I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Quintal's Return by Nadine Christian
Series: Bounty's Retreat #1
Published by Eternal Press on August 1, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Hotelier Kate Quintal and her sister Jen are hired to run a new luxury hotel on Pitcairn Island. Anticipating only the hard work that running the new facility would entail, a burgeoning romance with the burly and handsome Bryce Brown is the last thing she expected. With a new love and the success of the island’s new tourism endeavor, life seems sweet.
So, why are things suddenly falling apart? Who is trying to sabotage the hotel, and why? Kate finds herself fighting, not only for her job, or her heart…but her life.
My Initial Reaction…
Quintal’s Return was a really enjoyable read. I wasn’t blown away, but I also wouldn’t hesitate to pick up the next book in the Bounty’s Retreat series, if the opportunity presented itself.
Quintal’s Return really focuses in on the eldest of the Qunital sisters – Kate – and her love interest, a native of Pitcarin Island – Bryce. Kate is a genuinely good person and you can’t help but love her. Kate is a smart, independent woman. I love that she makes no apology for being sexually experienced, but also isn’t your stereotypical “whore.” She’s a career woman, who unexpectedly has a relationship to deal with, and I think that made her very real. She didn’t plan to care for anyone and now she has to figure out how to balance those two parts of herself.
I liked Bryce, but I didn’t love him. He’s a nice guy and I liked the way he also is, like Kate, a good person. I think that had I only seen him from Kate and Celia (his ex)’s point of view he would have worked better for me. When I had his point of view, somehow I just didn’t feel like I was inside a man’s head. Having never been in a man’s head that may not be a fair criticism for me to make – but something about him felt unbelievable in those moments. There’s also not a lot to Bryce, I fear. He’s good looking and he’s your typical man’s man. He’s skilled with tools and fishing, likes sports and drinking, and is very jealous and possessive of his woman. I would have liked something deeper there – again, I think I only felt this because I got inside his head and didn’t really see a lot more going on.
As a result, I wanted him and Kate to work – not because I loved Bryce, but because I loved Kate and she wanted Bryce and I wanted her to be happy. But if she lost him, I also was ok. She’s a strong woman and could find someone else, potentially better.
Kate and her sister Jen were born on Pitcarin, but grew up in New Zeland and have made their living as hoteliers, moving all over. They’ve now returned home to run the 5 star hotel that the locals have built to save the dying economy of their little island. The sisters immediately feel the pressure to make this venture successful. They also immediately fall in love with the island – and with the descriptions that Nadine Christian works in, you can’t help but fall in love with it and its residents immediately. It is incredibly beautiful and the people are so gracious and friendly and just good. So a big undercurrent of the story is about their need to make the launch of this hotel a successful one – everyone is counting on them.
The other huge element in this story is the relationship between Kate and Bryce – most importantly because of Bryce’s scorned ex, Celia. From the very start we know that she wants Bryce back – we see bits of the story from Kate, Bryce, and Celia’s point of view – so there is no mystery. Instead there’s the anxiety of knowing more than Bryce and Kate and agonizing over when they will see what’s unfolding before them and you wonder just how bad it will get. Celia’s role worked for me best in the last 25% of the book, when she really unleashed her crazy woman scorned plans. Until then, she was a bit frustrating for me, even as I managed to sympathize with her. I have a love-hate relationship with love triangles; I think they can add an interesting conflict to the story, but I also have a hard time seeing one person hurt. For me, both elements were extremely true here. The story was really propelled forward by the love triangle, and the last major scene was truly fabulous, but the pain I felt for Celia was also very strong. It was impossible to hate her, which I do think is exactly what Christian intended, and so by the end I couldn’t be 100% happy for the surviving couple.
Ultimately, I really liked the characters and the plot did pull me forward in a predictable, yet exciting way. I would recommend Quintal’s Return as a quick, enjoyable read.