Author: Carolyn J. Rose

ISBN: 0983735956

Sea of Regret is the sequel to Carolyn J. Rose’s An Uncertain Refuge. The theme of the first book was human beings abusing other human beings. The theme of this sequel is human beings abusing animals. In this case, unscrupulous business people’s profit motives threaten a wildlife center on the Oregon shore. There is a quiet intensity to the struggle of the protagonists punctuated by action scenes that clash with the rough-hewn beauty of Ms. Rose’s settings. You’ll like this book. Sit back, throw another log on the fire, sip a good whiskey or brandy, and become immersed in the age-old struggle of David versus Goliath.

Edie’s wildlife rescue center is found on her strip of land that developers want. She is now helped by Kate, Jackson, and Way-Ray, the main three protagonists from An Uncertain Refuge. The land developers hire Paul, Edie’s son, who has both the spoiled attitude of a prodigal son and a penchant for getting involved with bad elements. He goes to extremes to convince his mother to sell. When he fails, the developers take things into their own hands. The book is about Edie and friends’ struggle to fight back in order to save Edie’s life’s work.

Carolyn J. Rose writes excellent mysteries. This book, like Refuge, is a thriller. For those who like well-defined book genres, I’ll even call it a romantic thriller, because it’s also the story of the growing bond between do-gooder Kate, who saved Way-Ray from a wife-abusing and violent father, and ex-military man Jackson, who struggles to stay away from liquor and manage a bum leg. I don’t usually choose to read books like this, so it’s somewhat puzzling to me that this one held my interest so well.

There are parts to the story that seemed a bit too syrupy-sweet. I would have liked to see Jackson’s character developed a bit more and the true villains’ motives (not son Paul’s) explained in more detail (the land grabbers HQ is in New Mexico?). Way-Ray’s habit of always blaming Latin for every strange and new word, initiated by Jackson, becomes annoying by the end of the novel. Nevertheless, the author kept me in the story, either through her admirable skill or her innate ability to spin a good yarn. Of course, these are one and the same, aren’t they?

On the plus side, I’m the fan of any author who can weave wildlife conservation and responsible land management into her story. As a member of The Nature Conservancy for many years, I find deplorable, if not obscene, humanity’s many egregious attacks on Gaia. A portion of the profit from this book goes to the Wildlife Center of the Northeast Coast in Astoria, Oregon. That’s not the only reason you should buy and read it, though. Ms. Rose has written yet another entertaining and gripping story that is a positive addition to her already admirable opus.

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