A geek at heart, Anna J Stewart writes "refreshingly unique, quietly humorous, and profoundly moving romance" (RT Book Reviews). Visit her online at www.authorannastewart.com and make sure to sign up for her news only newsletter. She gives away a surprise gift box to one lucky subscriber with each issue!
The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harborby Anna J. Stewart
Can people truly change?
Two things keep Holly Campbell grounded: her precocious son and preserving her forty-year-old family diner in the face of expansion and change. She doesn't need a blast from the past like Luke Saxon, who's back in Butterfly Harbor after more than a decade away. The hard-luck kid who nearly destroyed her family,/p>/b>/em>
Can people truly change?
Two things keep Holly Campbell grounded: her precocious son and preserving her forty-year-old family diner in the face of expansion and change. She doesn't need a blast from the past like Luke Saxon, who's back in Butterfly Harbor after more than a decade away. The hard-luck kid who nearly destroyed her family, leaving her to pick up the pieces, is taking over as sheriff. She can't trust him, even if Luke's ideas for the town's upcoming anniversary seem to show he's trying to give back to their community. Has Butterfly Harbor found its unlikely savior? And has the widowed single mother finally found a man she can believe in, rely on and love?
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Let's start with what I didn't like about this book. Hmmm. Well, that was quick. lol. The cover hooked me, but I confess the title scared me a little. Since I'd not read anything by Anna J. Stewart before, I worried that this book might contain graphic scenes. But it's a Heartwarming, so I decided to take a chance. I'm glad I did. Heartwarming is definitely an apt description. Luke bumped Holly's father out of his job as sheriff, and Holly blamed him for her family's breakup. They had more than a few bumps on the road to romance. "Owning up to our mistakes, to our misgivings about people, is what makes us better people." Luke blamed himself too. A son of an alcoholic father, Luke was abused, physically and emotionally. Stepping foot in his childhood house again releases ugly memories. "Eight years in the ground and his father could still chip away at Luke's self-worth. Luke had been a soldier and a cop, but in his mind, he'd always hear his father beating him down, telling him he'd never amount to anything. That he would always be unworthy of respect, let alone affection." Holly's father never stopped believing in Luke and was the driving force behind the new Luke. While this isn't a Christian romance, I pictured our spiritual father. Always believing in us, always encouraging, never giving up on us. That starts a "pay it forward" theme for Luke as he comes back to help Butterfly Harbor regain its footing, a different man than the one who left. An unlikely companion and a kid following a similar path as Luke's help Luke find peace with his past. But Holly and her precocious son Simon offer hope for the future. Secondary characters play a big role in this story, and I hope we'll read about their stories in future books. More than focusing on romance, though, The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor is about hope and overcoming obstacles, about forgiveness and relationships, about forging a different path for the future than the sorry one left behind. Thankfully, the worry about explicit scenes was unfounded. I'm glad I took a chance on The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor, and I'll be looking for more by Anna J. Stewart. If you're looking for something light and flirty, this isn't the book. But, if you'd like to dig into something a bit meatier and heavy on the heartstrings, definitely check this one out. :) Disclaimer: I purchased my own copy of this book. I was in no way compensated and this is my fair and unbiased review. ~Dora Hiers, Fiction Faith & Foodies Blog
A touching story about redeeming yourself after a past you are not proud of. Luke Saxon is back in Butterfly Harbor after more than a decade away. He's taking over as Sheriff for a partial term. Holly Campbell is NOT happy when she sees Luke is back in town. She holds a lot of resentment towards him for something he did as a teenager and does not believe he could have changed. Luke understands Holly's anger, and doesn't blame her one bit. But that doesn't stop him from liking her and wishing she'd see him as a better person than she has held in her mind all these years. When Holly sees Luke helping out the town and being a good person towards her own family, will she cut him a break and be able to forgive him for a mistake he made years ago? ** Received free in exchange for an honest review **
