Wednesday, March 5, 2014

ARC Review: Carolina Man by Virginia Kantra

 Four Stars
ARC received for an honest opinion.
Impossible to read this book and not fall in love with Luke Fletcher. What an outstanding guy!!! He was a great Sargent in the marines and when he found out he had a 10 year old daughter, Taylor, he became an outstanding dad. A long flight home did not stop him from meeting his daughter the first chance he got. I loved that the author really gave us so much insight into his thoughts and intentions. For a tough guy- marine, who didn’t express his emotions he was really very considerate and knew how to handle all the different situations thrown at him. Luke had a fantastic support system around. His parents and his siblings added to the family atmosphere of the book. Since they are a military family it was interesting to see their dynamic and how much they supported each other. I was especially touched by how well the author described Luke’s emotions when he was coming home. I loved that scene with his family.

For me the heroine Kate Dolan was harder to figure out. Although the author clearly explains her past and her family relationships and how they shaped her, she was harder to relate to. Luke is an outstanding guy and she seems determined to put him in a box. She has already decided that she prefers “cerebral” guys or more professional men. Since she is an attorney, she believes that she should date an attorney as well. Although Kate doesn’t date because she finds herself working all the time. Kate’s work is admirable. She defends women and children, especially in domestic violence cases. Luke really went out of his way to prove himself as a good father and as a good boyfriend. Although I didn’t think that they had a lot of chemistry they did make a cute couple and I was definitely frustrated with Kate and her reluctance to acknowledge Luke for who he was.

Even though I really enjoyed the story and loved Luke I thought that there was too much going on in the end. There was too much crammed in. We find out some of the dark secrets in Dawn’s family. It is never really clear why Dawn keeps Taylor a secret for so long. The truth is that Luke found out he had a daughter only when Dawn died! From what we learn about Luke he is a fantastic guy, aside from leaving to join the marines why would Dawn keep their daughter a secret and for so long? Without giving away too many spoilers, if Dawn knew that there was a danger in her family why didn’t she seek out Luke before? Finally, one last problem that I had. The author skips around form different points of view. She quickly jumps to Taylor’s point of view and I found that it broke up the flow of the story instead of adding to it. But regardless of these issues. I thoroughly enjoyed this story.

If you’re looking for a story about a fantastic guy, a girl in need of some tender love and care and a great family, this is a great story to sink your teeth into. The story had a little bit of everything from abandoned strays to adopted local police officers. Another interesting character was introduced in this book, Jack Rossi and he promises to be an excellent character to read about. Jack had some small but very important parts in this story. I personally am looking to add it to my to-read list!

**ARC provided by Publisher**
Carolina Man (Dare Island, #3)