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Sea of Love

(Bayberry Island #1)

by
3.68  ·  Rating details ·  536 ratings  ·  60 reviews
For years Rowan Flynn distanced herself from Bayberry Island and its infamous mermaid legend. But after her investor fiancé lost what was left of her family’s fortune, Rowan reluctantly agreed to run the Safe Haven Bed-and-Breakfast, determined never again to fall for the ridiculous fantasy of the mermaid matchmaker.

Now Rowan is just biding her time until she can return to
...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by Signet
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  536 ratings  ·  60 reviews


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Jacob Proffitt
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook, romance, steamy
This book feels like it was written under the hypothesis that stereotypes make good templates for telling stories. So if the story ever came near a stereotype, the plot, characters, and events would gravitate towards it as if it were a planetoid passing a black hole. This made me sad because I kind of liked the main characters.

I was going to get all ranty about this, but I don't think I shall. Usually when I come across a book that deeply disappoints me, I get all energized about ripping it up.
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Mallory
3.5 stars
Sandy M
Jul 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
This is my first book by Susan Donovan, and I have to say I had fun with it. It’s one of those light, easy reads that makes you feel good because of all the silliness and happiness that offsets the bad times in life. Both our hero and heroine have had those bad times, so they’re due for some silliness and happiness.


Of course, there’s also some more bad times along the way, but that’s where love and romance take over.

Rowan is back at Bayberry Island after a disastrous relationship cost not only
...more
Kathryn
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sea of Love is the first in the Bayberry Island trilogy. It is the story of the Flynn family and a load of wacky characters who live in derelict making ends meet, because Mona Flynn is holding out over a large company snapping up their land for a large sum of money. It'll solve their money problems but turn their quaint little island into an upmarket resort.

Rowan has had a very unfortunate love affair with a guy who divested her family of all their remaining money and now she works in the B
...more
Derna
Aug 18, 2014 rated it liked it
*I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*


Rowan has reluctantly returned to her hometown of Bayberry Island to help fun the family Bed & Breakfast, after her investor fiancé con her, and lost most of her family’s fortune. Ashton has come to Bayberry Island in the hope of getting the Flynn family to sell their property to him so that it can be developed on.

The storyline was very low on the drama, I feel that some parts were rushed, and so it didn’t really
...more
☆☆Hannah☆☆
Aug 24, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a good read. Bayberry is known for their mermaid legend. When Ash shows up to try and get the Flynn's to sell he ends up being a part of the ceremony. His job was to seduce Rowan and get her to sign but by the end he really does love her. Of course the truth comes out and things get messy. However, in the end it all works out and they are happy.
Lynn
Apr 19, 2014 rated it liked it
This is the story of Rowan Flynn, who lives on Bayberry Island, and Ash Wallace, who has come to Bayberry Island to get the Flynns to sell their property to a developer who wants to put a resort on the island. He has studied Rowan and her family, knows that Rowan was seduced by a man who turned out to be a con who took the Flynn family money and ran, and that she has come home to the island with her heart broken. Knowing all this, he decides to use that knowledge to seduce Rowan and get her to ...more
Suzanne
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
**I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.**

Susan Donovan has been one of my favorite authors so I looked forward to reading Sea of Love. And because I love Susan Donovan, I really, really wanted to love this book. But...I didn't. Here's why, in a nutshell: overly used themes (how many times have we read these same scenarios?), lame dialog,too many unnecessary characters, instant attraction that leads to sex within hours of meeting (that somehow means more to them than it
...more
Laura
Dec 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I think I would describe this book as ok. I don't think it boded well that it took so long to read the first hundred pages. It did improve towards the end but I was never grabbed by the story. I'm not sure if I'll read the other two books in this series...
Christine (KizzieReads)
This was such a sweet, cute and quirky read. I loved it!! You have middle aged women running around in mermaid costumes that threaten to fall off, kids kidnapping men to kiss a mermaid statue, feuding neighbours over money, all in the midst of a love story that shouldn't be. It was hilarious at times, and I found myself laughing out loud a few times.

