Book Two in the USA Today bestselling Sunset Cove series.
“Second chances, old flames, and startling new revelations combine to form a story filled with faith, trial, forgiveness, and redemption. Crack the cover and step in, but beware—Mermaid Moon is harboring secrets that will keep you guessing.” —Lisa Wingate, New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours
Mallory’s mother died fifteen years ago. But her father’s last words on the phone were unmistakable: “Find . . . mother.”
Shame and confusion have kept Mallory Davis from her home for the last fifteen years, but when her dad mysteriously dies on his mail boat route, she doesn’t have any choice but to go back to Mermaid Point.
Mallory believes her father was murdered and childhood sweetheart Kevin O’Connor, game warden in Downeast Maine, confirms her suspicions. But Kevin is wary of helping Mallory in her search. She broke his heart and left—without a word—years ago.
When Mallory begins receiving threats on her own life—and her beloved teenage daughter, Haylie—their search intensifies. There’s a tangled web within the supposed murder, and it involves much more than what meets the eye.
As answers begin to fall into place, Mallory realizes her search is about more than finding her father’s killer—it is also about finding herself again . . . and possibly about healing what was broken so long ago with Kevin. She just has to stay alive long enough to put all the pieces together.
“Coble second Sunset Cove novel takes readers on another exciting journey. The game of cat and mouse keeps you involved in the intrigue, with the romantic tension between Mallory and Kevin provides just the right counterbalance.” —RT Book Reviews
About the Author
Colleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series. Connect with Colleen online at colleencoble.com; Instagram: colleencoble; Facebook: colleencoblebooks; Twitter: @colleencoble.
Read an Excerpt
A Sunset Cove Novel
By Colleen Coble
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2016 Colleen Coble
All rights reserved.
The Silver Pelican jewelry store in Bangor, Maine, was Mallory Davis's final stop, and she put on a bright smile. The place smelled of money — expensive perfume from the last customer and the rich scent of new carpet. Every other jewelry shop in town had only been willing to take her pieces on consignment, but she needed the cash now. She'd been a bit hesitant to come here because this was the most expensive store in town, and she was sure the owner would take one look at her suit, stylish ten years ago, and send her packing.
The sun glittered on her twenty pieces of sea- glass jewelry spread across the top of the glass display case. The presentation under it sparkled with diamonds and sapphires on black velvet.
Mallory nudged her favorite bracelet with one finger. "This one is white gold instead of the usual sterling silver. I mixed pink tourmaline with darker pink sea glass to create the piece."
The owner, in his forties with a paunch and bald head, picked up the bracelet and looked it over. "Very nice craftsmanship, Mrs. Davis. The quality is exceptional. The pink and green moon from the tourmaline is quite unique. And I really like the mermaid on it. How much do you want for these?"
She tipped up her chin and forced a confidence that was at odds with the fluttery sensation in her stomach. "I need five hundred dollars for it. I have five of them ready here in my briefcase. And did you see these earrings?" She pointed out another offering. "The tourmaline makes them so distinctively Maine. These are two hundred dollars."
He nodded. "My customers are always asking for quality tourmaline pieces, and I find it hard to keep up with the demand when they want jewelry created in Maine." He pursed his flat lips. "I'll take everything you have here, plus all the mermaid-moon bracelets. Write me up an invoice and I'll give you a check right now. I think I can take most everything you make off your hands."
Hiding her elation, she took a surreptitious glance at her watch. Haylie would be out of school in half an hour. "Of course." She pulled the jewelry pieces out of her case along with an invoice pad.
She wanted to do a fist pump in the air. Her mortgage was a week late, but she could pay it electronically as soon as the check cleared.
The back of her neck prickled, and she resisted the urge to turn around. For the past week she'd had the uneasy feeling that someone was watching her, but try as she might to convince herself it was from the stress of her finances, she couldn't help swinging her head around to look. And saw nothing out of the ordinary.
She was letting her imagination run wild again.
But her joy bubbled to the surface when she remembered she'd done it. This was the beginning of good things for them.
Fifteen minutes later she thanked the proprietor and exited into the dreary gloom of an early-spring day. Tugging her jacket higher at the neck, her smile widened as she hurried to her blue Toyota. She pulled out her phone and dialed her best friend, Carol Decker.
