Category Archives: Sarah Morgan

Review: New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan

Title: New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan
From Manhattan with Love Series Book Four
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: C+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

One man. One woman. Two dogs. 

Meet Molly—New York’s most famous advice columnist, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they’re other people’s. Still bruised from her last breakup, Molly is in no rush to find happily-ever-after—the only love of her life is her dalmatian, Valentine.

Meet Daniel—A cynical divorce lawyer, he’s hardwired to think relationships are a bad idea. If you don’t get involved, no one can get hurt. Until he finds himself borrowing a dog to meet the gorgeous woman he sees running in Central Park every morning…

Molly and Daniel both think they know everything about relationships. But as they try—and fail—to resist their undeniable chemistry, they’ll soon discover they just might have a lot left to learn…

Review:

New York, Actually introduces readers to the Knight siblings, who will star in the next three installments of Sarah Morgan’s delightful From Manhattan with Love series. This fourth installment pairs up oldest brother Daniel Knight, a cynical divorce lawyer, with Molly Parker, a psychologist with an über popular relationship blog. While this newest release can easily be read a standalone, I highly recommend the previous novels as well.

After a scandal destroyed her both personally and professionally three years earlier, Molly decides to relocate from England to New York. She avoids romantic entanglements since she is convinced she does nothing but hurt the men she dates. Keeping busy with several classes, Molly is very close friends with her neighbors Mark and Gabe. Her steadfast companion is her rescue dog, Valentine, and together, they jog in Central Park every day where, unbeknownst to her, she has caught the eye of Daniel Knight.

A very successful lawyer with a thriving practice, Daniel works long hours and while he dates, he does not do relationships. With vivid memories of his parents’ acrimonious marriage, he is dedicated to helping his clients escape their unhappy unions. Daniel is surprised by his interest in the jogger he sees every day in the park and he devises a clever, if dishonest, scheme to meet her: he borrows a dog from his twin sisters, Fliss and Harriet.

Daniel’s plan comes to fruition to some degree since he does manage to engineer a meeting with Molly. However, he is stunned when she turns down his invitation to go out with him. The pair continue to run into each other but eventually, Daniel’s persistence begins to feel vaguely stalkerish. Molly uncovers his deception about being a dog owner and she finally ends up providing him with her address. The situation which finally brings them together feels contrived and it is quite annoying how easily Molly falls apart during a crisis.

While Molly and Daniel’s romance finally does take off, their individual issues and unresolved baggage continue to plague them. Given her career as a psychologist, Molly’s reasons for avoiding a relationship just do not ring true. Daniel’s past experiences from his childhood provide a valid basis not wanting to fall in love and in are refreshing change of pace, he is more open to taking their relationship to the next level.When Molly’s past is uncovered, will it bring her and Daniel closer or will it derail their fragile romance?

New York, Actually is a very slow moving but enjoyable romance between two extremely cautious protagonists. While this latest release has a few flaws, Sarah Morgan’s enticing glimpses of Fliss and Harriet will leave readers impatiently awaiting the next installments in the From Manhattan with Love series.

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Review: Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

Title: Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan
From Manhattan with Love Series Book Three
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

It will take a Christmas miracle for two very different souls to find each other in this perfectly festive fairy tale of New York! 

Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she’s given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn’t expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner.

Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife’s death looming, he’s isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn’t appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?

Review:

The third installment in Sarah Morgan’s heartwarming From Manhattan with Love series, Miracle on 5th Avenue is a delightfully charming opposites attract romance.

Eva Jordan is a bubbly, upbeat romantic who always tries to find the silver lining in every situation.  She fervently believes in happily ever after and although she has not yet met her Prince Charming, she has not yet given up hope she will find eventually find him. Eva is down to earth and although she always looks for the best in people, she is quite perceptive. She is rather chatty and she has an endearing tendency to speak whatever thought comes to mind.  Eva is a funny, kind-hearted and compassionate young woman who goes out of her way to help the people she cares about.

Crime writer Lucas Blade is cynical, jaded and has a bad habit of always looking for the worst in people.  He is still grieving the loss of his wife and he has become a virtual recluse in the three years since her death.   With both a book deadline and the holidays fast approaching, Lucas is at a very low point when he Eva enters his life.  Grumpy, rude and wanting to be left on his own, Lucas has no choice but to find a way to keep Eva by his side when she becomes the unexpected inspiration for his next book.

Despite their differences, a surprising friendship quickly springs up between Eva and Lucas.  She refuses to let his negativity bring her down and her unrelenting cheerful attitude slowly but surely begins to have a positive effect on Lucas.  With a genuine affection growing between them, they reveal the hidden parts of themselves that they have not felt comfortable showing anyone else.  A mutual attraction simmers beneath the surface but for various reasons, they try to fight giving in to their desire.  However, it is inevitable that they act on their passion but will Lucas’s complicated past prevent them from finding their happily ever after?

