Series: Hart’s Boardwalk #1
Author: Samantha Young
Main characters: Dr Jessica Huntington (heroine looking for redemption and a home To call her own) and Cooper Lawson, local business owner and reluctant to fall for another woman ever again.
Blurb: Welcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts…
While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women’s correctional facility where she works, she’s always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life. Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison’s library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town’s charm — and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny.
Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they’ve owned for generations. But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her. Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there’s only one real thing in life worth fighting for…
Why you should read it: No doubt you’re familiar with Sam Young’s books – the On Dublin Street series for example is amazing. This series is set in the US, which is quite courageous for a writer to set something in a foreign country. I’m not familiar with the East coast, but Young’s writing evoked an idyllic seaside town and felt authentic. The dialogue was engaging and the developing relationship between Jess and Cooper was off-the-charts hot. It was a slowish burn, which I love and both characters’ points of view made me understand them easier. The peripheral characters are also mega interesting and I cannot wait to discover their secrets and storylines later in the series.
What you might not like: I love a character with a secret – it makes the romance world go round! However, Jess was sooo closed off that it did frustrate me at times. Young didn’t make the suspense drag on for too long however, and once the big secret cones out, I think you’ll understand where Jessica is coming from.
Rating: 4/5 for a well-written, well-crafted tale that I enjoyed from start to finish. Definitely one for your tbr pile.