Published: Signet - Penguin 2013
Genre: Contemporary romance
Source: Own book
For years Rowan Flynn distanced herself from Bayberry Island and its infamous mermaid legend. But after her investor fiancé lost what was left of her family’s fortune, Rowan reluctantly agreed to run the Safe Haven Bed-and-Breakfast, determined never again to fall for the ridiculous fantasy of the mermaid matchmaker.
Now Rowan is just biding her time until she can return to her “real” life in New York, fixing up the B and B and avoiding neighbors who are angry that the Flynns won’t sell their land to a developer set on turning the island into a glitzy vacation destination.
But when a handsome stranger arrives at the B and B the night before the annual Mermaid Festival, Rowan’s life takes a turn for the interesting. Could it be the divine hand of the town’s patroness? Or is Rowan being set up for another disappointment?
As I opened up Sea of Love by Susan Donovan I stopped to read the dedication and the acknowledgements and learned that Susan Donovan has had some very long and difficult times with some very unfortunate ill health that would challenge the best of people. I don't follow every author I read so I hadn't been aware of it. I can only admire her battle of courage.
Sea of Love is the first in the Bayberry Island trilogy. It is the story of the Flynn family and a load of wacky characters who live in derelict making ends meet, because Mona Flynn is holding out over a large company snapping up their land for a large sum of money. It'll solve their money problems but turn their quaint little island into an upmarket resort.
Rowan has had a very unfortunate love affair with a guy who divested her family of all their remaining money and now she works in the B & B because she feels guilty. She is not going to be so ready to trust again. When Ashton Wallace arrives on the island though will she be able to hold to that. I liked Ashton, he was wealthy, but had lost his parents at an early age, been brought up by his grandfather, who has been dead a while now and recently he lost his best friend Brian in an accident. So there is an aloneness to him.
My favourite character was Mona, Rowan's mum, she loved her children, was a little bit wacky and a whole lot passionate as she firmly stood against their island becoming that glitzy island for the rich. She was so dedicated that her husband and herself have separated as they stand on different sides of the fence. He wants to sell up. I am sure we will see how this all develops in the next book or so.
A small island community, many of them quirky and eccentric, and a legend that causes someone to fall in love when they kiss the mermaid statue at a certain time of the year. The warmth of family and friends and some hot sexy action all combined to make this a fun read.