Thursday, July 10, 2014

Review and Giveaway: For the Longest Time (Harvest Cove #1) by Kendra Leigh Castle

For the Longest Time (Harvest Cove, #1)Series: Harvest Cove #1
Genre: Contemp Romance
Series: Harvest Cove #1
Genre: Contemp Romance
Publisher: Signet
Publication Date: 7/1/14Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 stars

For Samantha Henry, it took a ten-year absence to appreciate the close-knit New England town with an appeal all its own....  
After a perfect storm of events leaves Sam high, dry, and jobless, she has to head home to Harvest Cove to regroup. Growing up, she was the town misfit, and a brief high school romance that resulted in heartbreak made her realize she was never going to fit in. But now with the support of her mother and an unexpected circle of allies, Sam starts to wonder if she’s misjudged the town all these years.  
Life’s been good to Jake Smith. He transitioned from popular jock to town veterinarian without any trouble. But Sam’s homecoming makes him question his choices. The sharp-tongued beauty was never a good fit for the small community, but he’s never forgotten her—or how good they were together. While she makes it clear she’s not about to repeat the past, Jake’s determined to convince her to give him—and Harvest Cove—a second chance. 

My Review
I love a good second-chance romance. I love the history between the characters, even when it's painful. I love that one of the characters is usually returning home after several years away, which is a struggle in its own right. And I love that in romance, those second chances always turn out to be the last, the best.
In For the Longest Time, we have a painful, yet beautiful reunion between Sam Henry and Jake Smith. When Jake and Sam parted ways after a very brief and secret relationship, Sam was ripped apart. As it turns out, despite his bad behavior, Jake was ripped also, though he doesn't realize how badly until Sam returns. When she does return, down and unsure how to move forward, it doesn't take Jake long (approximately five minutes) to determine that he will win Sam back and he won't ever let her go again. Sam is not convinced in the slightest. Rightfully so.
What made this reunion so difficult is how badly Sam was treated by Jake and his friends in high school. Words hurt when your a teen misfit, especially when the cruelty comes from the boy you've fallen in love with. Jake Smith was beautiful, athletic and popular, and Sam loved him. When Jake finally sees the girl behind the dark makeup and weird clothes, he begins to fall for Sam, too. But life is hard, even when you're popular, and to keep the peace with his friends, Jake shoots down publicly, breaking her heart.
Sam moved on, to a different city and a different life. But she never forgot how Jake broke her, and when he begins to make his move, she is not buying it. Sam's inner strength wowed me. Jake still gets to her, and when you get to know him better, you can see why. He was an easily swayed, misguided teen, but he is a good man. A man who cares about his people and his community. So the fact that Sam was so tempted by Jake was a no-brainer. The fact that she made him prove his character to her made me happy.
If someone really cares for you, they will prove themselves with words and actions. The fact that Jake is still close with his high school friends was a big stumbling block between the two. This group of jerks annoyed me to no end! But they served a purpose in that Jake has to make a decision whether he'll go with the flow or forge ahead and become an even better person. And if he can drag a few other friends out of the high school glory days, all the better.
For the Longest Time was such an endearing love story. I adored Sam, with her witty spirit and her unwillingness to let the past defeat her again. Jake was a great romantic lead, full of the swoons and experiencing growth to make him worthy of Sam's heart. We also get a nice array of secondary characters. I personally crossing my fingers for a Jason (Jake's cousin) and Zoe (Sam's boss) story. Those two are a match made to win my heart.
Every Little Kiss, book two in the Harvest Cove series, centers on Sam's sister Emma, her near-opposite in many ways. I'm looking forward to her story and to revisiting Harvest Cove!
Favorite Quotes
  When she looked surprised, he leaned in close so she could hear him better -- and so he could breathe in her perfume just a little bit more. There was something she needed to understand, something he'd keep repeating until Sam accepted it as the truth...because it was.
  "I told you, Sam. I grew up. You're going to find that out."
  Jake pulled back enough to look in her eyes, his hair wild from her fingers in it, his skin glistening. And she felt something inside her, in the dark and hurt places she kept hidden, finally begin to warm. To heal.
  Jake touched his forehead to hers, and she could feel him shaking, waiting at the edge himself. For her. She pressed a kiss to his lips, different from the ones that come before.
  The boy she'd loved was right here in her arms. And no amount of anger or past hurt could change that everything that had drawn her to him remained.
 Jake pressed a kiss to the top of her head as she clung to him, eyes wide as the realization hit her with all the force of the speeding train. She loved him. Still. Again. More.
  And it terrified her.
I have one copy of For the Longest Time to give away, courtesy of the publisher. Open to US only; must be 18+ years of age to enter.

About Kendra Leigh Castle

Kendra Leigh CastleKendra Leigh Castle is the author of numerous paranormal romances, including the MacInnes Werewolves trilogy, the RITA award-nominated Renegade Angel, the Dark Dynasties series, and the Hearts of the Fallen series. 2014 will see the release of her first contemporary romance, For the Longest Time, which will be the first in her Harvest Cove series. Kendra lives in Maryland with her husband, children, two Newfs, and one obnoxious cat.

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  1. I love second-chance stories too, because there's already history with the characters. This sounds really good.

  2. I haven't read that much second-chance stories, but I like the idea of them. I'm so glad that you enjoyed this one as it sounds really good. Great review, Andrea :)

  3. I appreciate a good second-chance romance, too. Never heard of this one before, but it sounds really good and I'll go check it out!

  4. Sorry I've been MIA for a while, I've been going through a rough time and needed a little break. Anyway, I'm really glad you enjoyed this read! x

  5. Aww! I love second chance romances too. This one sounds like it's going to be emotional because it looks like Jake really hurt Sam. She sounds like a tough girl too and I already like her from reading your review. I need to give this book a shot.
    Lovely review, Andrea!

  6. This sounds like another good one. It will be interesting to see how she writes Jake and his friends. I always hate when a character stays friends with bad influences but I can see how it can be a catalyst for the romance/character development too.

  7. Oh I love second chance books too and I loved this one. Jake's friends were in danger of the teacher ruler. I'm like, really? Glad you enjoyed this too. Great review, pal.

  8. I've read the her previous books in the Dark Dynasties series and really enjoyed them...well I've only two of them but still. She is a great author and when she announced she was writing this I was soooo excited, her first contemporary and a series, yay!!

    I'm so glad to know you liked it, love your review because it sounds better than what I hoped for. Can't wait to get my hands on it.

  9. I love second chance romances especially when they are hard fought! I really like the sound of this one. Great review Andrea!

  10. " If someone really cares for you, they will prove themselves with words and actions."

    I really needed to hear that right now, thank you! This sounds like a cute story and you know me. I love a good second chance romance too!

  11. I do like the idea of second chances. This one sounds quite good; thanks for sharing!

  12. For the Longest Time sounds incredible, Andrea. You know I love second-chance romances as well, but this one seems to be so much more. That Sam is such a witty and strong heroine is appealing. And Jake growing in ways that make him worthy of Sam is appealing as well. I just added it to my tbr. Thanks for a wonderful review.


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