Half Moon Harbor by Donna Kauffman
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Description: Brodie Monaghan has one goal in mind since he left Ireland for the little Maine town of Blueberry Cover. That goal is to restore his family's boat building business and that includes renovating the old boat houses that used to be part of that business. He is more than a little surprised when one of them is sold out from under him to former lawyer and future Inn keeper Grace Maddox. He's even more surprised to find out that not only is he attracted to Grace but he likes her as well.
Why I Picked This Book: I've been enjoying the small town contemporary romances lately and liked that this involved an Irish lead character.
Pros: I liked Grace and I loved Brodie. Grace is smart, kind and fair with some very understandable relationship issues. I loved how logical she is both with dealing with Brodie and her brother Ford. Her expectations are realistic and she can admit when she's doing something because she doesn't want to be hurt. Brodie is a wonderful character. Kauffman does a fabulous job with his accent making it obvious enough that I could hear it in my head when I was reading but not so thick that I felt like I had to translate it. He's sweet to Grace but also aware of his reputation as a bit of a ladies man. Their relationship really felt equal. Brodie may have more of a pursuer but it wasn't because Grace wasn't as interested. They both seemed to respect each other's intelligence which was nice. I liked that Brodie didn't blame Grace for the same of the boathouse especially when it became clear that she wasn't aware of the politics of it. Grace also seemed sympathetic to Brodie without caving and giving up her own dream. It was nice to read a romance with two main characters who acted like logical adults. The resolution of all the different plots was very satisfying. I liked how Kauffman gave the reader a satisfying ending but still leaving things open ended.
Cons: Not everything in a book has to make total sense but I was completely confused by the boat house ownership situation. I understood that Grace bought hers because she paid the back taxes on it but I didn't understand why Brodie was so confused. Surely he knew that could happen? How could he renovate if he didn't properly own the structures? I felt like this needed to be explained a bit more as it was the primary focus of the first third of the book. It does get explained later but by that time the story was no longer focusing on ownership rights. That being said, this is the 2nd in the series so the situation could have been more fleshed out in the first book. While I loved the characters I didn't feel like I fully connected with them until close to the end of the book.
Overall: While I enjoyed this book it definitely had some flaws. The characters were great but it was low on the connection factor. I think it would definitely have helped if I had read the first book. It was still an enjoyable contemporary romance and I'll be picking up #3 which I already have waiting for me.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes, I'm looking forward to the next one in the series.
Would I Recommend this Book?: I think this series has a lot of promise but start with #1