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Reviewed by Dinah Roseberry for Readers' Favorite
Somewhere by the Sea (Finding Somewhere Series, Book I) by Verna Clay is a treasure trove of emotional triggers that take a young widowed woman to her deceased family’s dream place as a final challenge to hold onto, and let go of, her departed husband and son. Burdened by the knowledge that she was responsible for their deaths, Somewhere — a small shore town that they’d been planning to visit as a family — was her only salvation. This was her last chance to hold them in her living world and to keep from letting them go.
As I went deeper with Verna Clay into Somewhere by the Sea, I found the setting of the town was so well presented that I could feel myself being drawn into its unique charm — just as heroine Faith Bennison was: she needed to be away from memories, yet she needed to have those same memories etched in her mind. Of course, as is usually the case, all is not quaint and lovely at the Hope Bed and Breakfast, or with the friendly shopkeepers, ocean views, and handsome men (like Baxter, the B&B owner’s son, who has her heart beating much too quickly). But just as happiness can bring an unlikely couple together, so might loss provide a similar cause, as is the case for Faith and Baxter. In fact, the town has even more relationship issues than those of Faith and Baxter blowing through the gentle winds, and those need their own happy endings. But for now, would this place be the right home for Faith to put down roots? There could be problems: the people in town — as nice as they are — don’t believe she is seeing what she is seeing. Some are thinking the worst. To be honest, she, too, doubts her own eyes. There are great risks to her and her new friends, and especially the attractive Baxter, when the paranormal pays a visit to Somewhere by the Sea.
What I loved about Verna Clay’s romantic tale is being totally immersed in the setting. I could picture the town so clearly with its houses and hills, the walking trails, the haunted stone house, the museum, the diner, and all the other nooks and crannies. I could walk down Main Street and Ocean Boulevard today and interact with Gabby and Leo and Vicki and Baxter. I could be Faith. I could love Baxter. The writing is superb as Clay's paranormal lazes through the town and along the beaches, barely noticed until… well, just know that there’s a reason for everything, and learning to make better choices can make a heart flutter when in the right person’s arms. Somewhere by the Sea (Book I) by Verna Clay is a gentle romantic experience that will leave you wanting more of Somewhere. This first book in Clay’s series will beckon you forward to the next and the next. You may want to bring along your paints and easel.