Book Review

by Kendra Leigh Castle

Genre: Contemporary Romance, General Contemporary Romance
Sensuality: HOT

RT Rating

Castle takes a break from demons to begin the Harvest Cove series, which starts off with a really good treatment of the high-school-misfit-comes-home trope. Not only is this a lovely romance, but it shows the lifelong scars bullying can leave, and the way our memories can be selective.

Sam Henry has no other choice but to return home to the small town where she was bullied during high school. The sight of her loving mother, still as free spirited as ever, as well as the warm smells of the kitchen, makes her remember the good parts of her childhood. But one bittersweet memory is front and center: when popular jock Jake Smith broke her heart. Jake is now the town vet, still living happily in the same town with his old friends. But he has never forgotten the misfit who intrigued him back in high school. When Sam comes back, he would like to renew their friendship, or whatever it was, but he also remembers how his friends treated her. Will Sam give him a chance? (SIGNET ECLIPSE, Jul., 352 pp., $7.99)

Reviewed By: Bunny Callahan


Published: July 2014

Reader Rating

4 Stars

Average Rating: 4 Stars
(1 ratings)

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LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of For the Longest Time

Submitted by MichelleLOlson on May 20, 2014 - 4:55pm.

*Copy gifted in exchange for an honest review

I spotted this and thought "oh that's different", as I'm used to this author delivering paranormal romance, so was intrigued to see her tackling a more contemporary and dare I say normal setting? As I have read her Dark Dynasties series, the idea of something set in a non magical New England seemed to be a total dichotomy. I've always considered New England to be a magical area in its own right even without the paranormal world encroaching upon it so with a willing heart and a fully charged kindle I prepared to be taken away by Ms Castle's imagination.

Sam is an artist at heart, but recent events in her life have seen her doubting her own talent. She's spent the last few years trying to make a name for herself in New York, but now she's at a crossroads in her life, and decides to return home to Harvest Cove were she grew up. The only problem is that when Sam left Harvest Cove she didn't just leave the town and her family behind... she left heartbreak and humiliation and she's about to come face to face with the very cause of it!

Jake was the uber jock at school, liked by all and part of the 'in crowd'. He had noticed the arty Sam, but her wild ways and unique style always cast her as a bit of an outsider. Now she's back, and they've all grown up. But have they really? It's a small town, and unfortunately, a small town mentality is not always healthy. Sam wants nothing to do with Jake but everyone deserves a second chance and Jakes quietly determined to seize his!

I found this to be a feel good type of story filled with warm characters and snatches of humor. Jake is a vet and uses Sam's soft spot for animals against her unashamedly, which made for several humorous moments in this story. There's a very strong feeling running through that prejudice can (and does) cause long term harm. Sam might not have been a typical New England teenager, but having her peers treat her like a freak was unkind, and the damage and memories have stayed with her. As Jake reconnects with Sam, he starts to realize that his own insecurities and those of his friends are nothing to be proud of, and his eyes become well and truly opened. Sam is a survivor and it was lovely to see her open up and finally realize some of her dreams.

For the Longest Time wasn't a particularly fast paced plot but a gentle story of two people reconnecting in spite of everything that's happened. I particularly liked the supporting characters, and was very interested in the undercurrents so would love to read more about them.

This was well written with believable dialogue so very easy to sink into, and I truly enjoyed my visit to Harvest Cove.