In a secluded corner of Hope Beach, one woman must decipher a stranger’s memories . . . before they cost her everything.
Elin Summerall was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she get a heart transplant, but the donor was a perfect fit. A miraculously perfect fit.
But when Elin begins having violent flashbacks—and vivid dreams of being strangled—she realizes that she has been the recipient of more than just a new heart . . . Elin is remembering her donor’s murder.
Her strange affliction has attracted some unwanted attention: from the press, from the authorities . . . and from the killer himself. Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked—by a man she’s only met in her nightmares.
The police are dubious of her story, but one off-duty FBI agent agrees to help her: Agent Marc Everton.
Now, in a remote cottage on Hope Island, Elin and Marc must probe the secrets buried in her borrowed heart. And there’s no time to waste. One man is desperate to silence her—before she remembers too much.
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 Hope Beach Novel
By Colleen Coble
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2014 Colleen Coble
All rights reserved.
The constriction around her neck tightened, and she tried to get her fingers under it to snatch a breath. She was losing consciousness. A large wave came over the bow of the boat, and the sea spray struck her in the face, reviving her struggle. She had to fight or he would kill her. She could smell his cologne, something spicy and strong. His ring flashed in the moonlight, and she dug the fingers of her right hand into his red sweater. The pressure on her neck was unrelenting. She was going to die.
Elin Summerall bolted upright in the bed. Her heart pounded, and she touched her throat and found it smooth and unharmed. It was just that dream again. She was safe, right here in her own house on the outskirts of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Her slick skin glistened in the moonlight streaming through the window.
The incision over her breastbone pulsed with pain, and she grabbed some pills from the bedside and swallowed them. In and out. Concentrating on breathing helped ease both her pain and her panic. She pulled in a breath, sweetly laden with the scent of roses blooming outside her window, then lay back against the pillow.
Her eyes drifted shut, then opened when she heard the tinkle of broken glass. Was it still the dream? Then the cool rush of air from the open window struck her face, and she heard a foot crunch on broken glass.
She leaped from the bed and threw open her door. Her heart pounded in her throat. Was an intruder in the house? In her bare feet, she sidled down the hall toward the sound she'd heard. She paused to peek in on her four-year-old daughter. One arm grasping a stuffed bear, Josie lay in a tangle of princess blankets.
Elin relaxed a bit. Maybe she hadn't heard glass break. It might still have been part of the nightmare. She peered around the hall corner toward the kitchen. A faint light glimmered as if the refrigerator stood open. A cool breeze wafted from the kitchen, and she detected the scent of dew. She was sure she'd shut and locked the window. The hair stood on the back of her neck, and she backed away.
Then a familiar voice called out. "Elin? I need you."
Relief left her limp. Elin rushed down the hall to the kitchen where her mother stood in front of the back door with broken glass all around her feet. The refrigerator stood open as well. Her mom's blue eyes were cloudy with confusion, and she wrung her hands as she looked at the drops of blood on the floor.
Elin grabbed a paper towel. "Don't move, Mom. You've cut yourself." She knelt and scooped the bits of glass away from her mother's bleeding feet. Her mother obediently sat in the chair Elin pulled toward her, and she inspected the small cuts. Nothing major, thank goodness. She put peroxide on her mother's cuts and ushered her back to bed, all the while praying that when morning came, her mother's bout with dementia would have passed. For now.
It was only when she went back to the hall that she smelled a man's cologne. She rushed to the kitchen and glanced around. The glass in the back door was shattered. Inwardly.
He's been in the house.
* * *
The neat plantation-style cottage looked much the same as the last time Marc Everton had been here. Seeing Elin Summerall again hadn't even been on his radar when he pulled on his shoes this morning, but his investigation had pulled up her name, and he needed to find out what she knew.
He put the SUV in Park and shut off the engine. Blue flowers of some kind grew along the brick path to the front door. A white swing swayed in the breeze on the porch.
He mounted the steps and pressed the doorbell. He heard rapid footsteps come his way. The door swung open, and he was face-to-face with Elin again after all this time. She was just as beautiful as he remembered. Her red hair curled in ringlets down her back, and those amazing aqua eyes widened when she saw him.
She leaned against the doorjamb. "Marc, what a surprise." Her husky voice squeaked out as if she didn't have enough air. Her gaze darted behind her, then back to him. "W-What are you doing here?"
"I needed to talk to you. Can I come in?"
She swallowed hard and looked behind her again. "I'll come out." She slipped out the door and went to the swing, where she curled up with one leg under her, a familiar pose.
