Surf Smugglers

Surf Smugglers

In the summer of 1917, US troops join the allied forces in the Great War. Back in Sunset Cove, Oregon, other battles wage. Anna McDowell continues to fight old fashioned stereotypes as she runs a newspaper committed to truth. Despite opposition, she’s determined to expose ongoing rum-running and prohibition lawlessness. Adding to Anna’s frustrations, her good friend Dr. Da...

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Title:Surf Smugglers
Author:Melody Carlson
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Surf Smugglers Reviews

  • Julia

    Surf Smugglers by Melody Carlson is a fantastic historical romance and the third book in the Legacy Of Sunset Cove series but can be read as a stand-alone.

    I loved returning to familiar faces. The year is 1917 and the war that was far away overseas has finally caught up with the American people as the draft is introduced. It is a difficult time waving young men off to war. The patriotic American spirit is alive for all to see.

    There is a strong female camaraderie running throughout the novel. Ther

    Surf Smugglers by Melody Carlson is a fantastic historical romance and the third book in the Legacy Of Sunset Cove series but can be read as a stand-alone.

    I loved returning to familiar faces. The year is 1917 and the war that was far away overseas has finally caught up with the American people as the draft is introduced. It is a difficult time waving young men off to war. The patriotic American spirit is alive for all to see.

    There is a strong female camaraderie running throughout the novel. There are huge hearts who see the plight of others. Brave, forward thinking modern women are not afraid to rock the status quo.

    Family is important. “Family… some we are born with and some we gather along the way.” What a beautiful image.

    Racial prejudice was rife in the twentieth century America. “Do you think we’ll ever live in a world where people aren’t judged by exteriors?” Many are open hearted but some still judge people by the colour of their skin and not the content of their character.

    Forgiveness, trust and new beginnings are major themes. Those associated with the rum runners threaten the stability of a community.

    Life was hard. The First World War was never far from the thoughts of the people. Instead of worrying, we should pray. “Whenever you get worried for him, you need to realise that’s just a reminder to pray.” This is a lovely idea that we would be wise to all adopt.

    Surf Smugglers was another wonderful offering from Melody Carlson. I look forward to the subsequent books in the series.

    I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

  • Jeanie

    I was delighted to return to Sunset Cove, Oregon for this 3rd in The Legacy of Sunset Cove series by Melody Carlson. Reading about the McDowell Family and their friends is like going to spend time with old friends! This time, Anna McDowell, her daughter Katy, and parents Mac and Lucille face the days of the US passing the Selective Service Act as the US enters The Great War in Europe as well as ongoing home front challenges. The characters are three-dimensional, the plot captured and held my att

    I was delighted to return to Sunset Cove, Oregon for this 3rd in The Legacy of Sunset Cove series by Melody Carlson. Reading about the McDowell Family and their friends is like going to spend time with old friends! This time, Anna McDowell, her daughter Katy, and parents Mac and Lucille face the days of the US passing the Selective Service Act as the US enters The Great War in Europe as well as ongoing home front challenges. The characters are three-dimensional, the plot captured and held my attention throughout, and I really like the historical aspects included.

    Mac and Lucille had been divorced since Anna was a child and her mother left without explanation to her. Lucille is back in Sunset Cove and lives near Mac. Anna was estranged from Mac since he didn’t want her to marry at age 17; he had never met his granddaughter Katy. Anna grew up with printer’s ink in her blood from her much younger days of working for her father at the family newspaper, and when living in Portland, became the first female editor on the staff of the Oregonian. This had served her well, as she could step in for Mac due to health challenges that brought her home to visit and perhaps make peace.

    The changing times bring many trials to Anna, her 17-year-old daughter Katy, and the woman who had been like a second mother to Katy when she was growing up in Portland. Not understanding why Sarah Rose might be uncomfortable, Katy invited Sarah to come to Sunset Cove and work for her in the dress shop she and her grandmother are partners in. Sarah Rose is a woman of color and would be the only non-white resident in Sunset Cove should she accept the offer. The last time a person of color lived in Sunset Cove, Big Ben, who had worked for Mac, was found murdered.

