3.5 “Pulled Beneath The Waves” Stars
"People in pain were drawn to each other.”
Pulled Beneath is book one in Marni Mann’s Bar Harbor series. This is also the first book that I have read by this author. It is always a coin toss when you decide to give a new author a try. The reading experience can turn out to be a pleasant surprise or you can venture into the land of the abysmally awful. This was a book that I enjoyed. It’s a tale of finding oneself again after your world gets turned on its axis. When you experience tragedy you can either let the darkness envelope you or you slowly begin to pick up the shattered pieces and start to live once again.
“I was the mess who didn’t know how to get her head back on straight after her whole life had been turned upside-down."
Drew Stevens’ life is torn apart in the blink of an eye. Her parents are brutally murdered one night while she is away from home. Now Drew is left trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life reeling in guilt that she was not at home with her parents that fateful night. Shortly after the murders, Drew is contacted by her maternal grandparents’ attorney informing her that she has inherited their home in Bar Harbor, Maine. Drew is aware that her mother was from the small town; however, she was led to believe that her grandparents had passed away long ago, not a few weeks prior. She has no choice but to go to Bar Harbor and deal with the home her grandparents’ bequeathed her. Drew also makes the journey to Bar Harbor to seek the answers to the copious amounts of questions she has running through her head.
“Something was pulling me to Maine.”
Upon her arrival in Bar Harbor, Drew quickly realizes that it will take some time to ready and sell her mother’s childhood home. As she begins to deal with the estate and meets a few locals more secrets emerge leaving Drew with more and more questions and no answers. Drew feels betrayed by her mother, not really understanding why she kept her parents a secret. Instead of finding solace in a place that should tie her to her deceased mother, Drew finds herself unraveling further not really knowing how to stop her downward spiral. What she does not expect is to meet Saint, someone who she immediately feels a connection with. Someone who is as mysterious as he is sexy.
“I’d been banging my head against the bars, trying to break free. Suddenly, I wanted to find the latch.”
This story is definitely a slow burn. I would say that the overall focus of the tale is about Drew, her journey of discovery and rebuilding her life in the aftermath of an inexplicable tragedy. As the storyline progresses, the pieces surrounding the mystery of her mother’s departure from Bar Harbor and the grandparents she believed were dead slowly starts to unravel. The author did a great job giving her reader pieces of the puzzle gradually, leisurely peeling back all the layers until the truth is revealed. It definitely kept me engrossed wanting to know exactly how everything would come together.
The budding romance between Drew and Saint is interwoven with the overall story arc which revolves around Drew’s healing and getting the answers she so desperately craves. There is no denying that this couple felt a strong, passionate and true connection, one they wanted to explore (albeit cautiously at first). Their romance came at an inopportune time for Drew but there is no stopping matters of the heart when they begin to take hold. Saint becomes someone that is crucial to Drew’s path to finding herself once again. I do think that the romance took somewhat of a back seat to everything else going on. There wasn’t as much interaction between Drew and Saint as I would have liked. While I appreciate the fact that much of this book was about Drew’s journey and her internal struggles, I would have appreciated more romance and passion. Further, when Drew and Saint do commit to one another is was so lackluster and anti-climactic. There was no fire and no passion, things I like to see. The ending also came about rather abruptly. Perhaps an epilogue would have clued matters up a little better, further serving to cement the relationship between Drew and Saint further.
All in all, Pulled Beneath was a great start to this promising series set in a distinctive small town. Although this book does form part of a series it can definitely be read as a stand-alone. I am looking forward to the next book.
****A review copy of Pulled Beneath by Marni Mann was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.