REVIEW: For The Longest Time by Kendra Leigh Castle

Posted July 10th, 2014 by in Blog, Contemporary Romance, Review / 1 comment

In For The Longest Time (Harvest Cove #1) by Kendra Leigh Castle, Samantha “Sam” Henry grew up always feeling on the outside of her peers, being labeled a ‘freak’ by some of them. She escapes in her art, and a secret relationship with high school jock Jake. That ended in heart ache and hurt though, and after school Sam left Harvest Cove to pursue her dreams in New York. She has kept busy there, but when her world comes crashing down around her in New York, she returns home to her mother and Harvest Cove. She has no plans to stay, only to get FTLTher life back on track again before leaving.

Jake has gone from high school jock to local veterinarian in Harvest Cove. He’s still part of the same crowd he was in high school and he is happy in Harvest Cove. He has been haunted on and off over the years by Sam, and regrets his teenage actions.

Sam doesn’t expect Jake to be the first person she meets on her return to Harvest Cove. She doesn’t expect the attraction to still be there, warring with the hurts her teenage self suffered. Jake is just as attracted to Sam as she is to him. He wants a chance to prove he’s grown up a lot and is no longer the teenage boy who hurt Sam. He also wants to show Sam how great living in Harvest Cove can be. Sam can’t let it go though. She is so sure Jake will hurt her again if she gives him the chance. With the connection between them as strong as it is, Jake is not giving up. Even when Sam continues to expect the worst, just as she remains determined to leave Harvest Cove again.

As Sam starts to feel happier and get her life back on track, can she also let herself be happy with Jake and give a relationship with him a chance? Maybe everything Sam needs is already where she is, in Harvest Cove…if she can give that a chance too.

Kendra gives us characters who still have a lot of growing up to do in For The Longest Time. Sam and Jake are both adults, but the high school mentality is still there. Especially within the crowd Jake considers friends. Jake has never really noticed this before, until seeing how they treat Sam all these years later. I liked how Jake wasn’t sucked into the crowd’s theatrics, but really started to show maturity by doing what he felt was right. Sam really helped him see things from a different perspective. As difficult as any kind of relationship between them would be, they were both open and honest with one another. Sam and Jake are like able people who for the most part are realistic. What shifted the realism of them for me was the high school theatrics still being played by Jake’s adult friends and that he didn’t see this until it was affecting Sam.

There are some great secondary characters in For The Longest Time. I love Sam’s family and would have liked a bit more background sooner about them, because there were constant references to how odd Kendra was growing up. It felt like the whole story wasn’t told, that parts were missing that would have helped explain Sam better. Kendra’s new friends are people I could be friends with, and they were great supporting characters I look forward to seeing more of! Animals in a story always add a great touch, and Kendra does that in For The Longest Time.

Kendra’s writing is smooth and easy to follow, and she gives us a small town romance in a place I can easily visualize. I’d recommend For The Longest Time to romance readers who like second chance romance in a small town.

Book Info:

4SPublished July 1st 2014 by Signet |  (Harvest Cove #1)

For Samantha Henry, it took a ten-year absence to appreciate the close-knit New England town with an appeal all its own….

After a perfect storm of events leaves Sam high, dry, and jobless, she has to head home to Harvest Cove to regroup. Growing up, she was the town misfit, and a brief high school romance that resulted in heartbreak made her realize she was never going to fit in. But now with the support of her mother and an unexpected circle of allies, Sam starts to wonder if she’s misjudged the town all these years.

Life’s been good to Jake Smith. He transitioned from popular jock to town veterinarian without any trouble. But Sam’s homecoming makes him question his choices. The sharp-tongued beauty was never a good fit for the small community, but he’s never forgotten her—or how good they were together. While she makes it clear she’s not about to repeat the past, Jake’s determined to convince her to give him—and Harvest Cove—a second chance.



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