Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Even If Her Newest Isn't My Fave, Carr Holds a Special Place in My Heart

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Twenty years separate sisters Adele Descaro and Justine Somersby.  Although they live near each other and have communicated over the years about their parents' declining health, the two have never been close.  Now that their mother has died, the women find they have more in common than they ever have before.  Both are at a crossroads in their lives, which has left each of them anxious, worried, and emotionally at sea.  Having been their mother's primary caregiver for the last eight years, 32-year-old Adele has to decide what to do about a job, the graduate education she abandoned in order to help at home, and the surprising demands of the man who's been her gentle, patient best friend throughout her life.  When Justine discovers her husband of 30 years has been cheating on her, she's devastated.  Divorcing the only man she's ever loved is heartbreaking, but it's also given her the freedom she never knew she wanted.  As she picks up the pieces of her shattered life, Justine finds herself relying more and more on her little sister.  While the sisters find their way back to each other and themselves, they experience healing along with new problems.  Will their new-found closeness bring them together or tear them even more apart?  

I've read a number of books by the prolific Robyn Carr, mostly her small-town romance novels set in Grace Valley and Virgin River.  What I love most about Carr is that her warm, genuine nature shines through in both the towns and the characters she creates.  Her settings are inviting, her story people authentic, and her writing upbeat, even when discussing tough subjects.  Although Carr's newest women's fiction effort, Sunrise on Half Moon Bay, is not my favorite of her many novels, it still showcases the trademarks I just mentioned.  While not as developed as Grace Valley and Virgin River, Half Moon Bay comes off as a charming little town full of cheerful, concerned folks.  Adele drove me crazy with her flakiness and fickleness, it's true.  Still, I enjoyed seeing the relationship between her and Justine (whom I found much easier to identify with) evolve in a realistic way.  Carr does tackle some difficult subjects in Sunrise on Half Moon Bay, but overall this is an easy, uplifting read with the kind of guaranteed HEA Carr does so well.  I didn't love her newest as I have some of her older novels, but Carr has a special place in my heart and I'll always be willing to read whatever she writes.  

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other novels by Carr as well as those by Kristan Higgins)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (no F-bombs), violence, disturbing subject matter, and sexual content (only one scene, but it's fairly detailed)

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of Sunrise on Half Moon Bay from the generous folks at Harlequin in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

19 comments:

  1. There's something very comforting about settling into a book by a familiar author, especially now. This one sounds like a great read!

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    1. Very true! I'm all about comfort reads right now.

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  2. Great review Susan. I enjoyed this one as well. I liked Adele. I think she was so fickle and unsure because she has never had the opportunity to spread her wings taking care of her parents for so long. Of course when she did have some independence at College, she made some pretty bad decisions.

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    1. She just seemed very flighty for being 32! Some of that is explained by her situation, but some is just her personality. We all respond to different characters in different ways - I identified more with Justine than Adele.

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  3. I love the Virgin River books but I don't find I enjoy the standalone books as much.

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    1. Same. I like the series books better. However, I do like that Carr's women's fiction is less R-rated than her romance novels :) Her romances are sweet but also a bit too graphic for me.

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  4. I've never read anything by Carr and to be honest her backlist is pretty intimidating! She has so many books and so many series (long series, at that) that it's hard to know where to start.

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    1. She's written TONS of books! I would start with the Grace Valley series (it's only three books), then Virgin River (which has 20 or so), then move on to her newer books/series. Enjoy!

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  5. I've only read a few books by Carr, but I've liked the few I've read.

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    1. Most of the books I've read by Carr have been romance novels. I love the warm, loving communities she creates and the characters she peoples them with. I wish the books weren't R-rated - I would recommend them more widely if that was the case. I still love them, though - I just skip the naughty bits :)

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    2. :D I know what you mean!

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  6. I have not read Robyn Carr's work yet but I do have her Virgin River series on my tbr list. It sounds like this was a good read even if it wasn't a favorite.

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    1. I enjoyed the Virgin River series. I hope you do, too!

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  7. I assume it's set in the Half Moon Bay in California and it is a lovely town.

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    1. It's a real town? I had no idea! I assumed it was fictional. In the book, it's near San Jose.

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  8. I absolutely love her Sullivan's Crossing series but her more stand alone books don't work for me quite as well. They're good but they're not as warm and fuzzy as the series books. I'll have to add this to my to read list.

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    1. I'm finding the same thing. I think I love her series books so much because they really help me get a deep feel for the settings and characters. It's harder to achieve that with just one book.

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    1. Like I said, it's not my favorite Carr, but it's an easy, upbeat read. I hope you enjoy it if you decide to read it!

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