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Surrender Bay: A Nantucket Love Story by [Hunter, Denise]
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Surrender Bay: A Nantucket Love Story Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Length: 301 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 20 books, including "Dancing with Fireflies" and "The Convenient Groom". She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist.

Denise writes heartwarming, small-town love stories. Her readers enjoy the experience of falling in love vicariously through her characters and can expect a happily-ever-after sigh as they close the pages of her books.

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

When Denise isn't orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are raising three boys.

You can learn more about Denise through her website or by visiting her FaceBook page at

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

"You can just drop me off, you know. I'm not a baby." Eleven-year-old Caden flipped her mom a look, then stared out the passenger window.

"I like watching you." Sam pulled the Ciera into the parking lot of the Boston Academy of Gymnastics and was about to expound on the thought, but Caden interrupted.

"The other moms don't stay."

It wasn't true, but Sam had a feeling this objection had less to do with Caden's assertion of independence and more to do with her.

"Did Bridget tell everyone about me?" Sam asked.

Caden crossed her arms, her warm-up suit rustling.

"If I didn't clean the gym, we wouldn't be able to afford lessons, Caden."

Though her daughter frowned, her jaw and shoulders rigid, Sam knew the stubborn front concealed a wounded little girl. Knew it because Caden was so much like her.

"They all know now. Bridget has such a big mouth. She thinks she's so hot just because her mom owns the gym."

Sam turned off the ignition and withdrew the keys, then glanced at Caden, who made no move to leave. The clock on the dashboard read 7:02. "Honey, let's finish this later. You're late for class."

"So you're staying?"

Sam's parental pride shrank two more sizes. "By the time I got home, I'd just have to turn around and come back. I promise to sit in the back and keep my hood up to conceal my identity." Sam regretted the sarcasm instantly.

Caden discharged her seat belt, and it sprang upward, clanging against the door frame. "Whatever," she said, then exited the car, not quite slamming the door.

Sam grabbed the day's mail from the dashboard and tucked it in her purse. As she entered the gym, the familiar odor of sweaty little gymnasts assaulted her nostrils. She walked past the office and up the stairs to the balcony, where she found a seat in the back row. She smiled at a woman seated there, the mom of one of Caden's classmates. From her pantsuit and trendy heels, Sam guessed she didn't scrub bathrooms for a living or work a side job to afford her daughter's lessons.

On the floor below, a maze of mats and apparatus were spread across the blue carpet. Caden's class stretched, their legs straddled, leaning forward until their bellies touched the ground. Her daughter lay there, head resting against the carpet. The girl next to Caden whispered something to another girl and they laughed. Sam assumed the worst, and she wanted to give the girl's ear a swift tug.

Instead, she settled back into the chair and pulled the mail from her bag. Electric bill. Bank statement. Credit card bill. She'd open that one last. No sense ruining a perfectly good day. The last piece was addressed to her with a black pen. In the upper left-hand corner was a sticker with Miss Biddle's name and address.

Strange. Beyond the annual Christmas card, she rarely heard from Miss Biddle. And even when she did, she almost didn't want to open the envelope--as if doing so would open a door from her past she'd rather leave closed.

Curious, she turned the letter over and slid her finger under the flap. She withdrew a piece of notebook paper neatly creased in thirds. She unfolded the note.

Dear Samantha,

I hope this letter finds you well. I would have preferred to call, but the number you're listed as having is disconnected. I'm afraid I have some bad news.

Just yesterday your stepfather had a heart attack at work. They tried to take him to the hospital, but he passed away in the ambulance and they were unable to resuscitate him. I know there was no love lost between the two of you, but still I hated to tell you this way.

A strange feeling swept over Sam like an unexpected wind on a still night. There was no sadness or grief, but rather an unexplained dread.

I contacted Judge Winslow (from the probate court), who will be handling Emmett's estate, and I learned Emmett had no will. Since you are his adopted child, and the only living relative, his cottage and belongings will pass to you. You might contact Judge Winslow down at the Town and County building. I'm sure they'll send you notification soon, but I thought it might be better to hear the news from me.

Sam stared at the letter, but the words blurred as her thoughts scrambled. Excitement overtook the dread. The cottage sat on the valuable Nantucket shore and was worth a fortune. It was small and old, but even the smallest shanty on the island neared a million dollars.

The thought of what she and Caden could do with that kind of money stirred something she hadn't felt in a long time.


She finished the letter, skimming over the funeral information.

A million dollars. She could pay off her credit cards, get out of their crummy apartment, buy Caden some decent clothes, pay for gymnastic lessons. Heck, she could send Caden to a private school if she wanted. And college. Caden could become anything she wanted to be.

Even Sam could go to college. It was a thought she hadn't allowed since she got pregnant with Caden. Even now, she tamped down the thought, too afraid to hope in case this was all a dream.

But the flimsy white paper in her hands was real enough. Emmett's name scrawled in black sobered her. Memories raced through her mind at the speed of light, none of them good. The feeling of being trapped, overpowered, and abandoned all at the same time made her squirm in her chair as if to make sure she wasn't restrained.

The realization that she would have to go back there stole her breath and jarred her mind to a sudden halt. The house would have to be cleaned out. Furniture and personal belongings would have to be sorted through. The cottage would need to be readied for sale. The flower beds, if they still existed, would need tending.

How long would it take, and would Patty let her off work that long? Sam hadn't had a vacation or sick day in--well, she couldn't even remember. They'd just lost an office building to Murphy's Maids the week before, so the schedule was lighter, and Gina had been asking for extra hours.

Still, the thought of going back to the island made Sam's soul shrivel like a sun-scorched bloom. There was a reason she hadn't gone back. A reason she'd left in the first place, and nothing had changed.

