Holiday in the Hamptons
By Sarah Morgan
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Release Date: August 29, 2017
Reviewed by Janga
Reviewed by Janga
Felicity Knight is pleased with the success she and her sister, Harriet, are having with their dog-walking business, the Bark Rangers. Six years into the business, their bottom line looks very good indeed. Fliss has ideas to expand their growing business into pet sitting, grooming, and obedience classes as soon as she talks Harriet into the changes. Her twin sister and their brother, Daniel and his new love are important parts of her life, and a she has a coterie of caring friends. Life in Manhattan is good, or it was. One night three weeks ago, Daniel ran into Seth Carlyle and learned that Seth was in Manhattan filling in at the very vet clinic the Knights patronize. Fliss has spent three weeks trying to avoid Seth, the man to whom she was married for less than three months when they were in their teens and whom she has spent the past decade trying to forget.
When Fliss’s grandmother calls seeking Harriet’s help for several weeks while Gram recovers from a fall, Fliss allows Gram to think she is Harriet and agrees to spend several weeks at Gram’s home in the Hamptons. When she was a child, her grandmother’s home was a sanctuary, a place where Fliss was free of her father’s verbal abuse for the golden summer days she, her siblings, and their mother spent away from the man who was a blight on all their lives. It was during these summers that she met Seth. For ten years, Fliss has returned only for brief visits, but if her grandmother’s house gives her a way to avoid a meeting with Seth, it will prove once again to be a sanctuary.
The death of his father ten months ago led Seth Carlyle to reconsider his own life and how it needed to change. He made a major change when he left California and moved back East. He made another change when he ended a relationship that was going nowhere. Now he is determined that he and Fliss need to have a conversation. Seth needs her to answer some questions to give him closure and allow him to get on with his life. Talking to Fliss was his reason for coming to New York City, but she succeeds in avoiding him. He returns to the Hamptons and to his veterinary practice there and the home near Sag Harbor that he is remodeling.
Fliss and Seth finally meet when Fliss is tricked by Lulu, Seth’s lab-retriever mix. Fliss is horrified because she thinks she struck the dog with her car. Lulu is fine. She was only acting, but Fliss is anything but fine when she faces Lulu’s owner. In the stress of the moment, she tells Seth that she is Harriet. Seth knows the truth in less than two minutes, but he plays along with the lie that will snowball before Fliss admits the truth.
Ten years of unhealed wounds, unanswered questions, and unfulfilled yearning cannot be overcome quickly. Fliss is damaged by years of emotional abuse. She identifies herself as the “bad twin” and feels unworthy of love. Her coping strategy is to deny her feelings and set up barriers that are almost impenetrable even by those who love her most. Seth is still grieving the loss of his father and has his own wounds over the way his marriage to Tess ended. It will take time, a friend’s crisis, and a sister’s intervention before Fliss and Seth find the courage to be honest and vulnerable and open to the risks and wonders of love.
Holiday in the Hamptons is the fifth entry in Morgan’s From Manhattan with Love series. It is vintage Morgan in its blend of the comic and the poignant and in its interweaving of a sigh-worthy romance with defining family issues and their lingering effects. There is no story I love more than a believable, emotion-packed tale of reunited lovers. This one is stellar. Fliss’s past, both her childhood suffering and her history with Seth, are sufficient to explain her behavior. Readers who have always suspected there was more pain behind Fliss’s mask of sometimes flippant toughness than the difficult years she shared with Harriet and Daniel will have their suspicions confirmed. Seth’s relationship with his father, so different from Fliss’s experience with hers, makes it difficult for him to understand Fliss’s emotional reticence and, at the same time, gives him the stability to be sensitive and patient. I was glad to see him reveal some flaws, else he would have seemed too good to be true.
