He made himself an island until something unexpected washed ashore.
When Holton lost his wife, Adele, in a freak accident, he shut himself off from the world, living a life of seclusion, making drifwood sculptures and drowning his pain in gin. Until twenty-three-year-old Libby knocks on his door, asking for a job and claiming to be a friend of his late wife. When he discovers Libby is actually his late wife’s illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption without his knowledge, his life is turned upside down as he struggles to accept that the wife he’d given saint status to was not the woman he thought he knew.
Together Holton and Libby form an unlikely bond as the two struggle to learn the identity of Libby’s father and the truth about Adele, themselves, and each other.
My Review –
Although Gina Holmes has written other books, this is the first book of hers that I have read. I truly enjoyed it. The cover of the book sets the story at the beach and is quite pretty. The writing is wonderful.
Normally, I read the book blurb before beginning a book, but in this case, I did not. I was pleasantly surprised by the Christian undertone of the book. As I said before, the writing was wonderful and the story heartwarming.
Driftwood Tides is about a father who has reached his lowest and a daughter trying to find a place to belong. It is a book that you won’t want to put down.
I am giving Driftwood Tides a five-star rating.
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Prologue to Driftwood Tides
The pillow pushed against Holton Creary’s nose forcing him to turn for air. His eyes fluttered, opening just enough to take in the first blush of morning light. Realizing he had at least another hour of solid sleep, he smiled in contentment. Flipping toward her side of the bed, he reached out to pull her hip against him. The warmth of his wife’s familiar body molded against his was a ritual as old as their marriage. Instead of landing on her hip, his hand thudded against the mattress jolting him awake. Lifting his head, he listened for her pattering about their small house, but heard only Rufus snoring from his spot on the floor.
Their small house was full of the smell of freshly brewed coffee . . . but not her. He peered out the front window not surprised to see her standing with her back to him watching the sunrise from the beach they called a front yard. She still wore her nightgown with his old cardigan serving as her bathrobe. The breeze made the nightgown cling to her legs, which filled him with a momentary possessiveness. If any man should happen to walk by at the moment, the sight of her would stop him in his tracks. That was the downside of marrying a beautiful woman—he wasn’t the only man with appreciative eyes.
He climbed down the stairs leading to the beach and quietly sidled behind her. He wrapped his arms around her waist, causing her to jump and turn her head in surprise. A warm smile replaced her startled expression. “You’re up early,” she said.
“I missed you.” He rested his chin on her shoulder the perfume left over from the day before.
“Did the cicadas wake you?” she asked.
It was only then that he registered the sound of their screeching. It reminded him of a sprinkler system on overdrive. “Actually, I didn’t even hear them until you mentioned it.”
She twisted her mouth back at him. “In your own world as usual.” The lightness of her tone told him she wasn’t picking a fight.
“Right now, I’m all about yours.” He hugged her waist tighter.
“I’ll never get used to this,” she said with a contented sigh.
Looking out at the sunrise with its layered gauzy pinks and purples, he knew just what she meant. “I forgot how beautiful the beach could be this time of morning.”
She spun around to face him. Her light brown eyes glinted, tiny lines forming around the corners, followed by a smile. “Not just the view, I mean this whole place, you, the gallery. My life is like a dream.”
He cleared his throat before it could crack from emotion. “I thought you’d be mad at me for coming home so late.”
She turned face the water again, reaching back for his hands. She wrapped them around her waist again and leaned her back against him. “What good does it do? I’d have better luck punishing Rufus for drooling. I married an artist. It’s not fair getting mad at you for being who I fell in love with.”
He ran her golden hair between his fingers. She was more than he deserved. So much more.
“Is it almost finished?” she asked. “Tell me it’s about done.”
He had spent nearly every waking moment when they weren’t at the gallery working on the stallion. Until now, she spoke with a twinge of contempt whenever mentioning the piece, like a jealous lover. He knew he was leaving her alone far too much, but tomorrow or the next it would be finished, and he’d make it up to her. He kissed the top of her head. “It would have been done yesterday if I hadn’t been working on a certain brake issue.”
Looking over her shoulder at him, her eyes brightened. “You finally fixed them? No more screeching?”
“Not a peep.”
She turned back around in his arms and kissed his lips in gratitude.
“If I would have known that was waiting for me, “he said,” I’d have taken care of it last week.”
“If you would have taken care of it last week, you’d be getting more than a kiss.”
He wriggled his eyebrows. “What can I get for adding an oil change?”
She slapped him playfully. “I better get ready.”
He glanced at his watch. “We’ve got plenty of time. What’s the hurry?”
“I was tired last night. I didn’t sweep or count the drawer.”
Guilt niggled at him. She had slowly taken over all the chores that they’d agreed would be his. “I’ll run over and do it. You take your time and enjoy the morning.”
She laid her soft hand on his cheek, shielding it from the ocean breeze. “Not a chance. I want my husband back. I’ve got the gallery. You finish the stallion before I decide to set it on fire.”
“Deal,” he said.
It wasn’t an hour after Holton had handed her a travel mug of coffee and kissed her through the open car window when a squad car pulled out front of the house. The moment the policeman took off his hat and slid it under his arm, he knew.
When the man informed him Adele had been killed on impact when her car hit another at nearly sixty miles an hour, he said nothing. He was so stunned that his heart froze, unable to respond. Before that could change, he drove to the nearest liquor store and bought the biggest bottle of gin he could find.
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