Half Moon Hill by Toni Blake (Destiny #6)

Half Moon Hill by Toni BlakeAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Avon

My Copy: Edelweiss

Reviewer: Pam

Trying to escape her troubled past, Anna Romo has come home to Destiny determined to carve out a place for herself. When she buys the old Victorian house on the hill with the intent of furnishing it into a Bed and Breakfast, she’s thrilled by the possibilities.

Ex-biker-gang member Duke Dawson is as much a fish out of water in Destiny as Anna, but he’s handling it fine until an accident scars not only his body but his mind. When Anna stumbles across him in an old cabin in the woods near her newly acquired house, at first she’s terrified. But they work out a deal – she’s willing to keep his solitary living arrangement a secret if he’s willing to help her with some of the heavy lifting at the house. Working together on the renovations, romance brews between Duke and Anna. That is, until war hero Jeremy Sheridan returns home in a blaze of glory and sets his sights on Anna. Suddenly torn between the outgoing and charming Jeremy and the intriguing Duke, Anna’s heart is torn between two paths and left with only one solution.

Anna Romo is struggling with all things new to her, she recently came back home after hearing the death bed confession of a woman she always thought was her mother. She feels a little like an outsider in a town she should have grown up in, she had been kidnapped when she was five and lived with a woman until she died. It was quite a shock when she came back to Destiny for both her family and herself. She is trying to fit in however she tends to stay alone more that she seeks out the company of others, she is slowly getting to know her brother’s Mike and Lucky and their wives.

She bought an old run down house near Half Moon Hill to renovate and turn into a Bed and Breakfast and spent the winter working on the inside. Now that the weather is getting nice she is going to tackle the outside. While walking in the woods near her home she encounters a man who looks like the infamous wolf man, she does not realize at first he is someone she knows, Duke, her brother Lucky’s best friend. He looks like he has not cut his hair or shaved in a year. He also has a scar on his face that she knew came from an accident that changed his life. He was injured and a friend died, so he sold his bar and dropped out of site, not even letting Lucky know where he was.

When he finds out she is going to renovate the outside by herself, he offers to work for her. As he starts working, she gravitates toward town not trusting the feelings she is beginning to have about him, and ends up inadvertently getting to know her sisters-in-law and their friends and agrees to help at a book store.

As they spend more time together they give in to their sexual attraction; however she is unsure of the relationship and of him, worried about his withdrawal from the world. There are moments of heartfelt emotion as they each learn to come back to the living again and re-join a community that loves them.

What a wonderful romance, full of engaging characters, a small town atmosphere and interesting back stories. There is a lot going on with couples from the other books frequently on the pages as we continue to learn about their lives. I really like Duke and Anna, their chemistry is real and I love how they cannot keep their hands off each other, such sexual attraction. Duke is a wonderful character, full of a lifetime of hurt and you just feel for him as he stays away from people to reflect and live with survivor’s guilt. Anna is also believable as she deals with trust issues and living in a family she never knew about. She so wants to belong with the friends she starts to get to know yet she holds back. So to have the two of them find each other is perfect, as they wind up healing together.

The only thing I did not like is that there are several characters to keep up with; this small town life has many stories that continue on, yet the good thing is that there is still a lot of page time for the main characters. Also in the blurb there is talk about how she is torn about another man however this does not seem like a big issue and she is truly never tempted.

The story is moving and I had tears several times as they struggle with how they feel about each other. Anna redeems herself from the previous book when she came across as arrogant and standoffish, she is really very wary and scared about forming relationships and I like how she really tries to put herself out there in this book. She seems more brave and welcoming. This is a wonderfully moving story and I am excited to continue the series to find out more about the people that live in Destiny.

I give Half Moon Hill by Toni Blake 4.0 stars!

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