I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Summer on Moonlight Bay by Hope Ramsay
Series: Moonlight Bay #2
Published by Forever on 2019-08-06
Length: 717 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2019, 2019 New Release Challenge
Only one thing can make veterinarian Noah Cuthbert return to Magnolia Harbor-his mother's failing health. He'll do anything to help his family, including taking a short-term gig at the local animal clinic. What he doesn't count on is getting up-close-and-personal with the clinic's new manager, a woman whose love and compassion for every stray that crosses her path has him rethinking his plans to head back to his big-city life...
After her time in the Navy, Lia wants nothing more than to settle down. The quaint seaside town is just what she'd been hoping for, and not just because her new boss is movie-star handsome. As they grow closer, Lia starts wondering if Noah could be the one. But when a town crisis forces Noah to take a stand that jeopardizes their new-found happiness, can Lia convince him that home doesn't have to be a four-letter word?
Summer on Moonlight Bay by Hope Ramsay is the second book in the Moonlight Bay series, set in the fictional town of Magnolia Harbor, South Carolina. I have a slight obsession with small town romances. I love the recurring characters and quaint settings, the nostalgic feel (even if it’s set in today’s time), and beauty/gossip of living in a small town. This particular book follows two vets, a veteran and veterinarian, one returning home to move his mother and the other searching for a permanent place to call home. Poignantly written, Summer on Moonlight Bay touched my heart and left me smiling.
Lia DiPalma is a lost soul. She’s spent her life wandering, first with her mother who never put down any roots, and more recently with the Navy. Having left after a bad judgment call that cost someone else everything, Lia carries guilt with her in every step. When she learns that her former CO is now the pastor at a church from his hometown, she decides to follow him there in the hopes of taking a job as his secretary. Lia takes a detour when an emaciated puppy needs her help which leads her to a clinic in the same town and a reluctant vet.
Noah Cuthbert returned to Magnolia Harbor for one reason and that’s his mother and her failing health. He’s determined to pack her and his baby sister up and move them back to Charleston with him. She has other plans. When his grandmother calls him about a puppy hit by a car, his mind flashes back to his pup, taken when he was a boy. He can’t say no when he knows that he could help. After, his mother makes a deal with him. She’ll go at the end of summer if he will work at the clinic while they find a new vet for it. He agrees, but he doesn’t plan on falling for the clinic’s new manager, Lia.
My favorite part of this book is the build-up to Noah and Lia’s romance. It’s a slow-burn, and the author builds to its climax beautifully. Noah and Lia carry a lot of regrets and guilt. Noah’s relationship with his father and younger brother is strained, and Noah blames himself for that. He refuses to offer forgiveness to his father, and it eventually builds to a head. Lia’s past with her own brother and mother affect her today. She’s insecure and a drifter. She’s never stayed in one place long enough to make friends. But in Magnolia Harbor, without the Navy, Lia finds herself building a home and relationships. I love the character growth for both Lia and Noah throughout this story. It progresses naturally, and if I didn’t know better, I’d think they were real life people.
Overall I really enjoyed Summer on Moonlight Bay. Lia and Noah’s story will tug at your heartstrings, but ultimately leave you satisfied. And Magnolia Bay!!! I love this little town. The Peace Makers, the St. Pierre family, Rafferty’s, and the softball game….all these details make Magnolia Bay a town that could really exist anywhere in the Southeast. I found myself feeling right at home with Jackie and his ghost, and the sweet treats from Ashley Scott’s kitchen made my mouth water. If you are looking for a sweet escape with a HEA, look no further than Moonlight Bay.