Carol had been Mallory's rock when Brian died in a small plane accident two years ago. She lived in the house next door and ran Haylie around when Mallory had errands to run or needed to work on her jewelry designs. At fifty-five, she was twenty years older than Mallory and had never been married, but she was warm and cuddly as a new kitten.
Carol answered on the first ring. "How'd it go?"
"He bought everything I've got!" She turned the key and started the engine. "I need to pick up Haylie. It took him forever to write out the check." Before she pulled into traffic, she stared at the check for $3,500. "We can eat this month. And I can get the mortgage caught up."
Carol laughed. "I'd say you just shot the wolf at the door full of buckshot, then had him stuffed and mounted."
"Good riddance. I never want to see that mangy monster again." Mallory stopped at the light and noticed the engine running a little rough. "I need to get this clunker looked at. It's going to die on me before too long."
"I think it needs the spark plugs changed."
And she had the money to do just that. Mallory saw the time. "Holy cow, is it really two thirty? I'm going to be late."
She gunned the Toyota as soon as the light changed and drove as fast as she dared. The school was a good fifteen minutes away if traffic was moving.
"Haylie will be fine if you're five minutes late. Don't stress."
Easy enough for Carol to say. She didn't have children. "I've got to run. Talk to you when I get home."
She dropped her phone back into her purse, then drummed her fingers on the steering wheel as traffic stopped at another light. The clock on the dash flipped another minute closer to two fifty. The light changed to green and she shot through it.
* * *
Kids milled around the schoolyard as she pulled to the curb. She scanned the area for Haylie's red jacket.
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.
She threw open her door and ran toward her daughter. "Haylie!"
Her daughter looked up, her dark- brown eyes wide. 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.
She reached Haylie and grabbed her arm. "I've told you never to talk to strangers."
Haylie rolled her eyes. "He was only asking if I knew someone. I told him I didn't. Chill out, Mom."
Mallory gritted her teeth and swallowed the rebuke wanting to burst out. "He could have grabbed you and taken off."
Haylie shifted her khaki backpack to her shoulder. "Why do you have to make such a big deal out of everything?" She took off toward the car in an angry stride.
Mallory sighed and followed. Her daughter had no idea just how unsafe the world could be, how quickly life could go from perfect to shattered beyond repair. One mistake and the world could change. She knew that only too well.
She turned and stared after the van. Something bad could have happened because she'd been late. She had to be extra vigilant.
Her purse vibrated and she dug around for her silenced phone. Dad flashed on the screen and her smile vanished. Things had been tense between them for so many years, and she wished for the umpteenth time that she could find a way to turn back the clock.
Haylie waved to her from the passenger seat, and Mallory turned her back to her daughter's impatient face. "Hi, Dad." She forced a light note into her voice.
Only silence answered her. Was that the distant sound of a boat engine? "Dad, are you there? I hear gulls, but I can't hear you." She detected a faint gasp, and her fingers tightened around the phone. "Dad?" Was he having a heart attack? He'd put on twenty pounds this year, all around the middle. He was a heart attack waiting to happen.
Pulling the phone from her ear, she saw full bars. The problem wasn't on her end. "Dad?"
A choking sound vibrated in her ear, then his shaky voice whispered across the miles. "Love you ... always. Find ... Mother." A rattle sounded as though he needed to clear his throat and couldn't. "Tell ... Haylie. Love her."
"Dad!" Her chest squeezed as the import of his words hit. He must be delusional. Her mother had been dead for fifteen years. "Where are you? I'll come right now."
"Should have ... known better." The words were barely a whisper. A long sigh eased through the phone, and something clunked.
Pressing the phone tighter to her ear, she heard only the sound of the gulls, the lap of waves, and the putt-putt of the boat motor. "Dad, talk to me!"
He was on his boat, but where? She spoke his name again and waited. Nothing. Had he fallen? Maybe the clunk was the phone dropping to the deck. She didn't want to hang up, not while the connection held. How could she find him?
Wait, she had a family tracker app on her phone. Just for fun, she'd connected her dad's phone with hers. Still maintaining the connection with her father, she flipped over to the app and located his phone. It was near Folly Shoals. He must have been delivering the mail.
She went back to the phone call. "Dad?"
She got the wa-wa
sound of a disconnected call in her ear.
A number popped into Mallory's head and she punched it in, then walked farther away so Haylie couldn't hear what was going on.
