Excerpt from Coast Road by Barbara Delinsky, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Coast Road

By Barbara Delinsky

Coast Road
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Apr 1999,
    368 pages.
    Paperback: May 1999,
    447 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Rachel Keats attended every class, listened raptly, took notes. Jack told himself that his eye sought her out for the simple constancy of her presence. It didn't explain, though, why he noted that she went from class to lunch at the smallest campus café, where she sat alone, or that she drove an old red VW bug and put a sunshade on the dash that was surely hand-painted, since he had never in his life seen as large or vividly colored a bug sitting behind the wheel of a car as her sunscreen hilariously depicted.

She was an art major. She lived in an apartment complex not far from his. She was a loner by all accounts and, if the easygoing expression she wore meant anything, was content.

Not only wasn't she his type, but he was dating someone who was. Celeste was tall and leggy, loaded up top and sweet down below, asked precious few questions and made precious few demands, liked the sex enough that he could do what he wanted when he wanted in between. She cooked and cleaned his bathroom, but he hadn't been able to con her into doing his laundry. That was why he found himself in the laundromat on a Tuesday night when Rachel came through the door.

Those waves of blond hair were gathered up in a turquoise ribbon that clashed with her purple tank top, but her shorts and sandals were white and as fresh as the blush that stained those sun-stained cheeks when she saw him there.

In the extra-long heartbeat that she spent at the door, he could have sworn she was debating turning and leaving. Not wanting her to do that, he said, "Hey! How're you doing?"

She smiled. "Great." The blush remained. She sucked in her lips, raised her brows, and seeming self-conscious, hugged an overstuffed laundry bag as she looked down the row of washers for raised lids. "Ah, she said, spotting two side by side. She smiled at him again and headed toward them.

Jack's heart was pounding. He didn't know why. All she'd done was smile. There hadn't been anything remotely sexual in it. She wasn't his type at all. But he slid off the dryer he'd been sitting on, and following her, he leaned up against the machine that backed on one of those she had chosen.

"Rococo and neoclassic art?" he prompted. He didn't want her to think this was a blind pickup, because it wasn't a pickup at all. She wasn't his type. He assumed that was why she intrigued him. It was safe. No risk. Just an innocuous hello.

She acknowledged the connection with a simple "Uh-huh." She was blushing still, pushing dirty laundry from the month of her laundry bag into the mouth of the washer.

He watched her for a minute, then said, "Mine's in the dryer."

It was probably the dumbest line he'd ever handed a woman. But he couldn't tell her that she was pushing reds and whites together into her machine. He couldn't ask if the reds were shirts, bras, or briefs. He couldn't even look directly at those things, because she would have been mortified. Besides, he couldn't take his eyes from hers. They were hazel with gold flecks, and more gentle than any he had seen.

"You're Obermeyer's TA," she said as she filled the second machine with things that went way beyond red. Her current outfit was conservative by comparison. "Are you training to teach?"

"No. I'm in architecture."

She smiled. "Really?"

"Really," he said, smiling back. She really was a sweet thing, smiling like that. The sweetness remained even when she suddenly opened her month and looked around -- left, right, down, back.

Jack returned to his own possessions and offered her his box of soap powder.

He was rewarded with another blush and a soft-murmured "Thanks." When she had both machines filled with soap, fed with quarters, and started, she asked, "What kind of things do you want to build?"

Reproduced with the permission of Simon & Schuster.
Copyright © 1998 by Barbara Delinsky.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...
  • Book Jacket
    The Stranger on the Train
    by Abbie Taylor
    The opening chapter of Abbie Taylor's debut novel, The Stranger on the Train, took me right back to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Night Film
    by Marisha Pessl
    One of the central tenets of Hinduism states that the world as we know it is just an illusion –...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The City
by Dean Koontz

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  88Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.