Dare Island - Book 3
By Virginia Kantra
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Hardworking attorney Kate Dolan has dedicated her life to helping women and children in difficult situations. Because Kate is Executor of Taylor's mother's estate but mostly because the dead woman was Kate's employee and friend, she is determined to see that Taylor is placed with the right people. Based on her own experiences as the daughter of a Marine, Kate is initially not certain Luke Fletcher is the best person for that role. She thinks she knows what to expect when Luke returns from Afghanistan but the reality is vastly different from her expectations. Instead of the harsh, controlling, short-tempered man she expects, she finds him to be caring, funny, honorable...and desirable. Oh, so desirable. But while Kate may be willing to indulge in a mutually satisfying affair, she has tall walls around her heart and no idea how to be part of a close, loving family like the Fletchers. It will take a special man with the patience and insight to see beyond her starchy, aloof exterior to the tender heart beneath to earn Kate's trust and love. Luckily for us, Luke Fletcher is a very special man.
In Carolina Man, Kantra takes readers back to Dare Island and into the heart of the Fletchers, a family quickly becoming one of my fictional favorites. While this book tells the very satisfying love story of Kate and Luke, there are many layers to this journey; other important threads to follow. We see the changes that have occurred in the Fletcher family dynamics following the accident that seriously injured Tess (Luke's mother). We follow the progression Tess has made in her recovery, the changes in her relationships with her husband and children. We journey with Matt and Allison as well as Meg and Sam as they move toward marriage. Then there's Matt's son, sixteen-year-old Josh. It's so enjoyable to watch his journey from a boy to a man. (I'm hoping Kantra will stay on Dare Island long enough to tell his story!)
Josh's relationship with Taylor is especially heartwarming and Luke and Kate hit all the right notes for me but it's Luke and Taylor who completely steal my heart in this story. Kantra has done a superb job of showing the journey these two take from initial awkwardness to tentative trust to finally accepting love for one another in their hearts. However, their journey to a happy ending (for Luke, Taylor and Kate) is not without it's share of potholes, including the unveiling of the secret that has plagued Taylor with nightmares since she was first introduced in book one of the series, Carolina Home.
While Carolina Man is able to stand on its own it's because of the continuing threads above that I strongly recommend reading the three books, Carolina Home, Carolina Girl and Carolina Man, in order. When I began reading this series I anticipated a three-book trilogy for the three Fletcher siblings. By the time I reached the end of Luke's story I knew I was nowhere ready to say good-bye to Dare Island or the people who call it home. I am so excited to know I won't have to! Kantra's next book, Carolina Blues will tell the story of hot cop Jack Rossi, Dare Island's sexy Chief of Police. I've punched my ticket for my next trip to Virginia Kantra's Dare Island. As long as she keeps setting stories there, I'll keep returning right along with her. For me, I hope those visits continue for many years to come.
*ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Are you reading Virginia Kantra's Dare Island series? Do you like small-town romances? What are some of your favorites?
BONUS GIVEAWAY: We are giving away a signed set of the first two Dare Island books, Carolina Home and Carolina Girl to a randomly chosen person leaving a comment on today's post. (U.S. only) Deadline for leaving a comment is Midnight (EST), March 15th.