A deep male voice answered on the second ring. "Game Warden O'Connor."
Her chest tightened at the familiar voice. Had she really called Kevin O'Connor? "Kevin, it's Mallory. Dad's in trouble. Can you go check on him?"
There was a slight hesitation. "Mallory?"
His cautious tone told her all she needed to know about his feelings. "Hurry, Kevin. I-it sounded like he was dying." She gave him the coordinates.
"I'll call you."
"Give me two hours. On my way." She hung up and called her dad back again.
Only the gulls answered.
* * *
Claire Dellamare lifted her face to the wind and let it toss her hair as she inhaled the briny scent of the sea. Luke Rocco turned off the boat's engine, then threw the anchor overboard. The rocky crags of Mermaid Point, a westward promontory of Folly Shoals Island, rose to their left and blocked a bit of the sun glaring in her eyes. She could just make out the metal roof of Breakwater Cottage where Edmund Blanchard lived. He was a familiar sight around the Downeast as he delivered the mail by boat.
She turned to smile at Luke. "Why are we stopping here? I thought we were going to check out the orca pod."
Luke's good looks never failed to thrill her. With his nearly black hair and dark- brown eyes, he could have been a pirate in the old days. Finding him at the beach six months ago had been her lucky day, and knowing he loved her was a little bit of God's grace given to her.
"We are. There was something else I wanted to talk to you about first."
Her stomach plunged at his somber expression. "Walker?"
He rose from his seat at the controls. "No, Dad's fine. He's taken the news that I'm selling the cranberry farm better than I expected. I think he's weary of the battle, too, and he knows I can't keep up with the farm and my duties in the Coast Guard too. He's got other things on his mind now." A ghost of a smile lifted his lips. "Like dancing attendance on Dixie."
Claire had to chuckle. Seeing Walker start to date again after all those years as a widower had been a hoot. He was like a teenager. "You scared me there for a minute. So, what's wrong? You look so serious."
He reached into his pocket and withdrew a box. "This is a momentous moment."
A ring box.
Her breath caught in her throat, and her heart rate pumped into overdrive as he dropped to one knee. It was happening now. Right now. Her lungs compressed, and she stared into his handsome face and the eyes she loved so much.
He opened the little velvet box, and a beautiful marquis ring set with diamonds and tourmaline sparkled in the bright Maine sunshine. "I can't imagine my life without you in it, Claire. Will you marry me? I love you more than I can say."
A lump formed in her throat and her vision blurred. They'd been through so much together. Things that should have shoved them apart, not brought them together. "I ... I love you too. And of course I'll marry you. Today, tomorrow, anytime you say."
He rose and slipped the ring on her finger. She threw her arms around his neck, and his lips came down on hers. It was the sweetest kiss they'd ever shared, warm and passionate with promise and commitment. She closed her eyes and clung to him. If she didn't open her eyes, maybe she could make this moment last forever, like a secret treasure only the two of them found.
When Luke broke the kiss, she murmured a protest and tried to pull his head back down. His grunt of surprise made her lids spring open. "What's wrong?"
He was frowning as he looked toward the pier at the breakwater below the point. "That's Edmund's boat, and it seems to be drifting aimlessly. And the game warden is just about to it. I think something's wrong. I should go see if there's anything I can do to help Kevin." His radio squawked with a request for aid from the Coast Guard. "That's Kevin's voice."
The boat bobbed in the waves about a mile off Mermaid Point. And she saw no sign of Edmund. "Let's help."CHAPTER 2
Edmund's boat floated aimlessly in the choppy waves toward the rocky shore off the island of Folly Shoals. Kevin consulted the GPS on his boat console and throttled back the engine. His boat slewed sideways and came to a stop beside the blue- and- white mail boat. Mallory's call had set all Kevin's alarms ringing, and the sharp kee-arr of a tern overhead added to his unease.
He tossed an anchor overboard, then tied up his boat to the mail boat and stepped aboard. "Edmund?" He moved toward the bridge, past the bay where Edmund had stacked the freight for delivery to Folly Shoals. The atmosphere aboard ship had a stillness, as if the boat held its breath along with him. Sheer imagination, but he couldn't shake the feeling of dread that curdled his lunch of lobster bisque in his belly.
He raised his voice above the wind whistling outside the windows. "Edmund, it's Warden Kevin O'Connor."
