This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Forever
Released on August 6, 2019
The first book in the Moonlight Bay series was one of my big surprise standouts last year so I’m really not surprised that book two stayed strong even when it surprised me by introducing a different romance pair than I was expecting- a Veterinarian and a Veteran. Guess which is which regarding the hero and heroine? Another touching story that dug deep for the romance pair and the greater cast of characters in this small island town.
As I said, Summer on Moonlight Bay is book two in a series that work best in sequence, but could be read standalone, too.
Lia left the Navy, the only home she has known after a bad circumstance left her questioning herself and feeling unfit for her job. Now, she’s homeless and only has a vague offer from her former commanding officer and all his positive and vivid descriptions of his home town, Magnolia Harbor to steer her. Being homeless and not knowing where she will land is nothing new. Her mom never stayed in one place- picked up and ran each time was more like it and Lia is responsible for several of those instances- or so she thinks. Just like she feels she’s responsible for things going sour with two situations when she was working to get resources for two service people. She’s hoping for a new chance working for Chaplain St. Pierre as his church secretary like she did for him and other chaplains in the Navy now that he’s out of the military and has his own church.
But, then she finds the drastically injured puppy in the middle of the road…
Noah Cuthbert is a veterinary surgeon living in Charleston. He never wanted to come back home, but he feels responsible to get his momma who lives in a ramshackle house and deals with MS. He wants her to come live with him since his little sister, who has been living at home, needs a chance to go off to university and fulfill her dreams. Instead of packing them up and off to Charleston, both have dug in their heels and are forcing him to stay in a town with a lot of misery for him including his daddy and brother. Then Lia enters his life and saving the puppy is the beginning to a soul-searching journey for both Noah and Lia, a few intriguing side stories and a pirate ghost who needs a few good deeds to let his ghost find rest.
This is a lovely small town setting with a solid circle of recurring characters in the way the author does best. It’s the Carolina coast, summer, and a pair of hurting people need to make peace with their past and let go their guilt and blame. Both Lia and Noah were great lead characters, but it was also great getting Ashley who owns the B&B and Rev Micah still tentatively moving forward as well as updates with other familiar faces.
New characters and new situations are now in play including a heartbreaking abuse and gaslighting situation that I thought was woven into the story just beautifully. Lia is a social worker/resource gal that warmed my heart with her priority pink post-it note so people were always the focus with her.
The summer setting and small town had me longing for this place to be real. 4th of July fireworks, ladies’ sewing parties, charity softball,adorable lab pup, sailing, good eats, and lots of friendly encounters.
The romance is a light touch of attraction and slow build since the pair are battling personal demons, but it didn’t drag on and I loved how they were friends and partners at the vet office and both want to put others’ first.
I wasn’t ready for this one to end and could have remained in Magnolia Harbor with the people indefinitely. Those who enjoy gentle, heartwarming, and fun summer contemporary romances should pick this one up.
New Release #107
COYER #40 small town setting