Synopsis of Starfish Pier
Starfish Pier is the sixth book in the Hope Harbor Series. Stephen Roark left being the chaos of battle as a Delta Force Operative to run charter fishing trips. Moving home meant he could talk some sense into his brother and work through his past. The business may be booming a year later but his other two goals have gotten nowhere. First Grade Teacher Holly Miller lives a quiet life and sticking to the shadows. Well, she did until she became an advocate for a cause close to her heart. When she asks Steven for his help, sparks fly leaving them on opposite sides of an issue about to take their community by storm. From the outside, they look incompatible but as they try to find common ground they learn that love can conquer any darkness and light a flame of hope in the future.
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First off the Hope Harbor series is amazing! I love how we get a real relationship with two very different people, who try to overcome their differences to be together. Each book in the Hope Harbor series takes on a touchy topic and examines all of the various situations that the topic is found in, and how real people feel and react when put in difficult situations. I feel like she does a masterful way of talking about the topic in a non-controversial way. Most importantly, I love seeing the characters think their way around these arguments from all angles. It brings a fresh dimension to a book.
Starfish Pier Parent Guide
Overall: PG for Kissing and thematic elements (see hot topics)
Adult Content: PG kissing allusion to intimate relations.
Reading Level: Grade 6+ for thematic elements
Touchy Topics in Starfish Pier
- Pro-life: The idea that life is sacred at all times and should be protected and prolonged is huge and differing opinions effect Holly and Stephen’s relationship
- Euthanasia: One character specifically moves to Hope Harbor because of the assisted suicide laws. He opens up to a few people and talks with them about his decision possible alternatives.
- Abortion: There are two instances where abortion is talked about and the reasoning and thoughts behind them.
- Sniper killing: Steven was part of the Delta Force assassinating people to save liberty. Killing as a career and out of necessity are talked about.
- Alcohol: One of the main characters is an alcoholic. We see the process he goes through to try and pick up his life.
- Overbearing family: Holly was smothered by her family and that is part of the reason why she moves away. Steven’s brother feels like Steven is smothering him as well. The line between supportive and overbearing is discussed.
“Love isn’t always easy, is it? That’s because we’re all different. We don’t fit together as cleaning as the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes there are gaps. Holes. The finished product when we come together isn’t always perfect. But as we’re reminded in Corinthians, a love that keeps no record of wrongs…that perseveres…never fails.”― Irene Hannon, Starfish Pier
“Forget the past. Forgive as God forgave. Forge a new future. It was the man Steven was today that mattered. And that man was worth trusting–and loving.”― Irene Hannon, Starfish Pier
“I’m learning everyone has many layers…and one or two don’t define us.”― Irene Hannon, Starfish Pier
My Thoughts about Starfish Pier
Steven and Holly are amazing together. I love how they are opposites and yet so similar in other ways. They both learn how to open up and trust others around them. I like how their relationship develops like an actual relationship and not like a fairy-tale or romance movie. They get to know each other and figure out if they can live with the characteristics, and beliefs of the other person. Steven and Holly are both strong and determined individuals and it brings an interesting dynamic to the story.
I love how Irene Hannon has dealt with these controversial themes. Especially when she has the characters learn more and take time to process that information. These topics aren’t randomly thrown in either. It is a crucial and driving factor in the book. I especially love that the characters do through this journey of self-discovery and grow into better individuals who forgot, say sorry, and change their perspectives on an issue.
What to Read Next?
I’m hoping that if you’ve finished this book you’ve also read the first 5 books in the Hope Harbor series. If not what are you doing looking for a recommendation? Go back and read the first five. You will not be disappointed! For the rest of you. Check out the Lonestar Series. It is a contemporary Christian romance series set in Texas. It has more action than the Hope Harbor series but still plenty of clean romance fun!