At first, I really didn't want to root for Ash getting Rowan, as he came to Bayberry Island with mean, deceitful intentions, but of course, with any
...more
Lacey
May 15, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Did not finish after CD 1. I really disliked how the narrator read this book for recording. I get it, its a 'performance piece' to read a novel for recording. However, a little too much 'performance' for me. Over 9 hours to read a 320 page contemporary fiction?! Ugh, MOVING ON.
Lori
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Was an ok read. I enjoyed the grand gestures and the meaningful words the most.

How far should you trust when you’ve been hurt before? Or is it all worth it for a chance at love?
Michele
Wasn't sure about this book...as her other series was good but not great. Pleasantly surprised with this.
Casey Leigh
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
A quirky and fun read
Elizabeth H.
Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A hot shot business closer swoops into town with devious plans to seduce an already vulnerable Rowan and strong arm the landowners of Bayberry Island into selling their land to a huge corporation. Ash will make a lot of money on this deal and is confident in his skills to convince the townspeople that it’s in their best interest to sell and make way for a golf course, hotel and casino; never mind the fact that this deal might be terribly bad for the island’s ecosystem.

Rowan is stuck in the
...more
Debbie Lester
Dec 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Susan Donovan releases her first book in the new Bayberry Island contemporary romance series, Sea of Love. Set against the backdrop of local legend involving a bronze mermaid statue that can grant true love, Sea of Love is a captivating novel with dynamic storytelling and heartfelt emotions. Donovan's warm sense of humor and memorable characters are sure to ease their way into the hearts and minds of readers. A delightful beginning to a new series!

What I liked:

The legend of Bayberry Island
...more
Dana
Dec 14, 2013 rated it liked it
I have to say that I was a bit disappointed in this book. I love Susan Donovan and have read all of her full length books, but this one annoyed me just a bit. I liked the general premise, the secondary characters (fun and quirky), and I absolutely adored the setting (beautifully described), but the two main characters irked me. First the heroine . . . Rowan was ok, likeable enough, funny, but the way she acted toward her mother bothered me. It’s not the fact that she had issues with her mother, ...more
mandyfujita
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
It was kind of exhausting to rehash and rehash the hatred of the Great Mermaid legend of Bayberry Island. Rowan Flynn is the only girl of three children from the Flynn family. She is the last hope of her mother Mona to carry on the tradition of the Bayberry Island Mermaid Society. From the 1800s to present when the society was started, there has been a Flynn descendant in the society.

Rowan fell in love with a visitor/investor a three years ago during Festival week that stole what was left of
...more
Kristi
Jan 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I've quite enjoyed other Susan Donovan books I've read in the past, so I was excited to win a copy of Sea of Love through Goodreads First Reads program.

In my opinion though this story didn't live up to what I would expect from one of her novels. The story line seemed a bit forced or overly contrived for my liking. From their actions during the blackout only minutes after having met to the blame for Rowan's previous failed relationship and the predictable conclusion, this story didn't seem to
...more
Kannadin
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
My favorite comfort book is He Loves Lucy by Susan Donovan. I've read almost all of her books but none have touched me as much as He Loves Lucy did.

