The Beach At Painter’s Cove by Shelley Noble

  • Title:  The Beach At Painter’s Cove
  • Author:  Shelley Noble
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Pages:  432
  • Published:  June 2017 – William Morrow Paperbacks
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  The Beach at Painter’s Cove is the story of the Whitakers – a wealthy and eccentric New England family who are on the brink of losing the fabled Muses by the Sea mansion. Through the decades Muses hosted the most notable stars of the art world – a place where artists could practice their craft or just get away and be themselves.

Granddaughter Issy will go down fighting in order to keep her grandmother’s home in the family. That’s not the only issue she’ll face. There are also frustrating family dynamics, intrigue, and general misunderstandings that work into the plot of this multi-generational story. Despite all that, she reconnects with old friends, her grandmother and great-aunt, and a delightful niece who seems to share a lot in common with Issy.

The novel is filled with interesting characters, a lovely setting, and the lesson that change is not always a bad thing. I enjoy a good family drama and that’s exactly what I got with Shelley Noble’s The Beach at Painter’s Cove. A book club guide is included.


About the author:

Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer. She most recently worked on the films Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and Liberty States Fiction Writers.


 

Forever Beach by Shelley Noble

  • Forever Beach (6:7)Title:  Forever Beach
  • Author:  Shelley Noble
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Pages:  432
  • Published:  June 2016 – William Morrow Paperbacks
  • Source:  Publisher

Description: 

One woman struggling to hold on to what she has,

One woman learning to forgive

Their lives entwined by one little girl. 

Sarah Hargreave is anxious to finalize the adoption of her foster daughter Leila. Once a foster child herself, Sarah longs to become Leila’s “forever” family and give her all the love and stability she was denied in her own childhood. When Leila’s biological mother suddenly reappears and petitions the court for the return of her daughter, Sarah is terrified she’ll lose the little girl she loves to the drug addicted mother who abandoned her.

Having grown up in foster care, Ilona Cartwright fights for the rights of children who have no one to fight for them. But to Sarah she is Nonie Blanchard, who grew up in the same group foster home as Sarah. They’d promised to be best friends forever, then Nonie was adopted by a wealthy family, and Sarah never heard from her again. Sarah still hurts from the betrayal. But Nonie harbors her own resentment toward the past. 

Mistrustful of each other, the two women form a tenuous alliance to ensure Leila’s future, but when Leila’s very survival is on the line, they’ll have to come to terms with their own feelings of hurt and rejection to save the child they both have come to love. (publisher)

My take:  Sarah is on track to adopt Leila, her four-year old foster daughter, when she receives a letter stating the girl’s birth mother is contesting the case. Supervised visits will begin soon putting Leila back in harm’s way for sure unless Sarah and her support team of friends and professionals can stop it.

Shelley Noble takes readers inside the world of Child Protection services that attempts to save children from horrible circumstances. My heart breaks thinking about the defenseless children caught up in a legal system. Noble’s story made me feel the frustration of the people who only want to help them, save them – each one a hero.

I loved Sarah’s friends who became her family and stood by her when life got tough. I was bothered by the emotional drama between Sarah and the ad litem attorney caused by a misunderstanding when they were girls (in the foster care system). But, perhaps the insecurity experienced by both when they were young was the cause for the drama. That issue aside, I liked Forever Beach and recommend it. Book club questions are included at the end. I think this would be a good choice for book groups.


Shelley Noble ap1Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer. She most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and Liberty States Fiction Writers. Shelley lives in Spring Lake Heights, New Jersey.

Whisper Beach by Shelley Noble

  • whisp beach 6:16Title:  Whisper Beach
  • Author:  Shelley Noble
  • Genre:  Women’s  Fiction
  • Published:  June 2015 – William Morrow
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  When Vanessa Moran comes home for the funeral of her cousin’s husband she plans to stay for the service and then continue on to the shore for a well-deserved vacation. But things don’t go as planned. 

Van left 15 years earlier and never looked back. She worked hard, studied hard, and found a career organizing and managing other people’s homes and lives in Manhattan. What she left behind was her old life: an alcoholic, unforgiving father; a ruined relationship with her boyfriend; and school friends who seemed to be going nowhere. Now she finds some things have changed and a few haven’t. As her plans change and she starts to get to know people again will she be open to changes in her own life? 