It felt odd to identify himself as a game warden instead of his first name. He'd looked up to Mallory's father for as long as he could remember. The whole area knew Edmund well. A lobsterman from a family that had fished these waters since the 1800s, Edmund was one of those men who had forgotten more about the sea than most men ever knew. He'd given up lobstering after his wife died and had gone to mail boat delivery instead.
A sharp coppery scent mingled with the smell of sea and kelp, and under all of it, a slight aroma of something sweet and perfumy. Kevin's steps faltered as he recognized the stench of blood. He curled his fingers into his palms and ducked to enter the bridge doorway.
He saw Edmund's boot first. Then his outstretched hand, and lastly, his head with a spreading pool of blood under it. He stepped over the chart map lying on the floor, then knelt and touched the older man's neck, searching for a pulse. No sign of life. Edmund's flesh was cold.
Kevin swallowed hard and retraced the steps to his boat to call the Coast Guard. Edmund had a radio on the Mermaid, but Kevin didn't want to contaminate any evidence. The bleeding head wound could have come from a bad fall, but until the investigation was completed, he didn't want to be accused of messing up a crime scene. After reporting his discovery, he used his cell phone to call the sheriff and the state police.
His cell phone began to play "The River" by Garth Brooks. Mallory. No way did he want to be the bearer of such bad news, but he couldn't ignore his duty. Or the way his heart still leapt at the sight of her name.
Inhaling, he answered the call. "Warden O'Connor."
"Kevin?" Mallory's voice quivered with a thread of terror. "Did you find Dad?"
He turned to stare at the island cliff rising toward the drifting clouds. An eagle's nest caught his attention, and he counted four small heads as he tried to decide how to phrase his answer. Should he be blunt or try to put her off?
He couldn't lie to her. "I found him, Mallory. I'm sorry, but there was nothing I could do."
At the sound of her choked cry, his free hand curled into a fist. He'd give anything to spare her this pain. She'd lost both her parents now, and he still cared about what she faced, even if he hadn't seen her in fifteen years. Soft weeping vibrated in his ear, and he waited until her sobs tapered off.
"The state boys are on their way and so is the sheriff. The Coast Guard will be here any minute."
"What happened? H-heart attack?"
"I don't know for sure yet." Details could wait until he saw her in person. She didn't need to know about the blood, not yet. "What's your ETA?"
"About an hour. You're still with him?"
"Good. I'll be there as fast as I can. Where will they take him?"
A couple of orcas swam by the boat, and he watched their trajectory toward Sunset Bay. Even though he didn't want to, he had to come clean. "Probably to the coroner's."
She gasped. "There will be an autopsy? Why would they do that? You don't think it was a heart attack?"
"He had some kind of head wound. It might have been from a bad fall, but the coroner will have to make that determination."
Excerpted from Mermaid Moon by Colleen Coble. Copyright © 2016 Colleen Coble. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is fantastic!
Best book ever by Colleen! Mermaid Moon by: Colleen Coble Mermaid Moon is book two in A Sunset Cove series by Colleen Coble. This is the book book that Colleen has ever written. She sure knows how to capture the reader and draw them into the book right from the start. I was sitting on the edge of my seat all the way through this book. I didn’t want to put this book down! Characters that are so captivating. The love, passion, determination, stubbornness of the characters capture you. You will be rooting for the good guys to get the bad guys in this story. There is so much suspense and romance to get your attention in this story. I am so looking forward to reading the next book in this series! Be sure to get your copy of this book today! It also makes a great gift 5 stars!
Enjoy all her books
This book is the second in a series and is every bit as good as the first. The story weaves your interest and holds it to the end. There are twists and a surprise ending.
There was definitely some twists and turns I didn’t expect!
This book has its own great story! It also finishes the story and continues it from book number one. I love how the community is intertwined.
I love reading this series with the suspense and romance. Looking forward to reading the next one.
