This is Julie Cannon’s 8th novel. Here, she introduces the reader to Elizabeth Collins and Colby “Breaker” Taylor. Elizabeth is a college president from New Hampshire and lesbian romance author who is in Hawaii for 10 weeks on vacation and to finish her latest book. Colby is a surfer instructor and surf shop owner. Neither woman is looking for love, but both are in danger of falling in love when they meet.
Colby, though, has a dark secret she’s been carrying for three years that prevents her from wanting a relationship. She’s never told anyone the details of her guilty secret. She knows that once she tells anyone about her past, there can be nothing between them. Elizabeth has never understood how any woman can give herself totally to another. She thinks she was born without the absolute commitment gene.
Both women know from the outset that the passion between them can’t lead anywhere because Elizabeth will leave the island at the end of her vacation and return to academia. In the meantime, however, theirs is a torrid romance.
When Colby unwittingly shows something of her past, Elizabeth insists on knowing it all. In a moment of weakness, Colby tells her the story, expecting Elizabeth to react badly. Colby only sees what she expects to see and rushes out into the night. Elizabeth searches for her, but can’t find her. With no reason to remain in Hawaii, Elizabeth returns to the States earlier than planned.
The two women both have epiphanies about her feelings for the other woman. But will either do anything about their discoveries?
The story unfolds slowly, and the reader may have trouble telling the characters apart at first. Once they meet, however, the book gets going and the two characters are easily distinguishable. Cannon writes about Hawaii beautifully, her descriptions of the landscape will make the reader want to jump on the first plane to Maui. The ending was at first confusing because Cannon failed to divulge which of the character’s voice she was writing in—are we in Colby’s head or Elizabeth’s? Does it really matter? Not one whit.
by Julie Cannon Bold Strokes Books Paperback, 9781602821965, 208 pp. February 2011