by Kelly Moran
Series: Covington Cove #1
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Contemporary Romance
With every beat of the heart comes a memory of what could have been… Ten years ago, Cole Covington was just another rich kid who got everything he wanted—including young and trusting Mia Galdon. Then one night everything changed, and two hearts were shattered. Cole buried his guilt in the military, where love was just part of the past. Now Cole has come back home, emotionally damaged, guarded, and unprepared for what’s waiting for him… At the urging of Cole’s sister, Mia has returned to the Covington family’s coastal home in Wilmington as a private nurse to help Cole recover. With her uncertain personal life at a crossroad, Mia doesn’t have the luxury of saying no to the job. And she soon finds out that the attraction is still alive. So are memories of betrayal. But Mia will discover more than the power of resilience. She’ll discover a secret Cole has held for years, one that will force them to confront the past and give new meaning to letting go, forgiveness, and a future worth fighting for.
Return to Me is the first in the Covington Cove series by new to me author Kelly Moran. I loved the simple cover and when I read the synopsis, I knew I had to read this. With its second chance romance, military man and coastal setting all I could say was, “Heck yes, gimmie!” A slow burning romance, broken hearts and a shared past gave Return to Me all the feels allowing me to become lost in Cole and Mia’s story.
Coffee dates with Return to Me
First date: We meet Mia at a rough time in her life. Alone, and solely responsible for her sister’s wellbeing I immediately identified with her. At the same time, we learn about Cole and his last tour overseas. Right away, I am hooked and need to know more. Moran made them feel genuine and hinted at their prior relationship. We know something went terribly wrong and through flashback chapters, we see their first relationship unfold. It was brilliantly done even if I wanted to stay in the present.
Second date: Despite protests, Mia has arrived at Cole’s home ,the former Coventry coastal home in Wilmington, now owned by Cole. She will be his private nurse and help him deal with his injuries and PTSD. Ooo, when these two meet again the tension and emotions are electric. Cole is overwhelmed, but tries to push her away. Mia is tenacious and refuses to bend. I am flipping the pages eager for more. Moran did her homework regarding PTSD and I was impressed with several scenes. Secondary characters from the housekeeper to Cole’s sister and Mia’s sister added humor, grounded the story and proved to be interesting threads.
Third date: Obstacles, forgiveness, a storm and oh so much more had me fully engaged and swooning. We see character growth in both characters and in a secondary character that at this point I have come to adore. Cole is so sweet and swoon-worthy, I really felt for him and Mia poor Mia, I just wanted to hug her. There is angst, but it helped the characters move forward, was not overdone, and delivered all the feels. The end of my date had me wiping a tear and smiling like a fool.
Return to Me had everything I love in a second chance romance and secondary characters gave it a small town feel. Moran delivered heat, but it felt genuine and will appeal to a larger audience.
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