    The early 1900’s in the US is an era that I am not very familiar with, but in this series the author demonstrates it so well through the McDowell family that I am interested in learning more. The challenges faced include many of the young men enlisting in the army, how African Americans were treated and the laws that failed to protect them, Prohibition and illegal booze running, establishing a well-equipped hospital, and changes to supplies and necessities due to the war.

    I appreciate that there are spiritual lessons that may resonate with many readers as they certainly did with me. Anna, her family, and many of their friends are Christians who live out their faith even as they continually learn through day-to-day circumstances. I appreciate how Anna is willing to look at herself when challenged on attitudes and make changes when necessary. I highly recommend this novel and the series to fans of the author and those who appreciate well-written Women’s Christian historical fiction enhanced with people of faith, romance, grace, and second chances. I so hope there will be more in this series!

    From a thankful heart: I received a copy of this from Celebrate Lit and the publisher, and this is my honest review.

  • Kristina

    Surf Smugglers by Melody Carlson is the third novel The Legacy of Sunset Cove series. This series needs to be read in order as each book builds upon the previous one. It is May of 1917 in Sunset Cove, Oregon where Anna McDowell is the editor-in-chief of Sunset Times. Her father, Mac is doing recovering nicely from his stroke and Anna’s daughter, Katy is busy with Kathleen’s Dress Shop. Katy is still dating Jim Stafford, a newspaper reporter and second in command at the Sunset Times. Katy has inv

    Surf Smugglers by Melody Carlson is the third novel The Legacy of Sunset Cove series. This series needs to be read in order as each book builds upon the previous one. It is May of 1917 in Sunset Cove, Oregon where Anna McDowell is the editor-in-chief of Sunset Times. Her father, Mac is doing recovering nicely from his stroke and Anna’s daughter, Katy is busy with Kathleen’s Dress Shop. Katy is still dating Jim Stafford, a newspaper reporter and second in command at the Sunset Times. Katy has invited Sarah Rose Lewis, her childhood caretaker, to come to Sunset Cove when she learns of the difficulty the woman is experiencing in Portland. Katy has a big heart, but she failed to take into consideration that Sarah Rose will be the only woman of color in their town. Anna does not want Sarah Rose hurt by small minded people. Dr. Daniel Hollister is upset over losing a patient and learns that his father is ill. Anna believes the town needs its own hospital and wonders if she can rally the support needed for the project. I thought Surf Smugglers was well-written and it proceeded at a thoughtful pace. I have enjoyed this series with its heartwarming characters from multiple generations which provides different perspectives. I like the dialogue between the characters as well as the interactions. The author captured the time period with references to events taking place at that time as well as the clothing, conveyances and attitudes. The Conscription Act has been passed, war is waging in Europe, Woodrow Wilson is president, the change in clothing styles, women’s right to vote, and prohibition are all included in Surf Smugglers. Local men will be heading off to war and one woman makes an impulsive decision. I am eager to read the final book in The Legacy of Sunset Cove series to find out what happens next in Sunset Cove. They have endured so much in their little town, but now their men are off at war and those at home must hope they will return safely. Hope and forgiveness are two of the themes present in the story. Surf Smugglers is a lovely historical novel with illegal hooch, express enlistment, hasty nuptials, fluctuating fashions, and worried women.

  • Tressa (Wishful Endings)

    3.5 Stars

    SURF SMUGGLERS is the third book in Carlson's series set in a cozy coastal Oregon town. Readers will enjoy finding out what is going on in these characters' lives as they face rum-running during prohibition, as the United States joins WWII, and as they search for their own happily-ever-afters. Recommended to inspirational and general historical fiction fans.