He perched on the porch railing. "I-I was sorry to hear about Tim. A heart attack, I heard. Strange for someone so young."
She nodded. "His lack of mobility caused all kinds of health problems." She glanced toward the house again and bit her lip.
The last time he'd seen her she was pregnant. And Tim had thrown him off the premises. While Marc understood the jealousy, it had been a little extreme.
His jaw tightened. "I'll get right to the point. I'm investigating Laura Watson's murder. I saw a news story this morning about you receiving her heart."
She gulped and clutched her hands in her lap. "That's right. What do you mean 'investigating'?"
"I'm with the FBI."
"I thought ..." She bit her lip and looked away. "I mean, you used to be in the Air Force."
"I was ready for something new."
"Sara never told me you'd left the military."
He lifted a brow but said nothing. He doubted he'd often been the topic of conversation between his cousin and Elin. Eyeing her, he decided to lay his cards on the table. "My best friend was murdered while investigating this case. My supervisor thinks I can't be objective now and wouldn't assign me to the case, but he's wrong. I took some leave, and I'm going to find his killer."
She gulped. "Oh, Marc, I'm so sorry."
He brushed off her condolences. "The article said you received Laura's heart, that you've been having some kind of memories of the murder."
Her face paled, but her gaze stayed fixed on him. "Yes, it's been a little scary."
"Sorry to hear you've been sick. You all right now?"
When she nodded, a long curl fell forward, spiraling down her long neck to rest near her waist. He yanked his gaze back from that perfect, shining lock. Her hair was unlike any other woman's he'd ever met. Thick and lustrous with a color somewhere between red and auburn and lit from within by gold highlights.
Her hand went to the center of her chest. "I had a virus that damaged my heart. I'm still recovering from surgery, but the doctors are pleased with my progress."
"That's good." He pushed away the stab of compassion. The only reason he was here was to find out what she knew about the murder. "So tell me about these visions or whatever they are."
* * *
Elin exhaled and forced her tense shoulder muscles to relax. She had to do this. But what if she told him everything and he didn't believe her? No one else had listened. Was it because she didn't know herself anymore and it came across to others?
His dark good looks, only enhanced by a nose that had been broken several times, had always drawn female attention. She'd vowed they would never turn her head, but she was wrong. So wrong. He'd haunted her dreams for nearly five years, and she thought she'd finally put the guilt to rest. But one look at his face had brought it surging back. The scent of his cologne, Polo Red, wafted to her, instantly taking her back to that one night of passion.
She'd been so young and stupid. They hadn't even liked each other, and to this day, she wondered what had gotten into her.
Marc opened the iPad in his hand and launched a program. "How did you find out she was your donor?"
"I have access to the records, and no one thought to lock me out." She twisted her hands together. "To explain this, I need to give you some background, so bear with me." She plunged in before he could object. "I've worked matching up donors with recipients for five years. I love my job."
Those two words told her a lot. "Anyone who works with organ donation has heard the stories. They've even hit the news on occasion. Accounts of things the recipient knew about the donor. Things they should have had no way of knowing."
He nodded. "Cell memory."
At least he knew the term. "That's right. Within hours of receiving my new heart, I started having flashbacks of Laura's murder." She touched her throat. "I'm choking, fighting for my life. I remember things like the color of the murderer's hair. I keep smelling a man's cologne. I went to the department store to identify it. It's Encounter." She saw doubt gathering on his face and hurried on. "He was wearing a sweater the night he killed her. It was red."
He lifted a brow. "A sweater? On a Caribbean cruise?"
She bit her lip. "Maybe he put it on to prevent being scratched. I fought—I mean, Laura fought—very hard."
He didn't believe her. He hadn't taken a single note on his iPad. She had to convince him or Josie would be orphaned. Mom would have to go to a nursing home. "He's stalking me."
His somber gaze didn't change. "What's happened?"
"Someone broke into my house the other night. I'd just had a nightmare about the murder, and I heard the glass break. At first I thought it was an intruder, then Mom called for me. I found her in the kitchen in the middle of broken glass. I cleaned her up and got her to bed before I looked around more." She shuddered and hugged herself. "The glass in the back door had been broken from outside. He'd been here."
"What makes you think it's the man who killed Laura?"
"Who else could it be? He knows I'm remembering things because it was in the newspaper. He has to silence me before I remember everything."
He closed the cover on his tablet. "Well, thank you for answering my questions, Elin. I'll look into your claims. I've heard about cell memory, but most doctors consider it part of the psychological trauma from organ transplants. Have you been to a doctor? Maybe the intruder the other night was a nightmare. You said you'd been dreaming. And he wasn't actually in the house, was he?"
