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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Sea Breeze: The Gentle Surf Series, Book 1 is an historical romance novel written by Lori Power. Elleah Jaundoo thought she had created enough distance between herself and her society family by moving across the country and getting a position as a jazz singer at the Hotel Del Coronado in Southern California. Ever since her mother died, her father seemed to have changed, and he had become obsessed with quickly marrying her off to a suitable member of New York society. When she saw her brother had tracked her down, Elleah was both incensed at Arthur and worried that her father would be coming after her next. Arthur's assurances that he had come alone didn't help, however, and his evident anger at her use of her mother's maiden name instead of her father's, Mellon, reminded her of their childhood skirmishes, but didn’t change her mind. She would stay strong now; she had to. Elleah was determined to make it on her own, to be an independent woman. As they argued in her hotel room, the tension gathered and grew until he finally gave in. As he stood by the door, he turned and kissed her brow. Elleah watched as he walked away; then she noticed the man standing in the doorway of the room opposite hers. Thinking her a woman of the night, he lifted his glass to her and smirked, his eyes travelling down the dressing gown she wore. Elleah turned away and closed her door, her thoughts troubled by Arthur's sudden appearance, heedless of the judging glance of her neighbor.
Lori Power's historical romance, Sea Breeze: The Gentle Surf Series, Book 1, is a marvelous blend of mixed messages and tangled identities as two star-crossed lovers fall in love despite their families' histories of cut-throat competition in the banking world. Set in the early 1950s, Elleah's act of defiance in leaving home and setting up on her own was a daring thing indeed, particularly among the powerful families of East Coast society. It was far too easy for a domineering parent to have a wayward daughter locked away in a mental institution -- as had happened with Reginald's sister after the scandal of her affair with a married man. This beautifully written story is filled with strains of soft jazz singing mingling with luscious images of warm Southern California evenings on the beach and the island charms of Trinidad where Elleah's mother was born and she comes to heal. Sea Breeze is a sweet romance, with two marvelous main characters, that feels like one for the ages; it's that good. Sea Breeze: The Gentle Surf Series, Book 1 is most highly recommended.