Saturday, August 27, 2016

Keepsake for Eagle Cove by M.L. Buchman (review)

M.L. Buchman


In the heart-warming conclusion to the Eagle Cove series:

Tiffany Mills hides a secret about the small Oregon Coast town of Eagle Cove. The line between her past and her present grows blurred. Until, with her life as a recluse threatened, she must defend her beloved homestead in the woods.

Devin Robison wants nothing to do with women, at least for now. He needs a summer as far away from his past as he can get. The opposite of Chicago? A renovation job on a remote Oregon lighthouse keeper’s cottage feels just perfect.

But when their pasts collide and their present unfolds, they both discover the Keepsake for Eagle Cove.



Tiffany lives outside the small town of Eagle Cove on the Oregon Coast. She is sitting on the verandah of a Victorian B&B, watching the crowd after a double wedding.

Tiffany was connected to the town as well, but it was a connection from long ago and one that she had kept secret for the three years since she’d moved here.

Of course she wasn’t exactly in town, which made her feel a little less guilty. She lived alone, homesteading a full mile farther out of town into the forested hills. She had found a small gap between two plat surveys of adjacent state forests and, much to the Oregon Department of Forestry’s surprise, had purchased the ten-acre anomaly from the state. She lived in “unincorporated” forest—technically, she wasn’t even in a county.

Maybe she should declare her own county, or better yet her own country! Occupancy: one human, thirty chickens (unless some more eggs had hatched this morning), a half dozen goats, and her guard dog. There was also an exceptionally lazy cat the black-over-white color of an orca whale—and roughly the same blobbish shape—who kept Tiffany’s lap warm on cold nights. Fitz only roused herself for mouse hunting, a task at which she excelled.

Oregon State law had some considerations that might make it implausible to declare independence and Federal law definitely did. Of course, if she did declare her own state, she’d have to decide whether or not to sign onto the Interstate Commerce Commission for fair trade with other states. Would that be necessary for when she sold her chicken eggs and excess garden produce to Greg at The Puffin restaurant in Eagle Cove? As a bonus she could elect a governor. Of course, with only one resident, the choice would be obvious and the balloting blessedly painless.

Tiffany raised her right hand, “And the ayes have it.”

“Good. They can keep it,” Jessica Baxter stepped up, slapped Tiffany’s raised hand like a high-five, then eased herself down on the bench as close as Tiffany had observed best friends often did.

Tiffany’s other shoulder was against a wall, so she had nowhere to go.

“If my husband ever tries to touch me again, he’s going to get a big-ass nay.”

“You’re huge!” At eight months pregnant, Jessica seemed to be expanding daily, but she sat so close beside Tiffany, that Tiffany could see Jessica’s belly almost from the owner’s perspective. Jessica had been the first of Natalya’s friends to get married. She’d gotten pregnant right away and every one of those eight months showed on her belly. She was five-ten—Tiffany wouldn’t have minded those extra four inches herself—and slender as could be, except for the pregnancy. From the back she looked perfectly normal, as she had one of those pregnancies that went straight forward.

“Tell me something I don’t know,” Jessica groaned with a happy sigh of relief at being off her feet.

“Okay, you probably don’t know why your five-times-great-grandmother stopped speaking to her daughter,” for Jessica Baxter was Gina’s niece and also a descendant of Pearl Lamont. And then Tiffany wished she could cut her tongue out. It was something Jessica wouldn’t know, but it said so much more than Tiffany wanted to reveal. Ever.

Jessica blinked at her in surprise.

Tiffany could only hope that it would be written off as “just one of those things that Tiffany Mills says.” Her own four-times-great-grandmother’s journal was what had led her to Eagle Cove in the first place. Lillian Lamont had been one of the founders of the town. But if Tiffany wished to survive, her past had to stay hidden, cut off, forever.

“Wait.” Jessica furrowed her brow as she massaged her back. “Five times…you’re talking about the founders of Eagle Cove.”

Tiffany really didn’t do well with people who lived outside of her imagination.

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My review:

4.5 out of 5 stars

Keepsake for Eagle Cove by M.L. Buchman is a contemporary romance set in Eagle Cove and introduces Devin, a man running from the complications of his life, who meets a woman who evidently has her own demons she is fleeing from. She has found a way to participate in the close-knit society of the town but hasn’t dared to integrate into it until she meets a man who finally finds a way past her barriers…now she just has to find a way to get past his and discover whether they can heal each other’s scars.

The charm of small town romances is the wealth of characters who form the backdrop for the connection that forms between the main players. I am always in awe of the way this author creates such vivid stories that I want to visit these places he creates. The gradual buildup that allows us to get to know the sometimes very traumatic backgrounds of the hero and heroine is wonderfully revealed even as their characters are disclosed by the way they interact with the challenges they face. I love the contrast between Tiffany’s self-effacing mannerisms and her deadly accuracy with a compound bow even as I rolled with laughter as Devin conquered various obstacles, including the operation of very large machinery.

Learning the unexpected depths of connection between the various denizens of Eagle Cove and the history seen through a pivotal journal give great twists to the story and keep one mesmerized. I haven’t read any other stories in this series yet I think I would have no problem recognizing any of the people in Eagle Cove and I am in awe of the deft way the growth of the relationships is portrayed, but not surprised because I have been a fan since I read the first Nightstalker novel and became hooked by the word artistry this author employs.

A copy of this title was provided to me for review

Other titles in the series:

(this title was .99 at the time of this posting)


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