    I somehow missed the second book in this series after reading the first, but the author did a good job in catching readers up enoug

    3.5 Stars

    SURF SMUGGLERS is the third book in Carlson's series set in a cozy coastal Oregon town. Readers will enjoy finding out what is going on in these characters' lives as they face rum-running during prohibition, as the United States joins WWII, and as they search for their own happily-ever-afters. Recommended to inspirational and general historical fiction fans.

    I somehow missed the second book in this series after reading the first, but the author did a good job in catching readers up enough that I never felt lost in this story. I felt more invested in these characters after having read the first book even though they're more settled in this story. There are two point-of-views, one for Anna and another for her daughter Katy. It was interesting seeing their different perspectives on their town, current issues, the war, and romance. The romance is fairly low key and is not the main focus of this story, but does play an important role in it. The inspirational element is also light, more of just intertwined in who these characters are and the beliefs at the time, which make it a good series for general historical fiction readers as well.

    The story does have quite a bit going on, but reads at a leisure pace. It feels like reading a cozy mystery, but without the constant suspense. This series focuses on this family and how they deal with the issues they face. Rum-running is still happening as the story is set during prohibition, and some are suspected of joining in on that illegal activity. There is a dear friend who comes to town to stay who is the only African American there. This brings up issues of racism that shadows somewhat the movement going on in the country. There is the war and men leaving to serve and how that affects this family and town. Then these two woman are also trying to figure out how to be career women with their own dreams while somehow fitting in society's as well as their love interests' expectations. Through it all, family and friends support and help one another, with a bittersweet ending that leaves readers anticipating the next book.

    In the end, was it what I wished for? I enjoyed reading this. It definitely isn't a page turner, but it does engage your emotions and I am curious as to how things turn out for Anna, Katy, and their family and friends.

    Content: Clean

    Source: I received a complimentary copy from Celebrate Lit, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.

  • Tabitha Bouldin

    The third book in Melody Carlson’s Legacy of Sunset Cove series brings a few new characters and some new obstacles.

    Katy is now all grown up and running her own dress shop, but she still has the impetuousness of youth. Without thought to the consequences, she invites Sarah Rose to live in Sunset Cove. When faced with the possibility she might have put Sarah Rose in harms way, Katy’s reaction is indignant. It seems impossible to her that the people of Sunset Cove might still live with such archaic

    The third book in Melody Carlson’s Legacy of Sunset Cove series brings a few new characters and some new obstacles.

    Katy is now all grown up and running her own dress shop, but she still has the impetuousness of youth. Without thought to the consequences, she invites Sarah Rose to live in Sunset Cove. When faced with the possibility she might have put Sarah Rose in harms way, Katy’s reaction is indignant. It seems impossible to her that the people of Sunset Cove might still live with such archaic beliefs. This innocence of Katy’s helps keep Surf Smugglers on an even keel and anchors the characters with a moral compass, of sorts.

    And this brings me to Anna. I have admired Anna’s character throughout the series. While that admiration did not fall in Surf Smugglers, Anna’s drive to inform the people of Sunset Cove did push her into some questionable decisions.

    The way the time period is described, the attention to detail and how characters act and react shows how much effort the author put into research for this series. Melody Carlson’s writing never ceases to intrigue me and pull me into a story. Her characters talk to each other often, bringing dialogue to life, and the spiritual themes are realistic.

    Forgiveness is a strong element in Surf Smugglers. You never know when you might be asked to forgive someone.

    I requested a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. I was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

  • Carol Keen

    This is book three of this series. I loved how it tied in, but can be alone if it must. Personally, I think this one needs to be read in the order of the series. Bootlegging, Doctors/Medical care, prejudice, war, and forgiveness are all included in this book. Anna had some major things to deal with in this book. Katy's relationships are also blooming and so many shifts and changes are happening in the lives of this town and these characters, well the world too! While I liked this story, it didn'

    This is book three of this series. I loved how it tied in, but can be alone if it must. Personally, I think this one needs to be read in the order of the series. Bootlegging, Doctors/Medical care, prejudice, war, and forgiveness are all included in this book. Anna had some major things to deal with in this book. Katy's relationships are also blooming and so many shifts and changes are happening in the lives of this town and these characters, well the world too! While I liked this story, it didn't hold up as strongly a the other two in the series for me. I can't decide if it's because I wanted more of certain aspects, or if I'm just worn out with repeated themes of prejudice.

