Breakwater Beach, Unfinished Business, #2

Carole Ann

Lady Elisabeth Baxter and sailor Edward Barrett are from very different backgrounds in late 19th century England when they fall in love. Escaping an abusive father and an arranged marriage, Elisabeth marries Edward, now a Captain of his own ship, in secret and waits nearly two years for him to send for her when the home he builds in Brewster, Massachusetts is complete. Their short life together is punctuated by strife and unfinished business. 


Liz Levine is a recent widow in 2009 when she feels a compulsion to buy the Barrett’s old home and restore it to its former beauty. Past and present collide and it seems that Liz is destined to relive the tragedy of their ancient history. It’s up to her to break their hold, but does she really want to?


Weaving ghostly intervention and the realm of reincarnation into this paranormal romance, the author does an excellent job of balancing the razor’s edge of believable possibility and the ridiculously absurd of both past and present for a large portion of the book. However, there is one incident in the present that capsizes the delicate balance between plausible and the utterly implausible, crashing the reader onto the rocky shores of disappointment for the remainder of the tale. The alternating histories ebb and flow with a beautiful rhythm, but when the story continues in present only it loses cohesion and becomes discordant. The characters, Liz in particular, behave oddly and the writing becomes choppy and rushed. A reworking of the latter half of Liz’s storyline would make for smoother sailing.


Carol Conley