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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.7 out of 5
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  • Sweet small-town romance

    Three and a half stars. Adam Kincaid and Isla Peterson were squaddie and commanding officer back in the day. Now they've both left the military, he's training to be a firefighter like his father and she is hoping to open her own bakery once she graduates from culinary school. They meet by chance at a Farmer's Market where Isla is selling her cakes, get to reminiscing about old times and end up having a spectacular one-night stand. But living in different parts of Canada and their nascent careers leave little time for a relationship so they agree to be friends only. Adam returns to his home (small) town of Pine Harbour where three of his four older brothers still live. He may be 30, but as the youngest, and having been brought up by his elder two brothers after their parents' deaths, none of his brothers seems to see it that way. Heck, they even seem to think they have a voice in where he lives and who he dates and how he does his job! After her ex-husband tanked her credit rating Isla knows she will be lucky to be able to start her own bakery but she doesn't want to be a chef working for someone else forever. When Adam buys his fixer-upper he overhears the owner of the local cafe/diner offering to sell her place for $1, one catch; the owner must be a ling-standing resident of Pine Harbour, or married to a resident. It's a crazy plan but if it helps out his BFF Adam thinks he could enter into a fake marriage for a few years, after all he's never going to fall in love anyway. I was surprised that I hadn't read any of Zoe York's books before, but the books are similar to Cora Seton's mail-order bride series, or indeed any small-town series featuring a large family. Adam and Isla provide each other with much-needed support and validation, but as they get closer can they still ignore the growing attraction? My biggest gripe was that there was a sub-plot involving Isla's ex-husband that didn't really go anywhere and was a bit cliched/ overdone in this genre. Otherwise, I enjoyed this sweet small-town romance. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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  • Making that connection!

    I feel like I just read a story about a couple of my friends! That is how Adam and Isla will feel to you, like you met up with them and you’re hanging out together. It really is how they reconnected, so it isn’t a stretch. Of course, there are underlying insecurities they both carry, but you quickly realize how perfect they are for each other, when those are alleviated the more they spend time together. It truly was special watching them move forward, move ahead, and take that path together. They figure out so many things, simply by being believed in by another person who is seeing them as they want to be seen. Love doesn’t conquer all, and love doesn’t heal all, but having someone love you certainly allows you the time, space, and will to do you things for yourself. That is what Adam and Isla did in their story, and it was wonderful to be there for it!

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  • Fierce at Heart

    I loved this book from beginning to end. The friend to marriage(fake) to actually falling in love with each other was a wonderful thing to watch happen. If ever there was a couple that belonged together it's Adam and Isla. When bad things happen they have each others backs. Including bad ex husband, tension at work. Was a pleasure seeing the town come together is a disaster happen in her bakery. Love reading about some of my favourites from the original Pine Harbour books Bring on Will and Catie WTG, Zoe (less)

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  • Simply the best!

    Every Zoe York book I read is even better than the previous one, which confuses me because how can awesome get any better. From page one, I am instantly wrapped in a blanket of warm expectation, just knowing I’m going to fall in love with her characters, even as they may be fighting their love for each other. As much as I loved grumpy oldest brother Owen, I adore his baby brother Adam 1000% more. How can this giving, funny, dedicated man not realize than he can love, and love deeply. Even just his interactions in book one with his niece showed this reader everything she needed to know about his heart. But from the first moment he reconnected with Isla and he really made everything about their marriage about her, I was convinced his center was more gooey than the center of a marshmallow dream bar. While I’m sure many will categorize this story as a marriage of convenience tale, to me it’s the purest example of friends to lovers. Grown up friends who are forming a bond much different than one that kids and teens do in most from that genre. Not better, not worst...but different and so very delightful. So while I know I’ll enjoy the rest of the Kincaid brothers’ fall into love, Adam and Isla will remain my favorite couple of the series. But don’t that stop you, Ms. York, from trying to convince me otherwise!

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  • Heartwarming romance, full of passion

    How can such a practical arrangement generate so much passion? This heartwarming romance takes us on a journey from one-night-stand to friend zone to marriage of convenience, all while immersing us in the delightful and familiar Pine Harbour community. I really loved Isla and Adam separately and together as a couple. They are two wounded hearts who decide on a pragmatic approach to marriage for the partnership benefits, without realizing that it's the same path to realizing the dreams they never thought possible. The respect they have for each other provides the foundation for so much more to develop, and it was refreshing to watch their romance blossom as a result of honest communication facilitated by a strong friendship. Their chemistry is palpable -- you can practically see the steam rising from the pages -- yet they don't allow their physical attraction to take precedence over their emotional responsibilities. I also really enjoyed seeing so many familiar faces from this fictional world. Everything is interconnected in such a small town, and that familiarity lends a realism to each of the stories in this series. The story is a real page-turner throughout and I loved every bit of it. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.

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