Heartsong Cottage (Emily March)

October 9, 2015 Book Reviews 5 ★★★★

Heartsong Cottage (Emily March)Heartsong Cottage by Emily March
Series: Eternity Springs #10
Published by St. Martin's Press on Nov. 3, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: the author
Goodreads
four-stars
Also in this series: Miracle Road, Mistletoe Mine, Dreamweaver Trail, Teardrop Lane, Reunion Pass, Christmas in Eternity Springs
Also by this author: Miracle Road, Mistletoe Mine, Dreamweaver Trail, Teardrop Lane, Reunion Pass, Christmas in Eternity Springs

Daniel Garrett is no stranger to heartache or tragedy. Once a successful detective, his world fell apart with his son's murder and his wife's suicide. Leaving the police force, Daniel devotes his life to finding missing children, but when a case goes sour on the anniversary of his personal tragedy, he returns to Eternity Springs hoping for some of the town's fabled healing.

Shannon O'Toole isn't looking for romance. After her fiancé's death, she closed off her heart. But she can't deny the spark between her and a sexy stranger at a friend's wedding. Shannon has her own secrets and has no place in her life for a private detective, even one who moves her as much as Daniel. But when the pair are thrown together on a case, the magic of Eternity Springs just might give them a second chance.

I received a review copy of this book from the author.

Review

I’ve wanted a story for Daniel since he appeared in Miracle Road, and I finally got my wish! I devoured the book in a single sitting. I loved Shannon, and Daniel is a good guy in dire need of healing. On some levels, he’s still pretty messed up by what happened to his family, though. Both are complex enough to be interesting, and the attraction between them is clear and strong.

I was drawn into the book from the very beginning — a rather dark prequel that gives us Daniel’s backstory. It took quite a bit longer to learn all of Shannon’s backstory, but I felt that I got to know her pretty well without knowing all the details up front. I love her fondness for vinyl records and old music! She’s someone I would really enjoy being friends with.

Emily March writes so well that by now, Eternity Springs and its residents feel real to me — as though I live there or at least get to visit for a few weeks each year, instead of a few hours each book. That sense of realness and of one of the things I love about the series — along with the wonderful love stories, of course! There’s plenty to swoon about in Heartsong Cottage. I’m usually more about the tender moments than the steamier bits, and there were several touching moments that gave me all the feels – plus one amazing apology that totally melted my heart.

As you would expect, Celeste and the other residents of Eternity Springs make several appearances. I didn’t see quite as much of them as I would have liked (what can I say — I like these people and I always want more of them!) but there were enough scenes to keep me smiling as I encountered old friends.

There is one scene in the book that really bothers me, however. Without going into details, Daniel’s reaction to something in that scene felt very uncharacteristic. Worse, I found the implications for his underlying attitudes and future behavior under stress quite disturbing. His shock is understandable, but the ugliness of some of his words left me shaking my head. The story needs some dramatic conflict at that point, but to me it seemed that the scene went a little too far. The extreme nature of Daniel’s response simply doesn’t fit the man I saw both before and after that episode.

To be fair, Shannon has a pretty strong reaction to something earlier in the book, too. The two scenes may be intended to mirror each other, but in Shannon’s case, I thought her reaction was understandable given the circumstances, while as I said, something doesn’t ring true about Daniel’s. Maybe I’m just oversensitive, but it jarred me out of the story, and I took several scenes to get back into the flow. Ms. March made up for it, though, with an unexpected twist and a truly satisfying ending.

Other than that one scene, I really enjoyed Heartsong Cottage, and I’m already looking forward to the next one! It looks like Chase and Lori will finally get their own HEA. Until Reunion Pass comes out next April, though, I’ll just have to settle for re-reading some of my favorite Eternity Springs stories.

 

four-stars

About Emily March

Emily March (aka Geralyn Dawson) is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the heartwarming, critically acclaimed Eternity Springs romantic women’s fiction series published by Ballantine Books.

Emily has written over 25 novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of subgenres including historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction. She is a three-time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award and a recipient of Romantic Times magazine’s Career Achievement Award and its Reviewer’s Choice award. In 2009, the American Library Association named her romantic suspense novel, ALWAYS LOOK TWICE, as one of the top ten romances of the year.

A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.

5 Responses to “Heartsong Cottage (Emily March)”

  1. Rita @ View From My Home

    I’ve heard of this author before but haven’t read her… and now, after your great review, I do want to pick her up– but at book #1. I like continuing contemporaries where we get invested in the lives of the town’s main characters.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      You can read them out of order, but it’s more fun to read them in order! Also, I’m sorry, but I inadvertently deleted the link to your most recent post, and there doesn’t seem to be a “Back” or “Undo” button. I’ll be more careful next time, I promise!