Narrator: Amanda Dolan
Series: Moonlight Bay #1
Published by Dreamscape Media on 2018-12-04
Length: 8hrs and 23min
Reviewing Audiobook from Audible Escape
Reading Challenges: 2019 Audiobook Challenge, Beat the Backlist 2019
Jenna Fossey's life is about to change. An unexpected inheritance and the chance to meet relatives she never knew existed has her heading to the charming little town of Magnolia Harbor. But as soon as she arrives, long-buried family secrets lead to even more questions, and the only person who can help her find the answers is her sexy-as-sin sailing instructor.
Nothing makes Jude St. Pierre feel more alive than racing on the open sea - at least, not until Jenna comes strolling down his dock asking for sailing lessons. But it feels wrong to be attracted to her - especially when he learns why she came to town. Jude knows she deserves the truth but can he help her discover it without losing her and the family he's come to think of as his own?
The Cottage on Rose Lane by Hope Ramsay is the first in her series Moonlight Bay, and follows a young woman who is looking to connect with family she didn’t know existed and a sailor that may hold the key to what she wants. Set in a fictional town in South Carolina, I felt like I was coming home while reading. The town and its people breathe life into the pages of the book. I want to visit Magnolia Harbor now!
Jenna Fossey is a young woman searching for answers. She’s spent the last year backpacking across the world, more specifically India and a little in China, exploring the Buddhist lifestyle and religion. It’s all led her to Magnolia Harbor, the home of her uncle, her grandfather’s brother. Jenna didn’t know her grandfather or her father for that matter, and now a few years after the death of her mom, Jenna’s inherited her grandfather’s estate. For the first time in her life, money isn’t an issue. She has plenty to never work again if she wants. But what she really wants is family. She comes to Magnolia Harbor with a purpose, to find out about her father and his family and hopefully become a part of that family.
Jude St. Pierre is a sailor. It’s in his blood and all he wants to do. When Jenna approaches him to give her sailing lessons, he should say no. He isn’t an instructor, but something about her intrigues him, and he needs the money if he’s going to keep his charter business afloat. As the youngest St. Pierre brother, he carries the weight on his shoulders. He cares for his father and their family. The eldest brother, estranged from the family, is coming home as the new pastor at the local church, and well Jude isn’t happy. Forgiveness and reconciliation might be needed, but his brother will have to work for it.
I love the world-building of this small town. It centers around Jude and his mission to save the Gullah culture in his hometown. This allows the author to not only introduce most of the characters, but also touch on an important part of South Carolinian history. Jude and Jenna have a slow-build relationship with instant attraction. Jenna is a what-you-see is what-you-get kinda girl, but Jude questions her motives and doesn’t fully trust her. He knows she isn’t being completely forthcoming about who she is and why she is in his town. Their relationship progresses at a believable pace without it feeling like instalove.
This is the first time I’ve listened to a book narrated by Amanda Dolan. I really like her. She pulled off a Jude’s southern accent well, without it sounding too fake. I did cringe a bit at Jenna’s Boston accent, but it wasn’t bad enough to make me quit listening. I did bump it up to 2x speed, but that’s my usual listening speed. Amanda gave voice to each character and I had no problems keeping them straight, and there’s a lot of them!
Overall I really enjoyed The Cottage on Rose Lane. I personally love Jenna and Jude, even if I didn’t agree with either of them on a lot of issues. Their relationship is sweet and explosive at the same time, if that makes sense. And the town! I love all the characters created for Magnolia Harbor. Each one is fully fleshed out, and I had no trouble keeping them straight. If you enjoy small-town romance, I highly recommend you check it out.