Except that going back was now worth a million dollars.

Sam lifted her eyes from the letter and found Caden's class across the gym at the foam pit. Caden sprang forward into a round-off and two back handsprings, then finished with a backflip into the foam squares. The spotter never touched her. It was her first unassisted backflip. When she came out of the pit, she looked toward the balcony to see if Sam had caught the moment. Before she could give her daughter a thumbs-up, Caden looked away. When she walked by Bridget and her new cronies, they turned, an obvious snub.

Sam wanted to thump them all. They were doing it because of her, and the guilt that descended on her was as heavy as a lead blanket.

Could a million dollars buy her and Caden a new life? Sam was suddenly sure it could. And she was equally sure she could face any demon from her past for the chance to make it happen.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2245 KB
  • Print Length: 301 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B007F7VLKE
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 10, 2011)
  • Publication Date: January 10, 2011
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Christian Publishing
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,948 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'll be honest, here. I'm extremely picky about what I read. There are many authors who are praised by the masses and critics alike, but I can't get past the third chapter. So it was with a nervous hand and much apprehension that I opened "Finding Faith" by Denise Hunter. She is my good friend's wife and, I suppose, a friend to me in her own right. That alone made me pause before reading the first page. But there is more reason to doubt why I should crack the pages of her book. Denise writes in what has to be my least favorite genre; Christian Chic Lit. But I enjoyed the book. No, I really enjoyed it. A lot. There were more twists and turns and surprises than most thrillers and the `Christianity' was not a smack in the face with a solid oak two by four that most Christian writing tends to be.

So then Denise wrote her next story, "Surrender Bay" and I decided to give that a go as well. Two chapters in, not a single reference to God, church, Satan, the Bible or any of the Christian writer's staples. Eight chapters in, still quite secular. Or is it? "Surrender Bay" is an allegory. It is decidedly not for everyone. It is not for the Christian reader who wants to be spoon-fed church-like platitudes and beatitudes. It is not for the extremely conservative or the reader who is looking for a `nice little love story'.

"Surrender Bay" is reality. It can be raw and tender, gritty and romantic, ugly and passionate. In fact, sometimes the passion can be quite ugly. If you have not read the book, you might not want to continue reading this review. If you have read Denise's previous works and have the misconception that this is like "Finding Faith", you might not want to read "Surrender Bay". You might not want to, but you should.

"Surrender Bay" is a story of doomed relationships.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I picked this book because I so enjoyed book 2 of the Nantucket Series. If I'd read book 1 first, I never would've picked up book 2. The good: the book is very well written, Sam is very well sketched, and I always understood where she was coming from and felt for her. The bad (for me): -.9 The book is full of angst and darkness, and while there's nothing wrong with that, it's not for everyone. I like my angst, but I need it with light moments woven in. I personally pick up books to escape from the real world and all the dark moments I read about in the news, and the problems friends share with me. This book dragged me down. -.5 I also never connected with Landon because HE seemed TOO good to be true, there was no room for him to grow. I wrote in another review that Denise Hunter is a Christian romance writer, but I didn't see that in book 2 and din't even know until I read other reviews. I understand that in this book, Landon's unconditional love represented God's love and I can see how this will touch readers who enjoy christian fiction...but this just wasn't what I was looking for in a human hero and in a relationship. In the end, it seemed less real than a feel-good story. Feel-good stories have their dark moments, but the light shines through in the end, and people have to grow and change to see it. I think real life is more like that, because we're human and we ALL have growing to do.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was first book I read by Denise Hunter and I thought it was wonderfully written. Showing the complexity of our human nature and sin verses the unwavering love and forgiveness of God. The story reflects how we are but prodigals running from true love and the love of God to us, His children. The story itself has no overt Christianity in it but is written as an allegory. You will however find wonderful reflection/study guide questions in the back that point to things like:

How we, like Samantha in the story push God away; God’s pursuit of us; looking at possible cycles in our life that we need to break free of; do we settle or are we settling for less than God wants to give us; do we feel not good enough; have we realized as Landon in the story says that love is a gift, not to be earned?

I highly recommend the read…it is a story that reflects the amazing love and grace of God who loved us while we were still in our sin… Who fought for us (died for us), and saved us… it is a gift that we did not earn or deserve.
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Format: Paperback
A surprising inheritance fills Samantha Owens with burgeoning hope and sickening dread. While the rundown ocean front cottage on Nantucket Bay could signal the end of her financial worries, it also requires Sam to return to the very place where her childhood dreams were shattered, leaving her scarred, fearful and alone.

Reluctantly, Sam returns to Nantucket with her young daughter Caden hoping she can restore the cottage quickly and sell it for an attractive profit. Sam hadn't anticipated that Landon Reed, her childhood confidant, would be living in his parents' home, unmarried and still so much in love with her.

Sam is drawn to Landon's generous heart and the security he offers and yet she knows all the professed love in the world won't last when her betrayal all those years ago comes to light.

To call Surrender Bay just a romance novel, though it is that, is to sell it short. It is a beautiful love story that I literally could not put down. The setting is enticing, the characters complex and their emotions and heartache palpable. Sam epitomises an adult whose heart and mind has been scarred by a traumatic childhood. Her first thought is to protect herself no matter what the cost to others and yet is so appealing that I wanted to comfort her myself! And Landon is compassionate, faithful and protective while remaining a realistic character, a tribute to Denise Hunter's talent as a writer. Sam's choices and their consequences are painful to read, Landon's constancy is a joy and the romance is simply mesmerising.

God's love, faithfulness and the heartache He endures to draw us back in to relationship with Him is powerfully told in this story by way of allegory.
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