Nora Roberts is a consummate storyteller. After more than a
hundred novels, her talent shines like new in Sea Swept, the
first novel in a trilogy. Set on Maryland's eastern shore Sea Swept, is a story of both the transforming power of commitment and all-conquering love in all its forms.
When the novel opens, Cameron Quinn is about to pop the cork on a
bottle of expensive champagne with beautiful and vapid
supermodel Martine in the south of France. Cam is a
world-class sailor who wins regattas around the globe. But when
he and Martine retire to his suite for some shallow passion, there's a message waiting for him. Cam's father, Ray "the Mighty" Quinn, is in the hospital. Cam's brothers Phillip and Ethan want him to come home immediately. Abandoning the high life, Cam takes off for the simpler terrain of Maryland. His father lies dying in the
hospital, the victim of a car wreck that might have been caused by
reckless driving or might have been a suicide attempt.
Regardless of the cause, there's a further wrinkle in Cam and
his brothers' lives in the form of young Seth DeLauter.
Apparently, Ray Quinn had taken Seth in because the boy had been in a bad situation with his mother. This makes sense to the brothers
Quinn, since each of them had been plucked from terrible
circumstance by Ray and his late wife, Stella.
Cam's childhood had been a canvas of terror at the hands of an
abusive father, and Cam had taken to the road and to stealing
to protect himself. Ray and Stella took him in and gave him
shelter, love, and security. Although the scars occasionally show, Cam is forever indebted to the memory of his adoptive mother, and to his now-dying adoptive father, for having literally saved his life. Each brother has a different but ultimately similar experience with the Quinns. So it seems to them that young Seth is in the same boat.
When their father dies, Cam and his brothers learn something
further about Seth's background, mainly through rumor and
innuendo. There's a hint of scandal to their father's past.
He had been a college professor, and a female
student had accused him of having taken advantage of her several years' earlier. Seth may, in fact, be the result of this brief and unhappy union. Cam discovers that Seth's mother, a prostitute in the city, had been blackmailing Ray Quinn as he attempted to adopt the boy who might be his son. The night of Ray's car crash, he was returning from a trip to see Seth's mother. He had apparently paid an enormous sum of money to buy his son back from the woman.
Although this incident tarnishes the memory of their father, the brothers Quinn are determined to maintain a home for Seth. They see too
much of themselves in him. But this is just the beginning of
their story together as they return to their family
homestead -- for each has a life beyond their family and must give it up and adapt to the new circumstance of raising a child together.
Enter social worker Anna Spinelli, an attractive, smart
young woman who only wants what is best for Seth, and who feels that the
household the three brothers put together may not be the best
situation for him. Although the sparks fly
between her and Cam, she knows her job. Seth may have to be
turned over to a foster home.
As Cam and his brothers learn to put Seth first, they
discover love, family, and yes, even romance. Sea Swept, is
primarily Cam's novel, though -- the story of his journey to discover
the strength and vision that had lain dormant within him for
It is no wonder that Nora Roberts's fiction is often compared to
that of Sidney Sheldon and other mainstream novelists, but
I'll go one further:
Sea Swept, is a true delight. I laughed out loud in some parts,
and I worked to hold back the tears in others. These are real
people dealing intelligently with genuine problems. Each
character is complex and fascinating, even the supposed bad
guys. Although Roberts can bring a woman like Anna Spinelli to
life, what impresses me most is how well she writes about men. The
Quinn brothers are tough, rude, smart, and sexy, but always very
human and extremely vulnerable at their best. I can't wait
for the rest of the trilogy about these brothers and their
adventures in building a solid and heartfelt life.
Jessi Rose Lucas, barnesandnoble.com