Friday, August 23, 2019

Review: The Cliff House by RaeAnne Thayne

The Cliff House
by RaeAnne Thayne
Release Date: March 26th 2019
2019 HQN Books
Kindle Edition; 384 Pages
ISBN: 978-1335004901
Genre: Fiction / Contemporary
Source: Review copy from publisher

3 / 5 Stars

After the death of their mother, sisters Daisy and Beatriz Davenport found a home with their aunt Stella in the beautiful and welcoming town of Cape Sanctuary. They never knew all the dreams that Stella sacrificed to ensure they had everything they’d ever need. Now, with Daisy and Bea grown, it’s time for Stella to reveal the secret she’s been keeping from them—a secret that will change their family forever.

Bea thought she’d sown all her wild oats when she got pregnant far too young. The marriage that followed was rocky and not destined to last, but it gave Bea her wonderful, mature, now eleven-year-old daughter, Marisol. But just as she’s beginning to pursue a new love with an old friend, Bea’s ex-husband resurfaces and turns their lives completely upside down.

Then there’s Daisy—sensible, rational, financially prudent Daisy. She’s never taken a risk in her life—until she meets a man who makes her question everything she thought she knew about life, love and the power of taking chances.

My Thoughts
The Cliff House was an enjoyable book about two sisters and the aunt who raised them after their mother died figuring out new paths in their lives and taking chances on love.  Having read previous books by this author, I really felt like the characters and their stories were underdeveloped compared to what I have read previously.  Personally, I think the author took on too much and perhaps it may have been better to focus on one sister, or just the aunt, for this book.  There would have been plenty for three books.

I really liked all three women, although it did take a while for Daisy to grow on me as she was a bit surly in the beginning.  I also felt like Daisy's character was the least developed and would have liked a longer book, or one devoted to her story line as there was so much going on with her.  And you could say that with Bea and with Stella as well.  Because of this, I really felt there was not enough time to really develop their stories and tell them properly.  And while the story did bounce around quite a bit between the different characters, most of the time it was smoothly done. I do think it would have been better to have left the POVs to the women though, as there was just too much going on. I'm used to big plodding stories and don't typically mind them as I like the development and really getting to know the characters.  

The plot was fairly predictable and it wasn't hard to figure out what would happen in the end, but it was still a fun journey.  I actually liked Bea's ex-husband and thought he would be a great character for a future book.  The setting seems beautiful and I loved the descriptions of Daisy's house. I really felt like Bea got the least amount of attention though, which is why I still think three story lines was too much for this book despite the good writing.  I also tend to hate melodrama and there was a point where the book was heading in that direction, but luckily, it stopped.  Relying simply on misunderstanding to fuel a plot can be quite irritating. It really, really bothers me when characters can't seem to get their act together and communicate with each other.  And to be honest, I still can't quite figure out why the big secret in this one was an actual secret.  Seemed a bit childish to me.  

The Cliff House was a busy book, but I still enjoyed reading it.  While the three love stories left all three characters underdeveloped, it was still interesting to read.  I was actually surprised the author did this as she usually tends to take her time with a character and really develop their stories and their personalities, but...oh well.  The author's writing style is engaging, so I do recommend this one.  If you are new to this author though, I highly recommend some of her other books as well.