Published by Berkley on September 6th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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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….
Let me use two words to describe this story: Utterly Romantic. This book is different for Sam Young. If you’ve read her Dublin St series, this might throw you a little. Young is a master at writing an alpha male, but boy can she write one hell of a boy next door!
The entire premise of this novel is simply darling and completely enchanting. We meet our heroine while she is a physician at a woman’s correctional facility. We discover that she is lonely and living an empty life. But why? Meanwhile Jessica, our heroine, discovers love letters from an inmate from the 1970’s that were never sent. Jessica became immersed in Sarah’s story, so much so that she has to seek out the appropriate recipient of these letters.
So Jessica sets off to Hartwell, a lovely beach community in Delaware. Young does a beautiful job laying out the scenery of Hartwell. Honesty, if this place truly existed I would make it my next vacation destiny. The town is not the only piece that is charming. The inhabitants of Hartwell capture Jessica’s heart immediately. Opening her up to a world that she was so desperately hungry for.
What I find so intriguing in this novel is that there is a sense of magic throughout it. There is a legend in Hartwell that you will meet your true soul mate on the boardwalk. And where perhaps does Jessica met our hero Cooper?? Yup, you guessed it. The boardwalk. Again, utterly romantic.
I was completely captivated not only in Jessica’s story, but in Sarah’s. I loved how Young created this parallel between the two characters. They were bound together, but you don’t quite realize by how much until Jessica is able to finally deliver the letters to their proper owner. Ugh, heart melt! Beautiful.
With all these lovely words now out of my system I will give my entire opinion. This is a little slow. At almost 400 pages, I feel like it dragged a little. I do feel like it was worth it though. One of my absolute favorite things about Samantha Young is that she is QUEEEN of the Epilogue!!!! This one didn’t satisfy me. But, I’m OK with it because I know that I will see more of Cooper and Jessica in the next installment. I am beyond excited to continue with this series!!!
**An ARC was generously provided by Berkley Books in exchange for an honest review**