The Path to Sunshine Cove by RaeAnne Thayne
Published by Harlequin ISBN 9781335665430
Harcover, $27.99, 336 pages
Sometimes you just need a comforting read, a book that you curl up with at the end of hard day. RaeAnne Thayne's new novel, The Path to Sunshine Cove, perfectly fits that bill.
The setting is Cape Sanctuary, a California coast town "defined by whimsical houses, overflowing gardens, wind chimes, and Japanese fishing balls." Jess is in Cape Sanctuary for work; she travels the country helping people clean out and reorganize their homes. Her task is to help Eleanor, a woman who lost her husband six months ago, and now wants to downsize her beautiful home.
Eleanor's adult son Nate and his teenage daughter Sophie live in a home on the property and are taken by surprise when Jess shows up in cute little Airstream trailer to help Eleanor. Nate is gruff with Jess, and not happy to be blindsided by her presence.
Jess will also visit with her sister Rachel, something that doesn't occur too often. Jess unexpectedly shows up at Rachel's home, just as Rachel is dealing with two young daughters and her three year-old son, who is on the autism spectrum and having a bad day.
We are given clues that something traumatic happened to Jess and Rachel, and that incident caused the two sisters to become estranged after the death of their parents. Jess joined the army and served in the Middle East, and Rachel married her high school boyfriend Cody and started her family.
Rachel is an Instagram influencer, and projects a happy, wonderful life to the world. But her son's diagnosis and husband's consuming job as a construction company owner has been causing her stress she is unwilling to admit to anyone, particularly her sister.
Jess is a loner, with only one close friend, her fellow soldier and business partner. She finds herself attracted to Nate, and enjoys the company of his mother and daughter, but is wary of becoming more involved with the family.
Thayne does a wonderful job with the sibling relationship between Jess and Rachel, and the marital relationship with Rachel and Cody. Cody wants to help Rachel, and he is a good father to his children, but Rachel can be too rigid and it could drive him away. I think many women may be able to see some of themselves in Rachel.
You know what you are going to get in a RaeAnne Thayne novel- characters you care about, in situations that you can relate to (and some you thankfully can't), in a beautiful setting. I enjoy learning about other people's jobs, and I found Jess' career going into people's homes and helping them organize fascinating. I have a friend who is so good at this, all she needs is an Airstream trailer.
Thanks to Harlequin for putting me on their Women's Fiction Winter Blog Tour.