Read Carolina Man by Virginia Kantra Online

carolina-man

Meet the Fletchers of Dare Island Steady Matt, the son who stayed Ambitious Meg, the daughter who never looked back And warrior Luke, the Marine who never expected to return.A heartwarming new novel in New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra’s beloved series about family ties, second chances, and the power of love… Marine Luke Fletcher is determined to do his dutMeet the Fletchers of Dare Island Steady Matt, the son who stayed Ambitious Meg, the daughter who never looked back And warrior Luke, the Marine who never expected to return.A heartwarming new novel in New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra’s beloved series about family ties, second chances, and the power of love… Marine Luke Fletcher is determined to do his duty—first to his country and now to his ten-year-old daughter, the unexpected legacy of a high school girlfriend. But his homecoming to Dare Island in North Carolina's Outer Banks challenges his plans for the future and forces him to face everything that's missing in his life. He wasn't prepared to lose his heart to this child he never knew. Or to fall hard for coolly reserved small town lawyer Kate Dolan. Former military brat Kate knows Marines can make lousy fathers...and she's got the scars to prove it. Giving her heart to a man who's bent on leaving seems one sure way to have it broken. Now, no matter what it takes, Luke must prove to Kate and to his daughter that Semper Fi is more than a motto—and to himself that there’s more than one way to be a hero....

Title : Carolina Man
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780425268872
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Carolina Man Reviews

  • ♥Rachel♥
    2018-11-16 03:33

    Carolina Man was a moving romance full of heart. This is the third story in the Dare Island series, and I loved this one so much I plan on going back and reading the first two. Luke Fletcher is a Marine on tour in Afghanistan when he receives the news that his high school girl friend, Dawn, has named him as the father and guardian of her ten-year-old daughter, Taylor, in her will. He’s shocked but doesn’t hesitate in stepping up and taking responsibility. Thankfully he has his family to care for her until his leave comes up, and the Fletchers are all about pulling together, “back to back to back” is their motto. In the midst of all this is Kate, the reserved and dedicated attorney who’s handled Dawn’s will. She goes above and beyond her duties, and Luke can’t help but be drawn to this beautiful, selfless, and guarded woman. Kate Dolan is an attorney who has made it her life to fight for the rights of women and children. Kate didn’t have any advocate or protector when she was growing up, but she’s no longer a victim and is there to step up and fight for others. At first, Kate is doubtful of Luke. As the executor of Dawn’s will she’s worried about Luke taking on custody of ten-year-old Taylor when he’s never met her. Add to the concern is the fact that he’s a Marine, like her father. Yet, at every turn Luke surprises her with his care and concern, and his willingness to do whatever he needs to for Taylor. Slowly her admiration for him as a good man turns into an intense attraction. With your big muscled arms and your big generous heart and your tightlipped determination to be what Taylor needs. How could I resist you?Kate and Luke’s romance was mature, thoughtful, and yet full of passion. Every time they were close the sparks would fly! Still, Kate is very hesitant when it comes to any relationship. Growing up with an alcoholic and abusive father left her with intimacy and trust issues, but thankfully Luke is very respectful and patient with her. I loved that he didn’t push her, and knew when to give her space. I admired Kate for being aware enough to realize when her past was holding her back, and in spite of her fears having the courage to open up and take a chance. Kate’s abusive background provides much needed insight when it comes to Taylor and the two shared a bond that warmed my heart. The three of them, Luke, Kate and Taylor, were just perfect together! The Fletchers were an amazing family. Big, loud and loving and at first it’s overwhelming to Kate, but it’s also tempting. Being part of the Fletcher’s means knowing that someone always has your back. I can’t wait to get back to the two previous stories and get to know the Fletchers better.I can’t write this review without mentioning the animals. At the beginning while Luke is stationed in Afghanistan, his team comes across a neglected and abused dog and my emotions were running on high because of the situation. The little side story was so touching (I’m a huge animal lover), and I’ve found out that it’s based on fact. Virginia Kantra researched this for the story and you can find out more about Hunky Marines and Cute Puppies in her guest post on HERE on The Jaunty Quills. Worth the click for the pictures alone! Sooo cute!This story captured my heart from the very first page! It was realistic, heartfelt, and moving. If you’re looking for a romance to sweep you away Carolina Man fits the bill nicely! A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.Come visit The Readers Den for a chance to win a copy of Carolina Man.

