Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Book review: Starlight Bridge by Debbie Mason

Ava DiRossi has a secret that destroyed her life—and her marriage—ten years ago. Now that her ex and love of her life is back in Harmony Harbor, and the book containing her secret confession is hidden somewhere in Greystone Manor, she needs to find it asap, while at the same time finding a way to stay away from Griffin and the attraction that never stopped sizzling.

Griffin Gallagher lost the love of his life without ever knowing what really ruined their fairy-tale marriage. After his second marriage ends too, he’s determined to stay in his hometown only as long as it takes for the family to sell the manor. But being around Ava all the time stirs up old feelings that never really stopped simmering underneath his Navy SEAL tough façade.

When an unexpected twist complicates things, will they be able to get their happily-ever-after, or are they doomed to fail again?

Every time I start a book by Debbie Mason, I know I’m in for a marvelous adventure that will make it hard for me to put my Kindle down while at the same time making me wish I never reached the last page. This book is no exception. I loved it from the very first page to the last word.

I adored her Christmas, Colorado series and devoured every book, always looking forward to the next one. Although I do miss the characters from the town of Christmas, I have to admit I’ve grown attached to the people of Harmony Harbor just as quickly—and this is all because of the author’s ability to create relatable characters you can’t help but love. I loved book one (Mistletoe Cottage - read my review), and I was curious to read Ava and Griffin’s book. I’ll admit I’m not a fan of love triangles and even though this isn’t exactly one, since Griffin divorced both his wives (Ava and Lexi), I wasn’t happy to find out Lexi was back in the picture. But I decided to give the author the benefit of the doubt, since I knew this would be the perfect obstacle to Griffin and Ava’s happy ending. After all, there wouldn’t be a story if everything was easy-peasy, and Griffin and Ava saw each other after ten years and got married again the day after, right? 

Eventually, as the story progressed and I got to know Lexi a little better, I was happy that she got included in the book and got a tiny happily-ever-after herself. So there you go: even if you think there might be a love triangle and you aren’t a fan of the trope, trust me when I say there really isn’t one. It’s just Griffin being overly adorable and, wow, I thought I couldn’t find anyone I’d like more than Liam (Griffin’s firefighter brother and the hero in book 1), but it was a really tough match. These serve-and-protect Gallaghers are all quite charming! Of course, they’re Irish so they have a bonus point, but still… 

Ava is a great heroine and I adored her. Sometimes I wanted to step into the book and hug her. She wants people to think she’s strong and perfectly capable of taking care of herself and her father, but when her fragile side shows, even if only for the reader to see, you’ll really want to be able to hug her and comfort her. Good thing Griffin’s around to help her with that.

I loved their early banter, the way her Italian temper exploded whenever Griffin was around. I loved seeing how they both tried to stay away from each other (the opening scene when they meet in Griffin’s room is hilarious), how they wanted to fight their feelings but couldn’t. The constant push and pull, the big question mark lingering over their heads for most of the book that made me wonder whether they’d ever get their happy ending or if life would get in the way again, the beautiful romantic scenes—it all made me feel like I was right there with them, experiencing their pain, their anger, their love, and like I said at the beginning of this review, the book took me on a journey that left me with a contented smile on my face while already looking forward to the next book. Once you’ve met the people of Harmony Harbor, I know you’ll feel the same. 

Whether you’re a fan of Debbie Mason’s books, or she’s a new-to-you author, this book is a must-read if you love clean romances with scorching chemistry but always behind locked doors and without graphic descriptions. I adore Debbie Mason's books and this one has all the ingredients I love about her books: there are funny moments, romantic moments, swoon-worthy heroes, strong female characters, the perfect amount of angst and tension, and also a meddling ghost who’s the highlight of this series. Get ready for some laugh-out-loud moments, courtesy of Colleen Gallagher, the ghost.

You can read this book even if you haven't read the previous one, but I recommend reading Mistletoe Cottage first, because 1) it’s a great book that will warm your heart all year long and 2) you’d be able to understand and appreciate better the role of the meddling ghost. And 3) because Debbie Mason never disappoints fans of good ol’ romance and of modern-day happily-ever-afters.


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