Dakota Jones is an investigative reporter whose career in broadcast news was finally starting to soar when it crashed because of a messy scandal. She leaves New York and returns home to Holly Grove Island, her small hometown in the Outer Banks, to hide out among family and friends and figure out her next move. Dakota doesn’t tell anyone the real reason she lost her job, unwilling to face the shame of her downfall. She had no idea that Dexter Roberts had also returned to the island, her first love who broke her heart in high school. It’s clear she still has strong feelings for him, and he for her, but can’t forgive him for their breakup.
Dexter is now an executive with a hotel resort and he’s never gotten over Dakota, even though he was the one who abruptly ended their relationship when he went off to college. He’s trying hard to at least develop a friendship but she’s not having it. Both are keeping secrets as they struggle to create a new “friendship” given that it’s a small island and they’re seeing each other daily, especially after Dakota accepts a job that guarantees that. I liked both of them as she’s smart, talented and devoted to her father who loves her unconditionally. He’s committed to his family, too, which is one of the reasons he returned to the island. And, Dexter is a really good man whose great at what he does and is full of regrets about Dakota.
First books in a new series have the responsibility of creating and developing not only the characters who will be part of it going forward but the community and setting that is an integral part of the stories. I loved the island community with its long history and stalwart residents who are passionate about maintaining its character. Dakota and Dexter have lots of friends and family that are strong secondary relationships that helped make this a lovely story. I liked the world created here in addition to the second chance romance between these two. Dakota’s unwillingness to be honest about her return bugged me but that was part of her identity that she had to confront and resolve. Dexter was a dream, despite his past and I just knew there was more to that. I really enjoyed the story, especially the romance past and present, and am looking forward to returning to this diverse and close knit town.
- Release Date: December 1, 2020
- Series: Holly Grove Island #1
- Page Numbers: 352
- Publisher: Forever
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(Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)