Series: Puffin Island #1
Published by HQN Books on 24 February 2015
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
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?
Emily Donovan finds herself in a role she never thought she’d be in when she’s suddenly thrust into the role of caregiver to the six year old niece she didn’t know she had. She runs off to Puffin Island with her niece hoping to find a place where she can hide out and figure out what she’s going to do next. She doesn’t anticipate Ryan Cooper sticking to her like glue or that the close knit community would welcome her and Lizzy with open arms . But this island community becomes the place for her to let go of her fears and finally feel free.
I was hard not to like Emily, even at first when she was stiff and closed off. She was taking on things she was in no way prepared for but did anyway, so it endeared her to me. And as she grew more comfortable, confident and letting people in, the real Emily started to come out. Someone who was loving, caring and fun. Someone who was willing to try and overcome her fears in order to show her niece she could fight her fear. And I really liked her with Ryan. He challenged her, most of the time when she didn’t want the challenge, but that often made her self reflect and understand she needed a change.
It was hard not to fall for Ryan’s charm. He was pushy, but he had a way of using that charm and wit to get what he wanted or, in Emily’s case, to take up the challenge she posed. Despite professing to be a confirmed bachelor and not wanting much to do with kids, Ryan had a hard time staying away from both Emily and Lizzy. It was lovely to watch him fall for both the girls, even as he insisted he was just keeping his promise to a friend.
FIRST TIME IN FOREVER is a perfect beach read and a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.
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