I enjoy coleens books so much always suspenseful
Colleen Cable does a wonderful job of combining suspense with romance in her Christian books. In this one, Mallory Davis has not been home for 15 years. Then her dad dies on his mail boat route. She feels that now she needs to go home because there are questionable things about his death. When at home she meets up with Kevin O'Connor, someone from her childhood, who helps her realize that her father was murdered. Kevin was heartbroken when Mallory left years ago, so he is uneasy about her joining him on this case. Mallory and her daughter Haylie have threats made on their lives. Instead of making her stop it does the opposite. Along the way Mallory is able to discover many things and not just about her father's murder. Colleen Cable does a great job in weaving together a story. With the suspense in this one, I did not want to put it down until I finished. The characters and story line are believable and are written in a way that made me feel like I was there with Mallory along the way. I loved the way the story had little twists and turns to keep me guessing throughout. I was given this book by NetGalley and Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review. I thank them very much.
The suspense slowly mounts throughout the book causing the reader to keep turning pages and wanting just a few more hours in the day to finish reading it. I had trouble finding a good stopping place when I had to take care of other things, such as sleeping or eating. Several of the characters were surrounded by mystery. The lead characters were forced to cling to their faith and to each other, even when they didn’t want to be around each other. At times, they didn’t know who they could trust. As I read and one of the characters would suggest they contact someone for help, looking on from outside the action, I would question if that was a good idea and if the other party could be trusted. The setting for the story was unlike any I have ever visited with all of the islands and the wilderness that stretched for mile after mile. It all seemed ruggedly beautiful but I wouldn’t want to visit with some of the people on the loose there. If you love a good, clean, suspenseful romantic novel, I recommend this book to you. You will be glad you read it.
Mermaid Moon is the second book in the Sunset Cove Series and although I’d read the first quite a while ago, I was able to jump right back into the story. Mallory Davis must return to Mermaid Point to deal with the murder of her father. A bad decision tore apart the relationship between Mallory and her high school sweetheart, Kevin O’Conner. It gave Mallory what she needed to get away from her hometown. Bad feelings still run deep from Kevin’s side of the family and they lay the blame at Mallory’s feet. Kevin must face forgiving the girl that broke his heart and his ex-wife’s reappearance. His old love resurfaces and he is stuck between his family and Mallory. One of my favorite parts of the book is the guest appearance of Gwen Marcey from Carrie Stuart Parks’ books. It was like having two great authors in one. I loved the story and found it to be one of family, mystery and forgiveness. The twists and turns in the story kept me guessing and intrigued from page one. Already a huge fan of Ms. Coble, Mermaid Moon was an easy choice for me and I wasn’t disappointed. I absolutely recommended it. https://wordynerdyblog.wordpress.com/2016-book-reviews/mermaid-moon-by-colleen-coble/
Mermaid Moon Colleen Coble Book Summary: Mallory's mother died fifteen years ago. But her father's last words on the phone were unmistakable: “Find . . . mother.” Shame and confusion have kept Mallory Davis from her home for the last fifteen years, but when her dad mysteriously dies on his mail boat route, she doesn't have any choice but to go back to Mermaid Point. Mallory believes her father was murdered and childhood sweetheart Kevin O'Connor, game warden in Downeast Maine, confirms her suspicions. But Kevin is wary of helping Mallory in her search. She broke his heart—and left—without a word, years ago. When Mallory begins receiving threats on her own life—and her beloved teenage daughter, Haylie—their search intensifies. There's a tangled web within the supposed murder, and it involves much more than what meets the eye. As answers begin to fall into place, Mallory realizes her search is about more than finding her father's killer—it is also about finding herself again . . . and possibly about healing what was broken so long ago with Kevin. She just has to stay alive long enough to put all the pieces together. Review: Really enjoyed this story. Unfortunately I started out confusing this series with the Hope Beach series. I finally did get straighten out due to Claire and her sister. I found the rustic life in Maine to be fun and as rural as Maine truly is. I enjoyed the characters, although Mallory tended to hold onto the past a little too much. Her neighbor Carol was well written. The book had some twists and turns I was not expecting which makes it a must read in my book. I liked the theme of forgiveness that was running through the book. Kevin was great, the best character of all. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. I thought that finding her birth father was exciting and that her father truly had changed life in Christ. While the books are great and Colleen Coble does have a theme of Christianity running through it she has decreased the intensity of it and Mallory’s birth father was the strongest Christian in the book with Kevin being 2nd. I really loved that part. It was not preachy just a factual change of life. Those are something that can speak the loudest. I hope her books continue to be that way. I would like to thank Net Galley and Thomas Nelson for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone. 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.