She stayed put in the swing. "You have to believe me. I know I sound like I'm crazy, but it's all too real."
His mouth twisted. "The police didn't believe you either, did they?"
She shook her head. "But they don't know me. You do."
His eyes went distant. "I'm not sure I do either. You seem—different somehow."
Her eyes burned. Everyone said that, but she didn't feel any different. Okay, maybe some of her likes and dislikes had changed, but it meant nothing. She was still Elin Summerall, Josie's mommy and Ruby's daughter.
The front door opened, and she saw her daughter's small hand on the doorknob. No, no, Josie, don't come out. Her daughter emerged with a bright smile. The red top and white pants she wore enhanced her dark coloring. Her distinctive hazel eyes were exactly like the man's in front of her. Maybe he wouldn't notice. A futile hope. Marc was a good detective, the best. Tenacious too.
"Hi, honey. Mommy is busy. Go back inside with Grandma."
Josie's eyes clouded. "She's sleeping. I want to go to the park."
Marc's gaze swept over Josie and lingered on her widow's peak. "This is Josie?"
There was no escaping this reckoning. "Yes. Josie, say hello to Mr. Everton."
"Hi, Mr. Everton. You want to come to my birthday party? I'll be five next month."
His smile was indulgent. "What's the date?"
His eyes widened, and Elin could almost hear the wheels spinning in his head, see him calculating the time. Tim hadn't come back for a month after that night.
He bolted upright, and his hands curled into fists. "I'd love to, Josie." His voice was controlled, but the look he shot Elin was full of fury and disbelief.
Elin forced a smile. "Go inside, honey. We'll go to the park in a little while. I need to talk to Mr. Everton for a few minutes."
Her daughter gave a final pout, then turned and went back inside. The door banged behind her as a final punctuation of her displeasure.
The silence stretched between Elin and Marc as their gazes locked. How on earth did she begin?
He paced to the door and back, then dug into his pocket and popped a mint from its package. He popped it into his mouth. "She's my daughter and you never told me." He spat out the tight words, and a muscle in his jaw jumped.
* * *
Marc struggled to control his anger. He'd instantly recognized Josie's resemblance to him instead of her red-haired mother. And Tim had been blond. Josie's hazel eyes were flecked with green and gold, just like his. The dimple in her right cheek matched his. So did the shape of her face and her dark curls. And her widow's peak.
He paced the porch and looked at Elin. Her figure was enough to stop traffic, but their personalities had never really meshed. Except for that one night after her father died. Ravaged by grief, she'd shown up at his house looking for Sara, and he gave her a drink to calm her down. One drink led to another and another until they crossed a line of no return. A night they both regretted.
He saw hope and fear warring in her beautiful face. "Why?" His voice was hoarse, and he cleared his throat. "Why didn't you tell me?"
She bit her lip. "As far as I was concerned, Tim was her father. That was one of the conditions he made before we were married, that he wanted her to be his daughter."
"He's been gone for two years. You could have come to me as soon as he died." His gaze swung back to the door. Elin had deprived him of two years he could have had with his daughter. His fists clenched again, and his throat ached from clenching his jaw.
Her eyes shimmered with moisture. "The last thing he asked me before he died was to never tell you. H-He was jealous. I'm sure you realized that when you came here with Sara that day and he went into a rage."
He gave a curt nod. "So you never planned to tell me?"
Her chin came up. "No. I'd betrayed Tim once. I didn't want to do it again."
The fact he had a child still floored him. What did he do with this? "I'll talk to my attorney and draw up some support papers."
A flush ran up her pale skin. "I don't want your money, Marc! Josie is my daughter. Tim is her daddy, and we don't need another one. The only thing I need from you is for you to find that man and put him behind bars before he hurts me."
"I intend to." Surely she wouldn't keep his daughter away from him? He wasn't going to be one of those deadbeat dads, no way. "But I'm not so sure about that cell-memory stuff."
She wrung her hands. "I see your skepticism. Don't you think I know it's crazy? Everyone just says, 'There, there, Elin. You've been through so much. This will pass.' But it's getting worse! The dreams come nearly every night. You have to help me."
Against his will, he saw the conviction in her face. So what if it was some kind of hallucination from the heart transplant? Josie was still his daughter. He owed it to her to see if there was any truth to this. And his lack of control that night still haunted him. Her grief for her father had been a poor excuse for what they'd done.
