Reviews

“I will continue to think about this novel for many days to come.”

Posted on 09/15/13


A9RED1A.tmp.pdf“The Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love by Sebastian Cole is thought provoking. I will continue to think about this novel for many days to come. I never thought there were so many ways to think about romantic love.  What is love? What is  false love? Noah and Robin are the main characters. There is always something or someone who presents an obstacle to their fast growing attraction for one another. Finding out whether there love is true and can last a life time takes a long time.

So often family members can present a problem for those who want to love one another forever. Noah is Jewish. Robin is not Jewish. This was not a problem for Noah or Robin. They just loved one another without a thought about the what ifs of loving someone who grew up with different traditions. However, Mariam, the mother, goes absolutely nuts when she learns that Robin is not Jewish. I was glad that Noah had the kind of love which remains steadfast through thick and thin. Robin was the one who taught him that it is alright to think for yourself and to make your own decisions. Your life is not your parents’ life. Neither is your parents’ life your life. Since life is as fragile as a Sand Dollar, there is no time to live by the persuasions of other people.

I felt that Noah’s character grew far quicker than Robin’s character. At some points in the novel I didn’t like Robin. I felt she mistreated Noah. I felt she was terribly immature. I felt that she made Noah look and sound immature. I did not want Noah to love her. It is not easy to know whether Noah and Robin’s love will last forever or just fall away in the sand. This is why I began to see the intricacies of love. For example, if the one you love stops loving you, do you continue to love them or give up and settle for a  person you only love a little bit? When is it time to give up on love? When is it time to hold steady and wait for the one you really love?

Yes, this is a tear jerker. For every tissue you use there is a golden nugget of truth about romantic love wrapped in the tear. The tears are not wasted. The tears cried while reading this book are splashes of the meaning of genuine love in a time when the world is turning, growing, changing so rapidly. It is a love letter to those who wish to love someone more honestly and more deeply than ever before in their life.

There is also the questions about the end of life. What happen to our bodies? What happens to our souls? When is it time to let a love one pass to the other side? These deep questions and other questions were laid before me by the author, Sebastian Cole. I am so happy this book came into my hands. I feel that the book might have been sent by the angels.” — Tea and Inspiration


Sand Dollar Book Review at Coffee Time Romance

Posted on March 30, 2013

“Noah Hartman is a man searching for a path in life that leads away from his rich, pampered existence as the only child of a wealthy family. Smothered by his loving, overprotective, Jewish parents, Noah longs for more. When he stumbles across a free spirited woman, Robin, he is stunned by the wide world of possibilities that opens before him.

Robin is searching for answers to questions that always seem to slip beyond her comprehension. She has a daughter to care for and more emotional baggage than she can lug around. When Noah appears in her life, she is immediately suspicious of something that looks far too good to be true.

Now eighty years old, Noah is looking back at his life with the clarity of age. Paths merge and split. Hearts are broken and mended. Still, he knows only one thing is an absolute truth. Love is the tie that binds, the glue that holds it all together, and the only thing you can take with you into forever.

A beautiful love story reminiscent of Mr. Sparks’ The Notebook, Sand Dollar plays upon the notion of the road not taken. Readers will be enchanted by the deep abiding love between two characters that seem peppered with insurmountable odds.”

Coffee Time Romance

Coffee Time Romance


Review of Sand Dollar

Posted on March 11, 2013

“A great story of undying, constant, ever-going, everlasting love – that will always win out. Check it out.”
— E. Lizard Breath Speaks


“It was one of those ‘Oh my God, that can’t possibly be’ types of moments.”

Posted on February 10, 2013

The Stuff of Success

★★★★★  “Many reviewers have compared Sand Dollar by Sebastian Cole to Nicholas Sparks. To be fair I want you to know that I have never read a Nicholas Sparks book nor have I seen a related movie. I don’t ordinarily read books that are classified as romance but I was interested in Sand Dollar due to its fantasy romance genre.

