Carolina Blues by Virginia Kantra (Dare Island #4)

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

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Berkley

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Jack Rossi is Dare Island’s new police chief. The laid-back North Carolina community is just what he needs to recover from a rocky marriage and a big-city police department. He’s learned his lesson: no more high-profile women or high-pressure jobs. The last thing he wants is an unconventional alt girl rocking his world.

Grad student Lauren Patterson made headlines when she kept a bank robbery from going bad. She’s fled to Dare Island to clear her head and focus on writing her story. However, sexy Jack Rossi is a distraction that’s too hot to ignore, and it’s igniting an affair too combustible to resist—or quit. But when their pasts come looking for them, Jack and Lauren find themselves fighting for the future they deserve, whatever the price.

I have fallen in love with Dare Island and all its inhabitants. Enjoying each book in the series and always look forward to more. The immediate Fletcher family is featured in the first three books and now Ms. Kantra has branched out to other residents who are loosely connected on this small island. Carolina Blues is a great addition to the series.

Lauren Patterson is an author on deadline, she is staying on the island because of issues with focusing, and Meg, her publicist wants to help. About a year ago Lauren was the heroine in a bank robbery, she was held hostage for a short time and talked one of the robbers into giving up. It was a sad situation where an older brother, Ben was trying to save a younger brother and things escalated out of control. Ben is currently in jail and Lauren writes to him often and sends money to the family. Before her celebrity status, she was a psych grad student but has put her studies on hold until her life settles down. She wrote her first best seller, Hostage Girl about the experience and is currently trying to write the sequel.

Jack Rossi is the new chief of police on Dare Island. He is starting over after a failed marriage and partnership; he left his police job in Philadelphia after he found his wife and partner cheating on him. He needed to get away from well meaning but suffocating family and friends. When Jack sees Lauren at the local coffee shop he is intrigued, but cautious since he is not sure he is ready to move on, but sometimes you have to take a chance.

Carolina Blues takes us back to Dare Island, this quant island town features engaging characters, emotional drama and wonderful stories. I was hooked from the beginning; I love the Fletcher family and have watched the poignant journeys each has made to find true love with their strong family by their side. This book features Lauren and Jack; both new residents of the island brought to this place for peace and to heal from deep wounds.

Jack is very intriguing, he moved here after a devastating upheaval, not only did he lose his wife but also a man who he trusted with his life and you can tell he is hurting. He has enjoyed living here and has no plans to return to the big city. He notices Lauren as soon as he sees her and the attraction is mutual, and when she makes a remark to him that he needs a rebound romance and that she could be it, his reaction is quite amusing. The issue is that their chemistry is off the charts and neither will be able walk away when it is over, despite what they believe.

Lauren is on the island trying to find her muse; she is writing her follow-up book but can’t seem to find the words. But as she gets to know Jack the words start to flow again, I love that. She is an interesting person and does not consider herself a hero, more of a therapist who was able to break through to Ben, a scared young man. She has moments of guilt about the fame and the money she received from the book and struggles to work thorough these issues but helping Ben’s family is cathartic for her.

The two together are perfect for each other but must face trust issues in order to get over the bumps along the way, she pushes for more but he pushes back, and she gets upset when he does not tell her about his ex-wife’s visit, but I like the way she handles it, upfront and in his face. The attraction between the two is palpable and they set off sparks when they are together.

Secondary characters are key to this book, this is small town life and we know several of the residents and their stories. Many Fletchers are absent in this story, but I enjoyed catching up with those that appear. That being said, this is the fourth book in the series but since the author has veered off of the original Fletcher family it can easily be read as a standalone and the teaser for the next book has me wanting more sooner than later. This is a wonderful series full of heartache and promise, definitely something not to miss if you enjoy contemporary romances.

I give Carolina Blues by Virginia Kantra 4.25 stars!

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