  • Ami
    2018-10-20 07:18

    4.5 stars Ever since book 1 when Luke was introduced, alongside Taylor, the daughter he didn't know for a decade, I was intrigued about his story. I thought the whole "connecting with the daughter" aspect of the story would be very good -- alongside the romance, of course.And it did!! In fact, I loved this book so frickin' much!! It is definitely my favorite of the series and one of my best reads this year.There were several things that made this book a giant winner for my heart.One, the father-daughter aspect. Luke was so determined to be the father that Taylor needed. Every single scenes of the two of them just made my heart swell with love. Luke realized that he couldn't get the fact that he was missing the first 10 years of Taylor's life, so his was willing to be part of his daughter's life from now on. That moment where Taylor finally opened up about what caused her nightmare, where she simply said "You weren't there" when Luke asked her why she didn't tell him much earlier ... wow, that one was a powerful moment. It was definitely the strongest plot in here -- and I loved how the Fletchers with their back to back to back attitude just stepped in and become a strong support for Luke and Taylor. They're amazing.Two, I thought that Luke and Kate's relationship was written much better -- in the romance department anyway -- than the previous siblings. I guess because theirs felt mature and mindful. Luke realized his strong feeling for Kate -- and he was also willing to work on it, caring and considerate to her feeling, even giving her time when she asked for it. Kate might feel weary about going into a relationship but I thought it was well-explained.Three, the book focused on them -- Luke, Kate, and Taylor. And just the three of them. There was minimal points of views from other members of the Fletchers family. It was one of my slight dissatisfaction with book 1, where I thought different perspectives from other characters made the book slightly losing focus from the main couple (which was why the romance between Matt and Allison didn't sell for me).I did think that the epilogue made the part where Kate finally accepting felt rushed. I thought it would be better if it didn't written that way. It made cautious Kate (which was really good in the previous chapters) changed her heart a little bit too quick for my liking.Oh, and the introduction of the character Jack Rossi, which would be the hero in the next book felt a bit forced. Especially when he was quickly embraced by The Fletchers. Having said that, I still look forward to reading his story.So yes, final verdict, I loved this so much!

  • Mollie *scoutrmom*
    2018-10-27 01:10

    I won a copy of this book in a Firstreads drawing, but will not let that affect my review.The theme of this book is the changes in our selves and in our view of the world wrought by love.This does not suffer the doldrums that other third-in-a-trilogy books sometimes have. We are introduced to our hero in a way that is unlike the first two books, and where actions show his character.Even though our heroine was introduced earlier in the trilogy, she was such an insignificant character at the time that no actress would have wanted the cameo role. In this book, she comes fully into focus, and her inner self is revealed at first through her actions.The author lets us into each of their heads as they are coming to grips with changes in their relationship with each other. Starting as acquaintances, circumstances and a good plot conspire to throw them together. We see for both of them the doubts and the inner monologues so many authors neglect to share.One reason this book did not get my highest rating is that the characters from the earlier stories are not given much shape, it is assumed that one had read the first two books (which I have). Some of them seem a bit shallow here.Anyway, guy meets gal, the attraction flares, the relationship grows and changes into something more, and both have to achieve personal growth in order to reach happily ever after. No surprise. It's all in the how that is so well done.The minors of the family have some fantastic dialogue...fans of the movie THE PRINCESS BRIDE will love the way they communicate in quotes from the film.Well worth buying new.

  • Grace
    2018-10-17 09:19

    3 stars almost entirely because of the family and Luke and Taylor.The romance in this one just fell completely flat for me.