Shelley Noble’s characters might seem a little familiar to anyone who grew up in a small town. I enjoyed them all. My favorite character was Dorie, the owner of the Blue Crab restaurant. More than that, she was a mother figure to more than a few kids in town. Her house was the safe place to go no matter what the circumstances. She was a good sounding board and also the voice of reason. I also liked Van’s friend Suze. Everyone needs a BFF like Suze. 

Themes of forgiveness and second chances run through Whisper Beach. The novel wasn’t tied up neatly at the end which is why I hope Noble will return to Whisper Beach in the not too distant future. Recommended to fans of the author and Women’s Fiction.

Breakwater Bay by Shelley Noble

breakwater bay July8

  • Title:  Breakwater Bay
  • Author:  Shelley Noble
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Published:  July 2014 – Wm. Morrow
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Preservationist Meri Hollis loves her latest project, restoring one of Newport’s forgotten Gilded Age mansions. And with summer approaching, she’ll be able to spend more time with her Gran on the Rhode Island shore. She has a great job, a loving family, and she’s pretty sure her boyfriend is going to propose on her thirtieth birthday.

But everything Meri believes about family, happiness, truth, and love is shattered when her family’s darkest secret is exposed.

Thirty years before, Meri’s neighbor and friend, Alden Corrigan, took his father’s dinghy out to fish. In a sudden storm, he rushed to help a woman stranded on the breakwater. She was just a girl . . . a very pregnant girl who disappeared soon after they reached safety—But not before she left behind a very special gift.

Now that the truth it out, life will change for everyone in Breakwater Bay, and Meri and Alden will have to make decisions that could ensure their future together . . . or separate them for good.   (publisher)

My take:  I loved the atmospheric feel to this novel. Very gothic – although not really dark –  with the huge, drafty house on the shore; the almost reclusive, handsome man (Alden) who owns the house; and the young woman (Meri) who suddenly needs him more than she ever realized. It’s a tale of honor, responsibility, and what exactly constitutes a family. In the end, family is not determined solely by blood but, more than that, the people who will do anything for you – the people who want to be a part of your life.

Shelley Noble included a good amount of detail of Meri’s preservation work in the story. I loved reading about it and could envision the beauty of the Newport mansion her team was restoring.

I would have liked the end of the novel fleshed out a bit more than it was but I was nonetheless pleased with the conclusion. Breakwater Bay is a good summer read – take it to the beach or read it at home and imagine yourself reading at the Rhode Island shore.

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Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer. She most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America.

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One more thing . . .

The publisher sent a finished copy so I decided to share it with one of my US readers.

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Beach Colors by Shelley Noble

Title:  Beach Colors

Author:  Shelley Noble

Genre:  Women’s Fiction

Published:  June 2012 – William Morrow

My take:  With nowhere else to go, Margaux Sullivan returns to her family summer home at the shore at Crescent Cove, CT. She’s lost everything to her snake of a husband – their NYC apartment; her successful fashion design business; the bank accounts; their marriage.
As she tries to figure out how to move forward she reconnects with people from her past – people she grew up with during the summers. One in particular is Nick Prescott. Although she doesn’t recall knowing him as a girl he remembers everything about her – at least what he knew from afar as he never spoke to her back then. There’s a world of difference when one is 14 and the other 18 and when one is a summer person and the other a townie. But now, both in their 30s, he’d like to really get to know her.
Nick is the polar opposite of Margaux’s ex. He gave up his dream job of history professor to come home and take care of his mom and nephew. Nick feels responsible for what happened to his brother so he does the upstanding thing where his family is concerned. Margaux has no intention of starting a relationship but she finds Nick irresistible on a few levels. Her main focus though is finding her love of design again and making her mark with a new clothing line. But will she find happiness and contentment if the NY fashion scene takes notice?
There are several characters dealing with issues in Beach Colors. I can see that this could be the start of a series. I wonder… Anyway, I enjoyed them all. Seriously, Linda the hairstylist (and a recent NYC transplant) was a hoot as well as a godsend to the women of Crescent Cove! I would definitely like to read more about the secondary characters in future books.
My one quibble with the book is the abrupt ending. I wanted to see it play out a little more. But, overall, I really liked Beach Colors and recommend it to anyone who enjoys books about women reinventing themselves. It’s a very fast read and would be a good choice to take along on vacation.

Disclosure:  I received a review copy from the publisher via LibraryThing Early Reviewers. I was not compensated for my review.