||Beacon Street Books
||May 7, 2014
Point Surrender's last keeper has been dead for more than 25 years. Will the journal he kept reveal why he died in the mysterious old lighthouse, and what became of his missing family? Amy Winslow is bound and determined to find out. There are those who would just as soon she didn't.
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Beacon Street Books
Amy Winslow isn't looking for a mystery; she doesn't even like secrets. In fact, secrets have nearly destroyed her life. But when a terrible accident forces her to take control of her brother's mysterious California lighthouse, Amy finds herself immersed in its shocking past and uncertain future. Enchanted by the mystery, she refuses to rest until she finds out who died in the aging white beacon, and why.
Case McKenna hasn't quite reconciled his own painful history when he sails his crippled boat into Newburg Harbor, intending to stay only long enough to make repairs. His plans change when he becomes entangled with a local couple intent on restoring a long-shuttered lighthouse. Despite an overwhelming urge to flee, Case follows intrigue and passion, as he, too, finds himself drawn in by Point Surrender...
The wind had held steady since the Fancy Dream lifted her sails at Grogan's Head, California. Case normally would not have begun such an ambitious journey on his own, but then he wasn't doing many things quite the usual way these days. Still, his initial doubts faded as the Pacific made calm her waters and the boat nearly sailed herself south.
Strenuous, yes; but it was good, physical work and the salt air cleared his head. Navigating around San Francisco Bay, usually a dreaded challenge, seemed effortless and before long the Dream was drifting lazily toward Monterey. He'd put in there for the night and a hot meal. Some of that famous chowder, perhaps. Sourdough bread. Case's stomach rumbled its approval. Breathing deep, Case scrutinized the western horizon, where the sun would soon dip into the sea with a loud hiss and lots of steam…a childhood fantasy he hadn't thought about in years. He closed his eyes and tried to recall the picture book depicting that boiling seawater bubbling around the descending ball of fire.
The wind died. A sudden death, so sudden that Case's eyes blinked open and he abruptly stood. Looking around, he saw the waters around the boat smoothing out like lake water. The Dream came to a near halt.
"Well, shit.” Looking up at the limp mainsail and jib, he started to trim them. He'd wait it out and relax a bit. There was no current, no waves, nothing to take him off course. He could motor for a while, if the wind didn't return soon. Pulling a Rolling Rock from the ice chest, he lay back on the bench cushions and closed his eyes.
He must have dozed. For when he next opened his eyes, they fixed upon a steep, craggy cliff with the setting sun at his back. He didn't move at first, so complete was his shock and confusion. The boat's proximity to the coast alarmed him, yet still Case remained frozen to the spot. The water no longer looked like glass. It churned and roiled around him, pushing the Dream closer to the huge jutting rocks at the base of the cliff. How could this be? Still no wind. Nothing made sense.
Suddenly propelled into action, Case quickly made his way to the helm and started the engine. He had to get the sailboat away from the rocks and back out to sea. Struggling, sputtering, the motor whirled into life. Case grabbed the wheel, turning the Dream about and motoring away from the dangerous shoreline. Once he was several yards away, he turned to look back at the treacherous cliffs. His breath caught in his chest. There, about halfway to the top of the cliff, stood a blindingly white lighthouse perched on an outcropping below the bluff. Case's eyes widened in awe.
"How the hell did I get here?" he muttered, staring hard at the lighthouse. Behind him, the engine quietly died, and the waters around the boat once again flattened into an aqua silk sheet. This is nuts. Case shook himself free of the trance and turned to restart the motor. After three fruitless attempts, Case pushed the hair from his forehead and sat down. He was sweating, frustrated and disoriented. Unable to resist, he again looked back to the high bluff and the lighthouse, and felt himself shudder. "Of all the damned places I could end up.” He was about to retry the ignition when a movement drew his attention back to the grounds surrounding the lighthouse. A figure, a man perhaps, stood on the bluff, his back to the sea. Case squinted his eyes, hand poised on the key. What the hell? Case watched in horror as the man felt backwards with such force that he literally flew off the cliff, soaring in a great arc, over and down, down, down into the swirling waters at the bottom of the cliff. Stunned for the second time in minutes, Case frantically twisted the key. "Come on! Come on, you sonuvabitch!” Finally the engine came to life.
Still incredulous, Case hurriedly maneuvered his boat around and back toward the rocks. He dropped anchor as close to the bluff as he dared, then dove into the water. Swimming hard to the spot where he thought the man entered the surf, he dove beneath the surface and scanned the murky water, turning left, right, coming up for air, and then diving again. He had to be here. Finding nothing, he swam south, thinking perhaps the current had carried the man away. Still there was no one, no body, no flailing swimmer. Only the churning, heaving waves, cloudy with sand as they crashed over the jagged rocks at the base of the cliffs.
