Tuesday, July 26, 2011

One Summer, by JoAnn Ross

Rating:  A,  Warm+

Book 2 in the Shelter Bay series finds us at Cole Douchett’s wedding.  Gabriel St. James, former US Marine and photojournalist is working his way across the US, capturing life on film for a new book.  He stops in Shelter Bay so he can do the photography for buddy Cole’s wedding.  Weddings are not Gabe’s idea of a good time, having been there, done that, only to end in divorce.  Gabe is a huge loner, so he figures marriage is not in the cards for him again.

While shooting pictures of the newlyweds dancing, local veterinarian Charity Tiernan approaches Gabe, who makes it pretty clear he isn’t interested in conversation.  As she walks away, Gabe feels a twinge of regret that he has never felt before, realizing he doesn’t even know her name.  Oh well, he’s got an agenda and plans to stick to it. 

As Gabe is on his way out of town, he stops at a lookout to take pictures, and a van enters the parking lot, throws out a tangled mess of a dog, and drives away.  Gabe picks up the little dog, and realized he needs to get him to a vet to be checked over.  His GPS picked up the nearest vet, so off Gabe goes with the dog, and low and behold who comes to answer the door but Charity.  Charity cares for the dog, who has been abused and Gabe agrees to take him home for the night.  Charity keeps on trying to convince him to adopt the dog, since he’s small and could travel with him.  Whatever the case may be, Charity has decided the dog and Gabe are destined to be soul mates, and is not giving up! 

Charity’s mother Amanda arrives, unannounced.  Their past was not an overly happy one, with Amanda constantly searching for the right husband, and is now on marriage #6 to Benton, a judge.  Seems Benton has taken off to parts unknown, so Amanda wills herself on her daughter.  Strangely enough, Amanda and Charity sort of reach an understanding and hit it off.  Charity actually goes on a date with Gabe, and Amanda sees to it that she dresses nicely for her man.  And what a date it turns out to be….

Gabe is talked in to helping at Camp Rainbow, a camp for foster siblings.  Charity is buying cameras for the campers, and Gabe is going to teach them how to use them.  15 year old Johnny and his sister Angel come to the camp.  They are in separate foster homes, so this is the only time they see each other all year.  Johnny is very protective of his little 8 year old sister, and the two very clearly are close to one another.  Things go well at camp, and both Gabe and Charity fall in love with each other more every day, and they both develop a strong liking to Johnny and Angel.  Well, towards the end of camp their mom returns and torches the cabin they are staying in.  Strange things happen with Angel.  As camp comes to an end, Gabe makes plans to move on. 

By this point, I am on pins and needles, waiting to see what will happen to everyone.  And don’t forget about Amanda and Benton – there’s something in the works there too!

I loved the first book in this series, and this one was even better.  It’s a great love story for not just one, but several couples in the book.  The picturesque town of Shelter Bay has me wanting to travel west to see if it really exists.  And it has dogs too, rescuing being a subject near and dear to my heart.  JoAnn Ross spins a wonderful tale, and I hated to see the book end.   

1 comment:

JoAnn Ross said...

Teri -- Thank you! I'm delighted you enjoyed Gabe and Charity's story!

And yes, Shelter Bay does exist. Sort of. It's a blend between Astoria Oregon (the hills), Cannon Beach (the sea stacks), Depoe Bay (the sea wall and resident whales and where my husband bought me a bag of salt water taffy when I was eighteen and proposed), and Newport (the harbor and bridge.)

Rescue is also dear to our hearts, too! We've always had rescues, currently are living with three, and the eldest, Shadow, was the model for Gabe's dog.