I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Charlotte and Nicole were once the best of friends, spending summers together in Nicole’s coastal island house off of Maine. But many years, and many secrets, have kept the women apart. A successful travel writer, single Charlotte lives on the road, while Nicole, a food blogger, keeps house in Philadelphia with her surgeon-husband, Julian. When Nicole is commissioned to write a book about island food, she invites her old friend Charlotte back to Quinnipeague, for a final summer, to help. Outgoing and passionate, Charlotte has a gift for talking to people and making friends, and Nicole could use her expertise for interviews with locals. Missing a genuine connection, Charlotte agrees.
But what both women don’t know is that they are each holding something back that may change their lives forever. For Nicole, what comes to light could destroy her marriage, but it could also save her husband. For Charlotte, the truth could cost her Nicole’s friendship, but could also free her to love again. And her chance may lie with a reclusive local man, with a heart to soothe and troubles of his own.
Bestselling author and master storyteller Barbara Delinsky invites you come away to Quinnipeague.
Can love and friendship overcome betrayal?
Also available as an audiobook from Macmillan Audio! Listen to a clip here.
My Thoughts on Sweet Salt Air
Longtime best friends Charlotte and Nicole are reuniting for the first time in 10 years on the coastal Maine island of Quinnipeague. Charlotte’s a world travelling writer, researching, interviewing, and selling stories to various publications. Nicole is a wife and step-mother, as well as a food blogger and aspiring cookbook writer. It’s the cookbook that prompts Nicole to invite Charlotte back to Quinnipeague for the summer: she wants to make the book the best it can be and she knows Charlotte is the perfect writer for the collaboration.
But it isn’t only the cookbook that is taking Nicole to the island; nor is Charlotte’s career the sole reason why she’s been absent from her best friend’s life for a decade. Both woman are harboring secrets – and both secrets involve Nicole’s husband, Julian. As her long-kept secrets begin to spill out at a surprising pace, Charlotte finds herself drawn to the island bad boy, Leo Cole. Son of the island herbalist, Leo, like his mother before him, doesn’t like visitors. But Charlotte can’t help herself. They start up a tenuous friendship that quickly escalates into a relationship that neither one of them expected – or believe they can keep. For her part, Nicole finds herself not only facing a fractured friendship, but also fighting for her marriage – and her husband’s life.
This book and I have become BFFs. I finished it and, when I finish reading a book, it goes one of three places:
- Back to the library
- In the sell back bag
- On the keep shelves in my basement
But this book, well, this book is special. It’s still sitting on my night table. Partly to remind me to write this review, but mainly because I don’t want to have it too far away from me. The story and the characters are still with me. I was praying as I read, repeating a mantra of please don’t break my heart, please don’t break my heart, please don’t break my heart, as I delved deeper and deeper into the story. The way Barbara Delinsky writes has a touch of magic in it. As a reader, I felt like I was there on Quinnipeague with Nicole and Charlotte and Leo and the whole cast of characters. I was firmly tied to the characters’ emotions, which just enhanced the story and the reading all the more.
Between the two, I identified more strongly with Charlotte; perhaps because she’s the single one of the pair. As Charlotte fell for Leo, I fell with her. I tried to be a supportive
friend reader to Nicole when Charlotte fessed up to what happened on Quinnipeague 10 years earlier and dealt with the emotions that brought up. I wanted to be sitting next to her in the herb garden, sailing alongside her and Leo, working or reading books in the library as the pair clicked away on their respective computers. I can see all of the scenes and places so vividly in my mind’s eye. And the way I see it, that’s the telltale marking of an excellent story.
Now, does anyone think there’s a real-life Leo Cole out there looking for a chubby Midwest gal who doesn’t really like seafood? (I mean, except for fish fries. How can you not like a piece of fish battered and deep fried to a crispy golden brown?) If so, give him my number, won’t you?