Finally, realizing he could do no more, Case made his way back to the sloop and hurled himself onto her deck. He rested only a moment, then turned and sat up to face the coast. His breathing was heavy, labored. He reached for and grabbed a towel to drag across his face.
It didn't take him long to notice that the Dream was listing to starboard.
RRAH'S Thoughts and Ponderings
Anne Carter's POINT SURRENDER is an intriguing story of romantic suspense. I was immediately drawn into the tale, lured by the romantic setting, engaging characters and intricate plot. This book has something for everyone: romance, fiercely-guarded secrets, ghosts and even long-overdue reconciliations. It touches so many topics smoothly and easily, pulling the reader into the story so fully that I fairly heard the waves crashing against the rocks at the lighthouse.
When Amy flees to her brother's apartment, she is searching for a place to gather her thoughts and plan her future. She's just found out her fiancee has been cheating on her, so the last thing in the world she's looking for is a new man. But her brother Brian has just bought an old lighthouse, Point Surrender, and Amy soon meets a man who intrigues her despite her current situation. Case McKenna is also interested in Point Surrender, but he has his own reasons for being drawn to the place. When the pair are thrown together, they find that even the best intentions have little weight where affairs of the heart are concerned.
The only complaint I have regarding this book, if you could call it a complaint, is that it ended much too quickly. POINT SURRENDER is a short book and I was so fully engaged in the story that I flew through it. I would have loved for it to be longer, to have been able to read more of Anne Carter's words. I can't imagine anyone not enjoying this book, and I am eagerly looking forward to reading more from this author in the future. A sequel, perhaps?
The Romance Studio - 5 Hearts
Amy Winslow has left her loser live-in. A wise move, according to her family and friends. But she is pregnant. She goes to her brother Brian for help, but he is soon in a coma from a strange accident. She works on his California lighthouse, and finds herself both spooked and fascinated by its history.
Case McKenna is taking a leave of absence from his job as a marine veterinarian. He witnesses Brian’s accident and rescues Amy’s brother. He is attracted to Amy, and has some strange connection to the lighthouse.
The small town of Newport is populated by interesting characters. The the ghosts of the lighthouse play a major role.
The truth is revealed in a leisurely manner, making this an enjoyable and suspenseful read. Everyone has secrets, revealed gradually, keeping the reader fully involved.
The lighthouse setting, and the information about the lives of early keepers, is interesting and valid. Amy is strong and resourceful. And extremely curious about the history of the lighthouse her brother and fiancé want to restore. It makes her uneasy in ways she cannot explain. Case is somewhat more complex. His job working with marine animals is interesting, but some details seem odd. The death of a manatee he is treating affects him deeply, but I wish the story had explained why a 1,000 pound victim of a boating accident ended up on the west coast. Manatees are warm water dwellers, and transporting “Amanda” 3,000 miles for treatment seems a little strange. The shipment of penguins from South Africa is explained in more detail. These are the factors that give the story authenticity.
Great pacing and a well-developed plot make this a great story for any romance reader who believes - just a little bit - in ghosts.
Suspense Romance Writers
Ghosts and suspicious “accidents” make for a fine mystery as Amy Winslow, pregnant and alone, is drawn into the intrigue surrounding her brother’s accident at his California lighthouse. So, too, is Case McKenna, who is on a leave of absence from his veterinary practice. He witnessed Brian’s accident and saves him, not expecting to be drawn into the mystery.
The last keeper of Point Surrender lighthouse has been dead for over twenty-five years, but a journal is found chronicling his life and his mysterious death. What ever happened to him, and where did his family go? Perhaps the ghosts of POINT SURRENDER lighthouse know…
A wonderful cast of characters brings the town of Point Surrender to life on the pages; both past and present. Well researched; POINT SURRENDER and its past keepers are richly detailed, allowing the reader to step into the mystery and join in the hunt to solve the puzzle. Well paced with several twists and turns; two wounded souls try to unravel a story of unrequited love while healing themselves in the meantime. Amy is a strong and admirable woman; wounded by lies and secrets who finds a kindred spirit of sorts in Case. A strong lead character; Case touched something in this reader, making me want to know him much better and cheering him on all the way. The emotional conflict of the characters and the utter despair at times made for a few tears here and there, yet I applauded when they picked themselves up and moved forward. Well developed storyline populated with some interesting ghosts; POINT SURRENDER is sure to please fans of ghost stories as well as suspense fans.
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