Miracle on 5th Avenue is a captivating addition to Sarah Morgan’s  From Manhattan with Love series.  Both Lucas and Eva are complex characters with realistic flaws and human foibles that readers will find easy to relate to.  The rapport between Lucas and Eva is instantaneous despite their somewhat unconventional first meeting and it is an absolute joy watching their friendship deepen into love.  This enchanting love story will melt readers’ hearts as it comes to a sweetly romantic conclusion.

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Review: Sunset in Central Park by Sarah Morgan

Title: Sunset in Central Park by Sarah Morgan
From Manhattan with Love Series Book Two
Publisher: HQN books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

In the chaos of New York, true love can be hard to find, even when it’s been right under your nose all along…

Love has never been a priority for garden designer Frankie Cole. After witnessing the fallout of her parents’ divorce, she’s seen the devastation an overload of emotion can cause. The only man she feels comfortable with is her friend Matt—but that’s strictly platonic. If only she found it easier to ignore the way he makes her heart race…

Matt Walker has loved Frankie for years but, sensing how fragile she is beneath her feisty exterior, has always played it cool. But then he uncovers new depths to the girl he’s known forever and doesn’t want to wait a moment longer. He knows Frankie has secrets and has buried them deep, but can Matt persuade her to trust him with her heart and kiss him under the Manhattan sunset?

Review:

The second installment in Sarah Morgan’scharming From Manhattan with Love series,Sunset in Central Park is an absolutely delightful friends to lovers romance. In this outing, relationship shy Frankie Cole is stunned by her sudden attraction to her longtime friend, Matt Walker. Convinced there is no such as happily ever after, Frankie is afraid to risk ruining their friendship by dating but will Matt persuade her to  give him (and them) a chance?

After her parents’ devastating divorce, Frankie has a jaundiced outlook on love and marriage.  She goes out of her to be as inconspicuous as possible and she has her barriers firmly in place.  Although she is quite close to her best friends, Eva and Matt’s sister Paige, she shies away from physical affection and she closely guards her secrets.  Frankie is an introvert who enjoys her solitude, but when one of her friends needs her, she puts aside her uneasiness with messy emotions to offer support and comfort.  Having successfully avoided relationships, Frankie is hopelessly inept when it comes to flirting and she is horrified by her sudden awareness of Matt.  Although experience tells her relationships are doomed to fail, Frankie tentatively agrees to an “undate” with Matt.  Pleasantly surprised by how much fun they have together, they are soon spending all of their time together, but will Frankie’s fears ruin their chance at happiness?

Matt is incredibly sweet, patient and sympathetic once he understands the reasons Frankie is so cynical about love and marriage. He is certain they belong together and he is willing to give her as much time and space she needs to trust him with her heart.  Matt is surprised by the realization that although he has known her for the most of her life, he still has much to learn about the woman who has captured his heart.  She is surprisingly open with him about her past and while he understands why she is so cautious, Matt does not allow her fears to interfere with their burgeoning romance.  However, just as Frankie is finally making peace with her painful childhood, her insecurities threaten to permanently derail their relationship.

Sunset in Central Park is a wonderful novel of healing, love and friendship.  Frankie has plenty of emotional baggage to deal with and Matt is the perfect person to help her overcome her deep-seated fears.  Eva and Paige are on hand to offer both Matt and Frankie gentle encouragement and sound advice as they traverse the tricky transformation from friends to lovers.  This warm and witty addition to the From Manhattan with Love series is sure to be a hit with old and new fans Sarah Morgan.

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Filed under Contemporary, From Manhattan with Love Series, Harlequin, HQN Books, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Sarah Morgan, Sunset in Central Park

Review: Some Kind of Wonderful by Sarah Morgan

some kind wonderfulTitle: Some Kind of Wonderful by Sarah Morgan
Puffin Island Series Book Two
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan will sweep you away with her Puffin Island series! In a town where anything can happen, sometimes love can be found in the most unlikely place of all…

Her whole life, Puffin Islander Brittany Forrest has dreamed of adventure. And at the age of eighteen, she thought she’d found it in bad boy Zachary Flynn. But after just ten tempestuous, smoldering days, their whirlwind marriage went up in smoke, and Brittany resolved to put him out of her mind forever.

Zach knows he let Brittany down, but being back on Puffin Island and seeing Brittany again stirs up long-buried emotions. This daredevil pilot has never felt worthy of her, yet he can’t stay away-even when he knows the chemistry between them will only complicate his life.

As long, hot summer days on the beach dissolve into sultry, starry nights, Brittany and Zach find that the sparks between them are more powerful than ever. Could it be that the second time around, their dreams of a happy-ever-after will finally come true?

Review:

Some Kind of Wonderful by Sarah Morgan is a beautiful second chance at love romance for Brittany Forrest and Zach Flynn. This second novel in the delightful Puffin Island series is also a wonderful story of healing not just for the couple, but also for Zach as he finally begins to open his heart to his friends and makeshift family.

Ten years earlier, Brittany and Zach’s whirlwind marriage ended in divorce and they each went their separate ways. Brittany went on to college as planned and fulfilled her dream of becoming an archeologist. Zach turned his love of flying into a lucrative career as a private pilot in remote areas such as Alaska. Both have recently returned to Puffin Island and while their smoking hot attraction has not diminished in the intervening years, neither is ready to face their shared past or enter into another relationship.