The setting for this suspense novel is Downeast Maine, along the Atlantic coastal region. The protagonist had left her east coast home for reasons that she still hasn't resolved. Her character is well developed, but insecurities surrounding her past have prevented her from moving forward until tragedy forces her to return to the home of her childhood. This book is the third in a series. I have not read the first two books previous to this one, so I may be missing some of the background from the former books. I felt that I was missing information regarding a couple of the characters. Otherwise, the book is fast paced with suspense that will keep you from putting the book down. Romance comes into the picture as a past relationship is once again kindled. This was developed in a very natural progression and realism. There are dysfunctional relationships which cause a great deal of discomfort and confusion for the characters, but the author provides good background information regarding those issues. I would have liked more descriptive elements regarding the setting along the coast of Maine, but once again, that may have been provided in the first two books in the series. I would recommend reading this series in order rather than stand alone novels. I enjoyed Mermaid Moon and the elements that the title represents. This is a great read for a summer day on the beach, or while on vacation.
I've never read a book by Colleen Coble that I didn't like. This is definitely no exception! Since she is one of my all time favorite authors, I've come to expect a lot from her stories. Suspense, mystery, intrigue, romance, and of course a strong Christian message. Mermaid Moon has it all. I enjoyed catching up with Claire, Kate, and Luke, as well as heading back to Sunset Cove. Colleen Coble's descriptions made me feel like I was riding the mail boat with Mallory and Kevin, chasing down the mystery of her father's death. I love Mallory and Kevin. I love every part about their story. Mallory is sweet, kind, and doing her best to survive being a single parent. Her strength is inspiring. After all the heartache she's had to endure, it's amazing she can keep her head up. Kevin is the kind of man any woman would love to fall in love with. He's kind, smart, and watching him care for his daughter is endearing. The obstacles that Kevin and Mallory have to overcome seem insurmountable in the beginning. Fear of letting go, making more mistakes, and embracing what God has hold them back from experiencing the life they are meant to live. The message of the story, as Colleen Coble states in her note to the reader, is about second chances. As Colleen says, "When we're stuck in unforgiveness, we can't be completely free in our lives because we're too worried about making mistakes. But mistakes are part of life. We learn and grow from them. Embrace the journey and make those mistakes. Become better and stronger through them!" Both Kevin and Mallory have to face their mistakes, forgive themselves and each other, in order to gain all God has in store for their lives. Overall, I loved this story (was there really ever a question of whether or not I would?!). I can't wait to read more from this exciting and suspenseful author. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Book Look Blogging Program in exchange for my honest review.*
Mallory Davis is a jewelry designer in Bangor, Maine, specializing in sea glass designs, trying to make ends meet. As she's picking up her daughter from school one day, she gets a call from her father, who runs a mail boat service in Mallory's hometown of Mermaid Point. He sounds seriously injured, squeezing out the words "Find...Mother" before the call cuts off. Not only is Mallory crazy worried about him, she's also confused. Her mother died fifteen years earlier, or so she thought? Mallory contacts her ex-boyfriend, Kevin O'Connor, who still works as a game warden in Mermaid Point. She quickly (and in a panic) relays the situation to him and he promises to immediately take his boat out and go check on her father. What he finds confirms Mallory's suspicions -- it looks like her father has been murdered. Next, his home and mail sorting office are ransacked. Now, as Mallory, with Kevin's help, investigates what her father's final message might have meant, she finds that someone is now threatening not only her life but that of her teen daughter, Haylie. In fact, nearly everyone who associates with Mallory seems to end up dead or injured, or they have their property damaged / destroyed. While all this is going on, Kevin discovers he's got some embers of romantic interest getting stirred up again around old flame Mallory. No surprise there, but to complicate matters, Kevin's ex-wife pops back up on the scene to start up a visitation tug-of-war over their daughter... after 8 years of virtually no contact. The complications don't stop there. Coble throws in some crazy family ties (through marriage, that is) between Kevin, Mallory and Kevin's ex-wife DeAnn until the story just becomes one big convoluted, far-fetched soap opera. And speaking of convoluted, if Coble is going to be dropping so many place names into this series, she should start including a map so readers can keep track of where all these people are traveling. In this story alone, there was Sunset Cove, Mermaid Point, Folly Shoals, and Summer Harbor... just to name a few! All in all, this was a middle of the road, breezy mystery read for me. I didn't find the mystery all that intense, though there is a minor plot twist near the end that gave things some extra interest. I also wasn't that wowed by the relationship between Kevin and Mallory, that you pretty much know from the get-go (if you've read enough of these kind of stories) is going to be a rekindled romance. I didn't like how the big secret around why they broke up in the first place was dangled about for what seemed like FOREVER before they just came out and addressed it. By the time the reveal came, I was just over caring about it and just wanted to find out how the murder mystery wrapped up. As often happens with stories where I get a little meh about the main plot, I did find minor characters that kept me reading just to know their stories. I especially liked the sassy character, Dixie! One extra fun connection here that I was not expecting was the cross-over appearance of the character Gwen Marcey, the forensic artist from Carrie Stuart Parks' fantastic Gwen Marcey series. The way Marcey was portrayed here didn't feel entirely seamless with her characterization in the series, so I didn't even catch the connection until Coble mentions it in a note at the end. But I was stoked to read in that same note that another Marcey novel is due out this August! :-)
Mermaid Moon is another great book by Colleen Coble! The suspense will keep you on your toes until the end! It was difficult to figure out who the "bad guy" was! Throw in a romance rekindled between the two main characters and you want to read just one more chapter! The setting on an island in Maine makes the story even better! I highly recommend Mermaid Moon to anyone who likes suspense! I won this book in a giveaway from the Engrafted Word blog.
