Come Home With Me (Blue Moon Harbor #2) by Susan Fox-Review, Guest Post & Giveaway
COME HOME WITH ME
Blue Moon Harbor #2
by Susan Fox
Release Date: December 26, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, romance
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About the book: Release Date December 26, 2017
It may be a dot in the Pacific Northwest, but tiny Blue Moon Harbor always has room for love . . .
Miranda Gabriel has finally hit rock-bottom. As a high-school drop-out, she fled Blue Moon Harbor and her shattered family life, and chased after love in all the wrong places. But now, as a single mom, her priority is her two-year-old daughter. Her only choice is to swallow her pride and return to the island she’s always hated. At least between working and studying, she’ll be too busy for romance–especially when the prospect is a nice guy, exactly the kind she knows she doesn’t deserve…
The island veterinarian, Luke Chandler is a widower raising four-year-old twin boys. In high school, he found bad girl Miranda fascinating–and though life has changed them both, he’s still intrigued. Luke has known true love, and something about Miranda makes him long to experience it again. Yet he’s wary of opening himself, and his boys, to hurt. But his heart may not give him a choice. And together, maybe he and Miranda can give each other the courage to believe in themselves, and to embrace a promising new future . . .
Review: Come Home with Me begins with Miranda trying to find her place in the world, and on Destiny Island. She along with her daughter, Ariana, had no choice but to come back to the island and accept the help that her brother offered. Miranda had always tried to make it on her own, but it became harder once she became a single mom. Although she and her brother, Aaron, have always been close, she can’t help but feel a little jealous at how his life had turned out. Newly engaged to Eden, Miranda couldn’t help but worry about her place in Aaron’s life. It had always been Miranda and Aaron against the world, and she just didn’t know if she would ever fit into the family that he was building. Determined to get an education and make a better life for herself and Ariana, dating was the last thing she was interested in….
Luke Chandler had tragically lost his wife four years earlier. Raising twin boys and his vet practice had always been his priority, but a chance encounter with Miranda at a store in which she worked left him intrigued. Luke and Miranda had gone to school together, but were never really friends. She seemed nothing like she’d been in high school, but he decided that maybe, just maybe, it was time to test the dating waters. Even though Miranda initially resisted, they decided to hang out with their kids as friends.
Miranda wants to take things slow. She’s never been lucky in the dating world, having made one bad choice after another, but she finds herself drawn to Luke, which gives her something she’s never really felt before…..hope. As she and Luke navigate a budding relationship, doubt gets in the way for them both.
Come Home with Me is a great addition to the Blue Moon Harbor series. Miranda, whom we meet in the first book of the series, is a nicely written character. She’s so defeated when she arrives on the island. Her life has never been easy and she has trouble accepting help from her brother, let alone all of the extended family opening their hearts and homes to her. Luke is great character as well. His sense of loyalty and honor leaps off the page as you read his story. His devotion to his family will endear him to you as he tries to bring Miranda into the fold. I also loved that the two of them had to work on their relationship and figure out exactly what they wanted from each other. The secondary characters are nicely written as well. This series, at least for me, is an emotional one. It’s a story filled with real life feelings and situations. Come Home with Me is ultimately a story of redemption and realizations that yes, you are good enough to be happy. Well done, Susan Fox! Very well done!
Reading Order and Previous review
Fly Away With Me
Come Home With Me
Copy supplied for review
Reviewed by Vickie M
Characters We Care About
Hi there, Reading Café readers! Thanks for sharing time with me today.
I was just listening to an award-winning author being interviewed on the radio. She was asked why readers feel so passionate about her books. She said it’s because they have empathy for the characters. They care about them, even if those characters aren’t perfect.
And I thought, yes! That’s exactly it for me, too. It’s about being drawn in deeply, emotionally, getting personally invested in a character’s life, so you care about what happens to her or him.
I’m sure each author has her/his own process for creating that kind of character. Some authors want to know pretty much everything about their heroine and hero before they start to write. Not me. I’m an organic writer, which means the story and characters develop as I write. It’s not particularly efficient, because it means a lot of going back and revising, but there’s a wonderful sense of discovery that keeps me enthusiastic about writing.
Some authors do detailed character profiles, including things like what they eat for breakfast and who taught them in first grade. Nope, not me. Not unless those details are important to the story. For me, what’s key is this: Who is this person today, and what experiences went into making her/him that way?
Character development, or maybe the better word is evolution, works a bit differently for me with each book. For example, if it’s the first in a series, I’m creating characters from scratch. But in the case of Come Home With Me, I already knew some things about the heroine, Miranda Gabriel, because she was a secondary character in my first Blue Moon Harbor book, Fly Away With Me. She’s the hero Aaron’s younger half-sister, a single mom with a two-year-old daughter. I knew about her and Aaron’s dysfunctional childhood, and how it had damaged them. I knew Miranda was fiercely proud, but that she hit rock bottom (in Fly Away With Me) and, for the sake of her daughter, was forced to accept her brother’s offer of assistance. That meant returning to Destiny Island, a place she hated.
So I had a good start on Miranda, and knew she’d evolve further as I wrote the book. As for the hero, Luke Chandler, I knew only a little. He was the widowed father of twin boys, and he was a veterinarian. I had a lot more “evolving” to do with Luke, as I wrote!
But for me, that’s the fun of it. As I work on a book, I think about family background, love lives, careers, friendships, community, all the things that make for a three-dimensional character, one whose thoughts and feelings ring true for the reader. One the reader can root for.
Luke turned out to be more “perfect” than Miranda, but perfect is boring so of course he needed some hangups. One was whether his love for his deceased wife would prevent him from moving forward. And then, at least three-quarters of the way through the first draft, I had one of those “aha” moments when a deeper level of his character revealed itself to me and I discovered another hangup.
Miranda was definitely not perfect. Luke refers to her as a “rosebud with thorns,” and yes, she’s plenty prickly. But her prickles are rooted in a very troubled past. As I wrote, I learned the details of that past, and the full significance of her dragon tattoo and the secret it hides.
I have a degree in psychology, and sometimes it seems to me that, with my characters, I almost play the role of counsellor as much as that of author. I listen to what they say and don’t say, I ask them questions, I reflect on how they’ve been influenced by the past, I come to know their values and philosophy of life. I learn what they fear most, as well as their secret dreams. Writing is a process of creation, but also a process of revelation. Sometimes I’m in charge, analyzing personality traits and doing research, and sometimes my characters are in charge, guiding my fingers as I type.
For me, writing is an intellectual process and it’s also an instinctive, intuitive one. And did I mention, it’s fun? As well as challenging, sometimes frustrating, and often stressful. But it’s worth every minute, when my characters come alive to me and to readers. When they’re as multi-dimensional as real live people. When their joys and sorrows tug at our heartstrings because we’re so invested in their personal journeys.
Yes, for me it’s all about character. It’s all about emotion.
How about for you, as a reader? What makes for a book that resonates with you, one that stays in your heart and your mind?
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International bestselling author Susan Fox, who also writes as Susan Lyons and Savanna Fox, “knows what women want in contemporary romance” (Publishers Weekly). Her books have won numerous awards and Love Somebody Like You: A Caribou Crossing Romance was a RITA® finalist. Her latest series is Blue Moon Harbor, from Kensington Zebra. A resident of both Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia, Susan has degrees in law and psychology, but would far rather be writing fiction than living in the real world. Visit her at susanlyons.ca (where you can subscribe to her newsletter) and on Facebook.com/SusanLyonsFox.
Susan Fox is graciously offering a signed, paper copy of COME FLY WITH ME to ONE (1) commenter at The Reading Cafe. Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY
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