Title: Holiday in the Hamptons
Author: Sarah Morgan
Series: From Manhattan With Love #5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Available: 15th June (UK)
She’s moved on…
Felicity Knight loves New York. But when she spots her ex-husband in the city, Fliss is desperate to escape!
He’s moved back…
Vet Seth Carlyle is back from California to establish his own practice and settle down. When he learns that his ex Fliss still lives close by, that future is looking a whole lot brighter…
Will a perfect escape bring them back together?
With the help of his adorable dog Lulu, and a sprinkling of beachside magic, Seth is determined to make Fliss see he’s never stopped loving her!
Source: ARC from HQ UK via NetGalley
I love this series. It’s romantic and escapist and emotional at times, with often troubled characters finding love in New York. This time the action moves out to the Hamptons, bringing sunshine, sand and the ocean to make this a perfect summer read with a second chance theme.
Despite running the highly successful Bark Rangers dog-walking business with her animal loving twin, Fliss isn’t nearly as in control of her life as she might like. She’s competent, determined and outwardly confident, protecting her sister at all costs, but inside she’s also deeply troubled. She’s an expert at hiding her feelings, partly because of the impact of her father’s cruelty, but also because she doesn’t want to upset her sister Harriet by letting her know how hurt she is. As a teenager, Seth was the only person who seemed to understand her, but then everything went horribly wrong and Fliss closed down completely.
So when Seth reappears in her life, it’s easy to see why she might run. She has avoidance down to a fine art and her deceptions could have been irritating if she wasn’t so bad at it.
Thankfully Seth is no fool. He’s also astonishingly patient and clear-sighted when it comes to their short lived marriage. It does make their relationship feel a little lopsided at times, with Fliss having all the troubles and Seth being so steady, but they do balance each other out once Fliss relaxes a little. Her fierce loyalty to those she loves, and her willingness to do almost anything for them, gives Seth support he didn’t even realise he needed and I loved how solid their relationship became.
Of course it’s far from easy getting there. Fliss’ emotional blockages need serious work and patience to be overcome, while Seth isn’t always as perfect and understanding as he likes to think he is, but their flaws made them and the story more interesting. It can be slow going at times, especially since Seth is determined to keep things sweet for so long, but it’s not all emotional trauma either. There’s a lovely warmth and humour throughout, helped along by Fliss’ grandmother and her hilarious friends, plus a return of some older characters. The gorgeous setting also helps a lot.
So if you’re looking for a second chance read with a troubled heroine and a determined hero, this more than meets the bill. It’s more of a quiet romance than a sweeping epic, without a lot of drama and tension, but if you’re looking for a summery escape packed with warmth, humour, love and a little bit of angst, then give this a go. I really enjoyed it and I look forward to seeing how Harriet’s own tale turns out.
Holiday in the Hamptons is out June 15th (UK)
(August 29th US)
Visit Sarah Morgan for more details.