Alic​e M. Batzel 

Published Author, Playwright,

Journalist, Poet, Freelance Writer 





PUBLISHER: HQN - Harlequin Books

PUBLISHED: June 19, 2018

(copyright noted July 2018)

GENRE: Fiction, romantic suspense, mystery, adult, young adult.

FORMAT: Paperback, 374 pages

IDENTIFICATION: ISBN-13: 978-1-335-00701-8

MY REVIEW: 4.5 Stars out of 5



Megan Hamilton, a photographer, owner and manager of the Inn on Haven Point and the Cottages on Silver Beach, lives in one of the cottages and rents the others to tourists and other visitors. One such visitor with a prepaid three-week reservation turns out to be someone from her youth, now FBI agent and bestselling author of true-crime novels, Elliott Bailey, who’s recovering from a mysterious injury. Megan never particularly cared for Elliott when they were growing up and is disturbed at his return and especially his renting the cottage next to hers. He’s secretive, and Megan finds it suspicious that he would rent a cottage when he has many relatives living in the local community. Claiming that his three-week reservation is to attend his kid sister’s wedding, recuperate from recent surgery, and to have the needed solitude to complete his manuscript which has a quickly approaching deadline, seems not entirely true when Megan discovers he’s hiding more than he professes. Megan isn’t entirely sure she can trust him, and Elliott is persistent in protecting his agenda and motives. They come to an understanding when they realize that they’re both seeking answers to an unsolved case involving individuals from both of their families, and it might take both of them to find the answers. Their relationship is rocky, even volatile at times. However, neither of them can deny there’s an attraction between them, one of which neither of them is entirely comfortable. This novel is a journey of self-discovery, pursuit of answers to an unsolved missing person case, and realizing that there are often unresolved issues in life which need not keep one from finding personal peace and trusting love with another person.


THE COTTAGES ON SILVER BEACH is the eighth book in the Haven Point novel series. This book takes a bold departure from the other books in the series in that it’s packed with adult suspense and mystery, as well as has the accompaniment of romance that’s always promised by Author RaeAnne Thayne. Some of the other books in this series also contain serious adult subject matter, but I feel that this novel has even more; nevertheless, this novel’s storyline is intellectually stimulating, interesting, and still has parameters of good taste. The reader returns to the community of Haven Point in all its beauty and grandeur through the picturesque words of the author. The mention of familiar individuals from the other previous books in the Haven Point novel series is peppered throughout the novel making it feel like the reader is coming home to a familiar community and family; this literary skill is one of the trademarks of Author RaeAnne Thayne, and she does it expertly.

Take note that of all the books in the Haven Point novel series, THE COTTAGES ON SILVER BEACH is a more mature novel and at times has strong language in keeping with some strong characters and situations. The storyline is multi-layered and crafted in such a way that the reader gets a very intriguing and intelligent read by spending time with this book. I stayed up until 3:00 a.m. reading this novel because it captured my attention so intently. The fact that Author RaeAnne Thayne has a degree in journalism and a previous career as a newspaper reporter plays well to her expertly crafting the crime story and mystery that’s rooted in the community which readers have come to love through all the books in the Haven Point novel series. The story is rich in mystery albeit not always easy to read because of some disturbing issues; however, the story is not too complex for readers to follow, and certainly plausible in today’s world.

The author illustrates family and personal relationships in a way that readers can find a bit of their self somewhere in the characters and identify with the complexities that many families face. There is a realistic portrayal of broken families as well as strong, loving families; there are unresolved family conflicts, as well as forgiveness, acceptance, and healing. I found myself at times being anxious in certain scenes in the story, and at other times laughing or crying as my heart was touched, and a time or two my jaw dropped open, and I gasped as the author surprised me by creating an unexpected turn in the story.


This book fits in well with the entire Haven Point novel series, but it can also easily stand alone on its merit. I found this book to be well-written and captivating to read in its entirety. The story will appeal to readers of an adult or young adult audience, especially those who enjoy reading contemporary romantic suspense and mystery. The language at times is strong but suited to the characters and situations, though the author does not belabor it, nor does the author involve Deity in the language. The suspense and mystery associated with this novel are intriguing and written very intelligently giving readers a feeling of time well spent with the book. The romance aspect of this novel is enjoyable, the author crafts its evolution with skill and does not take it to a level that might make the reader uncomfortable; this literary skill deserves robust applause in today’s romance writing circles. The novel provides a very satisfying conclusion, and the author also teases the reader with perhaps more of the story to continue in a future book.

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Published Playwright, Journalist, Poet, Freelance Writer

Review posted 7/26/2018 on:

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