He went back to his perch on the porch railing and picked up his pen. "Start over from the beginning."CHAPTER 2
Elin rolled over and looked at the clock. It was nearly two in the morning, and she hadn't fallen asleep yet. She massaged the pain between her breasts. The discomfort had lessened substantially this week, but the twinges reminded her every day of how fragile her life was.
What if Marc tried to take her daughter? Even trying to be part of Josie's life would be a complication Elin didn't have the emotional energy to handle. She flipped on her light since she wasn't sleeping anyway and reached for her MacBook.
She called up the real-estate listing again and stared at the house on Hope Island she'd purchased. Her father had been stationed on the quaint little island for three years during her teens, and she treasured the memories of time spent with her parents and sister. Maybe she could recapture that peace and learn something about Laura in the process. She felt well enough to handle the move now.
She heard a sound and raised her head. Was Mom up again? Or maybe Josie? She closed her computer and got up. After opening her door, she listened a moment but the sound didn't come again. Still, it wouldn't hurt to check. She moved on to her daughter's room, then relaxed when she saw Josie curled up with her stuffed bear. Elin went to the tiny room her mother occupied, barely bigger than a closet. She slept as well.
Though the sound must have been her imagination, she couldn't shake off the sense of unease. She stood in the hallway outside Josie's room and listened to the hall clock ticking. Nothing. Turning toward her bedroom door, she mentally shrugged at her nerves.
Excerpted from Seagrass Pier by Colleen Coble. Copyright © 2014 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
I love Colleen Coble, love the Hope Beach series and especially loved this book. Plus, I really liked the main characters, Elin and Marc. They are so human and so likeable. It's romantic and it's very suspenseful and there are some great life lessons that can be applied to almost anyone's life. Although it's the 3rd book in the series, it can easily stand on its own so don't let it stop you if you haven't read the first two. Like some other reviewers though, you may want to go back and read them later if you missed them.
Excellent read. Page turner. Full of suspense.
A special thank you to Thomas Nelson—FICTION and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. SEAGRASS PIER by Colleen Coble part of an intriguing Hope Beach series—packed with suspense, mystery, emotion, complex characters, a psychopath, obsession, and romance. Elin, is frantic to get to Hope Beach, from Virginia Beach to escape a murderer. She lost her husband two years ago, then suffered from a terrible virus, and ultimately was fortunate to receive a heart transplant from a local girl, Laura who was murdered. Shortly thereafter, strange things began happening to Elin. She begins having violent flashbacks--and vivid dreams of being strangled. Elin is remembering her donor's murder. When she attempts to tell authorities of these disturbing events, they think she is nuts, and do not take her seriously. Elin is scared for her life, and her family—she now has a four year old daughter, Josie, and an aging mother, Ruby with dementia, to protect. She also begins questioning herself and her identity, as worried she may be taking on her donor’s personality. There is much publicity around the murder and Elin. She works with organ donors and wonders if there is a connection. She fears due to all the media, the killer will come after her. Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked--by a man she's only met in her nightmares. When good-looking Marc, an FBI agent investigating Laura’s murder, steps back into Elin’s life—(the last time he’d seen her she was pregnant, and her husband Tim had thrown him off the premises). At first Marc does not buy into “cell memory” (accounts of things a recipient knows about their donor). Within a few hours of receiving her new heart, she began having flashbacks of Laura’s murder. She recalls the color of the murderer’s hair, and smelling a man’s cologne. He was wearing a sweater the night he killer her and it was red and a ring. At first Marc, found this entire story unbelievable. After her four year old daughter, Josie walks into the room, inviting him to her upcoming fifth birthday—he quickly does the math, and realizes this is his daughter—she looks just like him—he never knew! While Marc risks his life to protect Elin and Josie, Elin is struggling to recall more clues in order to track down the murderer. As the investigation heats up, their attraction grows, and grandparents wanting them to build a family together. However, in a secluded corner of Hope Beach, time is running out as they have to find answers before it is too late. There are also other things going on behind the scene –making for a very surprising climax. When Elin discovers some diaries in the attic, from 1907 by Georgia Hurley, the original owner of the home, and quite the adventurer—very mysterious. Ruby is hiding a map, and unaware of what it means; however, someone is on their track to steal the map and another body is found. Throughout the book, everyone is second guessing one another. Can they be trusted and are they authentic? Some of the characters possess a hidden side, or a fake side (two different personalities, and some an obsession). After reading SEAGRASS PIER (Hope Beach #3) the third installment in this suspenseful series, I was so curious, with mentions of Libby and The Tidewater Inn, could not wait to read the previous two books. I have started Tidewater Inn (Hope Beach #1), and Rosemary Cottage (Hope Beach #2), to read thereafter. Was delighted
Intrigue, suspense, romance, and loyalty run throughout this great read by Colleen Coble. Elin, her daughter, and her mother are a tight knit team even though her mom battles with dementia. Elin senses hints of who may have killed the woman whose heart beats within her. She draws from different directions to put an end to the disturbing, persistent dreams. Who can she trust with her dilemma and her long held secret? How will God guide her? Will Marc be able to help? I like Colleen Coble's writing and she kept me guessing until the end to discover the who, how, and why. Fascinating reading for sure! Thanks to The BookLook Bloggers Team for furnishing a complimentary book in exchange for the reader’s honest opinion.
