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Sandy M’s review of Sea of Love (Bayberry Island, Book 1) by Susan Donovan
Contemporary Romance published by Signet 3 Dec 13

This is my first book by Susan Donovan, and I have to say I had fun with it. It’s one of those light, easy reads that makes you feel good because of all the silliness and happiness that offsets the bad times in life. Both our hero and heroine have had those bad times, so they’re due for some silliness and happiness.

Of course, there’s also some more bad times along the way, but that’s where love and romance take over.

Rowan is back at Bayberry Island after a disastrous relationship cost not only her but her family everything. All that’s left is their Safe Haven Bed and Breakfast, and Rowan is in charge there to assuage some of the guilt she’s got going on. And she’ll never, ever get caught up in the community mermaid matchmaking spirit that comes over the residents and is their bread and butter every year. That would be too much heartache for her to handle again.

Then she meets Ashton Louis Wallace III. There’s instant attraction, though he’s bedraggled from the horrendous downpour he just got caught in when trying to find a room for the night. Every place in town is full up due to the Mermaid Festival – of which Ash got sucked into by being named the festival’s Man Grab, who should now be able to find true love with a little help from the mermaid who’s immortalized in statue form in the middle of town. He offers Rowan a huge sum for any room, so she gives hers up, even though she’s suspicious of his motives. She should be suspicious, because Ash is there under false pretenses, his plan to get his hands on the property the B&B sits on so a new resort can take its place. He has a planned seduction on his mind, and that’s definitely something Rowan doesn’t need again.

In the beginning you’re not going to like Ash much, but keep in the back of your mind he is the hero. He’s going to own up to what he’s doing, and that, of course, will lead to other conflicts, but in the meantime, the scenes between Ash and Rowan as they get to know each other are cute and full of fun. The problems between Rowan’s parents is a sad situation and hopefully that will get better as the series moves along, as will the relationship with the community due to Rowan’s mother being the holdout to sell their property. I like the family feel that’s throughout the story, even with the apparent issues.

For a first-timer to Ms. Donovan’s books, I enjoyed this one and look forward to more in this series. I’d love to also pick up some of her earlier books.

sandym-iconGrade: B


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?

No excerpt available.