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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
From the Front Desk: The Gentle Surf Series, Book Two is a contemporary romance novel written by Lori Power. Wendee loved her early morning runs in her new hometown of Coronado Island. It was a big difference from the midwestern state where she had grown up and where her life was still in danger. Wendee’s cousin, Eva, had been an angel in welcoming her into the Cape Cod beach house that she had inherited. Eva had even arranged for Wendee to get a front desk job at the historic Hotel del Coronado. Wendee thought ruefully of Nan, who was still back in the midwest, living in the nursing home that was caring for her. Nan had early onset dementia now, but she had raised Wendee on her own and was Wendee’s strength all her young life. Wendee had a system for sending her Nan letters now, but she could never risk letting her know where she was currently living. Roger and his organized crime mob were looking for her; a threat she feared she would never fully escape.
Toby regretted having tried to warn the young woman that the SEALs were about to swarm all over the beach that she was blissfully running along. He had only survived undetected this long by remaining apart and alone from any human interaction. But there was something about the elfin sprightliness of that runner which touched him in a way he hadn’t allowed before. When he realized that she was working the front desk, he regretted the chance meeting even more, but still he found himself unable to resist making advances to her. Toby still mourned his sister’s death and felt responsible for all the grief his family had experienced over the years.
Lori Power’s contemporary romance novel, From the Front Desk, is the second book in The Gentle Surf Series. It’s designed to read just fine as a standalone novel, but don’t let that dissuade you from beginning with the first book in this impressive series, Sea Breeze, which is a stunningly good historical novel set in the same locale as this book and starring Eva’s grandparents. After reading that book, I expected great things from this novel, and I was not at all disappointed; if anything, Power exceeded my expectations. Her two characters are so well-defined, their tragic backgrounds flavoring how each interacts with their worlds and with each other. Can they trust each other and themselves enough to find love? From the Front Desk is beautifully written, has a stunning locale and features a compelling and sweet romance. It’s most highly recommended.