Do hearts have a memory? Elin Summerall believes that perhaps they do. When she had her heart transplant, she received the heart of a murder victim, one whose murder was never solved. Now she is having flashes of scenes which she personally never experienced. Someone seems to be stalking her and perhaps believes that this young widow knows something as well. Marc Everton has not seen Elin since the night neither of them wish to remember, the night Josie was conceived. Marc has no idea Josie exists. When Marc, now an FBI agent, comes asking questions about the murder, he discovers that he has a daughter as well as there being more to the facts he is pursuing than he had anticipated. Elin moves to Hope Island with Josie and her mother who suffers from dementia. Marc follows them there, both to get to know his daughter and to get more information to help solve the murder of his partner. In addition, there is a 100-year-old mystery as well as drug smugglers who are evading the Coast Guard. Needless to say, there is enough action to keep even the most bored reader alert to the end. Having read most of Colleen Coble’s books, I always have come to expect a good mystery. The idea of “cell memory” made for an interesting twist to this book. This is the third Hope Island book, but you do not have to have read Rosemary Cottage or Tidewater Inn to enjoy this. I received this from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Exciting book couldnt put it down
Great to read
Story very slow t o develop.
Seagrass Pier is the third Hope Beach novel, the others include Tidewater Inn and Rosemary Cottage. Unlike many titles in a series, Seagrass Pier can easily be read as a stand-alone novel without confusion over characters and plots from the previous books. Erin Summerall, a medical donor specialist, has herself received a new heart, needed after a virus destroyed her own. Her recovery goes well, but Erin begins having nightmares about a murder. Erin and the police all know that her new heart came from a young woman strangled on a cruise ship, so everyone takes her dreams seriously. As they become more frequent and vivid, her "cell memories" hit the news. Soon Erin begins to receive threatening messages. Could it be the killer? In an attempt to keep herself, her young daughter, and her frail mother safe, the young widow Erin settles in at a cottage at remote Seagrass Pier. That move puts her face-to-face with FBI agent Marc who, despite orders from his superiors not to get involved, believes helping Erin will help him solve his own partner's death. Like most romantic suspense stories, Coble's newest book is packed with plenty of action and angst with the recurring "cell memories" adding an eerie element. Whoever is stalking Erin is relentless and who it might be is not an easy pick. As for the romance, sparks have always flown between Erin and Marc, especially years before Erin's marriage. Marc's first introduction to young Josie with the dark hair and the little dimple so much like his, and he knows Erin has been hiding a secret. But Seagrass Pier goes beyond the formula suspense and romance especially in the story about Erin's mother who is beginning to exhibit early-onset dementia. Her mixture of confusion and clarity add to the suspenseful plot, but on a more realistic level, Coble gives us a glimpse of the anguish caregivers and family members live each day. I've read Tidewater Inn and started to listen to the audio version of Rosemary Cottage, and I would recommend the whole series, but most definitely Seagrass Pier if you are a fan of Christian contemporary suspense novels. Being a "beach" novel, it would make a great book to take to the beach this August! I received a copy of this title from BookLooks for my review.
