Starting Over on Sunshine Corner
by Phoebe Mills
Release Date: February 7, 2023
Reviewed by PJ
A busy single-mom. A laid-back bachelor. One
unforgettable night that changes their friendship—and their lives—forever . . .
Single-mom Rebecca Hayes has been so focused on raising her daughter and
building her finance career, she’s not sure she even remembers how to date. The
only man she’s been out with is Jackson, her very close—and very
attractive—friend. But Becca isn’t getting her hopes up after they crossed the
line one memorable night—she knows Jackson too well. So when she discovers
she’s pregnant with his baby, Becca isn’t sure she can count on Jackson anymore
. . .
Fatherhood isn’t something Jackson Lowe saw for himself. He figured he’d just
keep working at his family's landscaping business, surfing and being a happily
unattached bachelor. But in his heart, he longs to build a family with
Rebecca—his secret crush and the real reason he never settled down. He’s got a
lot of work to do before she’ll believe he’s all in. He’s been the man Becca
wants. Now, Jackson has to prove he’s ready to be the man she needs.
I have been thoroughly enjoying the stories surrounding this close-knit group of friends (and family) in Phoebe Mills' Sunshine Corner series. This time it's Becca and Jackson in the spotlight, in a friends-to-lovers / opposites-attract romance with a few surprises along the way.
I love how Mills doesn't shy away from tossing her characters into the deep end of emotional upheaval while still maintaining an upbeat vibe in her books. There's emotional depth but also plenty of humor, especially when friends and families get together. I don't know if Mills is from a large family but she sure gets the sibling dynamic.
Both Jackson and Becca are dealing with family issues while also exploring building a relationship different from what they've had as best friends since high school. For Jackson, he's struggling to figure out what he wants career wise. His father is pressuring him to take over the family company but Jackson knows he'd wither on the vine if forced into an office job when his passion is surfing. But he also knows that Becca needs the stability of a sure thing. And then there's the fact that, as the youngest son, everyone still treats him like he's a goof-off who lacks ambition. Not so. I love how much he has always (secretly) loved Becca, how well he understands her, and how hard he works to be the best possible partner and provider, in every way.
Becca's chaotic and abusive childhood has had a lasting impact on her as an adult. Jackson has always been her best friend but she's never felt inclined to change that status, even now when she's pregnant from their one night stand. Truth is, she doesn't handle change of any kind well and that includes emotional closeness. I appreciate how the author moves her relationship with Jackson forward at a slow pace, giving her the time she needs to figure things out. The progression of her feelings and their relationship as a couple are portrayed realistically, given her hang ups. By the time I reached the end of the book (loved that epilogue!), I was confident in their love and future happiness.
This is the third book in Mills' Sunshine Corner series. It stands well on its own but readers should be aware that the community of characters from the first two books are also prominently featured in this one, with one heroine in particular struggling with new motherhood. I love following the relationships of previous couples but if you'd rather not meet them for the first time post-HEA, you may want to begin with book one, The House on Sunshine Corner then follow that with A Wedding on Sunshine Corner. Both are currently available at a reduced e-book price.
Thanks for the terrific review. Not sure how it happened, but this is another new to me author. And I like the way this series sounds. Thanks again.ReplyDelete
It is always nice to visit a close community and the characters that inhabit it. Each book is a trip back to meet new friends, get to know old friends better, and catch up on what old friends have been up to. This sounds like a good series.ReplyDelete