This one almost did it... Almost. As usual with Susan Donovan's book, there's a villain but not a very serious one. It's fun and very sweet and not full of drama. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because of the sex scenes which are too numerous to my taste. That's an issue I've been having with all her books at the exception of He Loves Lucy ,
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Kristen
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, romance
In Susan Donovan's Sea of Love, the first installment of Bayberry Island, she wrote an enchanting and lovely contemporary romance novel. Rowan Flynn was the innkeeper's daughter of Safe Haven on Bayberry Island, a small island off the Cape Cod coastline. It was also famous for its legendary mermaid tale of love from her ancestry. During festival week, that's when she met Ashton "Ash" Wallace, a consultant for a company to develop land on her island. But when they met, they both had emotional ...more
Yaritza
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Truly a remarkable book with a story that will make even the non believers of true love believe! I loved that this story was about an Island that worships a Mermaid after a family legend. It is said that a man who is searching for true love and asks the mermaid with an open heart , she will grant there forever love. The Flynn family are a down to earth family that has family drama like a normal family. Mona which is Rowan's mother was my favorite character since she is bossy and dragged everyone ...more
Cindi
Dec 13, 2013 rated it liked it
I am not usually a romance reader but I did enjoy this one. It was well written with good language usage and pacing, a lot of humor and quirky, very likeable characters. Being a romance the plot was quite predictable: guy and girl, both beautiful and hot and both having romantic and other emotional baggage, one of them hiding a secret... they meet, resist attraction, end up in bed anyway, resist it some more, fall in love... the secret comes out, the other one is hurt and angry and falls out of ...more
Anita Hayes
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
First of all, I got to tell you that I won this book from Goodreads but I am so glad that I did. Susan Donovan has been one of my favorite authors for a while now. A lot of books now a days, all seem to have been done before so this one was quite refreshing as the book centers around an old fashioned folklore legend. This book is well rounded with lots of characters, a good plot, and some interesting conflict and zaniness. I really loved it and can not wait for the second one to come out. I also ...more
Emily
Nov 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, romance
Cold weather hit and it made me want some escape reading. Just then, this book arrived in the mail. Thank you! It hit the spot. Sure, it was heavy handed in places, especially the introduction of Ash, the love interest, and his memories of the 'sainted' Brian (don't get how they were friends, also, what man refers to his best friend, even his dead best friend as his 'dearest friend'?), predictable in the way many romance novels are and a bit cheesy at times, but the characters, including the ...more
Mireille Duval
Sep 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, read-in-2015
The discount book warehouse at the beach had a lot of small-town beach-set resort-themed contemporary romances and I really, really approve. Frankly, the whole Mermaid thing was a little too out there for me, but the romance really worked for me, particularly that first encounter in the thunderstorm, hollaaaa. I also liked that Ash dumped his job before all was ~revealed~, it made for the final roadblock a little less cliché. Although Annie was a fun character and Clancy is dreamy, I'm not sure ...more
JOCA
Jun 27, 2016 added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Quite liked the premise but that the hero and heroine didn't even meet until over 30 pages into the book was a deal breaker for me. I want them together as early as possible and as often as possible, particularly when they're strangers, or it makes it difficult to believe in the HEA. I also didn't really like the writing style; too much exposition and too many exclamation marks. I won't be continuing with this series.
Maureen ~Bitch Can Write A Book
LOVED, LOVED, LOVED!!!!
I won a copy of this book and was drawn in by the cover. This author is a fave of mine. Her stories touch my heart and make me cackle out loud. Sea of Love did all that and more. This story sucked me in from the very first page. Rowan was a hoot, and Ash was adorable. It was fun, madcap, sexy and so romantic. I highly recommend adding this to your MUST read pile!!!!
Gail
Decent story, kinda goofy. The main conflict was about land and land development, which is one of the weaker plot lines available, but it worked all right. The internal conflict of the hero and heroine (the angst) was strong but wasn't presented strongly. It seemed like most of the time was devoted to the silliness of the Mermaid Festival rather than the romance. Nice enough.
Dawn ♥ romance
Oct 26, 2013 rated it liked it
This romance was just okay. A betrayal was established in the first chapter followed by an unlikely event then most of the story was waiting for the other shoe to drop. The plot was more cheesy than realistic. Rowan is trying to run her families dying bed and breakfast when stranger Ashton needs last minute lodging.
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SUSAN DONOVAN's novels have won accolades for being witty, sexy, and entertaining. A former newspaper reporter with journalism degrees from Northwestern University, Susan is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author whose novels have been translated into dozens of languages. Susan is a two-time RITA Award finalist, and her novel TAKE A CHANCE ON ME was named Best Contemporary Romance of ...more

Other books in the series

Bayberry Island (5 books)
  • A Seaside Christmas (Bayberry Island, 0.5)
  • The Sweetest Summer (Bayberry Island, #2)
  • Moondance Beach (Bayberry Island, #3)
  • A Bayberry Christmas: A Bayberry Island Holiday e-Novella (The Bayberry Island Series Book 5)