Posted on December 29, 2012
“SAND DOLLAR is a wonderfully written story that managed to evoke a range of emotions as I read it. When reading I like to get emotionally connected through a story’s characters and events. By giving me the ability to make those connections, This book provided the escape I anticipate and expect from a really good book.
Sebastian Cole does a remarkably skillful job of developing the main characters of Noah and Robin. They are multidimensional, which I deem an essential component to any great story. The characters in general, are believable as the author reveals idiosyncrasies and flaws that are reasonable and realistic. I also think he captures the essence of what most readers would characterize as the idealized male-female “love” relationship. Something every great romance novel must have.
The messages that are intertwined throughout the book are both meaningful and important. Living a “true” life, feeling life as we experience it, facing and overcoming hardships (both in and out of our control…as well as others) are all personal issues readers know about intimately and deal with and contemplate continually, and this allows the reader to really connect to this work. I liked the writing technique the author incorporated which floats the story in and out of the past. Some authors have difficulty using it without disrupting the story’s flow. Mr. Cole’s writing style made those parts easy to follow. By using that approach in his writing, he added interest and forced me to consciously make connections and think ahead as I read. I also found the story itself to be fluid with a healthy dose of believable twists and just the right amount of fantasy to keep me engaged.
Although this book is labeled as a “romantic fantasy,” I am sure many readers will be able to make personal connections to the storyline. I’ll close by saying I originally looked into purchasing this book because I was made aware of a local connection and had no idea of the premise of the story. Now that I have read it I can say I was pleasantly surprised by the caliber of the writing and some of the “enlightening” information I gained by reading it. Pick up SAND DOLLAR. It’s a book that I had a hard time putting down. It is sure to hold your attention and keep you guessing as you read. Be sure to keep the Kleenex handy… and get ready for some big surprises.” — Lisa Ann
Posted on October 2, 2012
“This was probably the greatest love story I have ever read. Although at times I wanted to shake both Robin and Noah it truly was an amazing read with a spectacular ending. Want to share this book with friends but not willing to part with my copy. This will be a book I keep and read over and over again. (Oh yeah….make sure you have a box of kleeenex nearby!!)” — Adrienne
Posted on October 1, 2012
Undying Love for Sand Dollar
“Congratulations Mr. Cole! Your debut novel, SAND DOLLAR: A STORY OF UNDYING LOVE, is a winner. And I’m a winner too! I won this book as a Firstreads Giveaway. SAND DOLLAR is a wonderful tale of love and so much more. Noah Hartman~~what a perfect name for a man who follows his heart~~spent his life searching for his soul mate. He found her in Robin. If only Robin could find her way to back to him. As eighty-year old Noah from his hospital bed tells his story to Josh, a very special orderly, we learn of a love that will never die. Well done. I enjoyed reading this story written from a man’s perspective. Genuine. Keep writing Mr. Cole and I’ll keep reading! I gave this book 4 stars but I really wanted to give it 4.5 stars!” — Maryellen
Posted on October 1, 2012
“Mr. Cole did an amazing job writing this book. I strongly recommend that any one who loves romance books you need to read this one, just have your tissues ready your going to need them. What Noah went through was gut wrenching a true sole mate is hard to find as Noah will tell you, but if you wait long enough as Noah did for Robin it will work out in the end. And to share his love story with a very special some one like Josh is even better. I can’t wait until his next book come out. I really Love this book.” — Sherrie Pogorzelski
Posted on September 17, 2012
A Fantastic Love Story
“I won this book in a contest off of Goodreads.com. Im not a huge romance reader so I was skeptical about this book at first. I adored it!! I loved Noah’s character and how he came from money but was very down to earth. I love that he was true to his heart through the entire story. I know Robin’s character had to be the way she was but she made me mad! Noah was a great guy. In the end though she realized what she had. I would recommend this book for sure! A must read!”
— Jeny Robertson
Posted on September 17, 2012
Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love
“Sebastian Cole is a great new author with a wonderful story you will never forget. Grab your tissues and start reading. You will not be disappointed. I am looking forward to more from this author!” — Doris Williams
Posted on August 27, 2012
Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love
“A story of love and ‘what really matters in life’. Surprising analogies throughout – great job Sebastian Cole! I finished the book in 2 days – couldn’t put it down. Looking forward to his next one -” — Janet Albanese
Posted on August 5, 2012
One of my all time favorites!
