Last Kiss

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Last Kiss

Nell loves Charlie so much.  They have made plans.  Charlie is going to study film in NY and next year Nell will join him.  Charlie is so talented.  On August 31st, Charlie is found dead after attending a concert by Cumberland.  Nine months later the police still don’t have a killer and Nell needs to find out what happened to her Charlie.  She contacts Gavin Dawson, an investigator and friend to her father and Charlie’s mother.

Gavin was so in love with Charlie’s mother, Sheridan.  They were together for years until Sheridan unable to cope with Gavin being in the Navy and his wild ways.  Gavin did get out of the Navy, dishonorably, and went to work with a childhood friend doing investigation.  He did well with that.  Now, he lives on a boat traveling from job to job but he still misses Sheridan and would do anything he can for her.

Sheridan is a well known singer.  Charlie was her only child and she can’t seem to get over his death.  She isn’t sure what Gavin thinks he’ll find but isn’t going to stop him either.  She also doesn’t want him around.  It brings back too many memories of what could have been.  Besides what difference does it really make, Charlie is still dead.

As Gavin searches beneath the surface, the facts start surfacing and it’s more than just Charlie being in the wrong place.  Sheridan’s ex-husband has some kind of role in this as does at least one of Charlie’s half-brothers yet as far as anyone knows Charlie has never met his father or his brothers.  And the band, Cumberland or one of the members of Cumberland may be a lead too.  Gavin is gathering the clues and looking to see where they are leading him.

Reading about these characters is like reading about old friends.  They and their history are presented in such a way that you feel as if you know them or someone like them almost immediately.  The small town of Hubbard’s Point is similar to other small New England towns and even Gavin mentions that teenagers have probably been gathering on the beach to make bonfires for generations and just looking at them you wouldn’t know what generation it really is.  Everyone knows each other and yet gives each other space. 

Along with the mystery of who killed Charlie is a couple of subplots.  One is between Nell’s father and his very pregnant girlfriend.  He wants to get married and she doesn’t.  This difference of opinion is tearing them apart even though both agree that they love each other.  The question is what are they going to do.  Also, a major part of the book is how Nell and Sheridan are dealing or not dealing with their grief.  Both miss him so much that they are having difficulties just living.  Then, Nell sees Charlie in a dream or was it a dream?  He looks and felt so real.

Overall this is a love story; the love of a mother for her child, between a girlfriend and a boyfriend, between old friends and between family.  There aren’t always happy endings.  Nell and Charlie will never grow old together but their love is real.  Gavin and Sheridan once shared a similar love.  Can it be rekindled and is it even worth trying?  If Nell’s father loves his girlfriend so much, is marriage really necessary?  Love isn’t easy but can it survive death?

Book Blurb for Last Kiss

New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice returns to Hubbard’s Point, Connecticut, and to characters from her beloved Beach Girls, to tell the haunting story of a close-knit community grappling with a heartbreaking mystery, and of a woman rebuilding her world and reclaiming a love she believed lost a lifetime ago.

A face on a poster, a name in the news, an inexplicable tragedy. A promising young man goes out one warm summer evening and is found dead—murdered—less than twenty-four hours later. No motive. No clues. No answers. Most people reflect briefly on the disturbing headlines, perhaps say a silent prayer of safely removed sympathy, and go on with their lives. But what if the young man was your son? Or your true love?

Nearly a year after the death of eighteen-year-old Charlie, singer-songwriter Sheridan Rosslare still hasn’t played a note of the music that was once her life’s passion. Tucked away in the beach house where she raised her only child, she lives with her memories of him and a grief too big to share even with her beloved sisters or her dear friend Stevie Moore. Nor can Stevie comfort Charlie’s heartbroken girlfriend, Nell Kilvert, whom she regards as a daughter. Nell won’t rest until she finds out what really happened to the boy she loved. Out of the past she summons a man she believes cares enough, and is tough enough, to uncover the truth—Sheridan’s long-ago soul mate, Gavin Dawson.

Now Gavin’s boat, the Squire Toby, sits anchored in the harbor within sight of the window of the woman he once loved, still loves, and will always love. Sheridan,too, had once fervently believed in the miraculous power of love and healing, forgiveness, connection, and reconnection. But that faith died along with her son….

Unfolding among the Hubbard’s Point people and places that fans have come to treasure, and replete with feeling and mystery, Last Kiss weighs the power of the past to heal as well as wound, in a captivating tale of love, loss, and redemption that no reader will ever forget.


Night Owl Reviews Jun, 2009 5.00