Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Review: The Seaside Library by Brenda Novak


About the Book

Romantic Suspense



Release Date
April 11, 2023

Synopsis from Goodreads:

There are secrets that bring friends together, and others that drive them apart…

Mariners Island is barely ten miles long, but when Ivy, Ariana and Cam were teenagers, it was their whole world. Beyond the pristine beaches and iconic lighthouse lies the beautiful old library that belongs to Ivy’s family. While that bound Ivy to the island as an adult, Ariana could not leave Mariners behind fast enough. The town holds too many… memories . Not only her unrequited feelings for Cam, but the tragedy that left a scar on the community.

When a young girl went missing, a teenage Cam was unthinkably the prime suspect. Ariana and Ivy knew he couldn’t have hurt anyone, and they promised to protect him—even if it meant lying on his behalf.

Now, twenty years later, Ariana returns to Mariners just as new evidence emerges on the case, calling into question everything the three friends thought they knew—and everyone they thought they could trust. What really happened that night? Over the course of one eventful summer, Ariana, Ivy and Cam will learn the truth—about their pasts, their futures and the ties that still bind them as closely as the pages of a book…

My Review

Mariners Island is close to Nantucket, but it’s much smaller and everyone knows everyone else's business.  

As teenagers Ivy, Ariana and Cam were the closest of friends.  When a young girl goes missing, Cam is the number one suspect.  Ivy and Ariana vow to protect him at all costs.  As adults, they grew apart.  Ivy sticks close to the island volunteering at the local library, while Ariana leaves to create a career in New York City.  Cam remains on the island and settles down with his family.

Twenty years later, Ariana decides to spend the summer on Mariners Island and get reacquainted with her friends.   Then, new evidence is found, and the three friends are once again in the hot seat.  They are desperate to find out what really happened on that fateful night.

The characters are well-developed.  They weren’t always likable, but they did make you care about them.  It’s a fast-paced story about betrayal, romance and friendship. The cover might be a bit deceiving.  The mystery is the main focus with the romance being secondary.  Just the way I like it.

I admit I did suspect the guilty person early in the book, but that didn’t stop me from being captivated and enjoying the adventure.  A few times I thought I was wrong, but either way, I had no idea of the full story.  I just kept swiping pages on my e-reader.

Brenda Novak did a great job of keeping this reader hooked right from the start.  I found myself reading late into the night.  I just had to find out what was going on and why.

I’ll definitely be checking out Novak’s backlist.

For reading challenges:

NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2023
Cloak & Dagger Reading Challenge 2023

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

1 comment:

  1. I usually enjoy Novak's books and this sounds like a good read even if you did guess the guilty person fairly early on. I will definitely be adding this to my TBR.


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