Tag: Barbara Freethy

Guest Review: If I Didn’t Know Better by Barbara Freethy

Posted April 20, 2017 by Tina R in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: If I Didn’t Know Better by Barbara FreethyReviewer: Tina
If I Didn't Know Better by Barbara Freethy
Series: Callaways #9

Publication Date: August 26th, 2015
Pages: 323
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

The New York Times bestselling family series The Callaways continues with the first book in the Callaway Cousins Series, IF I DIDN’T KNOW BETTER, another heartwarming and page-turning romance by #1 NYT Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy.

Mia Callaway thought she had the perfect guy and the perfect job…until she didn’t. After a run of bad luck, Mia is looking for an escape, so she agrees to go to Angel’s Bay to clean out her aunt’s house. She has no idea that the wounded soldier next door and his adorable, but also wounded, daughter are about to change her definition of perfect. Add in stolen art, a family secret, and a town where miracles can happen, and Mia’s escape turns out to be the greatest adventure of her life.

Although I have read a couple of books by Barbara Freethy in the past, I don’t recall that any of them were part of The Callaways Series. To be completely honest, I usually don’t try to invest in series books as I find that I tend to get bored after awhile. But, of all the series books that HAVE captured my attention, I have read every single one in the series because they are just that good. After reading If I Didn’t Know Better, I feel like I need to start at the beginning and get to know the Callaways better!

I immediately found myself falling in love with Angel’s Bay. Barbara made this town so welcoming and real, and then filled it full of interesting and engaging people that I could only wish I had in my own town. There is nothing better than finding a story that is set in a charming locale and reading about characters that you wish could be your friends. These are the elements that make me want to tackle an entire series.

If I Didn’t Know Better, from my understanding, is the 9th book in The Callaways Series, and the 1st book of The Callaway Cousins. The book was a quick and enjoyable read that flowed seamlessly and had a good storyline that kept me interested.

I would like to thank The Barbara Freethy Review team and Melissa S. for giving me the opportunity to review this book. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading light-hearted romances with likeable and realistic characters. My TBR stack is already increasing with many of Barbara’s books as I look forward to learning more about the Callaways!

I really enjoyed this sweet romance. I give this one a 4 out of 5 stars.


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Review: In Shelter Cove by Barbara Freethy

Posted April 29, 2010 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Casee‘s review of In Shelter Cove (Angel’s Bay series, Book 3) by Barbara Freethy.

The theft of three priceless paintings sent Derek Kane to prison and destroyed the dreams of his wife, Brianna. When Derek unexpectedly dies just weeks before his release, Brianna returns to Angel’s Bay with her young son, determined to prove her husband’s innocence and find the missing paintings. Her efforts are stymied by Jason Marlow, the police officer who sent Derek to jail — betraying his former friend. And when unexpected passion flares between Brianna and Jason, she must choose between the past and the present, the guilty and the innocent, the truth and the lies. For nothing is what it seems …

This series has gotten better with each book. In every book, we learn more about Angel’s Bay and what led to its birth. I found the prologue of this book particularly disturbing. It was from the point of view of one of the shipwreck survivors and his despair over the woman he lost is palpable. As an artist, he is determined to immortalize her on canvas. Then his beloved paintings are stolen, which is the segue to the present day story.

Brianna has always been steadfast in her belief that her husband Derek was innocent of the crime he went to jail for. When Derek dies only weeks before he’s scheduled to be released, Brianna finds herself at a crossroad. All she wanted was to be married to Derek and raise their son together. That’s no longer an option, so Brianna packs herself and her son up and moves to Angel’s Bay so they can be closer to Derek’s parents.

Jason Marlow was Derek’s best friend. He was also the man whose testimony put Derek behind bars. Jason thoroughly investigated the art theft and the only probable suspect was Derek. Jason ran into Derek as he was coming out of the museum that the paintings were stolen from. Case closed. When he learns that Derek died in prison, Jason is devastated. Especially for Brianna.

Brianna is dismayed to realize that Jason is house sitting for her new next door neighbor. The more Jason tells her how he’s convinced of Derek’s guilt, the more Brianna is determined to prove his innocence. As she begins to dig into Derek’s life before he married her, Brianna realizes how little she knew her husband.

As she begins to see Jason more and more, she is more and more attracted to him. The attraction appalls her because of who he is. This is where I lost respect for Brianna. I understood that she was afraid that she would lose the only family (her in-laws) if she got involved with Jason. What annoyed me is that she continually blamed Jason for doing his job. She was embarrassed to be seen with him which just made her weak in my eyes.

Eventually Brianna grew a spine and stuck by Jason, but it was too long in coming. I loved Jason, though. He is what made this book so good. Oh and I also figured out who did it. I’m getting better.

3.75 out of 5.

This book is available from Pocket. You can buy it here.

The series:

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Review: On Shadow Beach by Barbara Freethy

Posted April 19, 2010 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Casee‘s review of On Shadow Beach (Angel Bay Series, Book 2) by Barbara Freethy.