For the first half of the book it seemed more like a lost love type of story and although that is interesting, I wasn’t quite sure what the fantasy aspect was. As I continued to read though, that became increasingly clear. From the beginning it is clear that Noah is a great person with a great desire to love and be loved. I have never been in a position where the person I am destined to be with – my soulmate – is just not someone it is possible to be with. But the premise is quite heartbreaking and I found myself wanting so much more for Noah. Robin is his soulmate. That is clear but for some reason it just never seems to work out. The reason it doesn’t work out is eventually made clear and then my heart broke for the two of them and how they had so much stacked against them and their relationship.

The fantasy becomes evident toward the end of the book, and it was one of those “Oh my God, that can’t possibly be” types of moments. I read most of this book in one day/sitting. That wasn’t my intent but once I made it past the first half of the book I really just could not find the perfect time to put it aside for another day. Every chapter’s conclusion was not a conclusion at all – it left me hanging for the next and I just couldn’t step away. I give this story a five-star rating and would definitely read future novels by Sebastian Cole.” The Stuff of Success

Sand Dollar Book giveaway ends February 17th. To enter, click here and scroll down to Rafflecopter.


SAND DOLLAR Book Review in Miss A

Posted on January 3, 2013

Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook, Love Story, Love, Romance, Fantasy, Fiction, Tear jerker, Heart wrenching

What a great way to start the year, with an amazing book review of SAND DOLLAR: A Story of Undying Love at an amazing website!! With over a million readers annually, Miss A is one of the largest and fastest growing online destinations for women.

Click here to check it out!


Awesome Romance Novels

Posted on December 4, 2012

I’d like to thank Awesome Romance Novels for featuring SAND DOLLAR on their website.

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Review of Sand Dollar at Mina’s Bookshelf

Posted on November 27, 2012

Paperback, 223 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Sebastian Cole LLC
Genre: contemporary novel, romance, romantic fantasy
Rating : 5 stars

“What an exquisitely romantic story! Utterly heart-wrenching in its tragedy, absolutely gratifying in its resolution. Far from being a mellow romance novel, the author deepened and enriched the shadows of widely exploited tropes (lost love and second chances) with more introspective and dramatic tones, tragic elements and a mind-blowing ending. Although frequently referred to as a romantic fantasy, I wouldn’t say that Cole’s soulful debut novel falls in that clear-cut category, being the otherworldly element not a dominant feature throughout the narration, as much  as an imaginative touch that the author used very lightly and that found its culmination only at the end of the book.

Lying in a hospital bed, eighty year old Noah Hartman offers to a compassionate medical orderly a bitter-sweet recount of his love life. As past events and present-time regretful considerations unfold  in front of our eyes with the fluidity, accuracy and comfortable pace of a movie script, Noah takes us for an emotional trip down memory lane, leading the readers through his heartbreaking quest for love and the countless obstacles that external forces, prejudices, and twists of fate placed on his path to happiness. What makes this story of undying love so poignant and inspiring is the combination of two very fragile and vibrant characters and the incredible resiliency of their mutual feelings. I was overwhelmed with a deep sense of compassion for Noah and Robin. Their back-stories may be marked by environmental and genetic traits that will act as invisible and sometimes unexplained forces against the fulfillment of their love (Noah’s Jewish background and family’s hostility to Robin, Robin’s tragic past and lack of emotional stability), but true love has a way to reveal itself in “a moment of truth and clarity” and to lead two soul mates through the storms and the rough seas, like a compass to its true north.

Keep a tissue box close by while reading this evocative novel…Sand Dollar won’t leave your soul and your eyes dry.” — Mina’s Bookshelf


A Review of Sand Dollar From Across The Sea

Posted on November 18, 2012

Many thanks to Frank Burns for the following review:

“This is Sebastian Cole’s debut novel and a first foray into the world of becoming a published author. He is a native of New England in the USA, and it is clear that this narrative draws greatly on personal experience. It was my privilege to receive a signed courtesy copy of  SAND DOLLAR directly from the author, so it would be discourteous of me not to share a few thoughts about it.

