scenarios where this could occur. Nevertheless, “Harbor Secrets” offers readers a glimpse into the world of early prohibition and women’s rights in a small coastal town, a fitting book for summertime. I received a complimentary copy of this book through CelebrateLit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
GratefulGrandma 10 months ago
4.5 Stars. In 1916 there was a lot happening in the US. Women had received the vote, but were still treated poorly, especially in roles that were traditionally male. Prohibition was also in full swing and rum-running was ignored in some cases, and being investigated by others. With Anna McDowell returning to Sunset Cove, Oregon with her sixteen year old daughter Katie, her life and those of her family and friends will change forever. Taking over the reins at her father's local paper, Anna has her work cut out for her. Mac's stroke has left him debilitated, but with Anna's return home, he is beginning to improve. Anna is not welcome by all at the paper, but she is determined to do a good job and set the paper up of a long run financially, once she returns to Portland. Unfortunately, others have different ideas. Anna is a wonderful MC of this story. She is a strong, smart, independent woman who stands up for what she believes in, and it doesn't hurt that she is attractive as well. She has instilled those same traits in her daugher Katie and that is not always a good thing. I love Katie's outlook and easy acceptance of others. Her love for her newly discovered grandfather shines through as she works to help him improve his health. The story was well-plotted and paced. There was family drama, mystery, danger, a bit of romance and friendship and caring. This was a quick read as I was curious to find out what was going to happen to Anna. She puts herself in some dangerous situations to be able to report the story, but also to support the right. There is also some politicking going on with a dirty mayor and an upcoming election. Overall this is a great story with a bit of everything, especially secrets. I enjoy reading books by Melody Carlson and I look forward to what is next in Sunset Cove. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
BMace 11 months ago
June 1916 finds the small town of Sunset Cove basking in the sunshine and enjoying the sunsets over the ocean. Anna McDowell is returning with her daughter Katy after an absence of 16+ years, due to the illness of her estranged father. Somehow small town life hasn’t changed over the centuries. Secrets, of which there are many, abound and those who see the sharing of these confidences their life’s work are busy as usual. Will Anna find her way again in this environment or has she become a big city girl? What follows it a wonderful story of forgiveness and understanding with some great mysteries thrown in. With prohibition creating the need for rum running and suffrage bringing the worst out in some men, you will find this book hard to put down until finished. A fantastic way to start a new series! I certainly am looking forward to learning more about The Legacy of Sunset Cove. A copy of this book was received through CelebrateLit. The opinions and impressions given are my own.
MaureenST 11 months ago
The author has placed her story in a beautiful seaside town on the coast of Oregon, and the time just prior to WWI, and the emergence of prohibition. With the main character Anna, returning when her father has taken ill, called at the request of the doctor. She left as a child, or a young adult and has returned temporarily, not even sure she is wanted, with her precocious teenage daughter. When all is said and done here, including some very dangerous and nefarious characters, you will wonder if all you have now come to care about will survive. Then as the title suggests, Secrets, yes, I loved how they play out and although not great, there are benefits. I received this book through Celebrate Lit, and was not required to give a positive review.