  • Sophia
    2018-10-26 07:11

    This was an absolute sigh-worthy book. I fell in love with the cover before I even read the blurb and chose it for a read. Then when I cracked open the book and began reading...I fell even harder. You put a military man, a crusading heroine, a cute girl who needs her daddy surrounded by a great family in a small town and I will adore your story. Bestill my romance-loving heart!Okay, now that my emotional theatrics are over, here's my summary. Luke Fletcher is a career marine like his father. He loves his family back home at the inn on Dare Island, but he is fulfilled by doing his duty and keeping the marines in his charge safe. Then he gets the letter that rocks his world on its foundations.Family Lawyer Kate Dolan isn't sure what she expected when she informed the marine that a girl he knew in high school had his baby, raised the little girl on her own without a word to him and now she is dead and left ten year old Taylor in his care. But it wasn't him taking a 30 hour non-stop flight to get home to sort things out personally and meet his daughter and care for her needs. She thought that he'd happily sign Taylor over to her maternal grandparents where she was staying now with just a few quick phone calls and signed papers. She'd even pushed him to do so. What would a career marine know about taking care of a little girl who is still grieving the loss of her mother and now faces having her life upended again? He only had a little time, but he took the time to settle Taylor into the heart of his family with grandparents, uncle, aunt and cousin before returning to duty. He never even knew he had a child all these years and still managed to do better by her than Kate's dad ever did. She can't help, but make comparisons and wonders what the marine will do when he comes home from duty. Maybe she needs to cut him some slack and not hold her horrible experiences with a marine father against Luke. Strangely she can't get Luke off of her mind and she struggles to keep the distance and emotional walls up that she keeps with everyone else. This doesn't explain why she is headed out to Dare Island to deliver some unsettling news personally.Taylor is happy to be settled with her dad's family. She misses her Grandpa and Grandma Simpson, but at least she is safe from the bad stuff happening. Her dad has just returned home and it worries her that he might not like her and will send her back. He doesn't hug her, but finally she sees him smile and he touches the hat he gave her before he left- the one she wears all the time and even sleeps with. He even promises that they will stay in one of the cottages and he'll try to find Snowball her cat that was lost. Now everyone is tense because a social worker is coming out to interview everyone. They all know its her Simpson grandparents still trying to get her back. Miss Kate told her she needs to be honest about what she wants and feels just like with the judge. Well, she won't ever go back there. That's honest enough.Luke is well aware that working his way into Kate's life requires him to proceed with caution. She has a past and its patently obvious that it has shaped her. She runs from emotions, involvement or commitment, but he still wants to be with her. He admires her for her care, her courage to help the families, and even how she lets him coax her into just relaxing and having fun. She has been his rock as he navigated all the stuff with Taylor and he wants more. He knows he has a decision to make about his future soon- a decision that will affect his relationship with the two ladies in his life.This is a gently moving plot that is relationship-driven. It's told from Luke, Kate and Taylor's points of view. Luke's life is a crossroads of decisions now. For Kate, its a bit more complicated. She came from an abusive home and was never loved by either parent. It left her emotionally stunted even into adulthood. She hides behind her work and now Luke is challenging her to step out to feel and trust him with her heart. It's all baby steps, but it does happen. I tensed up when I got the lay of the story and saw all Kate's issues. I worried about too much angst and flip-flopping. I was pleasantly surprised with how well the thoughts and emotions were balanced. Kate is a mess of sorts and has her hang-ups, but she is also fair too. She sees and alters her behavior when she realizes how she wronged Luke. I loved watching her slowly open up to the possibilities.Kate had always imagined that if she let her guard down with a man, that she would do it with clear eyes and a cool head after a considerable period of time and testing.She wasn't prepared for a man like Luke.She hadn't counted on love that wasn't a careful, deliberate step, but a hard, fast fall. pp.218-219 Kate from Carolina ManThis was a tender romance that wasn't in isolation. I loved that Luke's family is there around them of course, but I refer to Luke and Taylor and Kate. Luke has to learn to be a dad, but must also get to know his daughter and she, him. I loved that the author didn't rush this and it was just as slow developing as what he had with Kate. Luke won my heart the way he worked at it hard with both his girls. I felt so bad for him when he learned the secret behind the fearful burden Taylor had been carrying around. He was his daughter's knight in shining armor and his tender care along with Kate's openness won over Taylor."Having bad things happen to you doesn't make you a bad person. It doesn't change who you are. You are a wonderful kid. You are a warrior. You are a survivor. Like your daddy." Kate looked at Taylor's dad. "And me."Taylor sighed. That sounded pretty good. "Kindred Spirits." Like in that book Kate had given her.Kate's eyes were really bright like they might cry, but she smiled instead. "And bosom friends."Taylor smiled in satisfaction. That was in the book too.Dad looked confused. "Right."He kissed her head again and then he kissed Kate. Right on the mouth. And it wasn't so embarrassing. It felt right. Like they were all in this together, like they were a team. His girls.p. 258 Taylor, Kate and Luke from Carolina ManAll in all, this was a wonderful story that I recommend to those who love gentle, passionate contemporary romance. It can be read as a standalone or out of order even though its the third book in the series.My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

