The One Who Stays

HQN: Harlequin. (Summer Island, Bk. 1). Aug. 2019. 448p. ISBN 9781335504982. pap. $7.99; ebk. ISBN 9781488085857. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
As the proprietor of her late grandmother’s inn on idyllic Summer Island, MI, Meg Sloane has been in no hurry to leave the peaceful lifestyle she’s grown accustomed to. If only her “it’s complicated” relationship with local fisherman Zach were a little more defined, and he would stick around for more than a few days at a time. At 39, Meg is yearning for more stability in her relationships, so hooking up with her handsome (and much younger) handyman, Seth Darden, is definitely not the best idea. Despite not knowing anything about the mysterious Seth’s past, Meg can’t help being drawn to his easy charm. The appearance of her grandmother’s teenage diary from the 1950s reveals a mirror love triangle from the past, as both grandmother and granddaughter are forced to decide whether to go with the familiar and comforting boyfriend or the potentially dangerous bad boy.
VERDICT The pages are practically drenched in the scent of lilacs and fresh paint in this delightful new series debut from Blake (“Destiny, Ohio” series). Readers looking for a gentle summer romance with a dose of family secrets will wish they could stay on Summer Island.

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