The Cover Story~
Can people truly change?
Two things keep Holly Campbell grounded: her precocious son and preserving her forty-year-old family diner in the face of expansion and change. She doesn't need a blast from the past like Luke Saxon, who's back in Butterfly Harbor after more than a decade away. The hard-luck kid who nearly destroyed her family, leaving her to pick up the pieces, is taking over as sheriff. She can't trust him, even if Luke's ideas for the town's upcoming anniversary seem to show he's trying to give back to their community. Has Butterfly Harbor found its unlikely savior? And has the widowed single mother finally found a man she can believe in, rely on…and love?
Sharing my takeaway~
Let's start with what I didn't like about this book. Hmmm.
Well, that was quick. lol.
The cover hooked me, but I confess the title scared me a little. Since I'd not read anything by Anna J. Stewart before, I worried that this book might contain graphic scenes. But it's a Heartwarming, so I decided to take a chance. I'm glad I did. Heartwarming is definitely an apt description.
Luke bumped Holly's father out of his job as sheriff, and Holly blamed him for her family's breakup. They had more than a few bumps on the road to romance.
"Owning up to our mistakes, to our misgivings about people, is what makes us better people."
Luke blamed himself too. A son of an alcoholic father, Luke was abused, physically and emotionally. Stepping foot in his childhood house again releases ugly memories.
"Eight years in the ground and his father could still chip away at Luke's self-worth. Luke had been a soldier and a cop, but in his mind, he'd always hear his father beating him down, telling him he'd never amount to anything. That he would always be unworthy of respect, let alone affection."
Holly's father never stopped believing in Luke and was the driving force behind the new Luke. While this isn't a Christian romance, I pictured our spiritual father. Always believing in us, always encouraging, never giving up on us. That starts a "pay it forward" theme for Luke as he comes back to help Butterfly Harbor regain its footing, a different man than the one who left. An unlikely companion and a kid following a similar path as Luke's help Luke find peace with his past. But Holly and her precocious son Simon offer hope for the future.
Secondary characters play a big role in this story, and I hope we'll read about their stories in future books. More than focusing on romance, though, The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor is about hope and overcoming obstacles, about forgiveness and relationships, about forging a different path for the future than the sorry one left behind. Thankfully, the worry about explicit scenes was unfounded. I'm glad I took a chance on The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor, and I'll be looking for more by Anna J. Stewart. If you're looking for something light and flirty, this isn't the book. But, if you'd like to dig into something a bit meatier and heavy on the heartstrings, definitely check this one out. :)
Disclaimer: I purchased my own copy of this book. I was in no way compensated and this is my fair and unbiased review.
Labels: Anna J. Stewart, Book Review, Excited about Reading, Harlequin Heartwarming, The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor