I received a free Netgalley copy of the book for review. I was not paid for the review and all opinions are my own.
When you hear Harlequin what image first pops in your head?
Overdone cliched romances?
Romance novels, especially category romance books have always gotten a bad rap. I’ve had my moments, I’m not proud to admit. I’ve been a judgy reader. All that changed for me when I got hooked on some MIRA line books as well as Graydon House. Harlequin is NOT bad writing, they specifically DON’T want the same story over and over, all endings are GUARANTEED to have a happy ending. And the SEX can be as spicy as you want. Anywhere from sexy kissing to behind closed doors, to decidedly not behind the doors sex scenes.
That is what you know when you pick up a romance. The same as you know a sci fi or fantasy book will have spectacular world building or technical knowledge, or a mystery will have a dead body in it. Readers like genres because they know what to expect, and they love a book when they are surprised.
I recently had the opportunity to review More Than a Neighbor by Shannon Stacey. It is part of the Harlequin Special Edition line. The romance is a meet-cute, neighbors whose pets don’t get along. Meredith is looking for a fresh start for she and her daughter, after losing her husband. Cam has a few family skeletons he’d like to unearth. What they end up with is a happily ever after.
I love books that are set in small towns and have characters that pop up in one book and become a focus of another book. Stacey seemed to be doing that in Blackberry Bay. We meet a series of women that Meredith had known in school and have love life issues of their own. Because of the tight word count, we don’t get in depth on the secondary characters, but enough of a taste to anticipate what their stories will be about.
This book does give us a good picture of who Meredith and Cam are. What they love and don’t love, what they wish for and what they want. There wasn’t tons of build up to the romance. They get a long well and although they do have their problems it was an easy path to the HEA.
I like a little more tension in my romances, but overall this book was a great afternoon by the fire read.
This book is great if you like series that take place in a small town and focus on family. The romance is fairly chaste, although the sex scene doesn’t happen behind closed doors, it isn’t overly explicit.
If you want to purchase this book you can pre-order. The release date is June 1, 2020
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