First thoughts: This is probably the best story I've read from Colleen Coble so far. I loved the amount of suspense and mystery. The characters' stories and secrets were revealed throughout the book in a way that kept me guessing until the end. Plot: When Mallory's dad calls and tells her with his last dying breath to 'Find Mother', she doesn't know what to think. Her mom died 15 years ago. Returning to the hometown she left years ago will bring her father's murderer to her door. Game warden Kevin O'Connor is torn between helping her find the killer or keeping his heart safe from the woman who broke it years ago. Characters: Kevin and Mallory have a history, but they both moved on and married others. Now that they're both single again, it was nice to see them getting a second chance. I enjoyed seeing Mallory and Kevin's interactions with both of their respective daughters, Haylie and Sadie. I liked that the author included Sadie's blindness in the story. I always enjoy meeting characters that aren't physically perfect and getting to walk in their shoes just a little bit. Recommendation: I recommend this book to those who enjoy great suspense with a little bit or romance. Although it's the second book in the series, Mermaid Moon can stand alone. I hadn't read the first one, and didn't feel like I was missing anything. I look forward to reading more in this series. Rating: 4.5/5 stars I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Mermaid Moon #2 (A Sunset Cove novel)***** by Colleen Coble Mallory Davis fled from Mermaid Point 15 years ago, taking her shame and guilt with her. With her father's sudden, mysterious death aboard his mail-boat route she finds herself back in Mermaid Point. But something doesn't seem right about her father's death and she is determined to investigate until she learns the truth. She starts getting death threats which include her teenaged daughter, Haylie. It would seem someone is following her and is after something or doesn't want her to learn the truth. She enlists her old high school sweetheart, game warden Kevin O'Connor to help in her search for the truth. When he confirms her suspicions and with the threats, their search intensifies. The clues reveal more than they ever suspected—a tangled web that brings even more danger. Sparks fly between Mallory and Kevin that has nothing to do with the investigation. Is there a second chance for them or will the killer get in the way—permanently? Wow, Colleen Coble weaves a gripping, powerful story filled with suspense, mystery and danger with plot twists and turns that kept me on the edge of me seat as I turned the pages reading far into the night. As I read I tried to figure out who the bad-guys were and what it was they were after. And the ones I thought were the good-guys really good or really the bad-guys? Just when I think I figured it out, a new, unexpected twist is added in the mix, leaving me in the dark again. I really like Mallory and Kevin's characters and hoped they could find the people responsible quickly rather than later. I have never been to Maine but could envision the area from the vivid descriptions of the point and surrounding area. I love that there is an inspirational thread woven throughout the storyline, offering the characters God's grace, redemption and forgiveness. Forgiveness of others—especially of themselves—is not always easy as Mallory and Kevin found out. Second changes, romance and love mixed in with the danger makes the romance sweeter and to be cherished. The first book in the series, The Inn at Ocean's Edge, was a fantastic book and I didn't think she could top that, but she did with the gripping story of Mermaid Moon. I can't wait to see what the book 3 Twilight at Blueberry Barrens reveals. ~I received a copy of this book from the author and the Fiction Guild for review, this is my honest review~
A gripping story. Mallory Davis returns home when he father is found dead. Then her home is broken into and her father's home is burned. Something is going on that is threatening her and her daughter. Can Game Warden Kevin O'Connor and Mallory figure out why people are after her before it's too late? There are several twists to this story and early on you know the people causing the problems but not the why and how they turn out. Will keep you riveted to the end.
