Story Rating: 3.75 stars
Audio Rating: 3.5 stars
Narrator: Michael Lesley
Length: 9 hours, 46 minutes
Cassidy’s beloved grandmother, Sadie, died four years ago, but after a lengthy court battle initiated by his father to contest her will, he is just returning to the beach house she left him. Cassidy spent his summers on the island and it was the only time of year he looked forward to. His relationship with his parents was strained and Sadie made him a home. Having Nate to hang out with each summer was also a bonus and the guys were not only best friends, but first loves. Cassidy’s plan is to return quietly and have a memorial service for Sadie, but those plans are upended quickly.
First there is Neil, the gorgeous man that Cassidy brings home from the beach. Then there is the hurt, stray dog that sends Cassidy to the animal hospital and his return then becomes town news. This brings Nate to his door. But Neil isn’t leaving so quietly and Nate and Cassidy have years of unfinished business to get to. Cassidy’s best friends and exes, Ollie and Spencer, arrive for a visit just as Cassidy’s most recent ex, Teddy, shows up intent on winning Cassidy back. Cassidy certainly has his hands and his house full.
In the midst of all this, Cassidy has to figure out how to best honor Sadie’s memory, which sends him down a path of nostalgia and memories where all roads will continually lead to Nate.
This book opens on a somber note of Cassidy returning to Sadie’s home, which has been in the family for generations. While locked in a legal battle with his father over Sadie’s care, and then her will, Cassidy feels like he let Sadie down in her final days and subsequently the people of Piper’s Point. It’s just Cassidy’s luck too that he can shake off some of the sadness when a surfer appears right out of the ocean on his private beach.
This is because Cassidy is irresistible to every man that sees him. He never has had to chase a man ever, and when he ends the relationship they all want him back, each and every one, each and every time, which is how he finds himself in his current predicament. This story is about confronting the past, making peace, and moving forward. It is also the story of first loves.
I was given the impression from the blurb and from this book having been published years ago that it was lighter and more comedic. While there were pages and pages and still more pages of antics, the humorous note passed me by for the most part. There were a cast of secondary characters, which were probably designed to offer comic relief, but for me they illustrated Cassidy’s issues with commitment. Also, Ollie and Spencer were supposed to be his best friends, but they were also his exes and they mostly came off as just waiting for Cassidy to get what they thought was due him in the form of a payback.
The story was also about Cassidy connecting again with Nate. For this being a focal point of the story, these guys barely spend any quality time together and they are constantly interrupted. Cassidy had time to talk to every other guy in the line-up but couldn’t find the time to talk to Nate and, when they had the opportunity well into the book, Nate shuts him down and runs. Cassidy and Nate hadn’t seen each other since they were teenagers and while their attraction was still present, there was barely any time of them together to see if they fit as adults. Instead, there was time devoted to childhood flashbacks, the townspeople, and then a retelling of a decades old love story. While the book was well written, the overall style of this story wasn’t what I had been expecting and wasn’t the best fit for me.
I have listened to several of Michael Lesley’s narrations and have been impressed by them. His interpretation here wasn’t my favorite selection. A good portion of the beginning is told in a somber and dramatic fashion. Lesley’s inflection is very precise and his diction for the narrative and inner dialogue portions were very slow and drawn out. In conversation, all of the characters did have different voices and Cassidy’s voice did pick up in conversation. The tone of the friends’ voices may also have then been what colored their personalities. There were southern women that all had large personalities and they all had a yelling quality to their voices and then the narrator offered a sort of baby-talk for the dog’s voice and as far as personal preference, the audio performance here wasn’t a good fit for me either. But, the overall quality of the presentation was high.
At Piper’s Point didn’t meet my expectations, but for an ensemble cast and a nostalgic story it may just meet yours.