Shelter Bay is another series I happened upon while searching the paperbacks at the library. This small town on the Oregon coast is populated by some interesting characters including several former military men, well sort of former. If you’ve ever known a Marine you know there is no former about it, “Once a Marince, always a Marine” after all. 🙂 Now not all of the men in town are former military and those that are aren’t all “former” Marines, but it is a strong story.
The first book: The Homecoming is the story of exactly that Navy SEAL Sax Douchett is back in his hometown of Shelter Bay, Oregon. He has brought along some friends with him, sort of. Sax has come back to discover the girl he loved in high school who was spoken for by a friend of his is now a widow and the town’s police chief. Together they solve a cold case all the while trying to decide if they can be more than just the friends they once were.
One Summer introduces Gabriel St. James, a friend of Sax’s older brother Cole. This “former” Marine photojournalist has been traveling the country taking pictures for a new book. He stops off in Shelter Bay to do a favor and take pictures at Cole’s wedding. Before he can leave he comes across an abandoned dog and then meets veterinarian Charity Tiernan. In a plot that appears in many books they agree to a no strings attached affair that as natural develops strings. The standard plot however doesn’t take away from the story. The introduction of Charity’s mom adds to the fun.
On Lavender Lane is the story of Lucas Chaffee, Charity’s former stepbrother, and his long lost love Madeline Durand. Maddy and her husband are well known chefs, he for his restaurants and she for her cooking show. Then famous becomes infamous when her husband is caught in a viral video en flagrante with another woman. Maddy returns to Shelter Bay to lick her wounds and plan the rest of her life only to come face to face with the man who broke her heart Lucas. This time Lucas is determined to win and keep Maddy, the question is can she ever forgive him?
Moonshell Beach brings home J.T. Douchett, the youngest brother. A “former” Marine haunted by his last job in the service he has been asked to help guard movie star/screen writer Mary Joyce when she visits town for a film festival. From what I understand Mary was a side/background character in JoAnn Ross’s Castlelough trilogy, which I can not unfortunately find in print or ebook through my local library. I may have to break down and buy them. No surprise Mary and JT are confronted with a strong attraction to each other from the start but fight it. The story takes us from Shelter Bay to Castlelough in Ireland.
Sea Glass Winter, book number 5, has two newcomers to town finding their way in town and with a common challenge. Claire Templeton has moved to Shelter Bay to get her fifteen year old son, Matt, away from the trouble he’s gotten into in LA. New basketball coach and former EOD (Exoplosive Ordinance Disposal, in other words military) specialist Dillon Slater has signed on as basketball coach at Shelter Bay high school. Matt, a basketball phenom, demonstrates an attitude and ego to match that sends Dillon to Claire’s door. Gun shy about relationships Claire is a bit overwhelmed by the attention she gets from Dillon. He’s ready to play for keeps is she?
The last full novel in the Shelter Bay series is Castaway Cove. This story brings together two people who have each been through their own painful divorce. Mac Culhane has left behind the military in time to be left in charge of a daughter he barely knows as his wife takes off. He brings his daughter and moves in with his father in Shelter Bay. Mac takes on the job of night DJ on the local radio station. While visiting his grandfather in the memory care wing of the local senior living center he runs into Annie Shephard owner of the new scrapbook store in town. While taken with Annie, Mac is hesitant to get in too deep which works well for Annie because after her own divorce she’s not sure she wants to get involved at all. Nothing deters Mac’s daughter however who has decided Annie should be her new mom.
There are two novellas in the SB series, news to me I thought there was only one, off to put the new one on hold. The first is in a multi-author Christmas compilation: Christmas on Main Street. I was excited to check it out and read the story of Cole Douchett and Kelly who is his fiancee then wife when we meet them in the series. I also was excited to pick it up as there is a novella in the book by Alexis Morgan that takes place in her Snowberry Creek Series. The new novella is you again, can’t tell you anything about it right now as I haven’t read it yet but I’m sure I’m going to love it. Shelter Bay is like so many other series based in small towns, you get to know more than the main characters. There is always catching up to do with former MCs and new people to meet. I’m really hoping JoAnn Ross writes another full novel set in this little town.