This is a wonderful book, but I cried bucketfuls. I think I did some healing right along with Nate and Jewel though. It is a very emotional book, but Melissa Foster did a great job with a very difficult topic. It is also a great title for this book. To me, it says it all. Nate and Jewel are both healed by their love. Then, there is B.J. Harrison, who narrated this book. He, as always, did an outstanding job. The Melissa Foster/ B.J. Harrison combination is the best!
Two people think they can carry the weight of world on their shoulders. Jewel struggles to do and be everything for her family, even though her mother's gotten the hang of things since the deaths of Jewel's father and eldest brother. And poor Nate, who's been in love with Jewel since the two were children, assumes guilt for her brother's death during Military combat. It takes these beautiful, strong-willed lovers some time to realize that strength doesn't equal complete independence, but once they let love in, the path to healing is illuminated for each of them respectively.
Loved it more in Audio and am loving the narrator more and more
The plot was okay, nothing very dramatic happened. The scenes were steamy but ruined but using words like scoundrel in the dialogue. The setting is super unrealistic. It seems as if the author has no clue about Maryland or water towns.
Nate is home from the military, and feeling guilty. He's in love with his best friend's little sister. And, he feels responsible for his best friend's death. For Jewel, losing her dad and her brother changed her outlook and her future. She feels responsible for her mom and her younger siblings. Nate and Jewel love each other, but they need to get past their feelings of responsibility and get to the business of each other. The story is somewhat predictable, but it was still very enjoyable.
This book was a tear jerker for me
I swear Melissa Foster's books are getting by the minute. Who wouldn't want one of the Braden men!! Absolutely loved Nate and Jewel's story. Definitely would recommend this book and all her books😊
The baby sister of his best friend, Jewel was always too young for Nate, but that didn’t stop him from falling in love with her. But then he and Rick headed off to war, and when the bullets stopped flying, only Nate was left. He’s avoided Rick’s family for the past couple of years, but when he sees Jewel again, he’s faced with both his love for her and his guilt over having send Rick on the mission that killed him.
The Verdict: Well, in case the five star rating was too subtle, I loved it! I kept thinking I knew what was coming, but as usual, Melissa Foster took a classic romance plot and twisted it up a bit to have me turning pages as fast as I could!
I love romances between characters who already have history, whether it’s friendship or school or just common links that don’t have them meeting as complete strangers. I think it’s that they can be themselves a little more, not deal with the usual getting-to-know-you drama. And of course it doesn’t hurt that they already care about each other.
Jewel really seemed to have everything together, even though she was clearly stretching herself too thin in trying to work and also help her mother with her younger siblings. But all her responsibilities kept her from having much of a life for herself, and even if she’d had the opportunity, her heart was still tied up in Nate, the guy who’d been her late brother’s best friend and who’d set her on fire with an unexpected kiss one New Year’s Eve. Nate, on the other hand, was riddled with guilt over his role in Rick’s death. Having been the one to send Rick on the supply run that resulted in his death, robbing him of his best friend, miring him in guilt, and making it difficult to face Rick’s family.
I think what I loved most was how forthcoming Jewel was. She tried to tamp down her feelings for Nate, thinking that he really only looked at her like a sibling, but when that proved to be impossible, she just went for it. And even when Nate was running hot and cold, she just put it all out there and took a shot at landing the man she loved. And Nate, despite his hesitation, didn’t really make a secret of his feelings, either — at least not once it was clear that she wanted him. Granted, he still had some things to work through, and he felt a bit like he was maybe taking advantage of her, but both characters were pretty clear when it came to expressing their emotions.
What really surprised me, though, was when it came out that Jewel’s sense of responsibility to her family wasn’t simply selfless service but more rooted in fear of losing anyone else. Having lost her father and older brother, she played Mother Hen to protect what was left of them. Watching Jewel and Nate both navigate their own issues from loss was intense but rewarding, and had they not been such open people, they never would have made it.
So yeah, once again, Melissa Foster has written the perfect romance. Strong friendship, deep emotions, and of course plenty of chemistry. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again… Grab the whole Bradens series and get comfortable. It’s an awesome ride.
***FicCentral received this book from Brook Cottage Books for free in exchange for an honest review.
This book was interesting, I liked hearing about boat building. Like all of Melissa's books I've read family is important and her writing style makes you feel like your there. She really touches on the senses.
This book also deals with survivor issues. While the gist was realistic, it did seem sped through. However I'm not sure many of us would have enjoyed the book had she not done so.
If you have not read her books before, they contain many explicit adult scenes. You can skim over them but the whole book is steamy on top of it. So that's one easy way to tell if you want to try this book.
I’ve been reading Melissa Foster’s books using my Amazon Prime free shipping credits and had pre-ordered this one when I was offered an ARC copy in exchange for a review.
This was a beautiful story about pain, loss and love. The strength left to family to pick up were they believe their lost love ones think they should do. The lost love ones writing letters before they die letting them know everything is okay. Beautiful!
I have read a number of Melissa Foster books - stand alone as well as many of the Snow Sisters, Bradens, and Remingtons. I have loved most of the books she's written, but honestly, this book really touched me in a way the others haven't. There is so much that is so real about this book. The fact that both Nate and Jewel have been nursing feelings for each other for so long, and these feelings are wound around their feelings of loss and grief, gives this book a depth than others I've read haven't had.
QUOTE: "I'm not arrogant. I'm honest. I want you Jewel. I want to be inside you. I want you in my arms. I want to fall asleep wrapped around you and wake up beside you." his nostrils flared as the heated words left his lips. "I've done nothing but think about you for years. Every f-ing fantasy I've ever had involved you."
Despite not having a previous romantic relationship with Jewel, Nate's initial declarations of love for her feel so completely genuine from the very beginning. Nate is a wonderfully strong, yet sensitive character. His sense of humor sneaks out when he, or Jewel, least expects it, and it was a fun relief from what at times is a serious story. I think Melissa Foster hit it out of the park with her depiction of a soldier home from deployment, suffering survivor's guilt, and feeling an obligation towards those he believes harmed by the decisions he was forced to make.
When reading a book, I can often tell the direction a story is headed, or the motivations and fears of the characters, early on. This story was so well written, and I was so engrossed in the "here and now" that was happening with Nate and Jewel, that I didn't see or understand that Jewel's role in her family comes from a place of fear until Nate points it out to Jewel.
QUOTE: "I told you she wouldn't let us." Taylor slumped into a seat in one of the canoes." It's like the bus. No boats, no buses, and if we lived in Afghanistan, it would be no trucks, too."
QUOTE: "They're not scared, Jewel. Please don't project your fears on them. They'll resent you, and you're too good to them to deserve that."
I think I was as surprised as Jewel was to have this pointed out to her. I really enjoyed how Jewel is able to self-analyze herself and her situations at that point, and throughout the book as we hear her dealing with her stresses with "breathe. breathe. breathe." Taking care of her family has become such a routine with her, and her mother, that neither of them are unable to step back and realize that it's helping none of them to continue this family dynamic. And I LOVE how Jewel reveals her ultimate change in her circumstances to Nate near the end of the book! It is a really cute way that the reader is able to experience this revelation WITH the characters, rather than just hearing a conversation BETWEEN the characters.
As I mentioned above, this book touched me so much more than many I have read recently. I am so pleased I was able to read and review this book, and I cannot wait to get to know Nate's siblings better in upcoming books and peel back the onion of their lives in Peaceful Harbor.