  • Sandi Layne
    2018-11-12 05:12

    Sometimes, you start a book and you’re all…meh. Sometimes, especially if it’s not the first in an established series, you might worry that the book won’t “work” for you as a reader if you haven’t read the rest.And sometimes? All of that is totally unfounded.I will state here at the beginning that I really enjoyed this book. Without having read the others in the series (you can BET I’m adding them to my TBR!) I was able to immerse myself into the warm and loving Fletcher family with ease and lose myself in the romance between Luke and Kate.First off, Kantra did her job on her Marine, here. As the wife of a former Marine, I tend to be very, very picky when I read that a hero is a military man. I worry that someone made a Ken-doll kind of character and dressed him in fatigues, you know? But Kantra absolutely has a legitimate Marine in Luke Fletcher. He “reads” completely real as a combat veteran.“Semper Gumby,” Tom said.“What?” Taylor asked.Luke glanced down. “It’s a saying. Like . . . be flexible. Like Gumby.”That right there? Straight from the USMC. I heard it myself during Operation Desert Storm back in the ’90’s.In addition to being gorgeous and responsible and respectful and dedicated, he’s also devoted to his family as he is in his late twenties. And when he finds out he has a daughter?He steps up with everything he has and we meet Taylor, the daughter that Luke’s long-ago ex-girlfriend didn’t even tell him he had.Well. That’s a very interesting story and you should check it out. But know that Taylor is a very real little girl, here. Not glamorized, not over-aged, not hugely precocious. She, too, “reads” completely real.In fact, Kantra seems to have a gift for making her people real. And I very much appreciated it.But wait! What about Kate?Well, we meet lawyer Kate Dolan and things get rich with UST in no time at all. Kate’s got a background that is kind of a mess, but that has built in her a need to help and empower others to help themselves, and this shows in everything she does.She helps everyone, it seems, except herself. But Luke helps her get over that, all while letting her know she is fiercely and heatedly desired.Yes, it is steamy in the Carolinas, I can assure you!“. . . hitching closer, jerking away. He hunted her response, wringing it from her flesh . . .”Because the UST does indeed become resolved sexual tension, in very real way. And I was rooting for the two of them to enjoy it, and they did.You will, too.Be aware, however, that there are ugly things discussed and “remembered” in the course of this story. Kate’s childhood was not sweetness and light. Young Taylor has had it kind of ugly, too. And do not forget the memories of a combat veteran who is home on leave and trying to decompress. Kantra handles difficult topics without glossing them while providing her characters and readers with workable resolutions.All in all, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary romances, who loves/needs to read about happy, healthy families, and all those people who do like a man in uniform.

  • Francesca the Fierce (Under the Covers Book Blog)
    2018-11-10 03:31

    From the very first book we meet Taylor. She’s a cute 10 year old who has gone through a lot. First her mom dies and then she is sent off to live with her father’s family, whom she never met because he didn’t know she existed. Add to that the fact he’s a Marine and just drops her off at his parents house and you can’t help but fall in love with Taylor and hope for a good ending for her.CAROLINA MAN is that book. Her father Luke finally comes home and is trying to connect with the daughter he never knew he had with his high school girlfriend. While dealing with custody battles with his baby momma’s parents, he has an immediate connection with the lawyer handling the estate, Kate.What a sweet story this is! I find that I love every installment in this series because they are full of heart and family. If you are looking for a sweet summer read, then look no further than the Dare Island series. This book touches on some deeper and more emotional subjects with both Kate and Taylor, and I think the author did a wonderful job at keeping the respect for the subject while not letting it bring down the story into angsty territory.You gotta love a hot Marine hero and Luke is a great example of that. He’s a possessive man, he can be intense at times, and he’s also trying to find his place in the world. What his next step is now that he has the responsibility of a child. I loved seeing that as well as his relationship with Taylor develop in this book.Then there’s him and Kate. Yeah, sexy! These two were so good together and I think the progression of the story between them was perfect. Kate’s defenses slowly breaking down not just because of Luke but his family as well. There is something sweet and magical about that small town setting, and this definitely had that!I’m anxious to get to the next book although it’ll be the last one I need to read to get caught up. But I can’t wait for more from this town!

