I read the fourth book in the Moonlight Harbor series first. I enjoyed it a lot and wanted to go back to read the rest. I read and/or listened to them all this past week and here are my mini-reviews.
Welcome to Moonlight Harbor (Moonlight Harbor #1) by Sheila Roberts
I really enjoyed this first book in the Moonlight Harbor series. I read the fourth one first, so it was wonderful to go back and see how it all started. Jenna has been given a chance to start over in Moonlight Harbor after a nasty divorce. Jenna and her daughter move in with her Aunt Edie and run the Driftwood Inn. Having to pay spousal support to her deadbeat, cheating husband doesn’t leave much in her pocketbook. Well, she was not prepared for the state of the Inn and the first step is to renovate, but where will she get the money and the manpower? Dealing with an unhappy teen adds one more brick to the pile she has to deal with.
I love Moonlight Harbor. It seems everyone in town has something they have dealt with or are trying to overcome and because of that, they all support one another. Jenna has a lot stacked against her, but her friendliness, heart and strength all work in her favour to find others who are willing to help her out. There are a few spots in the story that cause some angst and fear in the hearts of a parent, but fortunately, all works out. The story flowed well and was well plotted to keep the reader interested and invested in the characters. There is some romance, and a bit of a triangle that I don’t always like, but it was well done. An up-lit story dealing with second chances, family, friendship, dreams and forgiveness. I am definitely going to read the rest of this series.
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Wow, another wonderful visit to Moonlight Harbor. This story still concentrates on Jenna, but there is a whole group of secondary characters that are staying at the Driftwood that play a huge part in this story. It is winter and the residents of Moonlight Harbor are trying to come up a way to bring tourists to their small town. It is hard to survive the winter without a lot of income. Jenna suggests a winter festival called Seaside with Santa. It sounds like a great idea and most of the businesses in town are on board. The only thing that could put a damper on the event would be the weather.
This story tugged at my heartstrings. The stories many of the visitors to Moonlight Harbor brought with them were so sad. I loved how upbeat some of them were, even though they were struggling, or had overcome some devastating situations. I came to care for the characters and took time to take stock of my own life. There was only one character that I wanted to smack, but that is the wonderful thing about Sheila Robert’s character development, they become real to the reader. As the other books in this series did, the residents of Moonlight Harbor come to the aid of those who need help, and everyone becomes part of the community. This story pulled at my heartstrings, but I am happy to say that it does end on a high note. This is not a romance, but there is some romance in the story. It is a story of friendship, community, helping others, overcoming obstacles, family and love. The positive female relationships that these women share will make you want to go out and make some new friends, or better yet, pack your bags and move to Moonlight Harbor. This one even has some recipes at the end that sound easy and yummy. Another great story from Sheila Roberts. Now, on to book #3.
The Summer Retreat (Moonlight Harbor #3 by Sheila Roberts
This summer read features Celeste, Jenna’s sister who heads to Moonlight Harbor to get away from a bad relationship and help her sister at the Driftwood Inn. Jenna finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her and she falls apart. It is one more bad relationship in a string of them. Jenna’s main goal in life is to find a good man and get married, but now she is thinking she needs to give up on men. Once she arrives in Moonlight Harbor, Jenna has other plans for her sister. The local minister is single and attractive. She thinks he and Celeste would be a perfect match. Things move quickly and they are an item in a short period of time. I think that is what I did not like about this book, as the others in this series do not feature instalove. The big problem is that Celeste is not being herself, but changing to be what the pastor wants and expects from a wife. Again, not something I like as not being true to yourself will never work in the long run. As you can probably tell, this is my least favourite book of the series. I love Jenna’s ongoing story and her decisions regarding who the right man for her may be. The usual characters are along for the ride with this outing and I always enjoy the support they give each other, even though their advice and meddling might not be the best. There is another group of female friends in this one that are actually rather mean and could be considered bullies to a degree, but I am glad that they can put in their place by one of their own. Overall, a good story, one I am glad I read, but definitely a bit of a letdown compared to the rest of the series.