Monday, January 19, 2015

Holding on to Nothing - Lori's Review of FIRST TIME IN FOREVER by Sarah Morgan

Title: First Time in Forever
Author: Sarah Morgan
Publisher: HQN Books
Publication Date: 2/24/2015
Source: ARC from publisher through Netgalley

Windswept, isolated and ruggedly beautiful, Puffin Island is a haven for day-trippers and daydreamers alike. But this charming community has a way of bringing people together in the most unexpected ways… 

It's been a summer of firsts for Emily Donovan. From becoming a stand-in mom to her niece Lizzie to arriving on Puffin Island, her life has become virtually unrecognizable. Between desperately safeguarding Lizzie and her overwhelming fear of the ocean—which surrounds her everywhere she goes!—Emily has lost count of the number of "just breathe" pep talks she's given herself. And that's before charismatic local yacht club owner Ryan Cooper kisses her… 

Ryan knows all about secrets. And it's clear that newcomer Emily—with her haunted eyes and the little girl she won't let out of her sight—is hiding from something besides the crazy chemistry between them. So Ryan decides he's going to make it his personal mission to help her unwind and enjoy the sparks! But can Puffin Island work its magic on Emily and get her to take the biggest leap of trust of all—putting her heart in someone else's hands?

USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes hot, happy contemporary romance and her trademark humour and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. She has been nominated four years in succession for the prestigious RITA© Award from the Romance Writers of America and has won the award twice, in 2012 and 2013. She also won the RT Reviewers' Choice Award in 2012 and has made numerous appearances in their 'Top Pick' slot. 

Sarah lives near London, and when she isn't reading or writing she loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying. 

Readers can find out more about Sarah and her books from her website She can also be found on Facebook and Twitter (@SarahMorgan_)

This was an incredibly sweet story.  I loved that it was a romance, but there were so many other things going on in the background.

Emily has just discovered that she has become the sole guardian of her niece whom she has never met. While her sister was in Hollwood making a name for herself, Emily was busy hiding behind numbers and business suits.  Now she is suddenly without a job, responsible for a little girl, and on the run from the ruthless LA paparazzi.  Emily takes her niece to Puffin Island, off the coast of Maine, where Emily spent time with her college friends when on breaks from classes.

Ryan is instantly attracted to the beautiful newcomer to the island.  Having practically raised his younger siblings, Ryan has sworn off children.  Forever.  But something about Emily and Lizzy pulls at him and he finds that he just can't stay away from either of them.

I've been searching for something to replace The Lucky Harbor series by Jill Shalvis.  While Lucky Harbor is in a class of it's own, I have a good feeling about this Puffin Island series.  Both have the same quaint, small town feel with a close knit cast of colorful characters.  Both bring a hint of steam to heartwarming romance along with some necessary humor.

I enjoyed watching Emily come to terms with the fact that she was suddenly responsible for another human being.  I won't spoil things, but I will say that this is the heart of Emily's fear; having someone else be dependent on her for their well-being.  She is terrified, but also she is a fierce protector of the little girl that she didn't even know.

Ryan was extremely sweet.  He was in charge and made his attraction very well known to Emily. What he didn't understand was how to reconcile his past with his feelings about Lizzy. These days Ryan is a much sought after business owner on the island, but it's his past that may destroy all that he has planned for himself and Emily.  

I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a small town romance.

4 out of 5 stars.

Lily Allen - Holding on to Nothing

I can't seem to find the strength
What's the point of keeping you at arms length

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