  • Cathy
    2018-10-21 03:10

    The first of this series ended up being my favourite of the three. I liked this one just as much as the second, but most of that is entirely because of Luke and Taylor's story and less because of the romance. For some reason I just never warmed up to Luke/Kate, which is preventing me from bumping it up to 4 stars.Taylor though. I love her. I'm going to miss the Fletcher family a lot, they had such a fun dynamic and I love how tight all of them were. I'm not entirely sure whether I'll be into a book that doesn't focus on them. Because without that aspect, I'm afraid it's just going to be a super-fast romance and nothing more, and that won't work for me. Which would be a shame, since I do enjoy her writing style more than other small-town-contemporary-romance writers.

  • Manda Collins
    2018-11-09 04:19

    Wonderful return to Dare Island and the world of the Fletchers. Loved seeing the relationship between Luke and his ten year old daughter unfold almost as much as seeing him fall for buttoned up family lawyer, Kate Dolan. Kantra is exceptional at weaving together the small details of emotion and sights and sounds of daily life with the heady sensations of falling into a once in a lifetime love. The result is characters you feel like you know and a story that makes you wish there were more pages to turn when you reach the end. Can't wait to return to Dare Island for Jack Rossi's story, but I'll always be partial to the Fletcher boys...1st read 3/5/14Re-read 2/5/16

  • Laura Florand
    2018-10-26 07:26

    I just love this book so much. Luke and Kate are such beautifully realized characters, and the relationship between Luke and Taylor is a work of art. Virginia Kantra has such a mastery of her craft, of storytelling and language--the way Luke's military experience, for example, informs his language and thought and actions so authentically but with such economy. (All her characters are drawn so well, but as the hero, and a wonderful hero, he, of course stands out!) Love her work.

  • Laura (Kyahgirl)
    2018-11-07 02:12

    3.5/5; 4 stars; B+My GR friend Carrie gave this book a good review and even though I've never read anything by Virginia Kantra I thought I'd check it out. I really enjoyed this warm contemporary romance. I thought the main characters were well drawn and the young girl they were helping balanced out the story very well.

  • Elizabeth
    2018-10-25 01:12

    Luke Fletcher comes home from his deployment overseas. Now fully faced with raising a daughter he hardly knows, Luke is finding it difficult. He reaches out to Kate Dolan, the attorney who first notified Luke about his daughter. As she offers her advice, Luke can’t help but notice the growing attraction he has for the lawyer. Kate is dragging her feet but Luke won’t rest until he has her in his life, permanently.I’m so glad we finally get Luke’s book. We’ve only seen glimpses of him in previous books and it’s so nice to finally get more of his story. Luke doesn’t have a lot to say but when he does speak, it’s with absolute assuredness, unless it’s a conversation with his daughter. Luke didn’t stumble for long though, he received advice and help from Kate and his family.I really didn’t like Kate though. Yes, she did have an abusive childhood and a mother who can’t admit or doesn’t lover her. I really felt bad for her but I felt her character to be too…I think the closest world I can come up with is inflexible. She’s very practical but I felt more emotion out of Luke than I did Kate. There felt like something was missing with her. Maybe it’s just me, but I thought she didn’t translate well.Taylor’s secret fear is finally revealed in this book. I was thinking the worst and so glad it wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be, but it’s still terrifying. I enjoyed watching Taylor grow through the books and finally figuring things out with her dad. Every time she called him “daddy” my eyes got a little misty. Their relationship was beautifully portrayed.I’m looking forward to more books in the series and watching the growth of all these characters I’ve come to love. If you’re looking for a small town romance series, I highly recommend the Dare Island novels.***I received an ebook copy from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own***

  • Carrie
    2018-10-25 05:13

    4.5*Best one yet! I've enjoyed them all and this was a great addition to the mix. I love how Luke was written. I love how he originally just was interested in a nice romantic interlude, but that it got more serious. That seemed real--how a guy who'd been deployed sees a pretty, smart woman and thinks "I'd like to get to know her and have fun." He wasn't angsty or pushy--just red-blooded male. Then the relationship develops and feels natural instead of the "irresistible from the first moment I met you" kind of thing.Great book!

  • Ceci
    2018-10-19 09:34

    I loved this book so much!!!Taylor & Luke!! <3 This book was about them and i totally loved it!

