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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Sand Dollar by Sebastian Cole

The Sand Dollar by Sebastian Cole
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (219 Pages)
Heat Level: Sensuous
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Foxglove

What if you lost your true soul mate, the one person in life you were meant to be with? Would your love ever truly die? Not if you're Noah Hartman, who refuses to let go of Robin after she inexplicably abandons their love and disappears from his life seemingly forever, her hidden secret yet to be discovered.

And when you finally accept your fate and do your best to move on with your life, what do you say when the unthinkable happens: your true love Robin reappears as your wedding ceremony to another woman is about to commence, looks deep into your soul with her loving, tear-filled eyes, and tells you the one thing you've desperately longed to hear for all of these years?

But the ending to this heart-wrenching love story has yet to be written, as Noah, old and sick in a hospital bed, tells his story of love and loss to Josh, a wise orderly at Mount Sinai Hospital. As his family members arrive to bid him goodbye, Noah discovers a far greater truth about his past, present, and future. Things are definitely not as they appear as the pieces of a shattered love are put back together in the remarkable final chapter of Noah's life.

Noah Hartman has reached the end of his long and eventful life, and wants to tell the story of his undying love to someone. As he lies in his hospital bed, he recounts the path his life took, the ups as well as the downs, to an attentive orderly, Josh Numen. The story he tells is one of love lost, found and lost again. When he finally decides to move on with someone else, his true love returns. There are secrets she had kept from him, and Noah, second son in a well to do Jewish family, has felt lost without her, and is stunned when, after thirteen years, Robin shows up at the church where he is waiting for the woman he plans to marry, and blurts out her feelings. Does Noah marry Sarah, the woman his mother approves? Or does he follow his heart, and return to Robin, the one woman who makes his heart beat and his life complete? Can they solve the mystery of her past and move on?

Sebastian Cole has written a thought provoking and intriguing story in The Sand Dollar. The characters are well defined and passionate. The story is uniquely told as a narrative by Noah, moving through the past, his past with Robin, and there are some unexpected twists in this story. The world is the recent past through to an unnamed future period, and once the story hooked me, I could not put it down.

Noah Hartman is an unusual character, and at first comes across as a bit juvenile and spoiled. As the story moves on, his character develops, and he becomes a man of determination and worth. Second son in his family, he wants to live life on his terms, not follow some path his parents set for him. When Noah started to stand up to them, I gained a new perspective on his personality. I enjoyed watching as this man recounted his life and the mistakes he made to Josh and his joy when he met Robin, his soul mate was beautiful. I did feel sorry for him when Robin’s condition separated them, and he was confused by it all. But Noah is a strong character, and he was not going to give up easily.

Robin is beautiful, caring, and very fragile at times. She has problems from her past, things she has suppressed for her own mental health, but she loves Noah. I liked that Robin could see the man in Noah, the one who was willing to give her his love, although she couldn’t always see it for what it was. She's a very complex woman, sweet and innocent at time, and then hard and seemingly uncaring of everyone. I like Robin for her generous nature and her willingness to keep trying.

There are some challenges both of these characters need to overcome to be together, and sometimes the problems seem insurmountable. But Mr. Cole slowly reveals the hidden meanings behind so many of Robin’s actions, and shows a different side to Noah as he finally grows into the promise of the man I saw early in this book. I will say one thing, I did not see the ending of this one coming, and it brought tears to my eyes. Do Noah and Robin have their happy ever after? I refuse to spoil it for anyone, you need to read it for that answer.