I really love a good series, and the Home to Harbor Town series by Beth Kery fits the bill perfectly. Rekindled love, family drama, new love, tragedy, and the healing power of faith and love. These two books are the first two in the series, and I'm looking forward to more---there should be more stories involving the Kavanaugh, Itani, and Reyes families. I certainly hope so, because I would love to return to the charming town of Harbor Town.
The Hometown Hero Returns Home to Harbor Town, Book 1 Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition Release Date: March 22, 2011
He'd followed her for three blocks, undecided whether he would call out or just fade back into the shadows of their mutual memories. The weight of the past had frozen his vocal cords, but the sight of her graceful figure drew him like a magnet.
This opening paragraph captured my attention immediately, and I just knew that I would enjoy this book. I was right.
Marc Kavanaugh hasn't seen Marianna Itani in more than fifteen years, just after the car crash that killed her parents and his father, the man who caused the whole thing. Marc and Mari were on the brink of adulthood and very much in love, but the tragedy ripped them apart; Mari and her brother moved away from Harbor Town to live with their aunt, while Marc stayed behind with his family and a life that would never be the same. But fate is in their favor when Marc and Mari run into one another in Chicago. The spark is still there and it doesn't take much for it to reignite their passion. Their one night together changes their lives completely when Mari discovers she's pregnant.
Several weeks later, Mari returns to Harbor Town to make plans to open a facility for victims of substance abuse. Since her parents were killed by a drunk driver (Marc's father), Mari wants to help others who have been in her shoes, but she's afraid that the Kavanaughs may not share her views. Will the love she and Marc share be enough to heal the scars of the past and how will he feel about the baby she carries?
Reunited lovers is a favorite romance trope of mine. Marc and Mari have never truly gotten over each other even though they have lived full lives, had other relationships. The Hometown Hero Returns shows how love can heal the wounds that are inflicted by an unspeakable tragedy. I was definitely rooting for Marc and Mari to find their happily-ever-after.
Liam's Perfect Woman
Home to Harbor Town, Book 2
Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition
Release Date: July 19, 2011
Natalie Reyes was the lone survivor of the car crash that killed her mother, the Itanis and Derry Kavanaugh sixteen years ago. She was a young adolescent girl who suffered injuries which caused her physical and emotional pain over the years. While other kids her age were having fun and experiencing young love, Natalie was enduring multiple surgeries to repair facial scarring. Now twenty-seven years old, she is shy and wary of being with a lot of people. Even though she feels everyone else whose lives were impacted by the crash has moved on, Natalie hasn't quite managed. She wants more answers; why would a successful business man and loving husband and father like Derry Kavanaugh get behind the wheel of his car with the equivalent of twenty drinks in his system? Natalie can think of only one man who may be capable of finding the answers: Liam Kavanaugh, former big-city cop turned Harbor Town chief of police...and son of Derry Kavanaugh.
Liam Kavanaugh is perplexed when he Natalie Reyes asks her to meet with him, but he is truly taken aback when she asks him to investigate the crash and his father's behavior that night. There's a part of Liam who has always known that there was something more to the way his father acted the night of the crash, so he accepts Natalie's offer. He is also attracted to Natalie and intrigued by this shy, beautiful woman. They are both surprised by the passion that overwhelms them, but it turns out to be a gift in a time of turmoil and uncertainty, as the investigation uncovers secrets long buried that have the potential to turn more than one person's life upside down.
Natalie is so fragile, but there is a core of strength deep inside her. Liam is a strong, yet sensitive man, the perfect person to bring Natalie out of her shell and show her just how beautiful she really is. They will touch your heart and make you believe that with love anything is possible. I highly recommend reading this series---a visit to Harbor Town is a perfect escape on a summer day.
**I have a signed copy of The Hometown Hero Returns and Liam's Perfect Woman which one lucky commenter will win.