Manually ReleasedReviewed by A.D. Cole

In the second novel of Robyn Carr’s Thunder Point series, we return to that charming coastal town and the down-to-earth characters we were introduced to in The Wanderer. Hank Cooper has settled into Thunder Point life as the new owner of Ben’s bar and bait shop…only without the bait. He’s found steady, contented love with Coast Guard pilot Sarah Dupre. Deputy Sheriff Mac MacCain is still juggling life with his aunt and three kids while trying to advance his relationship with local waitress, and his best friend, Gina.

But fate has some wrenches to throw into the cogs of everyone’s fairly peaceful lives. Gina’s daughter, Ashley, is dumped by her college-age boyfriend and suffers some nasty bullying at the hands of the new girlfriend. Mac’s estranged ex-wife shows up, after ten years of absence and silence, suddenly demanding to see her children. Sarah is given some life-changing news about her position with the Coast Guard. And Cooper gets a call from a dying ex-fiance who has some startling news for him about their past together.

Life’s inevitable dramas play out on the tapestry of Carr’s most recent novel, The Newcomer, and the ride is an enjoyable one. The overarching theme seems to revolve around consequences. Do you have regrets? What would happen if you could go back and undo your mistakes? What about all the good things that your mistakes have resulted in?

Ashley endures a trial by fire when she sinks into depression as a result of bullying. But on the other side, for those who survive, is strength and empowerment. Gina finds the courage to confront her past and discovers that what she used to think of as a mistake, was actually an event that shaped her life for the better. Cooper learns that even when you do everything right, there can still be consequences that catch you off guard. And Mac finds his eyes opened to the fact that all of his grief and hard work have paid off in the form of a stable, loving family.

I’m new to Robyn Carr’s work. Thunder Point is the first series I’m reading by her. So I’m unfamiliar with how she usually writes. But I had expected that since the first novel focused primarily on Cooper, the second would focus mostly on Mac. That wasn’t how it worked out. I’m not complaining. But it did cause me to have to adjust my expectations. Instead, these books are serial dramas. We met all the characters in the first novel and we continue their experiences in this one. We’re also given a couple of new characters to look forward to in the third.

As I said with the first book, if you’re looking for a heart-warming beach read or some good bedtime reading, give Thunder Point series a try. It’s one of those post-card perfect towns with a cast of characters that you’ll want to revisit long after it’s over.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

A.D. Cole is a homeschooling mother and aspiring romance novelist. She lives in the Ozark foothills and spends her free time reading, writing, baking and pondering life’s little mysteries.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Harlequin MIRA. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.