Mama_Cat 12 months ago
This is an exciting historical novel instilled with intrigue, family, and the hard work of an intelligent, faith-filled newspaperwoman in 1916 during the Prohibition. I enjoyed it from the first page throughout. Anna, her family, and their friends in Sunset Cove are captivating. The plot includes small town politics, rumrunners, and mystery woven throughout the lives of family, newspaper employees, and friends in a beautiful coastal Oregon setting. Anna McDowell left home after she met and married Darrell Devlin at age 17. Her father immediately disliked the young man and threatened to disown her if she married him. Anna has her dad’s stubborn streak along with his printer’s ink in her veins. She has not been back in 17 years, so he has no idea that her young husband died in prison. Mac McDowell also doesn’t know that he has a 16-year-old granddaughter, Katy. Anna left her editor’s job in Portland, closed their apartment, and went to Sunset Cove when hearing that Mac had a stroke. She planned to stay, at the longest, through summer, so Katy could go back to her school. When she and Katy arrived, they first went to lunch, where they ran into one of Anna’s old friends, Rand, now an attorney. Rand told Anna that her mother, Lucille, has just returned to town and is staying at the hotel. Lucille left when Anna was only six and had not been back, and now all those old feelings begin to overwhelm. Mac hates the broken body he is trapped in. He can barely get words out, use his right hand or arm, and walks with a cane. His memory isn’t working right, and he would rather end it all now than live out the rest of his life as a cripple. Anna and Katy’s arrival will change Mac’s – and their – lives! Mac asks Anna to take his place at the family newspaper, Sunset Cove News, and keep him apprised of what is going on. He has seen Anna’s byline in the Oregonian – even though it is her initials and maiden name – and knows what she is capable of. Until she turned 16, she helped at the News and learned at his side. Some of the men at the News don’t want a woman there, much less acting in Mac’s place. Others are fine if their work remains the same. One of the men, Wesley, refused to remove himself from Mac’s office until she talked to Mac’s friend, the police chief. Much of the staff cooperates, and one works closely with her when they go on the trail of rumrunners. They keep the police chief in the loop with what they learn, but the danger to them increases exponentially. Not just to Anna and her staff and the others helping her, but also her daughter, father, mother, and childhood friend. I loved this novel and look forward to reading the next one! While I appreciate historical novels, I have read few from this decade. It was fascinating to see our country through the eyes of a journalist just before we entered WWI! Women were not welcome in the business at that time, so I appreciate Anna and all she endured to do the job she loves. The characters are revealed as necessary for their roles; they were quite real to me by the end. I highly recommend this novel to women who appreciate clean, well-written historical fiction with mystery and nurturing family and friend relationships. While not overt, there are gentle spiritual lessons included that many might appreciate. From a thankful heart: I received a copy of this from CelebrateLit, and this is my honest review.
Pattistep 12 months ago
Melody Carlson is one of my favorite authors. She knows how to tell a story that completely holds your interest and makes reading one of her books a true pleasure. I enjoyed this first book in this new series. The character of Anna sets the tone for this book. She’s a strong and compassionate woman who has had to rise above some challenges in her life. After her father becomes ill, she has to quickly step in to run his newspaper for him. In this time period in history, it was unusual for a woman to be even a newspaper reporter, and she has to prove her leadership ability to some skeptics. In addition, all in their little town is not as it appears on the surface. Anna finds she has a mystery to solve, as well as crucial decisions to make on behalf of her own future, as well as for her daughter. All of this combines in creating a story that kept me turning pages to get to the conclusion of story. I loved these characters and this community, and I’ll be looking forward to reading more about Harbor Springs. I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. I was not required to leave a positive review.
SBMC More than 1 year ago
What an interesting historical fiction set on the Oregon coast during the years of Prohibition and US teetering on the brink of entering WWI! Melody Carlson, no matter the genre, creates a setting, plot, and a set of characters that bring her story to life. This story focuses on Anna, a rare woman journalist at that time who writes under a presumed male pseudonym, and her sixteen-year-old daughter Katy. Due to misunderstanding and falling out, Anna has been estranged from her father who owns and operates a small town newspaper but, due to his failing health, Anna sets aside past hurts and misgivings to return home to Sunset Cove to help her father. In the midst of trying to nurture her father back to health and organize her father's business better, Anna learns the truth about her past, which isn't exactly how she remembers it. Her persistence and stubbornness get her into some trouble but she remains true to wanting to discover and disseminate the truth that seems to run in her family's newspaper genes. Anna also learns about forgiveness and giving people second chances. Katy, in her youthful enthusiasm and kindness to all, is endearing and lovable. There is a bit of suspense woven into the storyline in regard to Prohibition and it was definitely interesting to see what the average person's attitude may have been like during those years. This is book 1 in The Legacy of Sunset Cove and the second book in the series looks like Anna and Katy's stories will continue seamlessly. I can't wait to see what adventures await the mother-daughter duo! I received a copy of the book from WhiteFire Publishing via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.