There are some wonderfully funny moments in this book, but there are also moments that moved me to tears—and not all were between Fliss and Seth. The supporting cast, from a newborn to the octogenarian Poker Princesses to the dogs (Charlie, Gram’s beagle, and Hero, Matilda’s Doberman, plus Lulu), are terrific. I especially loved seeing more of Matilda and Chase Adams, the heroine and hero from Midnight at Tiffany’s, the novella that introduced the series. Also, Harriet’s demonstration of strength serves as a significant plot point in this book and as an ideal setup for her book, Moonlight over Manhattan (October 5), which is next.
Morgan’s recent Rita® win for Miracle on 5th Avenue, the third book in this series, should signal anyone still in doubt that she is an author to be reckoned with in contemporary romance. I never miss a Sarah Morgan single-title, and she has another winner in Holiday in the Hamptons. If you love contemporary romance, I highly recommend this book.
I have a print copy of Sarah Morgan's Sleepless in Manhattan for one randomly chosen person who leaves a comment before 11:00 PM, September 6. (U.S. only)
I have thoroughly enjoyed this series.ReplyDelete
Glad to hear you're enjoying it, cheryl.Delete
Don't enter my name in the giveaway. I already have this book. :-)Delete
When you're retired, every day is supposed to be a holiday. But the work and chores continue and then you begin to ask yourself that age old question: How did I find time to have a job?ReplyDelete
This book sounds delightful and I look forward to reading it.
Happy Labor Day, everyone!
I have absolutely no idea how I got so much done while working 40+ hours a week!Delete
Great review! I love this author and this series. I can't wait to read it. We're relaxing this weekend, and I've started some fall projects--I can't wait for autumn.ReplyDelete
I have not come across this author's books, but will be on the lookout for them. Have spent this holiday weekend testing vegan recipes for my son. He is studying abroad this year and some of his go-to ingredients are not as available so have been researching.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the review. Any book with dogs is a winner.ReplyDelete
I was looking forward to reading this book, so it's nice that you enjoyed it so much. Somehow from the prior book, I got the idea that Seth was the cause of their break-up, but it sounds more like Fliss contributed to it. No need to enter me in the drawing. I already have a copy of Sleepless in Manhattan.
She's a new to me author but this book sounds wonderful, kind of a dramedy of the best kind.ReplyDelete
I didn't have much plans so I've pretty much been doing laundry and reading in between.
I've read the first 3 books in this series. Love it. Yesterday we went to our nephews for a cookout and the kids played in the pool. Today we hosted our aunts who are in their 90's. Fun time had by all.ReplyDelete
Spending the holiday with family (cookout). Thanks for the opportunity to read "Sleepless in Manhattan" and for posting review of "Holiday in the Hamptons".ReplyDelete
This sounds like another wonderful book by Sarah Morgan!! I spent much of this weekend making spaghetti sauce, using tomatoes from our garden, that we freeze and use throughout the year.ReplyDelete
This has been a working weekend, not a vacation weekend. We spent last week at a conference in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. It was wonderful, peaceful, no cell phone coverage, and little wifi. It was wonderfully relaxing and interesting. Now I have to work twice as hard to catch up on all that needs to be don the next few weeks. My husband played golf with our grandson today and I sorted things for a church yard sale and household goods for a Red Cross partnership program that helps supply items for homeless vets who finally move into housing. There are several events to work on for our Honor Flight group to raise funds and prepare for our next trip the first part of October. My husband did grill a nice steak with a baked salad and green beans for supper. Hope you had a wonderful Holiday weekend.ReplyDelete
We just had a low-key, laid-back weekend. No travel, no company. And I got lots of reading done! My kind of holiday! 😉ReplyDelete
We spent the day with the grandchildren - 4 5 and under and had a memorable day with fun, picnics, games and enjoyment.ReplyDelete
A lovely day filled with fun, food, laughter, walks and family.ReplyDelete
Spent the weekend with a wonderful friend who was visiting and anticipating/dreading the start of a new school year. I am so anxious to read Sarah's books but haven't been able to squeeze them in yet!! Your review makes me think I need to shift them higher on my t-b-r mountain:)ReplyDelete