Harbor Town is a picturesque lakeside community that is known for it’s white sand beaches, charming Main Street, gorgeous sunsets and friendly neighbors. It’s a small town where, at first glance, everything looks beautiful; you’d never know that fifteen years ago tragedy struck leaving four people dead and three families broken.
In The Hometown Hero Returns and Liam's Perfect Woman , the first two books of the series, the author weaves a story not only about romance but about three families that worked, played and grew up together, until one night a drunk driver ended all their hopes and dreams and changed the course of their futures forever. In one moment everything changed and childhood friends and a lifetime of loving memories transformed into regrets, and recriminations.
As an author, Beth Kery's books are always romantic, but they are also deeply layered, and this series has an interesting juxtaposition to it. While the books are initially based in tragedy they are also deeply rooted in love. They explore both survivor’s guilt and the ability to move on and love again.
For fifteen years these three families have weathered the storm of heartbreak and learned to pick up the pieces of their lives. They learned by becoming the best possible people they could be and giving back to others. They also coped by burying the past and moving on. Unfortunately, when you bury a painful past it inevitably comes back to haunt you.
In The Hometown Hero Returns, Mari Itani comes home to face her past and to build a better future for her and for the town. The one person she didn’t expect to face was the one man she’s always loved, Marc Kavanaugh, the son of the man who killed her parents.
In Liam's Perfect Woman, Natalie Reyes as the only survivor of the accident, has spent the last sixteen years isolated and living half a life. Her need to move forward is tied to her need to learn why the crash happened, and so she hires Derry Kavanaugh’s son Liam to investigate the crash.
Although each book can be read on its own, each book is connected and gives you a look into the transformative power of love and forgiveness. They’re about owning your past and accepting it for both the good and the bad, living in the present and planning for the future. They both explore the issues of finding the truth, even when you know it might not be the one you’re looking for, because knowing the truth is better than living in ignorance.
Both books are romances which explore the deeper emotional issues primarily through the hero and heroine. As Mari and Max and Natalie and Liam, each fall in love, you can feel the joy embracing them as they discover you can go home again.
It was easy to fall in love with Harbor Town and the people who live there. Experiencing the wonder of two people falling in love as they grapple with a sensitive and emotional joureny made me want to know more about the other Kavanuagh’s, Itari’s and Reyes’ - and there are more. I’m looking forward to reading about them in future books.