Brittany is open, trusting and positively radiates happiness. Her childhood on Puffin Island was pretty much a dream come true but she was eager to experience life off island as well. Her career has taken her all over the world but Puffin Island remains near and dear to her heart and when she needs a place to recuperate after breaking her wrist, Brittany heads back to the loving and close-knit community and her friends.

Unbeknownst to Brittany, Zach, too, has returned to Puffin Island where he now runs a private airplane charter in addition to helping out at the wilderness camp that changed the entire course of his life. Despite turning his life around, he carries both invisible and visible scars from his abusive childhood and sadly, even into adulthood, he is emotionally closed off, unable to trust and incapable of seeing how much the people in his life love him. While some islanders (and Zach) continue to view him as the troubled youth he once was, most everyone else recognizes his kindness and compassion (which is brilliantly showcased in two particularly heartwarming (and poignant) scenes that are incredibly moving).

While Brittany tries to remain unemotional and detached, she is still hurt and angry over their failed marriage. She grudgingly accepts his help and as their paths continue to cross, it is quite apparent to both of them their desire has not waned in the intervening years. Brittany hides her attraction behind indifference but Zach is not quite able to mask his passion for his ex. Older and wiser, she makes peace with their tumultuous past which eventually smooths the way for them to renew their friendship. Zach remains guarded as they give in to their explosive desire but Brittany respects his need for emotional space. Feeling less threatened, he begins to open up about his dysfunctional past and once he realizes Brittany is not going to push for more than he is ready to give, Zach begins to relax. However, just as it appears they have a good chance at a future together, a major misunderstanding threatens their happiness.

Although a bit slow paced and repetitive for about the first hundred pages, Some Kind of Wonderful is nonetheless a captivating and emotional romance that is ultimately a very sweet and sexy addition to Sarah Morgan’s Puffin Island series.

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Filed under Contemporary, Harlequin, HQN Books, Puffin Island Series, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Sarah Morgan, Some Kind of Wonderful

Review: First Time in Forever by Sarah Morgan

time foreverTitle: First Time in Forever by Sarah Morgan
Puffin Island Series Book One
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 377 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Summary:

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, Lizzy, to arriving on Puffin Island, her life has become virtually unrecognizable. Between desperately safeguarding Lizzy 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?

Review:

First Time in Forever is the first novel in Sarah Morgan’s Puffin Island series set on an island off the coast of Maine. The setting is the perfect backdrop for this charming story of love, friendship and community. The cast of characters is beautifully rendered and their personal growth is impressive. A truly captivating romance that I absolutely loved and highly recommend.

Emily Donovan desperately needs a quiet place to gather her bearings and escape public scrutiny after she unexpectedly becomes the guardian of her six year old niece, Lizzie. She is out of her depth in so many ways and while Puffin Island is a tranquil location, the surroundings compound her anxiety. Knowing how Emily could use a little extra support as she deals with all of the changes in her life, her good friend Brittany asks islander Ryan Cooper to look in on Emily and Lizzie. Ryan and Emily are attracted to each other, but a permanent relationship seems impossible when the unresolved issues from their respective pasts come between them.

Emily closed off her heart following a childhood tragedy and she refuses to let herself love anyone.  She is also convinced she is the last person who should take care of a child and she is afraid to let Lizzie out of her sight. Emily is so far out of her comfort zone, she is nearly paralyzed in fear. She is desperate to keep Lizzie safe but in trying to safeguard her own heart, Emily keeps Lizzie at arm’s length. Once she accepts that Lizzie is in her life for good, Emily realizes she cannot let her fears color Lizzie’s perception of the world around her. Emily courageously conquers her demons for Lizzie’s sake and quickly realizes she will do anything to protect Lizzie. Even if that means giving up the man she is beginning to love.

Ryan is a very kind-hearted, compassionate man, but he has no interest in a long term relationship. This does not stop him from helping Emily navigate the difficult waters of instant parenthood. He genuinely likes Lizzie and he is very comfortable with her. He senses there is more to the situation with the two than Emily lets on and it does not take him very long to get her to open up to him about some of her past. He respects her need privacy and he goes out of his way to protect both of them. Ryan pushes her out of her comfort zone and in doing so, he helps her overcome some of her worst fears. The two give in to their desire, but Ryan remains steadfast in his decision to keep their relationship superficial. He truly does not understand Emily’s decision to break things off, but a heart to heart with someone dear to him offers him a different perspective on some of his long held beliefs.

First Time in Forever is an incredibly heartwarming and uplifting novel of love and healing. The characters are three-dimensional with realistic flaws and problems to overcome. Adding to the story’s charm is the setting and Sarah Morgan has created an authentic community that is very supportive and loving.

First Time in Forever is a feel good read that has an all star cast of fantastic characters, a sweet romance and a warmly inviting setting.  I absolutely loved it and I cannot wait for the next installment in the Puffin Island series.

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Filed under Contemporary, First Time in Forever, Harlequin, HQN Books, Puffin Island Series, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Sarah Morgan