Lauren Jamison hasn’t been back to Angel’s Bay since she was a teenager … when her sister Abby was murdered and Lauren’s boyfriend, Shane Murray, was accused of the crime. When Lauren reluctantly returns home to assist her ailing father, the old attraction again flares between Lauren and Shane. But the terrible days after Abby’s murder still stand between them, as well as the secrets Shane has yet to unveil. Finding the truth could bring closure … but at a cost. For there are people who don’t want old mysteries brought to light — people whose fear makes them very dangerous.

Shane Murray was the bad boy of Angel’s Bay long before he was suspected of murder. After being accused of murdering his girlfriend’s sister, Shane leaves town. He was never arrested for Abby’s murder, but Lauren’s lack of support is something that he will never forget. Lauren was the first and only person that seemed to understand him.

Lauren left Angel’s Bay with her mom and little brother shortly after her sister’s murder. Lauren has never forgotten Shane, but she has done her best to put Angel’s Bay and everything in it behind her. When she finds out that her dad is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she goes to Angel’s Bay with a vague intention of taking him back to San Francisco with her.

Barbara Freethy is such a poignant writer. In each of the three books of this series, I have cried at some point. These books are emotion packed. There were several aspects of this book that were difficult to read, the first being Lauren’s dad. Since Abby’s death, her dad hasn’t been the same. He has stayed in Angel’s Bay so he can stay close to Abby. He has no intention of leaving. He explains to Lauren that he wants to be in the town he loves while he still remembers it, not go to some senior home where he’ll not know anything. His plight was heartbreaking. What was more heartbreaking is Lauren. It really shows what I imagine the affect would be on family members of Alzheimer’s patients.

Several storylines were continued. At the end of the last book, Colin Lynch had been shot in the head. At the beginning of On Shadow Beach, he’s in a medical center where he’s been in a coma for the last three months. Colin’s wife, Kara, is pregnant with what they considered their miracle child. Kara has complete faith that Colin will be with her by the time the baby comes. The arrival of the baby is what brought the tears on. It’s one of those scenes that you’ll always remember.

In the meantime, Lauren runs into Shane and they reconnect. Lauren wants nothing to do with Shane b/c she remembers the devastation of him leaving. She may have only been a teenager, but her feelings then were as real as they are now. Still, they can’t seem to stay away from each other. Whatever attraction or chemistry that was there thirteen years ago still exists.

After a movie producer starts poking around and talking about making a movie of Abby’s murder, Lauren starts retracing her sister’s steps on her final day of life. It takes her places that she doesn’t expect to go and that she’s not welcome.

This book is about forgiveness and second chances. It’s about fathers and daughters and husbands and wives. It’s about taking another chance on something that you know could be great.

3.75 out of 5.

This book is available from Pocket. You can buy it here.

The series:

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Review: Suddenly One Summer by Barbara Freethy (with spoilers)

Posted July 20, 2009 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Casee‘s review of Suddenly One Summer(Angel’s Bay Series, Book 1) by Barbara Freethy.

Jenna Davies flees to the close-knit community of Angel’s Bay with a seven-year-old child, a dangerous secret, and a heart full of pain. She wants nothing more than to live a quiet life, but when she sees a teenager plunge off the pier, she doesn’t hesitate to dive in after her. But saving the desperate girl’s life thrusts Jenna into a spotlight she can ill afford. Suddenly everyone in town wants to know her story — a story that could cost her life.

Reid Tanner was a tough reporter until a shattering incident changed everything. Now all of his instincts are on alert Who is Jenna and what is she hiding? Will his quest for the truth put them all in danger? They say love is a miracle — but can it keep Jenna safe in his arms?

Barbara Freethy tends to be hit and miss for me. I really liked Don’t Say a Word, but could barely finish Taken. Silent Run sounds promising, but I just haven’t picked it up yet. The blurb of Suddenly One Summer was so different from the other books of Freethy’s that I read, that I had to read it.

It is almost impossible to review this book without spoilers. I’m going to try to keep them to a minimum.

Jenna Davies lands in Angel’s Bay after going on the run with her sister’s child. For about half of the book, it’s written in a way that the reader thinks that Lexie is actually Jenna’s child and that she’s on the run from her abusive husband. In that way, I think the author does a good job of keeping the reader guessing.

Reporter Reid Tanner is in Angel’s Bay to investigate possible angel sitings. If anyone would have told him two years before that he would be freelancing a story on possible angel sitings, he would have laughed. That was before he got one of his best friends killed to get a story. Since then, Reid hasn’t returned to the investigative reporting that he thrived on.

The mystery of Angel’s Bay draws both Jenna and Reid, though for different reasons. As a reporter, Reid investigates until he’s satisfied with the answer. For Jenna, b/c she wonders if she’s ended up in Angel’s Bay for a reason. Estranged from her sister for years, Jenna never considered the fact that she would never have a chance to make up with her. Now all Jenna can do is protect the child that she loved.

Everything about Jenna sends Reid’s reporter senses off. He knows that she’s running from something. He thinks he can ignore it, but he’s drawn to Jenna just as he’s drawn to Angel’s Bay. It takes awhile, but Reid finally convinces Jenna that she won’t regret confiding in him. Soon, Reid is doing exactly what he’s sworn not to do…investigative reporting.

I really like the town that Freethy has created. It definitely gives you the small town warmth feeling. Suddenly One Summer sets the stage for what I think will prove to be a good series.

3.75 out of 5.

This book is available from Pocket. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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