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Review: The One Real Thing (Hart’s Boardwalk #1) by Samantha Young


Welcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts…

While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women’s correctional facility where she works, she’s always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life. Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison’s library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town’s charm—and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny.

Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they’ve owned for generations. But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her. Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there’s only one real thing in life worth fighting for….

My Review

“I’m in this for the long haul, Doc. I was before you walked into my bar tonight, but now, after the best fucking sex of my life, after how wild that was, there’s no way I’m letting you walk out of here without me.”

“You’ve made your mark. You made your mark on me. No matter what happens between us now or in the future, I will never forget you. You’re inside me. Always will be.”

When I heard about this new series by Samantha Young, I was over the moon. I have been a fan of hers ever since picking up On Dublin Street. So, when I heard the words, “New Series”, I couldn’t wait to dive in.

Told from dual points of view, The One Real Thing follows the story of Jessica and Cooper. Jessica is just going through the motions of life. She has a job that she’s good at and an arrangement of sorts with a guy she’s seeing, but she’s not really happy. When she comes across some hidden letters at her job, they spark something inside her. Suddenly, it becomes her mission to return those letters and set the past right. When Jessica shows up to Hartwell, the last things she ever planned on was Cooper….Ever since his divorce, Cooper has become a ladies man. He doesn’t do relationships and his focus is just family and and his business. When Jessica blows into town, she turns his world upside down. Has Cooper finally met his match? Will Cooper and Jessica finally get the HEA they are both looking for?

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was an easy read for me. I loved the idea of the story and the setting. The characters captured me from the first meeting and had me dying to know more about them. I adored Bailey from the moment I met her. She was just one of those people that you knew you’d be instant friends with. I hope that we will be seeing more of her in the future. Now, for Cooper and Jessica. Jessica captured my interest right away. I wanted to know more about her and why she was so unhappy with her life. She had a pretty big secret that she was hiding and I couldn’t wait to learn more. And Cooper…When he first met Jessica, I just knew things were going to be good with them. The sparks between the two of them were intense and had me begging for more.

However, I did have a few issues with this story. The biggest one for me was the pacing. It just felt off to me. At times, it would be just right and then suddenly it would start to drag. And when it dragged, I would find myself getting distracted. There was too much going on in this book for it to be moving at such a weird pace. I don’t know. It’s hard to put what exactly what I’m talking about into words. The best I can say, is that the pacing just didn’t work for me. My only other issue, and this just might be me, is that I kind of wish that there hadn’t been so much focus on the town. Yes, I fell in love with the town, but the town started to feel like it was its own character and for me, it took the focus away from Cooper and Jessica.

Despite my issues with this story, I did enjoy this book. I enjoyed the characters and fell in love with the setting. I do think that this will be one of those books that is going to a hit for some and just so, so for others. For me, I thought it was and ok read, and again, despite my pacing issues, I think this series is off to a good start. My interest is definitely peaked and I’m looking forward to seeing where this series will go next.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

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