A beautiful story about people in a small failing community, fighting back to build up the town again, and the human destinies of the small town. I love Jake, the former sheriff of the town and Holly's dad. Him, Luke, Matt, they all had that ability to see more than just the act, to look deeper than the circumstances, and trust the person inside, trying to do what is right. Both Matt and Luke didn't have it easy growing up, but they had made something special out of their lives, something to be admired. Luke's connection with Simon, that special boy of Holly's, is adorable. That little deputy gets into more trouble than anyone, but he has a heart of gold, and mind of a genius. The characters really touched my heart, they are real, struggling each with their issues, but learning from them, and moving forward, better person than before, because of the struggles. The trust, attraction, and caring between Holly and Luke grew slowly, but surely. As they put their past where it belongs, get to know each other as they are today, they form a bond between them, a unique connection, that is to be admired. An inspiring, heartfelt, and sweet story of a town folks, that are willing to do the hard work, to put their home back together again. ~ Five Spoons
Wow!! This is a book once you start you will not be able to put down. Full of small town, forgiveness, trust worthy and letting go of past mistakes. Luke has returned home to Butterfly Harbor, to take over the sheriff's position of Holly's father who is stepping down. Holly has never been able to forgive him from a terrible night years ago. Holly is a single mom, raising Simon, who is a handful, to the say the least. Luke has his hands full from the very beginning, and to prove his worthiness of a changed man to the town and to Holly. I highly recommend this book, much more than a romance. You too will fall in love with Luke, Holly and Simon. I can't wait for more from Butterfly Harbor. I received this book from the author for an honest review.
I've always been a sucker for a bad boy who comes back to a town from his youth and tries to makes up for past mistakes! This is such a book. But I have to say I really felt a strong connection to the hero, Luke. I've read several of these types of stories before and liked the main characters but Luke has to be among my all-time favorites! He just seemed real and fallible and I loved how the author didn't make him too macho in the beginning or too sappy at the end! I loved his humility and his desire to "do the right thing" as situations arose even when other people in the community questioned his decisions. Luke comes back to town to be the interim sheriff and Holly cannot believe it! Luke almost destroyed her family, mostly her father, who is the current sheriff, when they were teenagers and she can't forgive Luke for that. Why is her father giving his job to Luke? Holly has so much on her plate, namely a young son who is getting in so much trouble, a father who she doesn't understand, a business that is stressing her out and she's a widow! Her town is falling apart and now Luke is back in town after a decade away - WHY???? Luke, on the other hand, was the child of the town drunk, and he knows people are not going to accept him until he shows them he's not like his father. There's a lot to do in Butterfly Harbor and he's going to do his best to help the struggling town but he's going to need Holly's help...if she'll just forgive him. I love this book and all the characters were fantastic! I can't wait for the next book in the series!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. There is so much to love about this story. Ms. Stewart has a way of delving deep into a person’s heart and soul. I won’t go into detail but let me say this: Holly Campbell is carrying around a big ol’ bag of grudges and it is weighing her down. She has the most precocious little guy – her eight year old son Simon – who is just a riot. Reminds me of someone near and dear so I had some very big laugh out loud moments. Luke comes back to town and is one of Holly’s biggest grudges but the story about how they get an HEA is really special. My heart ached for Luke, I laughed at Simon and most of his antics, and wanted to sit Holly down and tell her to lighten up, at times. I am SO looking forward to more of this series as I want to know what happens with some of the secondary characters. Great job! I highly recommend.
The last time that Luke Saxon was in Butterfly Harbor, he was a troubled teen. Twelve years later he returns to town to take over as Sheriff. Holly isn't thrilled to have the man that nearly destroyed her family back in town, especially since he is taking over her dad's job as Sheriff. There are many misunderstandings and secrets from long ago that Holly and Luke must work through. I loved Luke as the hero and he was great with Holly's son, Simon. This is a great new series by Anna J. Stewart and I look forward to reading the next book in the Butterfly Harbor series. **I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**