Friday, July 6, 2012

Beach Colors by Shelley Noble

Beach Colors is a story of Margaux Sullivan, an up and coming New York fashion designer who after a serious loss realizes her life has become the same as her designs, stark, cutting-edge and dark.  What happened to the enthusiastic, colorful designer she was when she started in the fashion business.  The optimistic girl she had been when she lived in Crescent Cove, Connecticut, a beach town where every day was more colorful than the day before. Whether it was light glistening on the Long Island Sound, or clouds reflecting off the waves during a storm, sunrise or sunset, every day was a promise of something wonderful ahead.
Now she’s come home to rediscover those things, that person, to reconnect with her mother and her two best friends, to reinvent her life and perhaps, just perhaps, get a second chance at love. (synopsis from

Trade Paperback, William Morrow, 368 pages.

Margaux Sullivan returns home to Crescent Cove, CT after her marriage, fashion business, and her life in general, have gone down the tubes thanks to her scummy husband. Being stopped for speeding as she crosses the town line is not an auspicious beginning to her plan to start over.
Police Chief Nick Prescott realizes immediately that the out of state speeder he has stopped is the girl he had a major case of unrequited love for when he was younger and going off to college. His plan to teach at the college level has been shelved as he returns to his hometown to care for his traumatized nephew Connor after the death of Jack’s brother.
Despite the unfortunate beginning to their becoming reacquainted, Margaux and Nick find themselves drawn to each other. Margaux has the seed of an idea to return to the fashion world but it will require a lot of hard work and immense amounts of time. Nick would still like to return to academia but has to put Connor’s needs above his own and that includes not getting involved with a woman who may not be around for the long haul. Margaux and Connor bond at their first meeting, however, and that adds to the tension between the two adults.
I enjoyed watching two people who have so many reasons to never fall in love again, dancing around each other and putting up walls at the same time. Lucky for them both, they have friends and family who love to interfere and provide the support and advice Margaux and Nick need to work out their relationship. Salon owner Linda becomes Margaux’s fairy godmother and Margaux’s two friends, Grace and Brianna, provide some tactful pushing. The three women, known as “The Selkies” in their childhood, have all achieved their childhood dreams but have not found the happiness they thought they would have for various reasons. Finally, the setting of the town itself becomes the creative muse for Margaux and her new designs.
Nick has friends give him a nudge toward Margaux and his mother and nephew are smitten with her. He is the one holding back because of his fears about Connor being abandoned by another mother figure. It is interesting that Connor gives Margaux his whole heart without reservation and that Nick is the fearful one.
The story is resolved in a realistic but satisfying way that is true to the personalities involved. I am hoping that we will soon see a book for Grace or Brianna and more of the wonderful town of Crescent Cove. This is the first piece of women’s fiction from this author who writes mysteries as Shelley Freydont. Kudos to Ms. Noble on her debut book.


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