Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Review: Carolina Blues (Dare Island #4) by Virginia Kantra


Carolina Blues (Dare Island, #4)Series: Dare Island #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: 10/7/14
Format: eARC
Pages: 304
Source: Publisher

GoodReads  |  Amazon  |  BN

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.

My Reviews  Caroline Home  |  Carolina Girl  |  Carolina Man

First Line  Lauren Patterson entrenched herself in the corner table of Jane's Sweet Teas House, barricaded behind her laptop, a latte, and a Glorious Morning muffin.

Okay, who's hungry now?

This is a great series. Back in March, I picked up this nice-looking book, Carolina Man. I wasn't sure what I was getting, but I had a good feeling. Turns out I was right, of course. *wink* I flew through Carolina Man, then promptly bought and devoured Carolina Home and Carolina Girl. I fell in love with the Outer Banks, with Dare Island, and the Fletcher family. Since finishing the three books, I've been anxiously awaiting Carolina Blues.

With the three Fletcher siblings happily in love, and with the younger Fletchers Josh and Taylor still a bit young to take on the leading roles, I knew the series would be shifting a bit. I was a bit nervous about this, but trust Virginia Kantra would continue to deliver swoon-worthy romantic heroes. We get a new sort of leading man in Jack Rossi. And guys, I will always love those Fletcher men, but Jack was dead sexy, darker, and I liked it. Jack is the island's new police chief. After years on a big force and after a bitter divorce, he's welcomed this change of pace and setting. Jack was married to a fellow officer, a woman who was complicated, driven, and in the end, betrayed him with his partner. Jack's looking for a less-complicated future. A woman who's uncomplicated, softer. But that's not what he finds in Lauren Patterson. Unfortunately, she's the only woman who's truly caught his interest in quite some time.

Lauren Patterson is running. After becoming famous for being held hostage, negotiating with the hostage takers and ensuring the safety of others, she's become relatively famous. She's made the talk show rounds, wrote a bestseller about her experience, with another book due soon. The experience has left her with anxiety, stress, and running from the recognition. It's also left her with writer's block, which is why she's escaped to Dare Island. She wants the peace and anonymity, but she also wants to be truly seen. Not as the famous face, but as a woman who's held too much responsibility for too long.

Jack sees the real Lauren, all too clearly. She sees him, too. And this, the connection and the romance, is where Carolina Blues shines. Jack recognizes the burdens Lauren has carried, and is willing to help shoulder the load. He wants to hold her, take care of her, rescue her. Not from herself really, but from everything life has placed on her. What Lauren brings to Jack is, her heart. Jack's divorce left him angry and bitter. Lauren's vitality, honesty, her wit and strength revives Jack. She makes his heart beat strongly again. The very best romance, for me, is when each person brings life to the other, offers comfort, and when together they are stronger. Jack and Lauren, with their insight, maturity, and willingness to truly love, make each other better.

Carolina Blues is a straightforward story, no twists or tricks along the way. But with Kantra's thoroughly heartfelt stories, her wonderful characters who engage and inspire me, and the beautiful romances, they don't need to be anything other what they are - purely genuine. I love this series, and if you're looking for solid romance with a generous helping of steam, Dare Island is a great place to get lost in.

Rating: 4 stars

Favorite Quotes

  He looked so hard and dangerous. He made her feel so safe. Jack Rossi to the rescue. She fought a shiver of longing.

  I'm in this thing with you...
 That didn't sound like a hookup. Or even a rebound relationship.
  Breathe. "That doesn't...We haven't..."
  " 'Enjoy the trip,' " he said softly, and she realized he was quoting.
  Is that what she'd said? It sounded like her. "Yes." His hand on the small of her back urged her closer into the warmth of his body, the hard planes of his torso, the ridge of his erection.
  She sucked in her breath.
  He kissed her hair. "So let's enjoy."
  Live in the moment. Savor the moment. Store up as many moments as you can, a bright and shining hoard against the time when you are gone.
   Resting her head against his chest, she closed her eyes and let him lead her where she wanted to go.

The Dare Island Series
Carolina Home (Dare Island, #1)  Carolina Girl (Dare Island, #2)  Carolina Man (Dare Island, #3)   Carolina Blues (Dare Island, #4)
(covers lead to GoodReads page)


Virginia KantraNew York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra has written over twenty books of contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance. She is the winner of numerous writing awards, including Romance Writers of America's RITA Award and two National Readers' Choice Awards. Married to her college sweetheart and the mother of three kids, she is a firm believer in the strength of family, the importance of storytelling, and the power of love. Her favorite thing to make for dinner? Reservations.

Website Twitter  |  Facebook  |  GoodReads

 photo AndreaSig_zps3f75055b.jpg


  1. Sounds like a really great series I may need to try! Love the covers, too.

  2. This does sound like a great romance. I love it when both the hero and the heroine bring something to the relationship. Great review

  3. This sounds like a great series, Andrea. I love the sound of both of the main characters and I have got to meet these Fletcher siblings for sure. Lovely review! :)

  4. Aw, this sounds like a beautiful story, Andrea. I'm glad this new installment was worth the wait. I'll have to check out this series.

  5. This is such a nice series. Comfortable and welcoming and I mean that in the best possible way.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  6. Your affection for this series is what has me curious to read these books..i love a hot cop too! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Oh I loved book one :) I read it back when it came out and yes totally fell in love with the setting and characters. I can't believe how far behind I am already! Awesome to hear she keeps rocking it (she's one of my locals! woot!)

  8. Gosh I could use a muffin!

    No frills romance? I like! I'm on a romance binge now and I'm starting to turn blue in the face coz of the cheesiness & stupid conflicts. Its not the books, its me, I'm grumpy LOL

  9. The wonderful characters and straightforward plot sounds nice

  10. I love characters who inspire me and emotional romances!! I haven't read anything like that in a while so I'll have to check this series out. Great review, Andrea :)

  11. I've only read Carolina Man, but I loved it. I planned on reading the rest of the series, but you know how that goes. I'll have to get to it soon. I have this one for review too and I forgot that it was going to be about the police chief. I'm really excited about that because I really liked him from his appearances in the last book. Great review, Andrea! I'll be getting to this soon. :)

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