Today’s review is on Seaside Letters by Denise Hunter.
It appears that I am obsessed with Denise Hunter’s books lately, but I can’t help it she writes some really great novels that not only have sweet romances, but she also doesn’t shy away from dealing with some hard topics and themes. And Seaside Letters is no different, although I will admit it tend to be a little more melodramatic compared to the other two books in the series, but it was still a fun and entertaining read!
Seaside Letters follows Sabrina who is a waitress at the local diner, one of her regular customers is Trevor McCabe, a man who she has fallen in love with but has convinced herself that she can never be with him, despite the fact the feeling seems to be mutual. However, she is able to have an online relationship with him under the pseudonym, Sweetpea, in which she has found a connection with him and feels like she can share some of her secrets with him. However, she eventually finds out, while emailing back and forth, that she has a connection to him in her past that she is ashamed of, and if he ever discovered that secret, she believes that he would cut off all ties with her. But Trevor decides to hire her to help her find Sweetpea, and she agrees to it, although she knows that she will need to do whatever she can to ensure that he never finds out who she is and she needs to deny her feelings for him. And things only start to get more complicated when her cousin Arielle arrives in town…the woman who’s picture she sent to Trevor.
I did really enjoy this book, although there were times that Sabrina’s stubbornness got to me and I felt like slapping some sense into her, but her reasoning for what she did makes sense, although that doesn’t necessarily make it right. I loved the dynamic in that she knows who Trevor is and he knows who she is (this isn’t a spoiler, it is stated at the very beginning of the book), but he is pretending he doesn’t know just so he can spend time with her. And even though she tries to thwart his efforts to get to know her better, he still finds a way to show her he’s interested. However, I do wish he would have told her sooner that he knew that she was Sweetpea, but again I get why he didn’t because she was constantly cold towards him and barely opened up herself to a friendship with him.
I liked the added dynamic of Sabrina’s cousin coming town, in which Sabrina then tries to pawn her off as Sweetpea, despite the fact that Trevor knows she isn’t…again this would have been a perfect time for him to say something to her, but once again he doesn’t. Instead he goes along with Arielle’s cock-a-mainy scheme to try and make Sabrina a little jealous and force her into opportunities to spend more time with Trevor. It was interesting to watch Sabrina get frustrated for Sweetpea’s sake, even though she is Sweetpea in one particular scene (however I won’t say which one because it will kind of spoil some of the novel).
Even though Sabrina’s stubbornness to open up to Trevor can grate on readers nerves, when the reason is discovered, it makes a lot more sense. But she also doesn’t give Trevor much of the benefit of the doubt, which is sad, but again it makes sense considering she has had a rocky history with relationships in the past.
There were a few great side characters in this book, Rennie, Sabrina’s landlord. She was so full of wisdom and it was also interesting to see her going through her own issues. I wish we could’ve find out more about her overcoming these issues, but as she overcomes them, she is able to help Sabrina figure out what she should do. Another good character was Arielle, Sabrina’s cousin and how she tries to get Sabrina and Trevor together, however she was kind of annoying in how she just barges into Sabrina’s life in a sense. And then there is Oliver, another one of Sabrina’s regulars at the diner who constantly tries to trip her up using big words, but has never stumped her yet.
Overall, I really did enjoy this novel, even though I found both main characters to be annoying at times, but I guess that just goes to prove that nobody’s perfect. If you’re a fan of Denise Hunter, or are interested in reading one of her books, I definitely recommend giving Seaside Letters a try. 4/5 Stars.
Janelle L. C.