Heron’s Landing by Joann Ross
Book 1 in the Honeymoon Harbor series
Published June 1, 2018
There’s no place to fall in love like the place you left your heart
Welcome to Honeymoon Harbor, the brand-new, long-awaited series by beloved New York Times bestselling author JoAnn Ross, where unforgettable characters come face-to-face with the kind of love that grabs your heart and never lets go.
Working as a Las Vegas concierge, Brianna Mannion is an expert at making other people’s wishes come true. It’s satisfying work, but a visit home to scenic Honeymoon Harbor turns into a permanent stay when she’s reminded of everything she’s missing: the idyllic small-town charm; the old Victorian house she’d always coveted; and Seth Harper, her best friend’s widower and the neighborhood boy she once crushed on—hard. After years spent serving others, maybe Brianna’s finally ready to chase dreams of her own.
Since losing his wife, Seth has kept busy running the Harper family’s renovation business and flying way under the social radar. But when Brianna hires him to convert her aging dream home into a romantic B and B, working together presents a heart-stopping temptation Seth never saw coming. With guilt and grief his only companions for so long, he’ll have to step out of the past long enough to recognize the beautiful life Brianna and he could build together.
I loved this book so much. I’ve been reading some really good stuff over the past few months, yet at the same time, it started to feel like although I’m reading some good stuff, there wasn’t anything special. Then I read Heron’s Landing by Joann Ross which I literally bought on a whim after seeing it out of the corner of my eye in the grocery store check out aisle.
Dammit, what is my deal with people grieving? I don’t know why, but I love a character who is grieving the loss of someone. I think it just makes them so relatable and if written well you find yourself truly rooting for them. In Heron’s Landing, that character is Seth.
Seth’s wife was killed while serving in Afghanistan. First, I have to give Joann Ross props for this: usually if there is a military love interest or spouse, it’s always the guy, as if women don’t serve. I was very happy to see in this case, although she has passed away, the service member was the wife.
Growing up, Brianna always had a crush on Seth. He was a friend of her older brothers so he was always around. Everyone had an idea that the two were perfect for each other and then one day, a new girl shows up at school, Zoe, and Seth is in love with her from the moment he sees her.
I am a sucker for stories involving Bed and Breakfasts. I loved that Brianna moves home to open one, and damn I love a good returning home story. A good breaking out, leaving home story is wonderful, but there is something cozy and realistic about having to go back to where it all started.
I loved the romance not only between Seth and Bri, but also Seth’s parents. His Mom has served his Dad with divorce papers and he’s so stubborn there for a while until he realizes how serious she is. He realizes he could truly lose her if he doesn’t get his crap in gear.
What I loved about Seth and Brianna’s romance is that it is so apparent the two have feelings for each other, but there is always this “ghost,” in the room. Seth really feels guilty at even just the thought of moving on from his wife. He really has to come to the understanding that his love for Zoe will never go away and never be replaced but that it’s okay to love someone else. He isn’t the one who died. He still has a life to live.
I liked that Brianna didn’t pressure him. She loved Zoe too. I also thought it was very big of her as a woman to have this love for Seth, and the moment she realized his heart was in Zoe’ hands when they were younger, she was totally okay with it because she saw how happy he was.
The setting was a definite plus too. I am completely falling in love with a place I have never been, with a lot of my favorite romances thus far, taking place in the Pacific Northwest. The small towns in this region of the United States created by these authors really add the perfect icing to the cake in my opinion. Falling in love in a wonderful setting, I love it.