When I think of Kendra Leigh Castle, I think paranormal. But she absolutely blew me away with the first book in her Harvest Cove series. A story about going home and second chances.
I really enjoyed Sam. She was witty and often times very sarcastic, but she's learned to protect herself through her sarcasm. She didn't always fit in growing up in Harvest Cove, many times finding herself the butt of the popular crowds jokes, but she was someone who wanted to belong...somewhere. She had run to NYC, figuring she's be able to find that there, but instead she was almost in the same rut. Some when she finds herself without a job or prospects she comes back home to Harvest Cove. As a reader, you could understand her apprehension on returning home. One, because she was returning home to live with her mother. But two, because she didn't want to be reminded of everything that had destroyed her when she was a teenager. But ten years and adult eyes give us a different perspective on things and I think it really opened Sam's eyes. She didn't need to be friends with the popular crowd, or date the hottest guy (even though she totally was) to find happiness. Opening yourself up to one person or maybe two or three, who you know will stick by you can make a world of difference on your outlook.
Jake had his own revelations. Except for college, he never left his hometown of Harvest Cove. He had the same group of friends that he's had since high school. It wasn't until Sam came back, the girl he really liked in high school but caved to peer pressure and broke, that he discovered how insular his world is. Jake liked Sam and knew, pretty quickly, that he wanted a relationship with her. But when his friends started making wisecracks and calling her the names they did in high school, he started to realize he's really outgrown the group he hung with. It hurt him, but her also knew that what he felt for Sam and what they could have together was much more important than hanging onto a group just because they'd always been there. He discovered who his true friends were and that they were accepting of anyone who truly made him happy.
I loved the banter between the characters, especially Sam and Jake. They were witty and played off each other's sarcasm to the point of having laughter. But they weren't the only ones. Sam's sister Emma, is her uptight ways had some great one liners and Sam's boss, Roz, gave the best nickname to the guy I just hope she gets hooked up with (it would serve her right to be Mrs. Treebeard).
I can't wait for more from this series. The author has me hooked!