Thursday, December 13, 2012

Carolina Home (Dare Island #1) by Virginia Kantra

Home to the Fletcher family for generations, Dare Island is a fishing village rocked by changing times--its traditions slipping away like sands of the North Carolina coast. Single dad and fishing boat captain Matt Fletcher deferred his own dreams to support his innkeeper parents and build a future for his sixteen-year-old son. Matt has learned to weather life's storms by steering a steady emotional course...and keeping a commitment-free approach to love.

Newcomer Allison Carter came to Dare Island to escape the emotional demands of her wealthy family. The young teacher aims to build a life here, to make a lasting place for herself. She doesn't want to be another Woman Who Once Dated Matt Fletcher. It's both tempting and dangerous to believe she can be something more.

Then Matt's brother Luke makes a sudden return home, with a child of his own--and a request that will change all their lives. With a child's welfare at stake, Matt must turn to Allison to teach him to let go of the past, open his eyes...and follow his heart.


Type: Contemporary Romance

Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5

Some authors have a way of making you feel right at home from the very first page and Virginia Kantra definitely has that talent. There's such a comfortable easy feel to Carolina Home that it was a real treat to read. It's so easy to slip into the world of Allison and Matt and want to immediately surround yourself with all of the people around them. From the setting of an Inn on the coast of NC to the lovely unexpected romance and even the family drama that sneaks in it was just a delightful book to read and left me in such a good mood by the time I finished reading the last page.



I really loved both Allison, who has just moved to town, and Matt, a long time resident and fisherman. They're both complicated and wonderfully done characters you want to just push together :) She's such a good person who loves helping others and is trying to find her "home" and Matt's the single dad of one of her trouble students. Lord love him the man's a bit stubborn and struggling with his feelings but I absolutely loved him nonetheless.He's been hurt badly in the past and omg your heart just aches for him and how much he takes on his shoulders. 

The romance really snuck up on both of them and was so wonderful to watch. I loved how she sort of just slipped into their lives and "fit" them all. The two had one of my dream dates too which made me love them even more <g>. The steamy scenes are emotionally charged and sexy as hell and the sweet scenes had me sighing in pure bliss. Gah, I just loved these two together no matter the situation.
He stood in her entry as if he wasn't sure of his moves. The slight awkwardness in a man so confident was unexpectedly endearing. 
"What's in the bag?" she asked. 
He held up the small brown paper lunch bag he carried. "Snickerdoodles." 
She smiled. "You don't have to court me with cookies, Matt." 
His answering smile started in his eyes. "Maybe I want to. Besides, these reminded me of you." 
"Um...Pale? Round? Bland?" 
"The smell," he explained. "Cinnamon, vanilla. Sugar." 
He leaned forward to kiss her, a gentle, unhurried, hello-how-are-you-kiss that stole her breath and disturbed her heart. 
She sighed when he was done. "That's sweet."
One of the things I loved so much was that you get bits and pieces of the other relationships in the family as well. Matt's parents and their incredible marriage, his brother who is serving overseas and the surprise arrival of his ten year old daughter who is dealing with terrible emotional trauma, Matt's teenage son and what he's going through at school, etc. I absolute loved how they all interacted with each other and the deep down real family feel to them. Life's not always easy for them and there are some terrible things thrown in their paths but they pull together and you can feel the love and devotion they have for each other. It's such a family story, really, and makes you eager to pick up the next book and see what will happen next in all of their lives. 

Carolina Home was one of those stories I would love to be a part of and that I was enjoying so much I flew though it before I even realized it was almost over. Kantra did an excellent job creating a rich world that feels real and makes you want to just pack your bags and head there this very instant. I love when an author really pulls me into the world they created and makes me never want to leave :) 

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Do you have a favorite comfort read? 
One that just makes you feel like you're home?

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39 comments:

  1. lovely, i like when all the characther are well built and niot only the main one. It's again a new author for me^^;;( whish list in red zone^^)
    if i understood weel it's in fact the first book of a series not a stand alone?

    as for a confort read...the first mercy thompson 'moon called' by patricia briggs really helped me when i was distressed and nearly ready to give up so when i need to see that you can be courageous, strong but still how compassion it's the book for it.
    one that i enjoyed too and i would love to read again as soon as i have the time it's the hob bargain even if there is violence in it etc i like the message and it apaise me

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    1. It's the first in the series Miki :) Not sure how many there will be but I'm betting at least one for each of the 3 siblings :) Fingers crossed.

      Ahhh I love Mercy and Adam. They're wonderful. It's so great we have books like that that help us get through the rough spots in life :)

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  2. This sounds like a really good read. I've read some of her other stuff but this is different.
    Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice are two of my comfort reads and I can enjoy them with my 3 girls as well :)

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    1. This was my first of hers but from what I've heard yep very different from her others but she did it really well in my opinion :) Aw yeah it's always great when you can share the books you love with the family too! That's awesome :)

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  3. LOVE your work!! PICK ME!!