“I won this book for free on the goodreads giveaways! Not only did Sebastian Cole autograph my book but he sent me 2 cards (with the cover of his book as the picture). One card was a personalized note to me which made me feel special. The other card was blank for me to do as I pleased. He also had a stamp with the same beautiful picture on an envelope for me. Also, in the package was a beautiful bookmark with the same beautiful stationary. I was pleasantly surprised!!
The book exceeded my expectations. I absolutely loved every part of it. I could relate to Noah so well it was scary. The book was about a man named Noah who does all he can to find a partner in life when one day he finds Robin unexpectedly. They quickly fall in love and marry. Shortly after they marry things fall apart. Noah has trouble getting over Robin because he believes they are soul mates. Add Robin’s hidden secret to the mix and it makes for an interesting story! (I will not go on because I do not want to ruin this story for you.) IT IS A MUST READ!!
Sebastian Cole did an AMAZING job with this book. It is a great love story with real life characters and real life problems. He reminds me of Nicholas Sparks with his ability to play on your heart strings throughout the entire book. At the end of the book in the, “A note from Sebastian Cole,” there is a part that touches my heart intensely. Cole writes, “Perhaps you know someone whose heart clutches onto the bittersweet memory of the one who got away. Someone who secretly bears the weight of this imperceptible burden wherever he or she goes, everyday of his or her life. Someone who’d gladly travel back in a time machine to a day when paths diverged, to mend together that which has been torn apart, setting destiny back on its rightful track- if only he or she could.”
That, in turn says it all. Read this book!” — Kelani K
Posted on July 25, 2012
“Sand Dollar is the story of Noah and Robin. Not only does it span their lives individually throughout the years, but also their relationship as well. Mr. Cole did a fantastic job of bringing Noah, Robin and all other characters to life. I was hooked from the beginning. I found Noah to be extremely likeable and could understand where he was coming from with his family background. Never did I get the impression that Noah was selfish or greedy like you would expect with his upbringing. Robin is a different character altogether. She is kind of a mystery. We don’t really get answers to Robin until closer to the end of the book, but it’s easy to guess which direction the story is going.
The story is told back and forth between present day Noah and his past. Sometimes I found it hard to know if we were in the present or past, but once I got a hang of how the story was written, it wasn’t difficult to follow.
I had an incredibly hard time putting this book down, because I needed to know what happened. It’s a heartbreaking story, even up to the end, but it’s beautifully heartbreaking.” — Afullbookshelf
Posted on July 25, 2012
A Story of Love Across Time
** spoiler alert ** “First of all, Sebastian Cole has the coolest freakin author name ever. I am jealous, and seriously considering stealing his name for a book character. Sebastian Cole. How can a name like that not produce an awesome book?
But I digress. Sand Dollar is not my usual read, and being the cynic I am, there were parts I had trouble getting through. Noah’s language, for one. Do men really talk like that? Do they really show such public displays of emotion? I don’t know.
I also felt like his love for Robin, at times, felt forced because I don’t really understand why he loved her. She was a pretty awful person for most of the book, and he wasted a lot of his life essentially being her stalker. Again, I’m a cynic, so this kind of fairy-tale love is a hard concept for me to grasp. But hey, it’s a story, so I went with it.
BUT, things changed at the end. In a good way. I was really interested in the revelation about Robin’s condition, and while I still think she was pretty crappy most of the time, I started to sympathize a bit more. I was also happy to see their reunion mainly because it pissed off Noah’s family so much (seriously, Miriam is a terrible person. I have no love for her at all).
One of the reasons I gave Sand Dollar a 4-star rating is because of the end. When a book makes me feel a range of emotions – even if one of those emotions is completely hating a character and then deciding maybe she’s not so bad after all, or that another is creepy and desperate but in the end simply an embodiment of true love – then that’s a good thing. I’m still not sure if I fully came around to liking Robin, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing because, like I said, I like the emotions that came from the book. I finished the book pleased with the way it ended and imagining Noah and Robin’s new life in heaven.
