Sunday, June 3, 2012

Destination: Mackinac Island

Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island CoverI'm sure Cara Putman has just about given up on me posting a review! I don't know why I have such a hard time trying to work reading into my schedule. Oh yeah, it's because I went crochet crazy for a while! Can you believe I haven't picked up a crochet hook for two weeks? That's beside the point.

It's been maybe two weeks since I finished A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island, but I always have an excuse about needing to blog something quickly instead of writing a review.

All of which are lousy excuses, of course. I'm just a procrastinator is all it really comes down to. Sort of always have been

About the book:  Attorney Alanna Stone vowed long ago to avoid Mackinac Island. Although it may seem like the perfect place to hear, for Alanna it holds too many memories of a painful past.

But an exhausting high-profile case and an urgent plea from her parents have brought Alana home. Moving into the cabin next to Jonathan Covington doesn't help her. Jonathan may have been her first love, but he was also her first lesson in betrayal. Now Alanna must protect her privacy and her heart. Then secrets and a murder intersect, and she's thrust into controversy again as tragedy turns public opinion against her and potentially her famiyl.

For years, Jonathan has stubbornly resisted the urging of his family and friends to date, believing he's already found the perfect woman. With Alanna's return, he begins to wonder if he's waited too long for someone who isn't the right one after all.

Will Alanna and Jonathan be able to lay aside the past and let God heal their hearts?


About the author: Cara C. Putman lives in Indiana with her husband and four children. She's an attorney and a ministry leader and a teacher at her church. She has loved reading and writing from a young age and now realizes it was all training for writing books. An honors graduate of the University of Nebraska and George Mason University School of Law, Cara loves bringing history to life. Learn more about Cara and her writing at www.caraputman.com and www.facebook.com/cara.putman.


My take: Of all the places I've been, I've never been to Mackinac Island. After reading Cara's vivid descriptions, I almost want to go. Almost only because it would be a really long road trip and it's been way to long since I've ridden a bike. Other than that, I'd load up tomorrow.

And why do all the guys in books have to be so darn like-able? So much so that you want to raise your hand and just claim that you'll take him for yourself. Actually, I guess with a good romance that's what you're supposed to want to do. In that case, Cara succeeded there as well.

As for the suspense part of the book, I can't say that I necessarily saw the mystery aspect of the end coming. But for a romantic suspense release, it was really more romance than suspense. I thought the drama/conflict was more in the relationship between Alanna and Jonathan than the secrets and murder. The love cynic that I always point out that I am could have used a little more drama/suspense in the murder part. But, that's just a personal preference, honestly.

Semi-spoiler alert, but not really - 

As for the "A Wedding Transpires" part... With a title like that, you know that at some point there is going to be a wedding. You know that as your closing in on the end of the book a wedding is going to transpire or the author just did a really weird thing in naming the book. And in that case you would just be baffled, and rant at the end.

It sort of seemed like the wedding was just tacked on to the last few pages. Most books in the genre end with some kind of "and they all lived happily ever after", so you expect that. It just had me thinking through most of the book, "oh, you two, just get over the whole 'he/she must not be into me' bit. We all know what's going to happen."

Even with that said, if you aren't getting to tarry far from home on vacation, and you're ready to "get away" to a vacation locale, pick up A Wedding Transpires in Mackinac Island and enjoy yourself!


The author sent a copy of this book to me in exchange for my honest review. 


Bonus!!! An excerpt:


Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t do it.
The refrain beat a steady tempo through Alanna Stone’s mind as she dragged up the gangplank to the ferry where it rocked in the early morning light at the St. Ignace’s dock. She avoided gazing to her right in the direction of Mackinac Island. A place of beauty and peace to many, it symbolized all the harshness that could shimmer beneath the surface in a small town. She’d sworn never to return and honored that vow for eleven years.
Now? Now she abandoned her firmly held avoidance to help her parents. A wave rocked the boat, and she bobbled as she struggled to stay steady on more than her feet.
A man in the green polo that bore the Arnold Transport Company logo steadied her with a smile. “You’ll find your sea legs in no time.”
“Good thing, since the trip’s so short.”
He laughed and nodded. “About fifteen minutes.”
How could she tell him she wished it lasted fifteen months or years? That time would freeze, and she’d stay on this side of the lake?
Seagulls cawed as they took to the air and swooped around the boat.
Fifteen minutes. That’s all it took to start a new life.
Diesel fumes rolled around her as the ferry’s engines roared into gear. With a grinding stop and jerk, the boat eased away from the dock and powered across the lake. Alanna sucked in a deep breath then coughed as fumes settled in her lungs. She clenched her jaw and pivoted until she faced east as the boat pushed through the water toward the sun. She needed to face her new reality and the hidden embarrassment. All represented by one tiny spot on the map.
Mackinac Island.
In the morning light, it looked like a deep emerald emerging from the lake with the Victorian cottages and Grand Hotel popping out like embellishments against the forest backdrop.
The wind blew across Alanna’s face, misting it with a fine spray as it tangled her hair. The strands whipped around her neck, but she let the wind do its worst. Even then, it couldn’t reflect the chaos churning inside her. Tension tightened her body again. It had been her constant companion during the Menendez murder trial. The case had faded from the front page of the newspapers, and the reporters had finally abandoned their posts at her home and the office. The second time media had hounded her, but this time it involved a client rather than her brother. She’d thought she had shed the constant headache, but now it roared back to full strength in her temples.
Going home did that to her.
The catamaran shifted beneath her, the engines grinding.
When Mother had called begging for help after Daddy’s stroke, Alanna had two choices: return to the island to keep her parents’ art shop open or let their lives’ work close.
Maybe things had changed in the time she’d been away. Memories shortened. Ugly innuendo against her brother faded. If only the island could transform into an oasis for her. One she needed after the lengthy, brutal civil trial tied to a murder between feuding neighbors. She still felt the fatigue from a hard-fought victory, one that consumed almost as many of her nights as days.
Her jaw clenched as the boat shifted further and the engines reversed direction. The shuttle chugged toward the island, slowing as it approached. The Arnold dock bustled with activity, but it was the kind propelled by men pushing caddies and horses stamping their hooves. Alanna collected her thoughts and softened her knees to rock with the ferry as it slid next to the dock.
At first glance nothing had changed. Bicycles and horse-drawn taxis lined Huron Street at the end of the dock. Men wearing hotel-logo-embellished polos wove between groups of tourists. Their intent gazes focused on destinations while the tourists ambled from fudge shops to knickknack stores.
Alanna stumbled against the railing as the boat stopped. Her feet anchored in place. The other passengers disembarked. She needed to move. Tackle whatever waited for her.
It’s just a few weeks, two months at most. She could do anything for that long. Get the store open again. Find someone to run the shop. Return to Grand Rapids before the partners missed her too much. That’s all she had to do. Grabbing her briefcase, Alanna hiked over the short gangplank. A taxi could take her to the cottage first. No, if she did that, she might not make an appearance at the shop today.
She marched to the trolley lined with suitcases, handed over her claim ticket, and took the handle on hers. It was big, but she could maneuver it the few blocks to the store. She slipped into the flow of visitors pouring off the dock. With her suitcase rolling behind her, maybe no one would recognize her. Even with that hope, her sunglasses stayed firmly in place. If any of her opposing counsel spotted her hiding behind the glasses, they’d laugh. Her reputation as a tiger in the courtroom would lay shredded at her feet.
She ducked behind a group and followed them up the street. She crashed off a hard surface—no. . .somebody—and fell.
“Are you okay?” A rich baritone, eerily familiar, spoke the words.
Alanna nodded from her position on the sidewalk, but kept her chin tucked. She couldn’t let him get a good glimpse at her or her embarrassment. What if he remembered her? Eleven years might not be long enough to make her anonymous to the man who first claimed her heart.
“There are too many people on the sidewalks to not pay attention. Can I help you up?” The man offered her a hand.
Alanna peeked up then tilted her head back farther and saw the man she’d hoped most to avoid on the island. Her pulse picked up speed, a nod to their long-ago high school summer romance. Her gaze slipped to his mouth, and she jerked it back up as heat flashed up her neck at the thought of their twilight kisses on the dock by her parents’ home years earlier. In an instant the memory morphed into the panicked thought Jonathan might recognize her. She longed for something—anything—more substantial than glasses to hide behind.
His face had matured. The jaw squared, the nose bent like he’d broken it, the eyes green with a tinge of blue—matching the calm waters of Lake Huron. He still towered over her a good six inches or more. Her gaze traveled down his fit form, but he waved his hand in front of her face.
“Help you up?” Mischief danced in his sea-green eyes as if he knew she’d stared at him from behind the glasses.
Alanna hesitated a moment then accepted his hand, finding hers dwarfed in his. A shock raced up her arm. He pulled her to her feet, and she two-stepped backward. “Th–thank you.”
“Sure you’re okay?”
“Yes.” She had to get away before he recognized her. Of all the people to run into! She hadn’t prepared for the memories and what-ifs to assault her the moment she stepped on Mackinac Island. Her breath hitched, and she tightened her grip on the suitcase. “Thank you again.”
Alanna skirted around him and hurried down Huron, gaze fixed in front of her. She knew he must think her ridiculous, but she couldn’t look back. If she did, she’d be lost in his gaze, and he’d recognize her in an instant. If Spencer hadn’t ended their year long relationship, she’d have some defense to Jonathan. Instead she felt vulnerable to the memories.
If the first moments together, when he didn’t know her, were any indication, her long-buried attraction to him would chase her right off the island.

1 comment:

Thomas said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!