Title: Summer at Hope Haven
Author: Kristin Harper
Publication Date: August 25, 2020
Page Count: 275
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
Making her way up the cedar-lined driveway, tears fill her eyes at the sight of the cottage’s faded trim and peeling turquoise shutters. Taking a deep breath, she grasps the heart-shaped iron door handle and steps inside the once-happy childhood home she’s been avoiding. It is time to face up to the past…
When Emily’s fiancé walks out on her while she’s still grieving the loss of her family in a terrible accident, she escapes back to Hope Haven on the remote Dune Island, where her family vacationed every summer. Emily hopes that fixing up the house will also mend her broken heart, but the cottage holds more than just bittersweet childhood memories. Emptying her father’s antique writing desk, Emily finds a letter that reveals a devastating secret about her parents.
With a head full of questions that can never be answered, it seems like returning to the island was the worst decision Emily ever made… until she meets Lucas Socorro, saltwater dripping from his dark curls after a surf session. As they take long walks on the soft sand, and talk late into the firefly-lit night, Emily wonders if Dr Luke—as the kids in the hospital call him—could be the one to help her heal. With Luke holding her hand, delving into her family’s painful past is a little easier.
Painting the gloomy cottage walls the colour of seashells, and revamping her grandmother’s flea-market furniture, Emily starts to feel she might call Dune Island home for good—and that she could build that home right here with Luke. But when Emily’s family secret spreads through a network of local gossips, her fragile heart breaks all over again. Luke is the only one who could have started the rumours. Was she wrong to trust him so easily?
As the sun sets behind the dunes, Emily has a difficult decision to make. Does she pack her bags and leave the island for good? Or take a risk that Hope Haven has everything she’s been looking for?
A beautiful and emotional read that will make you long to feel the sand beneath your feet. Perfect for fans of Nancy Thayer, Tracy Brogan and Mary Alice Monroe.
Summer at Hope Haven by Kristin Harper is the first book in the new contemporary romance Dune Island series. With this series being romance I would expect that the second book will probably change main characters as do a lot of these series however I’m not positive on that just yet. This first book does however read well on it’s own bringing this couple together without any cliffhanger or seemingly need to continue their story further.
Emily is an artist that is struggling with grief after the loss of her entire family in an automobile accident. As Emily found herself drowning in grief she felt removed from not only her work but from her relationship and found it crumbled around her leaving her alone. In order to try to get past the loss of her parents and brother Emily decides to move to Hope Haven where her family had vacationed as she was growing up.
When Emily arrives on Dune Island in Hope Haven she finds the memories in the house she shared with her family surrounding her. With old friends nearby and an art project lined up Emily hopes that she will begin to heal over her summer and finds herself enjoying the time she spends with a man she has met on the island, Lucas Socorro. Before long though Emily finds out a shocking secret about her family’s past.
I have to say the majority of Summer at Hope Haven was actually quite enjoyable to read. Having Emily be a somewhat flawed character dealing with such a huge impact on her life made me warm up to her rather easily and feel the emotion that oozed from her. However, the one thing I would nitpick at with this one was the inevitable conflict comes and it seemed the characters took the longest time to learn their lesson repeating the same confict. Of course I’m one that would just prefer the HEA without the messy stuff so maybe I’m being picky there as the rest of the book was lovely.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
After earning an MFA in creative writing, Kristin Harper published numerous short stories and creative nonfiction essays in national and international literary journals. Then she discovered how much more she enjoys writing full-length novels. She particularly likes setting her stories in oceanside locales, which are inspired by the Cape and Islands, where she has vacationed almost every summer of her life.
She loves connecting with readers, so please feel free to get in touch with her.