Is Hope Beach Hopeless?

Libby’s friend and business partner was kidnapped before her horrified eyes from Hope Beach. The family she never knew she had until her father died doesn’t like her and is extremely antagonistic. The Inn she inherited requires a lot of work and capital. Is it hopeless? A dream come true has become a nightmare.

Colleen Coble’s first book in her Hope Beach series is a winner. The characters are believable and lovable. The mystery is daunting. The romance is intriguing. You’ll love every minute you spend on Hope Beach. This one gets 5 stars – can’t wait for the next book in the series to find out more!

When I interviewed Colleen about the Hope Beach series and this first book, Tidewater Inn, I was curious about how she came up with the location. She related that the history of a place pulls her in. She picks her location first; then researches the people in the area, their backgrounds, and where they came from.

The Outer Banks intrigued her because of their history of pirates, and shipwrecks, and the Wright Brothers’ flight at Kitty Hawk (she had one of the first planes in her book The Lightkeeper’s Ball).

Colleen told me that she was in St. Croix with her family, in front of a harbor cam – her parents could see her via an internet web cam service – she waved to them and the idea struck her, “What would happen if I were murdered or kidnapped right in front of them?” The idea for Tidewater Inn was born.

The heroine, Libby, is a historic preservationist who had an alcoholic mother (recently dead) and a father she never knew. Her mom had told her that he had abandoned them when Libby was five.

Libby’s partner calls her from Hope Island to tell her that her dad hadn’t been dead, but had been living there, and that she has a half-brother and sister, and that her dad has left her the Tidewater Inn.

As she is talking to and looking at Nicole, Nicole is kidnapped…

Libby immediately goes to Hope Island where she is given a letter from her dad – he had written to her repeatedly, but apparently her mom had intercepted the letters. Her dad was a Christian; Libby is a nominal Christian, but her dad had also left her a WWJD bracelet. She finds out what it means (What would Jesus do?) and starts to think about that concept as well as “what would Dad do?”

Of course, there is romance. She meets a Coast Guard officer who helps her search for Nicole – but neither the search nor the romance goes smoothly.

There is a real juxtaposition of greed and generosity in the story – as Libby learns to be more generous, she also learns small steps can lead you off the path to God – into greed and even into murder.

All of Colleen’s books are tied together by history, mystery, romance, and water – from the Pacific Northwest (Mercy Falls series) to Lake Superior (Rock Harbor series) to Hawaii (Aloha Reef series) to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Colleen’s first books were published by Barbour, but for the last ten years, she’s been with Thomas Nelson.

I asked Colleen what unusual thing she could tell me about herself that most readers wouldn’t know. She told me that before becoming a writer, she was a color consultant helping women find the most flattering colors/makeup for themselves. (I passed inspection, Whew!)

I’m so grateful she became a writer: I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all her books that I have read and will be on the lookout for the next one!

I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.

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