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  4. This really sounds good, Anna! I'm looking forward to reading her work. I've added her to my wish list.

    My comfort read has always been A Knight In Shining Armor by Deveraux. It feels like an old friend....I feel at home while reading it.

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    1. Oh I hope you like it. I'm so excited there will be more in the series. I'm looking forward to checking out her other series next :)

      Ahhh love that feeling. I've only read one by Deveraux. The Conquest I think it was. I'll look to see if we have that one when I go in to work tomorrow :)

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  5. Sounds like a great read!

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  6. I absolutely ADORE Kresley Cole's A Hunger Lke No Other
    the evolution of Emma is wonderful!!!!

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    1. Oooo I LOVE that series. It's so much fun to get lost in the world she creates. Emma is pretty awesome :)

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  7. A comfort read for me would have to be The Marta's Legacy books by Francine Rivers. Definitely a 180 from the books I normally read, but the authors based the books a little bit on her family. It is a close story to a lot of what has happened in mine. The books starts out before WWI and end after 9/11. I cried so much by the end of this series. A heartwarming read and a tale of a strong line of women in a family.

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    1. Oh that sounds wonderful Penni! I love reading about strong women and strong families. I'd not heard of that one before so will have to look it up! Thanks for sharing :)

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  8. I don't have a comfort read or a book that makes me feel like I'm home. I haven't read any of Virginia's books, so the review was very helpful to me. This sounds like a fantastic read.

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    1. Here's to finding one this year! I've stumbled upon a couple this year that just make you feel warm and safe kinda? LOL. Sounds a little silly but they just sort of fit ya :)

      Happy reading Julianne!!

      Anna

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  9. A comfort read or book for me is Charley Davidson's series by Darynda Jones.

    Nice review, enjoy the blurb :)

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    1. Oooo Eli I just got the first book in that series! I'm so excited about reading it. I've heard so many good things about her!

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  10. I have many books I like to reread over and over again, like Laurell K. Hamilton's series, or Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern. So good.

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    1. Oh love Laurell K Hamilton's series (especially the Merry Gentry ones) I haven't reread them though but will some day soon I'm sure. Will have to look into these Dragonriders of Pern!

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  11. Hmmm, I don't know about comfort reads that make me feel like home. Most of what I read is far removed from anything very homey, at least at this point in time! I really enjoyed Burrowes' Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish; it had a very homey feel to it, and the members of her family have such wonderful characters.

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    1. LOL yeah most of mine don't fall into the homey category even though I love em :) I've not read Burrowes before but will add her to the list :)

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  12. I am one of those readers that once and done unless its a part of series then I may end up rereading ...
    There is always some type of book that is coming out that attracts my attention :)

    Thanks

    Beckey

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    1. LOL Beckey I have that same problem. There are a couple I re-read but I still just like to keep em all on hand and know I *could* read em again :) I get distracted by all the new ones too. And then their backlists. :)

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  13. I don't have a comfort read that I know of. This sounds like a sweet, romance!

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    1. Oh very much so :) Maybe you'll find one in 2013!!

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  14. this is the kind of story I enjoy for a comfort read - small town family connected series with romance and an HEA.

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    1. It's really my go to. Either that or JD Robbs series :)

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  15. All books was a comfort read for me.

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  16. Sounds really good. Most of the books I've read was a comfort in some way.

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    1. Hmmm. I think you're probably right. Each book does have something special about it that makes you feel good :)

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  17. The reason I read romance is because I am comforted by them. With the unpredictability of life, it's great to lose yourself in a book you KNOW is going to work out in the end.

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    1. Oh isn't that the truth! I'm so glad I started reading them a couple years ago :)

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  18. I love reading historical romance when I want a cozy read. Something about getting lost in a story in times past makes me feel good.

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    1. Nice :) I've definitely found some historicals over the years I'd call comfort reads :)

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  19. I don´t really have any comfort reads, other than romances, but i have a must, and that´s HEA. If there´s not a HEA, i won´t read it! =D
    On the other hand, as long as there´s a HEA at the end, i can read almost anything.

    Happy New Year!
    //Lidna

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    1. Same here Linda! I want all of my heroes and heroines to be happy when their story comes to an end. Otherwise it's just not something I want to spend time with for the most part.

      Happy New Year to you toO!

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  20. Sounds really good. With characters you just have to love and want to get the HEA. Adding to my TBR.

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  21. I do have one book that I always fall back on...not because it makes me feel at home but it is one that I can't do without. In fact, when I got rid of my paperback version, completely by accident, I freaked out! It is an old book so I didn't know if I could find it again so I did finally mange to find it on Amazon, thank goodness! The book is The Outlaw's Wife by Cindy Gerard. It is hilarious but at times, it breaks your heart. It is always one that I go back to make me laugh.

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I always enjoy hearing what YOU think so come on and leave a comment. Everyone's welcome :) And feel free to leave comments on old posts. I'll check in on you there too :)

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~Anna

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