FOR THE LONGEST TIME: Bullies Leave Marks on Adult Hearts

FOR THE LONGEST TIME

 

FOR THE LONGEST TIME  coverSeries: Harvest Cove Series (Book 1)
Mass Market Paperback and ebook: 352 pages
Audio 9:23  Narrated by Meredith Mitchell
Publisher: Penguin/Signet (July 1, 2014)

E-Galley provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and, unless otherwise noted all opinions presented herein are my own.

For Samantha Henry, it took a ten-year absence to appreciate the close-knit New England town with an appeal all its own….

After a perfect storm of events leaves Sam high, dry, and jobless, she has to head home to Harvest Cove to regroup. Growing up, she was the town misfit, and a brief high school romance that resulted in heartbreak made her realize she was never going to fit in. But now with the support of her mother and an unexpected circle of allies, Sam starts to wonder if she’s misjudged the town all these years.

Life’s been good to Jake Smith. He transitioned from popular jock to town veterinarian without any trouble. But Sam’s homecoming makes him question his choices. The sharp-tongued beauty was never a good fit for the small community, but he’s never forgotten her—or how good they were together. While she makes it clear she’s not about to repeat the past, Jake’s determined to convince her to give him—and Harvest Cove—a second chance.
http://www.kendraleighcastle.com/for-the-longest-time/

 

I really loved this book. Seriously, Kittens, Cute Vets, Second Chances, Fall in New England — what’s not to love! I was immediately able to identify with Samantha; any woman who hasn’t felt part of the “cool girls” clique, any one who was bullied, any one who was hurt by someone they loved will probably see themselves in Kendra’s sensitively drawn character who, “all grown up” is still aching from the scars of school bullies.

That those same bullies are still being jerks, is also pretty interesting.  I personally didn’t find that when I saw my old school mates for the first time in 36 years, but Jake and Sam aren’t quite that long away from the classroom, so I can see where they could be, and even after 36 years I was a little shy about getting back together with my old “friends.”

Great family relationships, which are probably a little bit idealistic but still really nice to read.  It’s like a modern wise mom advising her slightly off the tracks adult daughter and treating them like an adult instead of a child. If only that happened more, right?  The mother, who is my age, doesn’t act too old and that gets applause from me. I am so tired of characters my age acting like ancients with canes.

Belle Johnson CatsJake is obviously hot, but fighting his own battles in life against overbearing parental expectations. And he seems like a pretty introspective guy with a full range of emotions! And, he is nice enough to admit when he screws up. And he saves little kittens! Awwww!

And, one thing he is introspective about is where his long-term friendships are going; are they all stuck in a rut? Are they holding each other back by pushing for the status quo? Seeing his friends interactions with Sam, and their behavior towards her, throws those relationships into stark relief.

People can remain cruel and manipulative; they will carry their tactics into adulthood — especially when it’s a proven method of getting what they want.  And, Sam wants to avoid hanging out with people who are staying in that same groove; if they haven’t grown out of their rut, why would they behave differently towards her.  But, she has grown up some and is no longer lacking in back bone even if she’s still shy of breaking her heart.

In the end a sense of home may be a really important factor in whether at least some of these characters can get their heads screwed on straighter. I highly recommend this series and am looking forward to more!

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