SHADOWS ON THE SAND
She serves him breakfast at her cafe every morning...but he never seems to notice her.
Carrie Carter's small cafe in Seaside New Jersey, is populated with a motley crew of locals...although Carrie only has eyes for Greg Barnes. He's recovering from a vicious crime that three years ago took the lives of his wife and children -- and from the year he tried to drink his reality away. While her heart does a happy Snoopy dance at the sight of him, he never seems to notice her.
When Carrie's a dishwasher is killed and her young waitress disappears, Greg finds himself drawn into helping Carrie solve the mysteries...and into her life. But when Carrie's own painful past becomes all too present, her carefully constructed world begins to sink.
Will the fragile relationship she's building with Greg implode from the weight of the baggage they both carry?
I completely and utterly adored this book! I mean how can you resist a heroine who describes her heart doing a happy Snoopy dance at the sight of the hero? And when things heat up she declares, "No way could Snoopy move his feet fast enough to keep up with my tap-dancing heart." (pg 186) I could totally relate to Carrie on that point alone. But of course there is much more to this complex character, including a gnarly past that she hasn't quite left behind.
Greg has his own issues too but he finds himself surprised by his sudden desire to enter the land of the living again. Carrie has a lot to do with his change of heart and that scares him. His emotional struggle is a strong thread in the story -- achingly touching and I had a real wow factor once I'd finished the book and read the author's note at the end.
The mystery/suspense is incredibly well developed -- the kind where the reader is handed the clues at the same time as the hero and heroine. We try to solve the mystery together and it totally surprised me...multiple times. A really riveting read, which is what you want in a suspense.
Roper's writing style is unique in that she mixes POV. Carrie's is in first person, but all the other characters are written in third person. You'd think it would make for a disjointed read, but somehow Roper makes it work. The story flows into the page-turning kind that you want to devour in one sitting. Highly recommended for lovers of mystery/suspense.
If you would like a chance to win a copy of Shadows on the Sand leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Please include the book title in the subject line of your email. Draw will be held on Saturday September 17, 2011. (I'm having computer problems at home so I won't be able to post the winners on Sunday like I usually do. I'll do the announcement from work on Saturday instead.) Good luck!