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Kathryn's Beach

by Nadine Laman

      How Do You Learn Not To Run Away?

The First in a Series with Great Promise

Born to storytelling, Nadine Laman starts out with big ideas. Kathryn's Beach is not only the first in a series, but it is a gentle romance, a soft mystery, and borders on mainstream as well.

The book opens with a young woman, a social worker by trade, working as a bartender in the Midwest. She has run away from Los Angeles, if not the city she loves, then the beach. In doing so, she has abandoned good friends like Maggie, a persistent fellow social worker, Karen, a tough boss with a sweet streak, and a child-abuse case that has gone awry. By gathering her courage to go back, the woman opens the way to making new friendships, rekindling old ones, and finding love.

Lamanís characters are memorable. I especially like the main characterís new neighbor, Mr. Goldstein. and her new boss, a nun with a passion for doing good and a bit of a beach-streak of her own. I like that Laman tells the story in first person, so we can come to know the protagonist through internal dialogue -up close and personal.

What I don't like about this book is that it is part of a series. I don't like prestidigitators, Rubic cubes, or the old Batman segments that left me wondering if Robin would be alive when I went back to movies the following Saturday. Most Romance readers have come to expect series, indeed to love them. I believe they will find this book exceptionally well done. I may even read the next one myself because, unfortunately, this series stuff -at least Laman's series stuff- works on me whether I like it or not.

The Book

October 2006
Trade Paperback
Fiction / Romance
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The Reviewer

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Reviewed 2007
NOTE: Reviewer Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the award-winning author of This is the Place, Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered, and a chapbook of poetry titled Tracings, winner of the Military Writers Society of America's Award of Excellence and named Top Ten Best Reads by the Compulsive Reader. She is also the author of the HowToDoItFrugally Series of books including The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success and The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't, the 2004 winner of USA Book News' Best Professional Book of the Year and Irwin awards.
© 2006