Brenda Jackson kicks off a sensual new series set along the sultry Lousiana Gulf Coast with Love in Catalina Cove, a complicated tale of renewal and second chances. There’s an old-school feel to this book, with its colorful characters and gasping melodrama. Catalina Cove is a small town, with gossipy, small-minded people who circle around a scandal like a pack of vultures. Vashti Alcindor is living proof that sometimes, there’s no escaping the nosy small-town opinions. Years ago, they turned her personal tragedy into a community-wide scandal.
The book is written in two parts, the first focused on the weight of forging a new path after a tragedy. Vashti became pregnant by the boy she dated and loved in secret, but her parents drastically changed the trajectory of her life by letting her think the son she delivered died shortly after birth. Every choice she’s made since then has been influenced by the scandal that developed afterward, from leaving town to closing off her heart. Part two of the book deals with the reality of moving forward when, fourteen years later, Vashti returns to Catalina Cove. She meets the handsome sheriff, Sawyer Griffin, a single father raising his sixteen-year-old daughter, and he wants to forge a new future with Vashti, despite her reluctance for scandal.
Jackson is a smooth storyteller, setting a pace as leisurely and sultry as the southern setting. Though older and wiser upon her return, Vashti’s relentless focus on the scandal can be frustrating. Fortunately, Sawyer is a refreshingly forward-thinking man, who loves his daughter to distraction and encourages Vashti to move beyond the bubble of safety in which she’s enveloped herself.
Jackson was the first African-American author to make both the New York Times and USA Today romance bestsellers list. And after twenty years in the business, books like Love in Catalina Cove prove that she’s still a prevailing force in romance.