    Celebrate Lit provided my copy of this book. This review is left freely and contains my thoughts about this book.

  • MJSH

    This is the third book in Melody Carlson’s The Legacy of Sunset Cove series and the three books should be read in order since the sequels start off immediately where the previous book ends. This book follows the lives of Anna and her daughter Katy as Anna continues on as the chief of the town’s newspaper and Katy works as the owner of a dress shop in the small Oregonian coastal town of Sunset Cove. Rum running in 1917 is still rampant in Sunset Cove as the country prepares to enter WWI and polit

    This is the third book in Melody Carlson’s The Legacy of Sunset Cove series and the three books should be read in order since the sequels start off immediately where the previous book ends. This book follows the lives of Anna and her daughter Katy as Anna continues on as the chief of the town’s newspaper and Katy works as the owner of a dress shop in the small Oregonian coastal town of Sunset Cove. Rum running in 1917 is still rampant in Sunset Cove as the country prepares to enter WWI and politics run hot. All the characters from the previous two books return to propel the plot forward and they stay true to character even as they mature. Anna and Katy both have romances that bloom and other social issues of the day like racism are addressed in the book. The plot moved a bit slowly for me this time around but those who enjoy historical fiction will surely enjoy this entire series.

    I received a copy of the book via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

  • Phyllis

    More adventure on the Oregon Coast

    It seems there aren't as many books about the time surrounding World War I as there are for World War II. And of those, fewer that take place here in the United States.

    I enjoyed seeing this coastal town in Oregon at the beginning of our involvement in the Great War. In Surf Smugglers, the town continued to have problems with rum running and it was dealt with a little. Bigger issues were prejudice, lack of adequate medical care when more than just a doctor was ne

    More adventure on the Oregon Coast

    It seems there aren't as many books about the time surrounding World War I as there are for World War II. And of those, fewer that take place here in the United States.

    I enjoyed seeing this coastal town in Oregon at the beginning of our involvement in the Great War. In Surf Smugglers, the town continued to have problems with rum running and it was dealt with a little. Bigger issues were prejudice, lack of adequate medical care when more than just a doctor was needed, and the entry of the US into the war resulting in the implementation of the draft.

    Katy's complete lack of prejudice towards Sarah Rose and her obliviousness to the fact that people had prejudices was refreshing. I liked Katy's fierce love for the woman who had helped raise her and how protective she was.

    The concept of standing up for what is right and calling attention to it can occasionally have the opposite effect from the one you are expecting was intriguing. Anna's editorial on the evils of rum-running and the one on prejudice had the best of intentions. And received some less-than-favorable results.

    The undercurrent of faith throughout the story is more along the lines of what is found in "Inspirational" fiction instead of the more overt way it usually appears in Christian fiction.

    The story was good, though it felt like it was lacking depth. Scenes that could have been charged with emotion or filled with action weren't. I did feel for the characters in their various predicaments but found myself checking to see how much further I had until I was finished.

    I did realize before I read this that I went from Harbor Secrets, the first in this series, to this one, book 3. While there is an assumption that you know the background, I didn't feel lost having not read the second book. I do recommend, however, that you start with the first before reading this one.

    If you enjoy historical fiction and would like to learn more about what life was like on the Oregon Coast during this time, this could be a fun read for you.

    Read my full review at

    I was given a copy of this book. I was not required to give a favorable review nor was any money received for this review. All comments and opinions are my own."

