Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Is It Any Wonder by Courtney Walsh


Is It Any Wonder by Courtney Walsh

Courtney is an excellent writer! As you can see here at my blog, I've been on a kick lately, reading her work. This is book two in her Nantucket Love Story series.

Let’s begin with the summary:

Can a promise made as kids bring them back together as adults? In this Nantucket-set beach read, “master of the genre” (Midwest Book Review) Courtney Walsh delivers a sparkling inspirational romance about first love and second chances.

Twelve years ago, Cody Boggs and Louisa Chambers made a pact that no matter where their lives took them, they’d return to Nantucket Island’s Brant Point Lighthouse on July 30, their shared golden birthday, and continue their tradition of exchanging birthday wishes. But that was before a tragic accident upended both of their lives, irrevocably pulling them apart.

Their worlds collide just months before that particular day when Louisa’s fledgling event planning company is hired by the local Coast Guard station, where she discovers Cody has recently returned to the island as the second in command. As they plan a regatta fundraiser, hoping to promote positive PR in the community, neither can deny the fireworks each encounter ignites. But working together also brings up memories of the day Cody’s father died, revealing secrets that have Cody and Louisa questioning everything they thought they knew and felt about their families and each other.

And now, my review:

I really enjoyed book one of the Nantucket Love Story series, which is called If for Any Reason. See my review here. It’s no wonder (ha!) that Courtney is known as a “master of the genre.” She writes an excellent romance, book after book.

Our hero is quiet, but feels things deeply. He carries huge regrets. The heroine’s conflict intersects  because she carries the same regret. I loved that the hero is a Coastguardsman. He’s courageous and strong and noble as he faces the force that took his father.

I admired the heroine’s strength. She’s a competent business owner who knows her niche and pursues her dreams. But not without insecurities. She’s a people person, so she wants to see folks get along, especially her favorite folks—even if they’re all carrying the same burden from the past. Every character in the story is layered and flawed, and I rooted for most of them. The author kept me hooked the whole time, though this is a long book. So worth it.

I loved that this was a reunion romance—one of my favorite types. The hero and heroine share a birthdate and their golden birthday (the birthday that matches the day of the month they were born—the 30th) carries extra weight. I liked this original aspect. It was also very interesting to see two intuitive main characters (Myers-Briggs personality category). I haven't seen that element often enough. 

Courtney uses sarcasm and humor to keep things from getting to heavy. So well done.

One of the themes was how truth impacts lives—whether kept or shared. Truth can set you free, but it can also hurt. I felt for these characters.

Beaches are my favorite setting, so that aspect really appealed to me. The way Courtney wrote this story, I could see it playing out as a movie. It’s very cinematic. I could not only see the scenes unfolding, but they felt "big"—movie worthy. Courtney's A Match Made at Christmas, which came out last fall, is being made into a movie and I really hope her Nantucket books get the same opportunity. (Read my review for that Christmas novella here.)

(A side note: I noticed several similarities to my 2017 Friday Harbor novel, which I’m sure is a coincidence. There were multiple differences as well, of course.)

My TBR (to-be-read) pile is overflowing, but I could definitely read this novel again. Very enjoyable!

Highly recommended!

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