Review | Return to Magnolia Harbor by Hope Ramsay

Was she his tormentor or an angel come in answer to an unspoken prayer?

Published: June 23, 2020

Publisher: Forever

Pages: 302 (Mass Market Paperback)

Series: Moonlight Bay #3

3 Stars

She couldn’t decide if Topher was the evil jerk she’d painted him to be or a good guy who’d taken a wrong turn on a twisty road.

USA Today bestselling author Hope Ramsay delivers the next book in her Moonlight Bay series, an enemies-to-lovers story about a man who returns home to his small town and finds love in the most unlikely of places.

She never forgot him…but can she forgive him?

Jessica Blackwood is trying to make her architectural design firm a success, and she’s off to a great start, thanks to a recommendation that leads to the job of the century-designing a house for a wealthy but reclusive bachelor. The only problem? Jessica’s new client happens to be her old high school nemesis. The bigger problem? He’s no longer the cocky boy who once tormented her, and suddenly she finds herself intrigued by her new client.

Christopher Martin isn’t proud of his past behavior. He regrets nothing more than hurting Jessica all those years ago, and now that he’s back in Magnolia Harbor he finally has a chance to make amends. As the two work side by side, Topher begins to realize he wants more than a house. He wants forgiveness and a future with the woman he’s never forgotten. But can he prove to Jessica he’s truly changed?

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First and foremost thank you to my friends at Forever for sending this my way! I adored the first two books in the series, The Cottage on Rose Lane and Summer on Moonlight Bay, so I was beyond thrilled to be able to take a trip back to Magnolia Harbor!

Enemies to lovers is my favorite trope in romance, but I will say this felt like it was a little more on the mild side. This had all the classic elements I’ve come to know and love from Hope Ramsay’s series; meddling locals, sailing and lakeside fun, and compelling, grumpy heroes. I loved the premise of the book; our scarred and grumpy hero returns home and wants to build a magnificent home on an isolated island and he turns to his old schoolmate who has also returned home to make a name for herself as an architect. Sounds perfect, right? And it was, for the most part.

I love love loved Topher as a main character! He was the perfect amount of frosty and rude (I love a grumpy hero) and his turning points and the thawing of his heart was perfect, really. He was my favorite part of this novel. My issue for this book really stemmed from the heroine, Jessica. She was… annoying, at best. Here’s what I don’t get; she had this awful experience as a teen and is all focused on how the town people have never accepted her or liked her and have just done nothing but spread rumors about her. And yet she comes back? And thus spends the whole book stressing about what people think of her? It was odd at first, but then when she says the same stuff the entire book I just couldn’t help rolling my eyes. Like honey, just move away and live your life! It was exhausting to see and overshadowed the romance, in my opinion.

One of the other things I’ve loved about this series thus far is the storyline that includes Ashley, her son, and the pastor. The sexual tension between Ashley and Micah St. Pierre has been building for three whole books and I am SO READY for these two to get together, already! I wish Ramsay would give them their own story because it would be phenomenal, I’m sure. But for now I’ll enjoy seeing them blossom slowly.

While the romance at the center of the book wasn’t the best in this series, I still enjoyed the book overall. From Topher as the hero, the sprinkling of mystery and history and a ghost (yes, a ghost), and the continued romance between Ashley and Micah, I enjoyed my trip back to Magnolia Harbor! I’m looking forward to another trip back, soon!

Happy reading
Book Links

Goodreads

Fabled

Book People

The Ripped Bodice

The Moonlight Bay Series

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