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Midnight Sea by Colleen Coble
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I liked all the stories in this series, but I think this book was my favorite (although I still have a novella to read in this series, called 'Holy Night'). I liked the mystery and suspense behind each of these stories and the way the author helps you capture the Hawaiian islands as she tells her story. And the fact that this story was centered around a coffee farm made it all the more interesting.

A shooting at Lani Tagama's aunt's coffee farm has left one person dead and Lani temporarily blind. Lani must now deal with how to work and live in a world of darkness. An ex-cop, Ben, and his almost trained guide dog will try to help Lani gain some independence. Ben is not thrilled with this assignment, as before Lani got saved she didn't exactly care about her lifestyle and who she hurt in the process of having fun. Ben isn't sure she has changed, so their friendship will take some time. In the meantime strange and dangerous things are happening in and around the coffee farm and more people will die until they figure out who is behind all this. And Lani and Ben's little niece, Meg, seem to be the ones someone is out to do harm.

I liked how the author took us back to the hippie commune at the very beginning of the story, and how years later most of those same people are still there hanging around the coffee farm and working. But one of them is not the good guy you think he is; and I couldn't figure it out until the very end. I would keep guessing and would end up wrong each time. It was a tender love story between Ben and Lani and full of mystery, danger and intrigue, which kept me guessing and turning the pages.

One of my favorite conversations in the story was between Ben and Lani on why does God let bad things happen to good people. Ben speaking, "I thought I had all the answers, but now I find I don't even know all the questions. I don't know why . . . . . . Maybe I'll never know. But I have to trust God for the results. I have to keep my hands off the wheel. That's freeing when you think about it. I'm free to enjoy what God gives me and let him worry about making it all work out. Lani let the words sink in. Maybe she'd been trying to take back the wheel all the time. Maybe she'd never turned it over in the first place."

I hope you enjoy your stay in Hawaii! ! Aloha! ( )
  judyg54 | Mar 24, 2016 |
I believe this is the final book in the Aloha Reef series, and it was a nice final installment. I found it intriguing and a nice change of pace in Christian fiction to read about a woman like Lani who severely regrets her past behaviors, including getting an abortion. The message is a good one, that God forgives everything and doesn't hold anything against us, but I was aggravated by Ben's behavior and overall attitude. I appreciate that he changes his approach, but he seems a bit self-righteous in the beginning despite his own past mistakes.

The mystery itself is good. I couldn't tell who the killer was, and Lani's blindness adds to the tension since she can't see any of the attacks against her.

After reading the entire series, I'm wondering why all the female romantic leads are often so much younger than the male romantic leads, with the exception of Mano and Annie in the second book. But that's really an aside and not that important, just a pattern I noticed. ( )
  Tahleen | Feb 16, 2014 |
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A seemingly random shooting leaves Lani Tagama without sight. With the help of ex-cop Ben Mahoney, she must find the shooter before he strikes again. A Women of Faith novel.

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