Title: The View from Rainshadow Bay by Colleen Coble
Lavender Tides Series Book One
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational, Romantic Suspense
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
After her husband, Jack, dies in a climbing incident, Shauna has only her five-year-old son and her helicopter charter business to live for. Every day is a struggle to make ends meet and she lives in constant fear of losing even more than she already has.
When her business partner is murdered, his final words convince Shauna that she’s in danger too. But where can she turn? Zach Bannister was her husband’s best friend and is the person she blames for his death. She’s barely spoken to him since. But right now he seems her only hope for protecting her son.
Zach is only too happy to assuage his guilt over Jack’s death by helping Shauna any way he can. But there are secrets involved dating back to Shauna’s childhood that more than one person would prefer to stay hidden.
In The View from Rainshadow Bay, suspense, danger, and a longing to love again ignite amid the gorgeous lavender fields of Washington State.
The first exciting installment in the Lavender Tides series, The View from Rainshadow Bay by Colleen Coble is a fast-paced and intriguing mystery with elements of romance and faith.
Although it has been a year since Shauna McDade lost her beloved husband, Jack, she blames his best friend, Zach Bannister, for the climbing accident that claimed his life. Struggling to make ends meets, Shauna has been learning aerial photography from her close friend and father figure Clarence Glennon who has been separated from his wife Lucy since their only child, Darla, died from a drug overdose. When Clarence then Lucy die under suspicious circumstances, Zach and Shauna do not think local sheriff Everett Bruchell is taking their concerns seriously so they begin their own investigation. Fearing for Shauna and her five year old son Alex’s safety, Zach convinces them to stay with him while they attempt to figure out what is happening to the people they care about.
Shauna is no stranger to tragedy and she has suffered several heartrending losses in her life. Her father is an alcoholic so she finds support from her friends. Her mother in law Marilyn has been a rock since Jack’s death and like Shauna, she also blames Zach for his loss. Extremely reluctant to accept his help since she cannot forgive him for what she perceives as his role in Jack’s accident, Shauna’s common sense prevails when they uncover very troubling information that whatever Clarence was looking into might somehow be linked to her mother who died when Shauna was a child.
An adrenaline junkie, Zach feels incredibly guilty over his self perceived role in Jack’s death. Despite his close friend’s tragic loss, he still continues to seek out pulse-pounding adventures. However, when he and Shauna begin spending time together, he comes to a new understanding of the reasons for his risky behavior. Genuinely worried about Shauna and Alex’s safety, he is greatly relieved when she agrees to stay with him. Looking over the contents of a box Clarence wanted Lucy to have, Zach and Shauna are certain these items are somehow connected to both their friends’ shocking deaths.
Zach and Shauna’s investigation into what Clarence was researching before his murder have surprising ties to her childhood and two other deaths. Some of the details they uncover are quite puzzling and virtually impossible to understand. What is the significance of a photo that Clarence apparently took during one of his flights? How did a necklace that belonged to Shauna’s mother end up in Clarence’s possession? Why is Shauna’s father so reluctant to answer herquestions? And most importantly, do the earlier deaths have any connection to most recent murders of Clarence and Lucy?
The View from Rainshadow Bay is an engaging and captivating romantic suspense novel. Shauna is a sympathetic and likable lead character who gradually comes to terms with her husband’s loss over the course of the story. Zach is quite charming and his guilt over Jack’s death is understandable but misplaced. Zach and Shauna’s investigation into the Clarence and Lucy’s death is interesting but the Sheriff’s reluctance to take their concerns seriously is rather frustrating. The spiritual aspect is understated with Colleen Coble skillfully weaving the characters’ faith into the storyline in way that feels completely natural. While most of the various story arcs are fully resolved there is one question that will hopefully be answered in a future installment of the Lavender Tides series.