Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Review - - More Than Neighbors
More Than Neighbors
by Shannon Stacey
Blackberry Bay - Book 1
Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition
Release Date: June 16, 2020
Reviewed by PJ
The only thing they have in common is a property line!
He’s trying to uncover his past.
She’s hoping for a brighter future.
Cam Maguire is in Blackberry Bay to unravel a family secret. Meredith Price has moved next door with her daughter. He’s unattached. She’s a widowed single mom. He’s owned by a cat. She’s definitely team canine. All these neighbors have in common is a property line. One they cross…over and over. And Cam thought he knew what he wanted—until his family’s secret changes everything.
Shannon Stacey launches her new Blackberry Bay, small-town series with the charming More than Neighbors. This is such an enjoyable story, set in a lakeside town that Stacey brings to vibrant life. Cam and Meredith are relatable, well-developed characters who captured my interest and pulled me into their lives. Both are dealing with life-altering events that Stacey explores with care while keeping the overall tone of the story upbeat. I enjoyed watching Meredith find a new place for herself in her hometown, reconnect with childhood friends, and form new, adult relationships. She's evolving out of the initial grief following her husband's death and testing the waters of opening her heart again to the possibilities of love. I appreciate the time Stacey gives her to accept the desire she feels for Cam without taking away from her love for her late husband. I'm a pushover for relationships that evolve from prickly neighbors to backyard cookouts to unlikely, enduring love. So sigh-worthy.
Raised by cold, distant parents, Cam's life revolves around business and not much else. His journey to discover his secret connection to Blackberry Bay, both poignant and heartfelt, introduces him to a different way of life, one to which he is, quite surprisingly, adapting. Some might even say, appreciating. I love how he keeps insisting Elinor, the cat he inherits from the grandmother he never knew, isn't his pet (she so is). Watching Cam open his heart to love, laughter, and new possibilities was pure pleasure.
Six-year-old Sophie is adorable, authentic, and important to the story. I delighted in the simple pleasures she introduces to Cam's life, like getting his first library card and learning how to lick an ice cream cone to keep it from dripping. She's a charmer and Cam (who has never been around children) falls as hard for Sophie as he does for her mom. Round out the story with a yappy dog, an imperious cat, a collection of interesting townsfolk (more books!), and a surprising twist near the end, and you have the makings of just the kind of summer read that makes my heart happy.
If you're looking for a heartwarming, feel-good romance, with snappy banter, sweet emotion, and a happy, hopeful vibe, add Shannon Stacey's More than Neighbors to your summer reading list.