A reunion story punctuated by family drama, Woods’ first novel in her new Ocean Breeze series is touching, tense and tantalizing. Overall, there is a good balance of lighthearted banter and the deeply felt emotions of love, loss and regret. The story is stilted in places when characters lecture each other and misunderstandings mount, but the heart of the novel is sweet tale of love rediscovered.

Emily Castle left home and her first true love behind years ago. Now, after a hurricane, she and her two sisters are back on the North Carolina coast to help their grandmother, putting Emily right onto the path of Boone Dorsett, the man whose heart she broke. Boone is a widower with a young son. While he’s never forgotten Emily, he has new priorities. Emily’s matchmaking grandmother and sisters know Boone and Emily belong together, but the couple isn’t interested in second chances — until their physical connection can’t be denied. Their new love is tested by her demanding work and his former in-laws who threaten a custody battle. It will take courage and compromise to bring them back together forever. (MIRA, Apr., 384 pp., $7.99)

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Reviewed by: 
M.H. Morrison