Summer Island , Book 2
HQN Books
ISBN: 978-1-335-50505-7
October 29, 2019
Contemporary Romance

Summer Island, Michigan – Present Day

Lila Sloan is housesitting at her sister's inn on Summer Island in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas while her sister is away. Lila is mired in pain after being fired, accused of making sexual advances towards her boss—when it was the other way around! Summer Island is quiet and isolated in the winter, which is fine with Lila. She has befriended her sister's friends and others. But one day her peace is shattered when a bulldozer starts taking out the trees behind the inn, which would destroy the view. During her confrontation with the bulldozer driver, the man behind the real estate development, local resident Beck Grainger, arrives. They argue, but he ends up giving her the keys to the bulldozer, effectively shutting down the operation. Beck tells her when she's ready, she can return the key to him. Lila has no plans to give it back to him until at least her sister returns.

Beck is intrigued by Lila, and he must be crazy to temporarily give in to her. But with snow now falling, the development is temporarily on hold. Can Beck convince Lila that the development he plans to build will be good for the island? More importantly, can he get to know her better? Beck could have any other woman on the island, but now it's Lila he's interested in.

THE GIVING HEART is the latest heartwarming tale from Toni Blake that returns readers to Summer Island. Lila's angst is caused by the fact that she is being accused of something she didn't do, and she feels like no one would believe her. She hasn't even come clean to her family as to why she lost her job. Lila jumped at the opportunity to housesit for her sister and figured she'd spend it mostly alone. But the small-town feel of Summer Island draws her out at times. She even begins to take up loom knitting at a weekly knitting club. Lila's anger at Beck soon turns into an attraction—which leads to them having sex. She is shocked at what happened but can't regret it. Beck wants more, but Lila pushes him away. Is she making a mistake?

Beck has asked Suzanne, another Summer Island resident, out, but she has repeatedly turned him down.  Once he meets Lila, it is she that he's soon pursuing. Then, in THE GIVING HEART, Suzanne realizes her mistake in not accepting Beck's invitations to go out, and she gives him signals that she's interested in him. How will this play out, even as Lila continues to spurn him? Even if Lila and Beck can't stay away from each other, what happens when Christmas arrives and both go their separate ways?

THE GIVING HEART will win you over as an emotional tale that will tug at your heart even as it grapples with the current #MeToo movement about reporting sexual assaults. While there are many moments of simmering heat between Lila and Beck, the love scenes are few and far between in this tale. It is the emotion that builds the sexual chemistry between them. If you're looking for that feel good Christmas read to leave you satisfied, then look no further than THE GIVING HEART.

Patti Fischer