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New review is now up.

*****

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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 happiness 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?

I love Carr’s “Thunder Point” books like I love Susan Mallery’s “Fool’s Gold” series.  And the feel of the books is a lot like I imagine their respective towns to be – while Mallery’s California based town is full of light and sunshine that sometimes masks more serious depths, Carr’s little town in Oregon has times of rain but when the sun comes out it is blindingly beautiful.

In The Newcomer, we pretty much pick up where The Wanderer left off.  Unlike a lot of series that finishes off with one pair and moves on to someone new, Carr’s series just continues to build.  We get more on Hank and Sarah as well as the newest in Mac and Gina’s changing relationship.  And we’re given Gina’s teenage daughter Ashley and her relationship with Downey as he moves away to college and she stays behind at Thunder Point High.  Some may get a little overwhelmed by all that is going on but Carr’s books are all about the community and no one is an island in her stories.

I loved Hank and Sarah so having the chance to explore their relationship further is a real treat.  And we’re left with a bit of a cliffhanger so I know we’ll get to see more of them in the next book (The Hero).  Mac and Gina featured a bit in The Wanderer so it is great to get to see their relationship come to fruition.  Both are strong, loving, family people and I enjoyed watching them figure out how to combine their worlds into one.  Especially since Gina’s world is imploding with the problems Ashley is experiencing with her boyfriend.  It was interesting to see, from an adult’s perspectvie, the pitfalls of teenage dating, espcially in today’s more technological times.  It takes up a decent part of the book so be prepared, but it does directly impact Gina and by association Mac (and even Sarah).  But that is how a small community works so I appreciate the realism.

The continuation of existing stories is one of my favorite things about Carr’s books, and although she does do a good job of giving new readers the bits of background that they need to keep up, I recommend starting from the beginning.  Her characters have such rich and complex lives, with heartbreak and joy and all the complications that go along with loving and living, that you appreciate them so much more being there from the beginning.

For believable, lifelike characters and problems, delivered with Carr’s captivating style, The Newcomer is going to thrill … but be prepared to get caught up in the many lives in Thunder Point and be left wanting more.

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