25 April 2015

Book Review: First Time in Forever by Sarah Morgan

"Happily-Ever-After isn’t on Emily Donovan’s agenda…

Emily’s been too swept up in a challenging year of firsts, from becoming a stand-in mum to her niece Lizzy to moving to remote but beautiful Puffin Island, to think about love.

But that’s before charismatic local yacht club owner Ryan Cooper kisses her…

Ryan knows Emily has a complicated past that she’s struggling to face. So he makes it his mission to help her unwind and enjoy the chemistry they share.

Can the welcoming community of Puffin Island work their magic on Emily and get her to take her biggest leap of trust yet —putting her heart in someone else’s hands?"

Rating: 5/5

You can buy First Time in Forever as an eBook or a paperback now!

I'll be honest and say that I thought none of Sarah Morgan's books would live up to how much I loved her 'O'Neill Brothers' trilogy, set on a beautiful snowy resort in Vermont. I loved the characters, the setting and everything about all 3 stories. However, I was so excited to receive a review copy of the first book in Sarah's brand new 'Puffin Island' trilogy. I was sure it wouldn't live up to my expectations, but how wrong I was! I absolutely loved the story from start to finish, and now cannot wait for the second book to be released in July!

Emily's life has all been thrown in awry recently, and she's struggling to cope under the pressure and expectation placed on her. She's become a stand-in mum to her young niece Lizzy after the death of her famous sister, and whisks her away to a remote island in order for Lizzy to stay under the radar of the paprazzi, who are keen to snap some pictures of the young girl. Emily isn't sure she's the right person for the job, but local boy Ryan Cooper is there to help when she needs it, whether or not she's ready to let him in. Will Emily be able to adjust to life on Puffin Island with Lizzy, and can she overcome her own fears while she's there too, as well as letting Ryan in to her life?

As I said before, this is the first book in a trilogy from Sarah Morgan, and we briefly meet the other two ladies who will take the main role for the next two books, although this one focuses on the story of Emily, one of the three friends. I really liked Emily from the beginning, and could totally understand her reluctance to take on a niece she barely knew, and run away from everything else around her in order to protect the child. It's a shock for anyone, but to have to hide her young niece is another pressure Emily doesn't need, and we can really feel her stress as the opening chapters unfold. I really enjoyed reading the journey that Emily went on throughout the book, slowly accepting her new role as caregiver to Lizzy, and it was so sweet to read their relationship blossoming too, Sarah Morgan writes the character of Lizzy so perfectly, not many authors get young child characters right in their books but this one was spot on for me.

Ryan is definitely the male hero of the book, always ready to step and save the day wherever Lizzy and Emily are concerned. He's asked by their mutual friend to keep an eye on the newcomers to the island, and he certainly takes his responsibility very seriously. Ryan was everything that the book needs from a male lead - handsome, caring and a bit of a mystery too, we're left hanging about his past for quite a while, wondering what happened to him to make him return to Puffin Island and run his yacht club. The chemistry between he and Emily was clear straight away, and I liked the twists and turns the book took regarding the possibility of the pair beginning a relationship. As ever with Morgan's books, the characters are believable, with realistic flaws and problems, and this just makes her books all the more fun for me to read.

As well as the main story, what I loved about this book was how easily Sarah Morgan created a little community within her book, and makes you want to become a resident of Puffin Island yourself! It's a close-knit community, and I cared about all the characters from Ryan's grandmothers, to the young mum who runs the failing ice-cream shop, it sounds like a wonderful place to live. Sarah Morgan's writing really brings the whole place to life as you read, and draws you ever more into the story, so you really don't want to put the book down once you start reading! The story was absolutely fantastic from start to finish, and I loved the fact that I will hopefully be catching up more with Ryan, Emily and Lizzy in the next two books to see how life is going for them all, I do love a good book series! With this book, Sarah Morgan has further cemented herself as one of my favourite authors, and I'm so excited for the next book, 'Some Kind of Wonderful' which is out this summer!

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