Seagrass Pier Colleen Coble Book Summary: In a secluded corner of Hope Beach, one woman must decipher a stranger’s memories . . . before they cost her everything. Elin Summerall was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she get a heart transplant, but the donor was a perfect fit. A miraculously perfect fit. But when Elin begins having violent flashbacks—and vivid dreams of being strangled—she realizes that she has been the recipient of more than just a new heart . . . Elin is remembering her donor’s murder. Her strange affliction has attracted some unwanted attention: from the press, from the authorities . . . and from the killer himself. Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked—by a man she’s only met in her nightmares. The police are dubious of her story, but one off-duty FBI agent is eager to help her: Agent Marc Everton, the father of Elin’s daughter. Of course, he doesn’t know about that. Yet. Now, in a remote cottage on Hope Island, Elin and Marc must probe the secrets buried in her borrowed heart. And there’s no time to waste. One man is desperate to silence her—before she remembers too much. Review: I love Colleen Coble books and this one is another winner. It is a great standalone book with some of the previous characters showing up from the other Hope Beach books. I loved the secondary mystery and was a little sad this was not played out a little more, but was just as exciting. I loved the mystery and was putting the pieces together as Marc and Elin were. They made a fun couple to read about and the entire book was filled with an enjoyable storyline and great characters. They were introduced slowly and blossomed the storyline even greater. Since I began reading Colleen Coble’s books the one quality that has never changed is the spine chilling fun that her mysteries pack in them. I would like to thank Net Galley and Thomas Nelson Publishing 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.
Seagrass Pier is the third book in the Hope Beach series and I have loved every single book! However, don’t fret if you haven’t read the others in the series. Seagrass Pier stands alone as a great romantic suspense. Colleen Coble has done an excellent job creating a very exciting story based on the idea of “cell memory”. Elin is haunted by the memory of the murder of the woman who became Elin’s heart donor. The idea that Elin is a witness to a murder based on a transplanted heart could have been an unbelievable plot line if handled incorrectly. However, the author did a wonderful job with this story and made it seem completely plausible and definitely terrifying for Elin. I really enjoyed the romance between Elin and Marc. Their dynamic as they work together to bring a killer to justice was fantastic. There are some big hurts that must be overcome and trust to be regained. This story does a great job of reminding us that God forgives and we need to as well. The diary entries that transport the reader back in time and tell the history of the home really added a lot to the story for me as well. There are so many threads throughout this book that are interesting and also kept me guessing about who might be out to silence Elin. I thoroughly enjoyed Seagrass Pier from start to finish and highly recommend it for fans of romantic suspense. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, through Litfuse Publicity Group, in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
The last thing that Elin Summerall expected when she received her new heart, was a fresh new start on life with her young daughter Josie. What she didn't expect was to have the memories of the former recipient to become her own. They call it cell memory, when you begin to remember events and memories from the host organ, in this case her heart. All she knows is that the heart came from a murdered woman named Laura whose killer has never been found. When Elin begins to share her suspicions with those closest to her, they believe it's all in her head. But when she begins to receive threats on her life, those are things you simply can't ignore no matter how far fetched they sound. When Elin purchases an old Victorian cottage on Hope Beach. she hopes she has left the threats behind. But Elin's past is catching up to her. When she confesses to Marc Everton, an FBI agent and friend, that their one night of passion, has left more than a passing memory in her life, but also that Josie is really his child, he is more than angry. He can't believe that Elin has lied to him for more than four years about his daughter, even marrying another man in the process in order to keep her identity hidden. But will he be able to trust her when she makes claims that a murderer of the woman who gave her a heart is now after her and the memories of that night are becoming her own? Will Marc be able to protect his daughter now that the threats have followed them all to the isolated beach cottage and the threat has gotten more personal and violent? Best selling author Colleen Coble has ramped up her suspense level in her latest novel in the Hope Beach series, with Seagrass Pier. This is the third book in the series and now the hunt is on to find the man who killed Laura before he takes his vengeance out on Marc and Elin as well as anyone that stands in his way. The nightmares that Elin keeps having brings her closer to the clues that will identify him, if they can find him before he finds them. All she has to go on is the color of his hair, the cologne he wears and the ring that may in fact be the one thing that he can't hide. Now that Elin has moved her family out to a isolated historic beach cottage, she is hoping she can protect them all including her mother who is suffering from dementia. But has this proved to be her fatal mistake? You'll want to pick this one up and find out how it all turns out! I received Seagrass Pier by Colleen Coble compliments of Thomas Nelson Publisher and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. I was more than surprised to find myself reading this late one night and getting pretty scared while walking around my own home. To me, that is a sign of a great novel! One that takes me beyond words on a page and instead places me in the heart-pounding action like Elin's character who is being stalked in a cat and mouse like game of suspense. One of the best suspense novels I've read in quite some time and easily enough for me to give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my book. Warning: You might want to read this one during the daytime! It's pretty suspenseful to read at night!!!