A good week-end escape.... Mermaid Moon A Sunset Cove Novel #2 By Colleen Coble Fifteen years ago she was hit by a double tragedy, she ran away from the man she loved and the pain. She never returned home - until today. A phone call from her father has brought her home. His last words leave her wondering what he meant. Was it a clue as to his suspicious death? A last memory that came to him as he said goodbye? Mallory Davis has some decisions to make. Return home to Bangor or remain in Folly Shoals. With a 14 year old daughter in the mix it won't be an easy decision to make. But when threats against both Mallory and her daughter start occurring at both homes it is obvious that her father's death is more than it appears. But is the threat one of her father's making or is it something more? It is time to start digging into the past and to do it she needs help. Unfortunately her best source of help is the man she left behind - Kevin O'Connor. Can Kevin find it in himself to forgive Mallory and help her or will his pain keep him for accepting a second chance with his first love? Someone is determined to keep the past buried. The only question is will Mallory be buried with it? I was provided a copy of this book by the Fiction Guild in exchange for my honest review.
Mermaid Moon by Colleen Coble is the third book that I've read by this author, but is the second book in the "Sunset Cove". I have not read the first book in this series. Mallory Davis's father died suddenly, and Mallory travels to where he lived to try and solve what happened to him. His last words told her to find her mother, but her mother had been dead for several years. There's someone following her though, and she may have to rely on her childhood sweetheart, Kevin O'Conner for protection and inside information on the evidence from her dad's death. Kevin O'Conner had his heart broken by Mallory many years ago, but he risks it again for the sake of helping Mallory and protecting her from her stalker. Will he be able to open up to her again? This was a book that I couldn't put down, that's for sure! Unfortunately, I didn't necessarily like it. There were a lot of "stereotypical suspense novel" things that happened in the plot, which I can't specifically complain about without giving away spoilers. Even Mallory's fourteen year old daughter was "stereotypical", which was disappointing (and slightly insultingly overdramatic) to myself, being an older teenage girl, and having younger sisters, whom do not act as the character in the book does. In other words, a little more creativity was in order for the characters and the plot. Besides the characters and the plot though, I liked the book. I enjoyed how ties to Denise Hunter, her books, and her characters were woven in, as I am a big fan of hers. The romance was good, and woven in well, but mostly I just love the cover of the book! The sunset and silhouette are gorgeous, and the title is so mysterious yet romantic sounding. I loaned the book to my sister and plan to loan it to my friend, so I would still recommend it overall. Thank you so much to Thomas Nelson publishers and to the Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Fiction Guild for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive, nor was I compensated in any way other than receiving the book itself.
The second in the series and this will not spoil book number one as it takes place in the same small town, but centers around a different person in town. The original characters from the first book make appearances, but aren't the focus. Audra's gets a strange call from her father to say find her mother but her mother passed away years ago, so she returns home to take on the task and gets swept up into a bigger mystery then she ever could have imagined. Again the characters in this book were intriguing and I kept wanting more and more. I loved how there was some full on romance in this one. It didn't seem forced and worked within the bigger mystery. Another great mystery that I couldn't put down - don't pick this one up unless you have a good day or two to devour it!
The plot lacks integrity with weak motives, confusing details, improbable scenarios, and faith-based references that are random and disjointed. In the end, the convoluted story raises more questions than it answers. Enough said.
This was the second Colleen Coble book I have read, and I am now a fan. This book was a super fast read for me because the element of mystery began on page 1 and continued through to the end. I am normally pretty good at figuring out the answers to mysteries in books, but I somehow missed the clues in this one and was pleasantly surprised when the culprit was revealed and the mother mystery was solved. Colleen Coble is wonderful at creating a story and weaving the characters' lives together. She creates a tapestry with her writing that is full and colorful. With summer coming up this will be a great vacation read. It is a definite add to your summer reading list. I received this book from the Fiction Guild in exchange for my honest review.