Saturday, December 27, 2014

CAROLINA MAN by Virginia Kantra

A Dare Island Novel
Berkley Sensation
March 4th, 2014
Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Dawn (
Obtained by Publisher
3 Hearts

For Marine Luke Fletcher, doing his duty first to his country then to his daughter was something that came natural to him. But when he comes back to Dare Island, life has a plan for his future that even Luke isn’t anticipating. For Kate Dolan, falling for Luke wasn’t in the cards. She knows all about how a marine can be a lousy father but Luke grows on her and as he tries to chow first Kate then his daughter that being a marine is more than war, rules and more but also a chance to prove that there is more to Luke that just being a marine.

I haven’t read the Dare Island series before by this author but got to admit this third book is a delightful afternoon read that captivated me right from the beginning.  Virginia Kantra has a way of writing real stories with real people in them that steal your heart. Since I didn’t read the first two books, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to figure out the back-story of the Fletcher family but the author does a good job in bringing you up to date on the Luke’s sibling’s stories and I didn’t feel lost with mentions of previous events. The writing was tight, story flowed smoothly and kept my attention but it was trhe characters that, in my opinion, made the story so enjoyable. I loved the whole ‘you have a child you were never told about’ storyline for Luke and his struggle to figure out the curveball life has thrown at him in the form of ten year old Taylor and the complication of lawyer Kate brings to his well ordered life.

Meet Luke Fletcher. A marine who was determined to do his twenty then retire from the military, he is unprepared for the curve life throws at him  in the form of pint sized Taylor, a daughter he never knew he had. Now back on Dare Island, h e struggles to connect with Taylor even as he is drawn to Kate, a woman with emotional scars from her own experiences as a child with a marine father. I loved the dynamics between Luke and everyone around him. From his family to his newfound daughter to Kate; each person gave the story depth and kept Luke going in a way he didn’t foresee. I loved how Luke stood up, took responsibility for Taylor and tried to find his place in a world he thought he already knew. The characters are well written and totally engaging. This in my opinion is this author’s strong suit. The characters feel like real people you would meet everyday and that right there made me fall in love with them even more in CAROLINA MAN.

The one thing I had a problem with is how fast the resolution was for Luke, Kate and Taylor. It felt like, at times, the author was checking points off the to-do sheet for the story and that made my rating be a bit lower than I wanted. I would have liked to have seen Luke struggle a bit and work a bit harder maybe for Taylor, Kate and how his life changed in an instant. Overall, CAROLINA MAN is a satisfying read that will surely make you want to run out and grab books one and two as well. I look forward to reading those books as well as any future installments in the Dare Island Series.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement


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