This book was Colleen Coble at her best. I have read the other two books in the Hope Beach Series, and they have all been good, but this was non-stop action from the very beginning. This book will grab a hold of you and not let go, it is easy to sit and read it all in one sitting. There were so many twists and turns in this book, I thought I was on a roller coaster. I also love the location of this series and the characters in this book were great, plus we got to meet some new characters. There is not just the intrigue and suspense going on with Elin and Marc, but also a hundred year old intrigue as well. Great job, as always, Colleen. I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
Once I picked up this book, I found I didn’t want to put it down; it drew me to turn the pages. When you read the blurb on the back of the book, you get the gist of what this book is about, but not the terror you are going to experience. You will never see what is about to happen, it was one thing after another, and kept changing until the end. How many murderers are there? Are they all related? You will be asking yourself this and other questions, whom can you trust? Just when you think you are at the end and the answers are there, your surprised to find out, nope not all of them. Elin started her marriage to Tim by telling him she had betrayed him and is expecting a child. Oh my, not good, but he seems to want the marriage anyway, and wants the child to carry his name. What a start to a marriage, and he knows who the real father is and sure, not surprisingly, doesn’t like him. The story starts after Elin’s husband has passed and she has received her transplant, but now the dreams start, and her anguish begins. I have to say that the author does a wonderful job of keeping us in the dark, until the last moment. Don’t miss this one it will linger with you for a long time! I’ve read most of Colleen Coble’s books, and this one ranks right at the top! I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
This book covers many different themes and crosses genres. It's a very gripping suspense, similar to Ted Dekker, and also has elements of romance and Christian faith. I've long enjoyed Ms. Coble's books, she never seems to shove faith down your throat and builds her characters well. It's a page turner with a premise that's been around (transplant memories) but a fresh tale with heroes that the reader can empathize with and their believable situations. I was given a copy to review by NetGalley, but my thoughts are mine alone.
This book is richly woven with themes of forgiveness, identity and much more. The story line is cutting edge with the tie to whether heart transplant recipients start having new memories and tastes based on those of the person's whose heart they now carry. The story is my favorite of Colleen's recent books. I love the Lighthouse historical series, but this book is about to knock a couple of those down a spot or two on my all time favorites list. The race to uncover the murderer will keep you guessing -- though I did figure it out about 2/3s of the way in. There's an additional mystery thread to keep the pages turning as well as the developing romance between and challenges confronting Elin and Marc. This is a beautiful story that will land on the keeper shelf of those who love romantic suspense or are fans of Colleen Coble's books. If you haven't tried one of her books yet, this is the one to read!
Elin Summerall is blessed and cursed. She’s blessed to have been the successful recipient of a heart transplant and cursed because that transplant came with some memories. Memories of how the woman whose heart she now carries with her died at the hands of a killer. When the killer seems to set his sights on her, her four-year-old daughter, and her mother who is suffering from dimensia, Elin decided to move her family to a place she bought in Hope Island, Virginia. Now she has to contend with FBI agent Marc Everton. Marc and Elin have some history and when Marc finds out what Elin hid from her, he is angry. He’s also trying to find out who murdered his partner and it has led him right to Elin’s door. As the two of them try to figure out who murdered her donor. As the two of them are thrown together, they cannot deny the attraction they feel for each other, but are they willing to put their past where it belongs and move into a future before someone is hurt, or worse? There was a lot going on in this book. Some side plots that could have been left out, several murder suspects, and many characters to keep track of. I had an inkling of who the murder was as soon as he showed up in the book, but wasn’t one hundred percent certain until the end. That kept the pages turning. If you enjoy suspenseful mysteries with romance thrown in there, Coble delivers. This is the third novel in the Hope Beach collection, but it is a stand alone. While the characters from the first book make brief appearances, the reader doesn’t feel like they are missing out on anything because they haven’t read the first two books. ****BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson Publishers provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.
