Welcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts…
While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women’s correctional facility where she works, she’s always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life. Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison’s library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town’s charm – and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny.
Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they’ve owned for generations. But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her.
Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there’s only one real thing in life worth fighting for. . .
About the author:
Samantha Young is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. She’s been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Author and Best Romance for her international bestselling novel On Dublin Street. On Dublin Street was Samantha’s first adult contemporary romance and has been sold in twenty five countries. For more information about Samantha please visit:
I have a huge amount of love for this book, so much so that this is has the potential to be the most gushy review I’ve ever written, I’ll attempt to make some sense though so bare with me.
It’s so refreshing to read something that centres around the 30 something year olds getting a second chance at love, now I’ve crossed over the 30 barrier it’s easier to relate to and a little different to what I normally read. We meet Jessica a doctor at a woman’s prison, merely existing in life. After she finds some 40 year old love letters she takes a trip to deliver them to their rightful owner. She ends in the boardwalk town of Hartwell which thanks to Samantha’s incredible writing appears before your eyes, the description is so perfect, I just want to go and holiday there and never come back. Whilst there she meets the incredibly hot Cooper, owner of the local Boardwalk bar. Their chemistry is hot from the get go and it’s so easy to fall under Samantha’s spell and fall for the two of them.
The One Real Thing has a great cast of characters who each bring something different to the story. Jessica is a strong and sensitive female lead and likeable from the get go. I loved her friendship with Bailey (the owner of Hartwell’s inn) almost as much as I loved the romance between her and Cooper. I can’t wait to get to know more about the secondary characters as they get their own story.
I sometimes struggle with the start of a series and it takes half a book to settle in, mainly because there’s the whole getting to know all the new characters, the setting and the tone of the book but thanks to Samantha’s ability to tell a story as if it’s a movie playing in front of your eyes, I was so invested in the characters that I was clambering at the pages to turn them as quick as I could from the beginning.
This book filled so many holes without going over the top, I didn’t even realise I wanted a book to do so much until I read this. From the sadness of the love letters to the intrigue of Jessica’s secret, the evil rich guy to the bitchy ex wife it was all there packaged up by some beautiful writing waiting to settle upon my heart.
Now I’ve started the series I’m so invested in Hartwell I like the fact that as they’re companion novels we get to feel a completion of one couples story and then they take a back seat in further books whilst we still keep up to date with them. The intrigue that has been left for book two and beyond is exciting, even before Jessica’s story was complete I was already thinking of what I wanted to happen with Bailey and I really don’t know how I’ll cope having to wait for the next instalment, I need more Hartwell, now!
Being a huge fan on Samantha’s On Dublin Street series and her other contemporary romance I had high hopes for this book, but boy did it surpass those. Samantha has yet again left me in awe of the words she writes, the characters she creates and the stories she shares.
This book is easily one of the best books I’ve read and it’s without doubt romance writing at it’s ultimate best.