I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Path To Sunshine Cove by RaeAnne Thayne
Published by HQN Books on March 30, 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Family Drama
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She knows what’s best for everyone but herself…
With a past like hers, Jessica Clayton feels safer in a life spent on the road. She’s made a career out of helping others downsize—because she’s learned the hard way that the less “stuff,” the better, a policy she applies equally to her relationships. But a new client is taking Jess back to Cape Sanctuary, a town she once called home…and that her little sister, Rachel, still does. The years apart haven’t made a dent in the guilt Jess still carries after a handgun took the lives of both their parents and changed everything between them.
While Jess couldn’t wait to put the miles between her and Cape Sanctuary, Rachel put down roots, content for the world—and her sister—to think she has a picture-perfect life. But with the demands of her youngest child’s disability, Rachel’s marriage has begun to fray at the seams. She needs her sister now more than ever, yet she’s learned from painful experience that Jessica doesn’t do family, and she shouldn’t count on her now.
Against her judgment, Jess finds herself becoming attached—to her sister and her family, even to her client’s interfering son, Nate—and it’s time to put everything on the line. Does she continue running from her painful past, or stay put and make room for the love and joy that come along with it?
I really loved the first book in the Cape Sanctuary series, The Sea Glass Cottage, and I think I loved the second installment even more. The Path To Sunshine Cove hit all the right romance buttons for me: emotional, romantic, relatable and unique characters, but above all heart-hurting backstories with moments of brightness and hopefulness. Featuring estranged siblings Jess and Rachel, and a small family of a grandmother, son, and granddaughter, I felt right at home and fully immersed in their lives from page one.
Jess and Rachel’s childhood was anything but idyllic and peaceful. With a military father who ran his family like his units, the siblings and their mother had a hard go of it. But then both of their parents died tragically and the teenaged girls were separated in foster care. Jess enlisted in the Army herself when she was eighteen, and she’s a strong, take charge person who doesn’t want to depend on anyone else. Rachel settled down in the perfect seaside California town with her high school sweetheart, raising three beautiful children while maintaining a successful social media brand. The traumas of the past have shaped the sisters into what they are today, and as Jess drifted away to run a business helping people declutter their homes across the county, she drifted even further out of Rachel’s life. And Rachel’s life isn’t as picture perfect as she portrays on social media, causing tons of stress and unnecessary strife in her life as she deals with an ever-working husband, two daughters, and a son who has just been diagnosed with Autism.
Eleanor has just lost her husband of many years, and after six months she’s decided it’s time to clean out the clutter in her sprawling seaside home that has built up over generations of her husband’s family that have lived there. Her son Nate and his daughter Sophie live in a renovated guest house on the property, and they’re all making the best out of the situation, even though they all miss Jack dearly. Eleanor hires Jess to help her get rid of some things, and Nate is immediately suspicious. He’s protective of the family he has left, as well as struggling to be the single, working father of a thirteen year old.
Can Jess and Rachel grow closer after all the years of estrangement, and can Rachel learn to let go of the tight control over her family and let someone help her for a change? But what happens when Jess lets down her walls and forms a relationship with her clients, one that she never thought could be as good by letting people in.
The characters in The Path to Sunshine Cove were so sympathetic and real. I could imagine spending time with them, learning their dreams and heartbreaks in real life. All of the main characters have had their share of heartbreaks and losses, but the ways that they come together to overcome these was very enjoyable to read.
I give The Path To Sunshine Cove a five out of five. The northern California coast setting was just as beautiful as the first book, and I really enjoyed getting a look at other parts of Cape Sanctuary. The simmering romance between Nate and Jess was refreshing, as well as Jess’ relationships with Eleanor and Sophie. Rachel’s story was very relatable to me, trying to juggle everything without much help. The characters were unique and evolved throughout the book, so the pacing was nice throughout. I highly recommend this lovely book, as well as the series, to romance and family drama lovers.
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About RaeAnne Thayne
New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.
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