Colleen Coble's Hope Beach series is the perfect read if you're a landlocked beach lover like me. I've been pining away for the Outer Banks, but unfortunately my vacation isn't coming up anytime soon. Seagrass Pier was the suspenseful escape I needed. While not quite as gripping or romantic as the previous books in the series, it was still nice to read a story that featured new characters and my old favorites from the first two books. Never fear, if you haven't read the first two books in the Hope Beach series, you can still read and enjoy Elin and Marc's story! Elin Summerall and Marc Everton's relationship starts off rather interestingly -- with a hookup. This is Christian fiction, so obviously there aren't any "details" and both have learned to forgive themselves and ask forgiveness for past wrongs that forever affected both their lives. Seagrass Pier focuses on both rediscovering the spark that they both felt when they were younger all while trying to find out the truth behind a dangerous and deadly mystery before more people get hurt or worse, killed. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a little more chemistry between Marc and Elin. The sparks and storyline between two of the secondary characters was more interesting for me. However, the most suspenseful and intriguing monents happened when Marc and Elin were together, so that's a plus! As always, Coble pens an interesting story that is hard to put down. If ever you're in search of a quick romantic read with mysterious undertones, her books are some of the best you can reach for. The Hope Beach series, while not my all-time favorite by the author, is still a set of worthwhile reads. Hopefully, there will be more beach-set stories from Ms. Coble in the near future! To check out what other reviewers are saying about Seagrass Pier, visit the Litfuse site! ~ My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars ~ *I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*
Colleen Coble in her new book “Seagrass Pier” Book Three in the Hope Beach series published by Thomas Nelson takes us into the life of Elin Summerall. From the back cover: In a secluded corner of Hope Beach, one woman must decipher a stranger’s memories . . . before they cost her everything. Elin Summerall was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she get a heart transplant, but the donor was a perfect fit. A miraculously perfect fit. But when Elin begins having violent flashbacks–and vivid dreams of being strangled–she realizes that she has been the recipient of more than just a new heart . . . Elin is remembering her donor’s murder. Her strange affliction has attracted some unwanted attention: from the press, from the authorities . . . and from the killer himself. Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked–by a man she’s only met in her nightmares. The police are dubious of her story, but one off-duty FBI agent is eager to help her: Agent Marc Everton, the father of Elin’s daughter. Of course, he doesn’t know about that. Yet. Now, in a remote cottage on Hope Island, Elin and Marc must probe the secrets buried in her borrowed heart. And there’s no time to waste. One man is desperate to silence her–before she remembers too much. Medical science has proven that the brain is not the only storage place for memories but that the heart also has memory cells. That is why the emotions fear, bitterness and the rest come from the heart as those kinds of memories are stored there. Elin is a heart transplant recipient, yay, cause for much rejoicing. However, Elin is experiencing memories that are not hers. Those memories seem to belong to the donor. Now a killer that she doesn’t know is out to get her before she remembers who he is and only one FBI agent is working with her to help keep her alive. “Seagrass Pier” is a thriller in that Elin’s life is in danger practically from the first page. Ms. Coble is dealing with issues that are fresh from a medical perspective and certainly worth exploring from a spiritual perspective. And on top of everything there is a romance. Ms. Coble knows how to write characters that come alive off the page. This is a fast-paced read that will keep you guessing as to what is really going on. I recommend this book highly! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. 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.”
Seagrass Pier is the third novel in Colleen Coble’s Hope Beach Series. Although it is in a series, it definitely stands alone. I did not feel as though I was missing pieces to the plot because I had not read the prior two books. This story is full of suspense, subtle romance, and some creepy characters. Warning to the easily frightened, this is no bedtime story! I was truly surprised by my desire to hide under the covers after some of the chapters in this book! I don’t normally read murder mysteries, but the story line and geographical location alone made me want to read it. In this book, recently widowed Erin Summerall is recovering from a heart transplant. While she is grateful for her life, she is uneasy about the nightmares that came with it. The donor was murdered and Erin is seeing life through her eyes. An old friend, and true father of her daughter is a FBI agent who has a vested interest in the case. Together they work to find the murder before it’s too late. What I love about the story is the high level of suspense and unexpected turns. I was certain I knew who the murderer was, but I was wrong. I am never wrong. There were a few elements to this book I struggled with as I got further along in the story. For instance, so many characters are introduced, so much information is given, and a few too many plot lines exist for my taste. While the side stories are interesting, I found them to be too much. The good news is, if you love murder mysteries with a side of love, you will likely enjoy this book. I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from BookLookBloggers and the book’s publisher. All opinions are my own.
I received a copy of SEAGRASS PIER by Colleen Coble from Thomas Nelson via BookSneeze. I was thrilled for the chance to read this, as I have greatly enjoyed earlier books by Colleen Coble. Plus, this one took place at the beach. It was perfect summer reading and I was able to pass it on to my mother, who adores anything that takes place near the water, in particular the beach. SEAGRASS PIER is the third installment of the Hope Beach series. It started a little slow for me, but I quickly got into it and rushed to the end. I don’t like to take a lot of time between first chapter and last so that I stay engaged in the story. In the story, Elin Summerall has had a heart transplant. This reminded me of my uncle, who had open heart surgery. For Elin, she is doing well, but she is having nightmares of a murder. She thinks the nightmares are memories from the heart’s first owner. What an incredible premise for a story! There is so much suspense and you keep guessing right up until the end. Fans of Colleen Coble, and any mystery lovers, will enjoy this story.