Carolina Man by Virginia Kantra (Dare Island #3)

Carolina Man by Virginia KantraAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Berkley

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Marine Luke Fletcher is determined to do his duty—first to his country and now to his ten-year-old daughter, the unexpected legacy of a high school girlfriend. But his homecoming to Dare Island in North Carolina’s Outer Banks challenges his plans for the future and forces him to face everything that’s missing in his life. He wasn’t prepared to lose his heart to this child he never knew. Or to fall hard for coolly reserved small town lawyer Kate Dolan.

Former military brat Kate knows Marines can make lousy fathers…and she’s got the scars to prove it. Giving her heart to a man who’s bent on leaving seems one sure way to have it broken.

Now, no matter what it takes, Luke must prove to Kate and to his daughter that Semper Fi is more than a motto—and to himself that there’s more than one way to be a hero.

I have enjoyed each book in this series about the issues that face this dynamic family. The characters are so interesting and bring their own personalities and problems to the overall story arc.

We met Luke Fletcher in a previous book when he returned from Afghanistan for a short trip to bring his previously unknown daughter Taylor to his parent’s home on Dare Island. He still had time on this deployment and took off within days, leaving Taylor struggling to fit in with the Fletcher family ever since. Now Luke’s time is up and he is coming home, he is ready to get to know his daughter and reconnect with the family.

Luke and Kate Dolan met when he found out he was a father, his high school girlfriend Dawn passed away un-expectantly and Kate was the lawyer handling the case. When Luke and Kate meet again the sparks fly and the attraction is evident, but Kate has a lot of issues that keep her from letting down the walls she built up from an unhappy childhood, and Luke has his hands full with his daughter and the trouble Dawn’s parents are causing.

A heartfelt family drama that includes characters we got to know in previous books and some interesting new ones. I have read the others in the series and love that I can fall into the wonderful eastern coastal setting, feel the breeze on my face and enjoy the story.

At first I was not sure about Luke, we met him early in the series and he seemed standoffish, a little angry about having a daughter and like he enjoyed being away from the family that I grew to love, but now that the story centers on him we get to hear his thoughts and get to know him, and I like what I found. While in Afghanistan you see how he cared for his troops and when he found a hurt dog, he made sure she was fed and wanted. I fell in love with his character, and I like how he is around Kate. The chemistry is there as they get to know each other; the scenes between them are romantic and hot. She is aloof and I hard to like at first, she has built up some tall walls to keep others out, but with Luke’s personality and the help of his family she decides that maybe it is OK if she lets others in.

I really like Taylor, she is scared and unsure, she loves being a part of the family but her life has been unsettled for awhile, you have to cry some big tears when she has hope in her eyes. Her secrets are revealed and we learn why Dawn kept her family away and why she wanted Luke to raise Taylor. Other secondary characters are just as engaging, family members we have met before and the new police officer in town that seems to have an interesting story we get next.

The pace of the story is perfect, we travel from the wilds of Afghanistan to the windswept beaches of Dare Island and all the while the story is endearing and heartfelt. We enjoy the highs and lows of the Fletchers and look forward to more. All in all a fun filled family drama that can be read as a standalone but the first two books are so good that I recommend reading them all.

I give Carolina Man by Virgina Kantra 4.25 stars!

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