Without giving a summary of the plot (an aspect of book reviewing I try to avoid), let me tell you some important areas of life that SAND DOLLAR elaborates. First of all, it roughly fits into the genre of Romantic Tragedy, with a heavy bias towards Fantasy. All of which means that, throughout its dénouement, especially during the emotionally charged scenes, you have to constantly do ‘reality checks’.  Nothing wrong with that; just remember that some of the events are unlikely to happen in the real world.

The narrative takes you into the world of a rich Jewish family, proud of its ancestry and covetous of its progeny and its legacy. It follows the age-old storyline of rich boy meets poor girl, falls hopelessly in love, which leads to much  pain, anguish, passion and suffering as the story progresses. The reader may be enlightened (as I was) about a little known syndrome which fundamentally underpins the broken relationships within the novel. And for those who have never encountered the phenomenon ‘out of body, near death experience’, there is an interesting twist on this in the context of the protagonist, Noah, whom we see as an eighty year old, lying on a hospital bed, recounting the story of his life.

Noah’s life is like a journey, indeed, almost like a pilgrimage. His love life has a definitive start when he meets Robin, but his relationship with her is a journey, a long tortuous journey of overcoming obstacles, climbing mountains of pain, descending into valleys of joy, only to eventually arrive at a destination that was all to familiar to him: that he loved Robin to the point that he couldn’t imagine life without her.

I would not choose to read romantic fiction as a matter of course, but I would recommend this narrative most heartily because it touches on the theme of life being a journey, the start and the end of which is not of our choosing, but the duration of which challenges us at every step to make the right the decisions for ourselves, and those around us. And at the end of the journey, we arrive at an all too familiar place.

Let me quote T.S.Eliot from his Quartet ‘Little Gidding’:

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.”

SERENDIPITIES OF LIFE by Frank Burns


“The Greatest Love Story I Have Ever Read” – A Novel Review

Posted on November 7, 2012

“Noah Hartman meets his soul mate, Robin at a local club.  When he loses her, he does not ever give up on their love, truly believing they belong together.  Finally, Noah agrees to marry Sarah, a long time family friend.  As Sarah is ready to walk down the aisle, Robin walks in and declares her love for Noah.

An old and sick Noah tells his love story to Josh, an orderly at Mount Sinai Hospital.  As the story is told different family members arrive to tell him goodbye.  The closer to the end of the story, the more the pieces of his life are put back together.

When I was told that this was the next great love story I was cynical, but it is totally true.  Noah and Robin’s story is the greatest love story I have ever read.

Robin was a character I didn’t really like.  The way she played with the good guy, Noah, broke my heart.  The fact that she had a child from a previous relationship and kept uprooting her life made her the type of mother that I never understand or can relate to.  I did like that she encouraged Noah to break free from the unreal hold his parents had on him letting him finally live his life his way.  But this was really the only good thing I can say about Robin.

Noah was the prince of the story.  Willing and wanting to worship Robin and put her on a pedestal giving her everything a woman could want.  Every girls dream man.  The fact that he allowed his parents to rule so many of his decisions and life was his biggest downfall.  The control went beyond being a momma’s boy and was definitely the cause of most of his issues with Robin.  Noah instantly won my heart when he included Robin’s daughter in many of their plans making her feel like part of the “family” he was trying to form.

I highly recommend Sand Dollar to everyone.  This is a story that will touch you to the depth of your heart.” — A Novel Review


The Blogging Book’s Review of Sand Dollar

Posted on October 30, 2012

“Wow! I definitely did not expect the book to end that way. It caught me off guard and I even teared up a little bit. It made the whole book that much more heart wrenching. 

In the beginning it was a little confusing for me. The way it goes back and forth from past to present, sometimes with no warning. I had to backtrack and reread a couple times to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

I understand the whole ‘you love who you love thing’, but if I was Noah and Robin treated me like that, I would kick her to the curb. So many times I wanted to reach into the book and slap her. Then other times my heart broke for her because of all she went through. 

Overall this is a great Romance. Any fan of Nicholas sparks will absolutely adore Sebastian Cole.”

The Blogging Book