  • Becky Van Daniker

    Melody Carlson has been one of my favorite authors since I was in high school. I was excited when I had the privilege of reading one of her newest books, Surf Smugglers. What I didn't realize until after I've started was that this is actually book three in the Legacy of Sunset Cove series. While the book does refer to events that occurred in the prior books, I never felt lost or confused.

    I enjoyed learning about Oregon history in 1917. The state was well before anyone else with the prohibition,

    Melody Carlson has been one of my favorite authors since I was in high school. I was excited when I had the privilege of reading one of her newest books, Surf Smugglers. What I didn't realize until after I've started was that this is actually book three in the Legacy of Sunset Cove series. While the book does refer to events that occurred in the prior books, I never felt lost or confused.

    I enjoyed learning about Oregon history in 1917. The state was well before anyone else with the prohibition, women's suffrage movement, amongst many other historical events. This story deals with heavy content such as abuse, smuggling, racial tensions, WWI, and many other topics. So it isn't a light read in that regard.

    I struggled with this one, but not because of the content. For one thing, I wanted to know the characters. I never felt like I could connect with them. They felt distant, two-dimensional, and unemotional. There were many events in the story where I should have felt some emotion but just didn't because of how it played out. There were also many instances that seemed to have been resolved too easily and quickly. I read about 56% of the book waiting for something to finally draw me in.

    There was also a spiritual message, though not overly preachy, was more encouraging or inspirational.

    I may have to give the first two books a chance and see if that changes my opinion. However, for now, this just wasn't for me.

    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

  • Chautona Havig

    Why I Recommend a Book That Wasn’t a Favorite

    When I read Harbor Secrets, I really enjoyed the time period, the storyline, and the characters. Those same things ring true for Surf Smugglers. However, my overall enjoyment of the book wasn’t as strong. There are two likely reasons for this.

    Either I needed to read the middle book, Riptide Rumors (which I intend to do, by the way… the hints I got about it from this book make me anxious to get to it), or the subject matter overpowered the series.

    Okay,

    Why I Recommend a Book That Wasn’t a Favorite

    When I read Harbor Secrets, I really enjoyed the time period, the storyline, and the characters. Those same things ring true for Surf Smugglers. However, my overall enjoyment of the book wasn’t as strong. There are two likely reasons for this.

    Either I needed to read the middle book, Riptide Rumors (which I intend to do, by the way… the hints I got about it from this book make me anxious to get to it), or the subject matter overpowered the series.

    Okay, so there’s a strong possibility that both are true.

    However, I actually think the subject matter is to blame. In a series that deals with heavy topics like smuggling, domestic abuse, abandonment, and other powerfully dramatic issues, you wouldn’t think racial tensions, early feminism, and WWI would be too heavy.

    But they were. I firmly believe that this exact story, told with deep layers, and in a stand alone novel about similar but different characters, would have all of the strength and power of classic World War novels.

    However, constrained in this place and with these characters, with a lighter touch due to the rest of the series, Surf Smugglers didn’t pack the punch that it could have. And I think that’s also why the spiritual depth felt a little lacking.

    That said, compared to a lot of books marketed by Christian publishers, this one was much more spiritually encouraging. I appreciated that it was there and it was not preachy.

    So with all that, why do I recommend Surf Smugglers?

    Simple. The story is a nice one. It fits in the series and wraps things up. It doesn’t hold the same draw as some third books—that feeling that if this book is this amazing, then I’ve just got to read the first two. Rather, because the first (and I assume the second) were so good, and because this one deals with important historical events… Not to mention, this book wraps up some character and story arcs!!!

    Because of those, I think the reverse is true. The prior book(s) and much of what is included in this one make this book a recommended read. It’s just not my favorite of Melody Carlson’s books.

    I’m still not sorry I read the free review copy of Surf Smugglers I was sent, and I’ll be buying the middle book, still, as well as am looking forward to the last in the series. So, take that for what it’s worth.

    Looking forward to my next Melody Carlson book… just like I always do.

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