Author: Rebecca Bryan
Publication Date: March 25, 2012
Summary (from Goodreads):
With nothing to show for the last eight years but a dusty diploma, a failed marriage, a lot of emotional baggage—Gucci, thank you—and a really great collection of designer shoes, Marlo Leavitt has come home again.
With her marriage annulled and her emotions in tatters, Marlo returns to her hometown of St. Anthony, Idaho, to care for her sick father and get back on her feet. She runs into Brandon, the boyfriend whose heart she broke before she left town, and finds him unhappy in his marriage and his life. Marlo fears she has not only ruined her own chance for happiness, but that of a man she once loved. When she meets an old woman who offers her a chance to make things right by going back in time, Marlo feels she has nothing to lose. She accepts the elixir and soon finds herself not in the past, but two years in the future, married to Brandon and living the life she had always dreaded: stuck in a tiny town with a toddler she doesn’t know or love.
Things get more complicated when she begins to suspect that Brandon had a part in his first wife’s mysterious death. With the help of handsome Luke Dawson, an old classmate and now a police officer, Marlo must solve the mystery of what really happened the night she took the elixir, and fix her broken relationships before she can return to the present and truly have a second chance at happiness.
I was first intrigued by this story when I read the summary. Most time travelling books send you back to the past. The Sand Bar thrusts you into what could be Marlo’s future. I love that idea since it’s so rarely done in the books that I’ve read. Who wouldn’t want a glimpse at their future?
Marlo is a newly single twenty-something woman returning home to help care for her father after annulling her marriage. Her first day back in town starts off with a bang – in all the wrong was. First being pulled over for speeding by a former boyfriend, then getting trampled on at a parade, her sister was a snarky wench to her for no apparent reason, her tires end up slashed on her car, an awkward run in with another former boyfriend and then a meddling old lady makes her appearance and BAM! Marlo wakes up in her first glimpse of the future.
Now why she just didn’t stay in that future is beyond me! C’mon, Marlo, look who you woke up next to! Silly woman.
But no, she isn’t happy and insists the old lady made a mistake and suddenly finds herself in her second glimpse of the future…and that’s when everything get so much more complicated than she ever thought possible.
I loved this book. I loved how much detail went into the story and how it made you feel like you were right there experiencing everything with Marlo. I loved the little twists and turns that she found herself in and how by being thrust into the unexpected she found who she truly was as a person.
I also loved the characters that Bryan created. Well, most of them, anyway. Luke won my heart right from the start. I wasn’t sure what to think of Brandon in the beginning, but the more I read the more I thought he was a total ass - until the ending and then my opinion of him completely changed. Kale…was definitely a surprise considering he wasn’t a major part of the story. And I really could have done without Amanda but every story needs a bitch to hate.
But the thing I loved the most? The thing that made me sit back and go, “Whoa! What the hell just happened?” was the ending. Now, I don’t want to say anything that’s going to give away the story, but I was all set for a predictable plot, but Bryan completely surprised me with the way she took the story. I thought Marlo would see what the future could be, go back to the present day and fix everything and everyone would walk away with their happily ever after. Um, not quite. It was unexpected and sad and heartbreaking and just… Yeah. You really need to get yourself a copy of this book before I ruin it for you with my gushing. Seriously, thisclose to spilling my guts and going on and on and on.
Now, the only complaint I have with the story is the part where Luke and Brandon get into a little bit of a scuffle. Luke just leaves Marlo alone with Brandon after Brandon attacks him. I thought it was irresponsible of him, especially as a cop, to leave a woman alone with a man who was angry and violent. Luke didn’t even ask Marlo if she was okay or felt threatened. If he had and she told him to go that would have been a little different. I just thought as a cop his senses should have been a little better.
Oh, and Brandon leaving the baby to go out and look for Marlo. What the hell, man? You don’t leave a kid in the house alone to drive around looking for your wife! “I locked the door.” Dude! No, just no!
Other than those two little things bugging me, I thought The Sand Bar was a fabulous read and I will definitely be on the lookout for more work by Rebecca Bryan.
**I received a free copy of The Sand Bar from the author in exchange of an honest review.