Published Dec, 26, 2017 by Harlequin Books
Short Summary: One step forward. Two steps back. The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.
Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There’s only one place to land: home. But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn’t necessarily want her.
I have to say, Women’s Fiction/Romance is not my typical genre but I’d seen this book getting lots of love from other bloggers and on Goodreads so I decided to shake up my reading life a little and I’m SO glad I did because I really enjoyed this book. From the first few pages when I met Nora and got a feel for her life as a gastroenterologist (I love that this was her specialty!), I was hooked. There’s something about the way this author writes characters that enabled me to immediately connect with Nora and want to follow her and see what happened. When I connect with a character, I’m on board and can’t wait to see where the story leads and that’s exactly what happened within the first 20 pages of this one.
I really went into this story not knowing too much which I highly recommend doing and that’s why I just provided a very short part of the blurb. The story really takes off after Nora is hit by a car (no spoiler this is in blurb) and returns home to her small seaside community in Maine where her mother is as grouchy and standoffish as ever. Side note though…Nora’s mom really grew on me and I loved that she had a pet bird named Tweety who was the love of her life! Here’s where the story really shines and takes off because the setting is fantastic, I loved everything about this small Maine town. I could picture the shops, restaurants and water, I do love a small town story that’s set on the water…any water.
For me, what made this such an excellent read (outside of Nora) were the secondary characters. There were so many characters that circled this story and all were clearly drawn and layered. That’s not to say all were likable because they weren’t and that’s what I loved. I’m not telling you too much about the plot but suffice it to say Nora’s return after 15 years stirs the pot in more ways than one. Not everyone is happy she’s back and that makes for good drama. It also made for well placed humor in many parts. That being said, this wasn’t a perfect book for me. I REALLY wanted to hear more from Nora’s sister! Also, there were a few times in the middle I thought the story dragged and yes there might have been some predictability to some scenes but honestly, I didn’t care about any of this. I was enjoying the story and even stayed up super late to read which for me is always the sign of a must read book. In the end, I was sad to say goodbye to these characters so I highly recommend this one if you’re looking for a lighter read with substance and excellent characterization.
Many thanks to Harlequin Books via Netgalley for my copy