Formats available: ebook, hardcover, paperback, audiobook
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Thunder Point, #2
Length: 364 pages
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Date Released: June 25, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository
Single dad and Thunder Point’s deputy sheriff “Mac” McCain has worked hard to keep his town safe and his daughter happy. Now he’s found his own happines with Gina James. The longtime friends have always shared the challenges and rewards of raising their adolescent daughters. With an unexpected romance growing between them, they’re feeling like teenagers themselves-suddenly they can’t get enough of one another.
And just when things are really taking off, their lives are suddenly thrown into chaos. When Mac’s long-lost ex-wife shows up in town, drama takes on a whole new meaning. Mac and Gina know they’re meant to be together, but can their newfound love withstand the pressure?
In the first Thunder Point book, the “wanderer” of the title (see review) was definitely Hank Cooper. I’m not quite sure exactly who the titular “newcomer” is in this second book of the series, and I really don’t care; I was glad of the chance to visit Thunder Point again.
This is looking like one of those series where you fall in love with the town. Fine by me.
The story of The Newcomer is a direct continuation of The Wanderer, following the same two adult couples, Hank Cooper and Sarah Dupre, who both came to Thunder Point from someplace very else, and Gina James and Mac McCain, who have been in Thunder Point for years, and only came from nearby Coquille.
Their stories are so intertwined, it’s a little hard to tell where one leaves off and the other begins. But, for me it worked like this; in the first book, both couples figure out that they belong together, even though they reach that point from entirely different routes, and face completely different challenges.
In this second story, both couples are tested by outside forces, and have to figure out whether what they have found can withstand some pretty tough circumstances. In both cases, part of that test has to do with major life incidents rising out of the past and jumping up to bite, but there is an element of learning to compromise and communicate in there as well.
There is definitely an added element to the story that all the adults are single parents, and how much they factor their children’s adjustments and happiness into the equation.
Every one of the adults in this story doesn’t just have someone in their past, but they have someone with whom they have unfinished business. It all comes out at the same time, making this story more of a family drama than the regularly expected romance.
This is one family (maybe that’s a whole bunch of families) where you root for everyone to figure out the mess and reach for their happy ending, no matter how crazy things get along the way.
Escape Rating B+: The Thunder Point series is one where is just so much fun to see how everyone is doing and where things are going next. I loved going back to this town.
The Newcomer reads like a direct sequel to The Wanderer; the story doesn’t make sense without reading the first book, but that’s okay. The first book was good, too. The Newcomer is reads like the second crisis in both couple’s stories so that they earn their HEA.
Along with more than a bit of teenage angst concerning Mac and Gina’s daughters, both of whom have crises in their love lives in the middle of the parental drama. This isn’t just angsty but adds to the drama AND definitely makes for a big character arc for two of the teens. I don’t normally like teen angst but this time it enhanced the story quite a bit.
All the point-of-view characters in this story are likeable, you want to find out what’s going on with them, and you want them to get their HEA.
One of the most fun characters in the series so far is Mac’s Aunt Lou. She’s snarky and doesn’t suffer fools. She’s someone you want to sit down with for coffee…or a whole bottle of wine.
Now that Sarah and Hank and Mac and Gina have finally resolved their issues, the next book moves on to someone who was introduced from Hank’s past. I’m looking forward to more happiness in Thunder Point.