Author: Irene Hannon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Hope Harbor #6
Release Date: March 31, 2020
Opposites may attract--but can two very different people find lasting love?
A year ago, ex-Delta Force operator Steven Roark left the rigors of combat behind to run fishing charters in Hope Harbor, decompress, and talk some sense into his kid brother. Business is good--but making peace with his past is more challenging than he expected.
First-grade teacher Holly Miller leads a low-profile existence--until she's recruited to advocate for a cause that's dear to her heart. When she solicits Steven's assistance, sparks fly--especially after they find themselves on opposite sides of an issue that disrupts their placid seaside community.
As these two seemingly incompatible souls wrestle with their differences, might they discover more common ground than they expect--and a future filled with promise?
Reviewer: Rebecca Maney
"Lots of people write off potential friends who seem too different at first glance. The trick is taking a second look - and checking out their heart as well as their face."
Well, if making friends with the enigmatic charter boat captain was based solely on first glances, then there was a lot of handsome to look at, if she were looking. However, all that Holly Miller had hoped to accomplish by teetering down the dock, was to ask Steven Roark to consider donating a charter fishing trip for the local Helping Hands fund-raiser; what she got in return was an adamant difference of opinion.
In spite of their awkward beginnings, Holly and Steven's paths continue to cross. After all, Hope Harbor is not that big, and the community is known for its hospitality. Overcoming obstacles have led both of them to a deeper understanding of themselves, but it's the mistakes that Steven has buried from his past that may prove to be too overwhelming for Holly to overcome . . . unless she can accept the fact that love isn't designed to demand perfection, but rather to "keep no record of wrongs".
Holly and Steven's path towards wholeness is only one of three major story lines in this book, each of which could have stood on their own, but needed the strength of the other to make this such a satisfying read.
Reviewer: Lori Parrish
"You already have had a positive impact, Pete. On your neighbor Holly. On Patrick and his family. On the minister and priest. Perhaps on the clerk at the grocery store. That kind word you said to her on your last visit, when she seemed down, could have gotten her over a hump. We're all like stones tossed in the water, creating a ripple effect with outer limits too far away for us to see. But God sees them."
I think this quote from the book says everything that this book has made me feel. It doesn't hurt to show compassion to someone, especially with what's going on now. I'm sure most of you know what I'm referring to. Hannon hits it head-on throughout the book. In fact, this little quote made me stop and think about it, and it almost made me cry.
All of these people in this story are my friends, and I truly wanted to reach out and help them, but I finally woke up and came back to reality.
However, there are people in real life that we can help. Just say hi or give someone a smile whenever you see them. You never know what someone may be going through.
I really enjoyed Taco Charlie. I loved him for his words of wisdom, and I think I might've drooled a little when he whipped up one of his famous tacos. I do hope he shows up again in the series. Hope Harbor wouldn't be the same without him.
I loved this book so much that I didn't want to put it down. Hannon is a wonderful storyteller. I always look forward to seeing what she comes out with next.
5 stars for this stellar book! The cover is beautiful.
My thanks to Netgalley and the courtesy of Baker House/Revell for a copy through Interviews and Reviews.
Reviewer: Wendy Holley
Starfish Pier is another wonderful visit to Hope Harbor. Irene Hannon captures the vibe of a small community on the Oregon Coast, where residents are welcoming and quick to help. This sweet love story explores how two individuals from opposing viewpoints and very different backgrounds can bridge the divide with respect and love.
The characters grapple with real-life issues of addiction, disability, and terminal illness. Each found that by opening their hearts and letting others in, they can face their fears and find hope in community.
I enjoyed getting to know Steven and see how his experiences have shaped his world view. He’s a real gentleman but not wimpy. He cares for his family and is willing to make sacrifices for them. Holly is a refreshing change from the usual heroine. I appreciate the author's willingness to write a character with a physical disability and how it shaped her.
This is a relaxing read, while some readers may find the pacing slow and the story predictable. I found the underlying topics and the character’s growth kept me engaged.
This story delves into the power of how kindness and community have the power to heal. While this story does touch upon right to life issues, alcoholism, and terminal illness, it does so with integrity, and the author doesn’t get on a soap box to beat a viewpoint. She presents these life issues with honesty and respect.
I enjoy this series and look forward to the next one.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Baker Publishing/Revell, through Interviews & Reviews for an honest review.
Reviewer: Melissa Glor
The Hope Harbor series is truly my favorite series, and each time a new book in the series is released, I am reminded why. Irene crafts flawless stories of redemption, mercy, and hope in each and every story.
Starfish Pier is the latest story to capture my heart within its pages. I loved the character of Holly, she had overcome so much, and she was such a sweet person, and Steven was a perfect match for her. The secondary stories of Pete and Patrick were an ideal complement to Holly's story and the redemptive powers of God that took place in each of their situations made for a compelling read. I loved this book, plain and simple.
I look forward to many more trips to Hope Harbor, and never have I wished so much for a fictional town to be real!
I received this book courtesy of Baker Publishing Group/Revell through Interviews & Reviews.
Reviewer: Abigail Harris
Lovely! I enjoyed the previous book in the Hope Harbor series even though I hadn't read any of the other books in the series and this one? It's so homey.
Normally when reading a book, I'll want something different, something that is a little bit suspenseful, historical, or romantic, and this was romantic. But not in the way I expected, Starfish Pier is like Chesapeake Shores, quite a bit, though I like it even more since the faith woven in is so perfectly shown.
While there are points that are sad, painful, and heartbreaking, this novel deals with many of the mistakes that people face today, it is still a clean, quiet, sweet book that contemporary fiction lovers will enjoy.
