Friday, December 2, 2016

Book Review: The One Real Thing by Samantha Young

The One Real Thing (Hart's Boardwalk #1)
By Samantha Young
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Source: Publisher
Welcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts…

While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women’s correctional facility where she works, she’s always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life. Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison’s library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town’s charm—and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny.

Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they’ve owned for generations. But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her. Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there’s only one real thing in life worth fighting for….
If you haven't read Samantha Young's On Dublin Street series and you've been following me for awhile, what are you doing?!? Go get those books now! Since I love that series so much, I was definitely excited to read a new book from Samantha Young in a whole new series. 

Doctor Jessica Huntington is dedicated to her job as the doctor at a women's prison and tries not to become too connected to anyone in her life. When she finds letters hidden in the binding of a book at the prison, Jessica is touched by the heartbreaking romance an inmate of the prison had experienced. Jessica feels a connection to the small town described in the letters and, on a whim, decides to visit Hartwell to deliver the letters to the man they were written to. When Jessica arrives, she falls in love with the people and the charm of Hartwell, or maybe just the charm of the owner of the pub on the boardwalk. Cooper Lawson isn't ready to trust anyone after his ex-wife cheated on him with his best friend, but one look at Jessica and Cooper wants the doctor all for his own. 

This book had so much potential, but from the start I had a hard time connecting with Jessica. She was very hesitant to become emotionally attached to anyone, so it took her awhile to even warm up to the idea of starting something with Cooper. I wasn't a huge fan of her cold personality and just couldn't connect with her. I really did enjoy Cooper's character and how he was still hurt by his best friend and ex-wife, who both betrayed him. Jessica and Cooper definitely had a hot and heavy relationship and had some serious chemistry, which added to Jessica's conflicted feelings over returning to her emotionless life or staying longer in the charming town that made her feel for the first time in a long time. 

What I think made me not love Jessica and Cooper as much was the other storyline regarding the side characters and their potential romances. I know that as the first book, Samantha Young had to establish other characters who could have their own stories later on in the series, and I found myself caring more about Bailey than I did about Jessica. I am so excited to read Bailey and Vaughn's story and I am definitely more intrigued by their characters, so I have high hopes for the second book in this series. 

In the end, I didn't love The One Real Thing as much as I wanted to. The story was still sweet and had some serious fire to the relationship, but I wasn't as connected with the main characters as I wanted to be. That doesn't mean, though, that I won't continue on in the series because I am definitely interested in the characters who will star in the next book. Hopefully I'll get the romance I know and love from Samantha and fall in love with the characters of book two!

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