Speaking of heaven, I knew this book was about God going into it based on the reviews. I was a little hesitant because I’m not exactly a religious folk. I do love stories of epic battles between heaven and Hell, angels versus demons, but lighter love stories with God? Not really my thing. I am happy to say that the religious undertones are very slight, and that Cole tells the story with God in a way that isn’t preachy or corny. It’s simply a man’s first and last conversation with God, and it works well.” — Kristina Circelli
Posted July 18, 2012
Love we can’t forget
“Special thanks to Mr. Cole for offering this book as a Good Reads free book to me. I started reading this book and I could not put it down. I was so meserrized by Robin and Noah’s love for each other and all the hardships they had to endure during their relationship(s). Very, well written, love story that keeps you wanting more and more. We all need to find a love like this and cherish it. I can’t wait for Mr. Cole to write another novel! Loved this book!!!!!” — Karen Thaxton
Posted on July 6, 2012
An excellent book…
“Sand Dollar is a love story reminiscent of “The Notebook”, as the author confesses, but still remains uniquely its own story. I won’t bother with a lengthy synopsis as other readers have done a fantastic job summarizing it.
There were several things I really enjoyed about this book, most important of which, I think, is that the story always felt “real”, and never forced. I also loved how the author chose to go back-and-forth between the past and the present, revealing layers of the story as they become relevent. I was totally taken by surprise by the ending (sad in a way but ultimately it was a happy one), which I didn’t see coming at all, another plus!
My one complaint? Not really with the story itself, but I couldn’t help but notice the absence of an author bio and picture, something which I compulsively seek out before I ever start a story. Its not really a big deal, but I like to be able to read about an author to sort of get to “know” them before I read their work so I have an idea of where they’re coming from. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see what such a hopeless romantic looks like?
Marvellous book, it brought a smile to my face, and I would certainly love to see Sand Dollar become a movie as the author wishes, I have a feeling it would do very well 🙂
I have received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads” — Johanna
Posted on June 23, 2012
“Upon finishing the book last night, my husband asked me what I thought of it. The best response I could come up with was, “It was like a plate of spaghetti and meatballs on a crisp fall day.” (And this is coming from an Italian girl!) I love it when you start a book, and within the first few pages you have an immediate sense of the characters, what they look like, their environment, etc. Noah and Robin burst out of the pages- it was great! The story of Sand Dollar went on to tell the lives of these two main characters, past and present. There were many times I wanted to reach into the book and honestly shake Robin, but luckily her character went on to be thoroughly explained, rectifying my need to smack her! The end was a slam dunk; totally unexpected.
There were only 2 slight criticisms that I encountered: One was occasional confusion bouncing back between past and present. The other was how many times Noah’s Ferrari was mentioned. The author is however, a man… So I guess it’s understandable 😉
Beautiful cover, superb writing, completely enjoyable. GREAT READ!” —pamelaLA
Posted on June 17, 2012
“I loved this book- This one pulls at your heart strings and if it does not pull at yours~ you should have been searching for a new heart instead of a new book to read. Sebastian Cole not only has one or two tricks waiting for you towards the end*** but many. The writing in this book is superb, and also makes you think. Sand Dollar is my second favorite read for 2012. I’m glad I was able to read & enjoy this story~ as I’m sure anyone would. I look forward to reading more from this author. The cover is beautiful~*~ I highly recommend adding Sand Dollar to your bookshelf.” — Reesa***
Posted on June 16, 2012
A Unique Twist to Undying Love
“**Note that this book was given to me by the author; it does not influence my review. 🙂
This was such an unusual book from what I have been reading lately, but I was glad I got the chance to read it. It was a very emotional read for me, I spent time yelling at the characters, and then crying with them at the end.
It is a story about the love and life of Noah and Robin, two lovers who through their relationship are tossed apart. We see an old man, Noah, in the hospital, spending his time talking to an orderly, Josh about his love and his one true soul mate. We follow his memories, both high and low, as he describes his journey to finding, losing, and eventually regaining his true love.
This is a lovely book about one man’s emotional growth into being the man he should always have been, and about learning that love is always there and if you give it enough room, it will return to you.
I am very glad that I read the book. Keep in mind you might begin by cursing the characters, but by the end you will need your hankies!
A great read.” — Bea
Posted on June 12, 2012
The love we all dream of.
“I so enjoyed this book. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. I got completely caught up in the on-again off-again love between Noah and Robin. It takes you on one hell of a rollercoaster ride, only to bring you to a very unexpected ending. That, to me, is what a well-written book is. I think most women will totally relate to the undying love Noah has for Robin, because most women want to be loved like that, especially by someone like Noah, who is such a gentle, caring soul. At times I felt badly for both of the main characters. The combination of Noah being broken and lost, having no idea what it’s like to actually live your life, and Robin’s own insecurities sabotages this beautiful love unintentionally. I highly recommend this as one of your summer-reads.” — Isabella