At first, I wasn't sure if I would like the book since I didn't like some of Holly's views, but I liked seeing how she grew in her beliefs, and Steven's past was just so sad. Patrick and Cindy, I loved. Pete and Joshua were adorable. And it was nice to see characters that were in Driftwood Bay. And aren't the titles darling?
I'm just so in love with this series, especially since Irene Hannon is not afraid to show sins and that they can be forgiven.
I received this book courtesy of Baker Publishing/Revell, through Interviews & Reviews.
Reviewer: Marie Edwards
Thank you in advance to the publisher, Revell, and Interviews and Reviews providing a complimentary advance review copy. A positive review was not required. All words and thoughts are my own.
It is worth noting that with Christian and/or Clean Reads I hardly have to add trigger or content warnings. However, with this novel, I have to add both. It starts right off with two hotbed issues that both characters are seemingly on different sides:
* Abortion* Death Penalty
As two of the items are divisive issues, readers who feel very strongly about them (either side), may want to exercise caution in reading this.
There are also “trigger” warnings as well and readers that are sensitive to the subjects will definitely want to exercise caution:
* Suicide/Right to Die
“Starfish Pier” is the sixth (6th) book in the “Hope Harbor” series. Some of the characters from the previous novels are hinted to in this book. This is easily a standalone read, but it would likely be better enjoyed with the entire series.
While the cover depicts a clear, calm, soothing, and tranquil setting – this novel is anything but that – or is it about finding that calm, soothing, and tranquil way of life?
Right off Hannon hits with the issues – it’s clear, in the beginning where Holly and Steven stand on those issues.
But, that isn’t all this book is about.
Hannon has a lot going on in this novel – tackling hot social issues, trigger issues, realities of war/training and the emotional toll, along with tackling disabilities and independence.
Some might consider having all these plot lines “cluttered”, however the author takes great steps in presenting the story without feeling like it is busy. This is a refreshing realistic take. She balances it all with scripture and Christian references; however it isn’t a full-fledged sermon.
The main characters (Steven, Patrick, Holly, Charley, and Pete) were realistically written and all had such diversity to them – a war hero who felt anything but, a mill worker who had to grow up in the shadow of his brother, a teacher living with a disability, a mystic/cook, and a sad older man. Each one of them finds a connection and the reason for it.
Steven is trying to make peace with a violent past, Patrick is finally coming to terms and healing from an embarrassing secret, Holly is trying to navigate her disability along with her life while raising money for charity, Charley is the wise taco maker, and Pete is waiting for everything to end.
In the middle of their drama, an old cannon is found which turns out to belong to a ship once owned by Steven and Patrick’s great-great-grandfather. Thus begins a debate as to what to do with it – display it and celebrate the history, or would they be glorifying a weapon of war?
Charley puts it best – we shouldn’t be in a rush to judge.
Hannon expertly tackles the “opposing views” on each subject in the middle of this romance. The author presented Holly and Steven’s attraction in an amazing realistic manner – they had problems to overcome and didn’t want to get into a relationship. This showed not only great restraint, but also great maturity. However, it also demonstrated an inability to communicate through the challenges.
The author also points out how being informed on issues helps us make better opinions, especially after an incident with Holly.
Controversial, sad, uplifting, inspiring, beautiful, and poignant – Starfish Pier also has a message of redemption. God forgives us and gives us a second chance. We owe it to ourselves to take the chances and live the life he has given us.
Hannon teaches us that we can consider all sides of an argument without straying from our personal beliefs, along with respecting divergent opinions and recognize the good in imperfect people.
With the way this began, I was a bit cautious and holding on as I didn’t know where the author was taking this. No heated debates, but an honest conversation that shows how our views come from our life experiences, what we’ve been exposed to, and how we were raised.
This was very well written and structured with an easy, natural flow so that it kept my interest. I definitely enjoyed it as I was reading it, and after getting into it, it was difficult to walk away from it. I also have the previous five novels on the TBR (to be read) list.
Fans of the author; and those who enjoy clean and/or Christian reads will probably enjoy this book. As I haven’t read the others in this series, I don’t know if they have similar content in the way of social issues and/or trigger issues though.
Reviewer: Monica Huyser
Do opposites not only attract, but do they really find lasting love? In Starfish Pier by Irene Hannon, first grad teacher Holly Miller is on opposite sides from ex-Delta Force military man turned fisherman, Steven Roark.
Starfish Pier is book six in the Hope Harbor series. I have enjoyed this series all the way through and couldn't wait for this book. Hannon's Hope Harbor feels like a great place to live. I have enjoyed all of the characters up until now. I do like Holly and Steven, the main characters in Starfish Pier. I also like the other newer characters. However, I didn't honestly enjoy this book as much as the others in the series. Hannon is an excellent writer, and this book does contain her usual complex characters. However, I felt like this book had more of an agenda than a story to tell.
Three of the new characters had challenges that were at odds with a Right to Life issue. While I know that is an important topic, it just felt a little more forced in the plot of this book. There was also less of a plot with much action in this book. At the same time, I did think the characters in town were a good mix of interesting people.
Hope Harbor feels like a warm and welcoming place to live in each of her books, including this one. I love how Charlie, the taco stand cook, plays a part in each book. At the end of Starfish Pier, there is a preview for the next book coming in the series, and I look forward to the continuing story of Hope Harbor's residents.
I received this book courtesy of Baker Publishing Group, Revell Division, through Interviews & Reviews. All opinions are my own.
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