Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The One Real Thing (Hart's Boardwalk #1) by Samantha Young: Blog Tour Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Blurb:

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…


Click to Buy the Hart's Boardwalk Series on Amazon:

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Review by Yvette:

It's official: I have a new favorite Samantha Young book! From the moment I started The One Real Thing, I had a feeling that it would be special and, from start to finished, it exceeded my expectations which, as a huge fan of this author, were incredibly high. I’ve loved every book this author has written but there was something about The One Real Thing that tugged on my emotions and left me with a sense of contentment. The setting…the storyline…the characters…everything comes together flawlessly in one heartfelt, enchanting tale about fate, love, and belonging. The One Real Thing is a scorchingly sexy, heart-meltingly sweet romance that’s impossible to put down once you get started.

Samantha Young has the ability of making you feel like you've known a character forever within moments of being introduced to them and that’s exactly how I felt when I met protagonists, Jessica Huntington and Cooper Lawson. Whenever I read a book, I tend to gravitate towards one protagonist more than the other, although that didn’t seem to be the case with The One Real Thing. Perhaps this was because both of their backstories were equally compelling, although it could also be that their personas were so similar. Both Jessica and Cooper are hardworking, confident, and independent individuals, previously content in their lack of romantic attachments, yet also feeling that something’s missing in their lives. It’s fate that brings them together, but it’s their undeniably potent chemistry that convinces these two former commitment-phobes to take a chance on romance.

What I loved about this couple’s dynamic (and the book in general) is that there’s a perfect balance between serious and lighthearted. We get all of Cooper and Jessica’s deepest darkest secrets and we get the fun, flirtatious rapport they share. Yes, there are moments of gut-wrenching angst, but there’s also overwhelming sexual tension and no-holds-barred passion. I laughed. I teared up. And I enjoyed every single sentence of the book. With its combination of inviting characters, a swoon-worthy romance, and a narrative that keeps you on your toes, The One Real Thing is a brilliant start to Samantha Young’s Hart’s Boardwalk series.

There's nothing quite like the feeling of starting a new series by an author you love. Each page of the book is rife with possibilities. I was drawn to the stories of the supporting characters just as much as I was to Jessica and Cooper's story because they are as mysterious as they are intriguing. I felt like Jessica did as she met each new inhabitant of Hartwell, wishing to become better acquainted with them and curious to unveil their secrets. If this series had twenty books in store, I'd happily devour every single one, especially if they’re as beautifully written as The One Real Thing.

*complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 5 Stars


About the Author:

Samantha Young is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. She's been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Author and Best Romance for her international bestselling novel ON DUBLIN STREET. ON DUBLIN STREET is Samantha's first adult contemporary romance and has been sold in twenty six countries.



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Excerpt:

Why did it feel like having sex had complicated things so much? Usually sex was complication-free for me.

But before that night I’d been completely sure that Cooper was interested in exploring something more with me, and now I was freaking out that his interest would wane now that he’d had me.

I shook my head slowly. “No. It was good.”

He scowled, his arms tightening around me so much there wasn’t an inch of space between us. “It was better than fucking good, Jessica.”

I scowled back and pushed at his chest for some breathing space. “Well, I’m sure you’d know all about that.”

“What the fuck does that mean?”

“You use the word ‘fuck’ a lot.”

“It’s a good fucking word.”

I was tempted to laugh at how disgruntled he sounded and he seemed to catch my amusement because his hold on me eased.

“What’s going on in your head, Jess?”

I thought about evading this conversation. I’d never had to have an adult, open conversation with a man about sex. However, I realized, somewhat reluctantly, if I wanted something more with Cooper Lawson I was going to have to give him more than I was used to giving.

I couldn’t change his past, but I could figure out what it was he wanted in the future by just being honest and asking the question.

“You still want something with me, right? This”—I gestured behind me to the table—“it wasn’t just about sex.”

“No,” he said. “It’s not just about sex.”

As I heaved a sigh of relief, he let go of my waist to cup my face in his hands, dipping his head down to mine so our noses almost touched. He stared deep into my eyes and I shivered. I felt like he was trying to see right into my soul.

“I’m in this for the long haul, Doc. I was before you walked into my bar tonight, but now, after the best fucking sex of my life, after how wild that was, there’s no way I’m letting you walk out of here without me.”

And there he went doing it again.

His words resonated deep within me along with giving me that deep, sexual belly flip of arousal.

My fingers curled into the top of his biceps. “Best sex of my life, too,” I murmured. “It stunned me a little. Confused me . . . I thought maybe . . . you . . . this was old hat for you . . .”

He gave me a crooked grin. “You think I make a habit of fucking women in my bar.”

“You could,” I said. “You are definitely a man who could pull that off.”

Cooper threw his head back in laughter and I pressed my body deeper into his to feel his joy.

And then he wrapped his arms around me and hugged me.

Just as I’d suspected, he was a really good hugger.

When he pulled back he was smiling gently at me. “You’re the only woman I’ve had in my bar.” He let me go only to take my hand in his. “No one sits at that table anymore.” He gestured to the scene of the best sex we’d both ever had. “It’s now a shrine.”

“You can’t do that!” I was mortified at the possibility of people finding out why there was a table in Cooper Lawson’s bar that no one was allowed to sit at.

“I can. It’s my bar. I think I’ll even carve ‘Coop and Doc were here’ on it.”

Finally getting that he was joking, I made a face. “Funny.”

“You’re slow on the uptake tonight,” he teased.

“My brain was just frazzled by the orgasm to beat all orgasms.”

He squeezed my hand. “You up for more brain frazzling?”

I shivered at the thought. “Definitely.”

His eyes darkened. “Let’s go back to my place.”

Exhilarated by the prospect, I followed him, and it wasn’t until we’d stepped outside the bar into the cool night air that I said, “I don’t suppose you know where my panties are?”

“I do, actually.” He led me to the back of his bar to the parking lot. A dark-colored GMC was the only truck there.

“Um . . . could I have them, please?”

He stopped me at the passenger side of the truck, pressing me up against the car. “Why?” he whispered against my lips before he kissed me deeply. He came up for air a few seconds later. “You’re not going to need them where we’re going.”

The nagging pressure between my legs increased. “You are so very, very good at stringing the exact right words together.”

He kissed me again.

“You’re just good with your mouth in general,” I murmured.

Cooper grinned and brushed his lips over mine. “In the truck, Doc.”

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