Release Day Review: Return to Me: Kelly Moran

Return to Me (Covington Cove #1)
Kelly Moran
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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.

Cole Covington is an injured war vet who is empty, angry, and becoming a recluse. His sister Lacey enlists the help of the one woman he never got over, Mia Galdon. She is now a nurse and in need of a job due to her own  obligations. And she could use closure as to why Cole destroyed her ten years before. 

Needless to say Cole is shocked and surprised. He has big issues that can't be easily fixed physically or emotionally. But Mia is feisty, strong and demanding. She has a take charge attitude and also a big heart. They fuss, fight, worry and reject. All along there is some mystery about what truly transpired in the past and we are slowly let in on the details as each chapter starts with a flashback to build the back story. Guilt, loss, betrayal, and secrets are a constant reminder of their past pain.

Cole has been happy to wallow in self pity, anger, and regret. He is not really living and does not care about anything. Each hour is a struggle to escape what he has been through. He is terrified of life and of letting anyone in. He might have money, but it does not buy happiness. 

But sassy, stubborn Mia takes no prisoners and starts to break down his walls as she tries to help him cope with his flashbacks and nightmares and heal. She has been fighting to protect those she cares about her whole life and is used to working hard for what she wants.

Although their connection is still strong and they have a second chance, there are sill so many issues, challenges, and demons to face. Cole has a lot of healing to do before he can try to move on without guilt. He has to find his own new purpose for life and just not rely on Mia or his sister as crutches. 
And they both still have wounds from their shared history. But their memories don't always match up to their feelings or beliefs. Neither of them know the full story and they have kept their secrets for over ten years.

I enjoyed the dynamic between Cole and Mia. We saw them through young love and a myriad of emotions good and bad. But their rapport also has humor and honesty, even when it is tinged by misunderstanding or pain. I really liked his sister Lacey and brother Dean, her sister Ginny, and his housekeeper Rose. They added more depth to the story. I really hated the antagonists, one in particular. But the scenery of Covington Cove made a nice backdrop for their story to emerge from. 

This story had complex, likable characters that had been through many heartbreaking situations and had never found true stable happiness. It was told in flashbacks then dual point of view intermixed. It built a little slowly for me and at times.  I got frustrated with their miscommunication and issues. But overall, it was a moving story of loss, second chances, and healing. It had heartbreak, tragedy, drama, betrayal, love, humor, and hope. It truly was a long journey for both of them to navigate their past and present to determine if they could possibly have a real future. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

All of Me  (Covington Cove #2)
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Expected Sept. 1, 2015
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For ten months, bestselling novelist Alec Winston hasn’t been able to type a single word, and he’s coming dangerously close to breaching his publishing contract. An invitation from his brother to spend the summer in Wilmington Beach might be just the thing to blast through his writer’s block. Yet Alec discovers more than a spark of inspiration on the sunny sands. He meets an amber-eyed muse who makes him think about much more than books . . .

Faith Armstrong has finally gathered the courage to leave her past behind and accepted a job as a private tutor, hoping for a fresh start on the North Carolina coast. This is the home she’s always longed for—not just a place, but a state of mind. She’s felt invisible her whole life, so the host of new friends and the attention of a sexy author have her head spinning.

But Alec has a secret that could prove this isn’t the life Faith dreamed of after all . . .

Kelly Moran is a romance author of enchanting ever-afters. She is the winner of the 2013 Catherine Award, a RT Magazine Readers Choice Finalist, and a 2014 Award of Excellence Finalist through RWA, plus she earned one of the 10 Best Reads of 2013 by USA TODAY's HEA.

Kelly's been known to say that she gets her ideas from everyone and everything around her and there's always a book playing out in her head. No one who knows her bats an eyelash when she talks to herself. Her interests include: sappy movies, MLB, NFL, driving others insane, and sleeping when she can. She is a closet caffeine junkie and chocoholic, but don't tell anyone. She resides in Wisconsin with her husband, three sons, and her black lab. Most of her family lives in the Carolinas, so she spends a lot of time there as well.

Visit her website for up-to-date book news and where to follow.


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