  • Helyce
    2018-11-16 09:31

    Previously reviewed here: http://smexybooks.com/2014/03/review-...Luke Fletcher is a Marine. It’s everything he knows and all he wants to do. His priority has always been the mission and keeping his men safe. But while in Afghanistan he learns that his high school girl friend has died and left him custody of her ten year old daughter, Taylor–his daughter, a daughter he never knew anything about. He heads home as soon as he can in order to straighten everything out.Kate Dolan is the attorney for Dawn Simpson’s estate and making sure her daughter Taylor, is placed exactly where she wanted, with her father Luke Fletcher. She’s left clear instructions for Kate and she’ll do everything she can to make that happen because Dawn was not only her secretary, but a good friend.But Kate is worried. She grew up in a military family with a father who was gone a lot and a mother who pretended not to notice what happened when he returned home. But Kate sees a totally different family dynamic when she meets the Fletchers and she certainly notices Luke. As they go through the process of getting Luke sole custody of Taylor, Luke and Kate spend time together and slowly each of their walls come down and they let each other in.We met Luke and Taylor and got a little bit of their story in book one, Carolina Home. Luke is away, gets word of Dawn’s death and the surprise of his life when he learns he’s a father. He takes emergency leave, comes home, gains temporary custody, and then leaves Taylor with his parents and his brother Matt on Dare Island while he returns to Afghanistan to finish out his tour. He stays in contact with Taylor using Skype but it’s not enough to truly get to know her. Taylor is doing as well as she can with the Fletchers. She’s back to school, and has adjusted pretty well to her life on Dare Island. But there is something in her past; the “why” of her mothers adamant refusal for her to be placed with her maternal grandparents.Carolina Man has Luke returning home for an extended six month stay where he hopes to reconnect with his family and especially with Taylor. He also needs to finalize the custody arrangements set forth by Taylor’s mom. This is where Luke and Kate begin to spend time together. Kate is able to recommend a great attorney for Luke and she’s also instrumental in everything that needs to happen with CPS and the home visit required by them. Kate is Luke’s only connection to Dawn. He learns that Dawn worked for Kate and that she packed up all Dawns things and placed them in storage, saving them for Taylor. There are hints here that Dawn may not have been especially close to her family and it’s inferred that they were anxious to get her “stuff” but not for the sentimental value, but for the financial aspect of it. I also felt that their push to get custody of Taylor was for the money they might get from Dawn’s estate. But this is all circumstantial-we gets facts later in the story.I have to say, Kate is not who I expected Luke to end up with. In fact, I don’t even remember her in book one, though she must have been mentioned as she handled Dawn’s estate. I’m a firm believer in opposites attract and Luke and Kate are too alike. Both a bit closed up and not really wanting to let anyone breach their walls. It’s obvious that they find each other attractive, and though Luke flirts a little, Kate doesn’t really give any encouragement. While Luke is going through the custodial process, though, he leans on Kate for advice and they end up spending some time together.The Fletchers are a family unlike anything Kate has experienced and they welcome her into their open arms when they catch the tiniest clue that Luke might be interested in her. When they learn that she’s on her own for the holidays, she’s included immediately and though she fights it, that feeling of belonging and family-she’s unable to hold out for very long. The romance here is quick; it isn’t drawn out with dates and getting to know each other. I was okay with this because Luke only has so much time before he has to head overseas. They both fall hard, fast and there is a definite insta-love quality to their relationship. Luke soon realizes he has an important decision to make.We finally learn Taylor’s secret and can make pretty good assumptions as to why Dawn did not want Taylor placed in the care of her parents. Kate sums it up here, talking to Luke:“Dawn never talked about her childhood. I never talked about mine. She grew up in that house. She left Taylor in your care. She must have had reasons. But she never shared them with me. We had this bond we never knew about, never spoke of. Because you don’t. Because you think you’re different. Because you believe you’re alone. Because you wonder if what happens is somehow your fault.”From here, things move quickly and a little too smoothly and the situation is cleaned up nice and tidy with a big red bow. I’m a bit torn with how this part of the story played out. On one hand, I would have liked there to have been some sort of confrontation, but this would have lead to a long drawn out battle and Taylor, who had lost so much already, would just be dragged down further by it all. So, in the end, I guess what happens to the bad guy had a certain kind of justice after all.While I liked this book, I can’t say it met my expectations when compared to the first two. The romance was too subtle and while Kate had all the attributes I like in a heroine, something was just missing, though I can’t put my finger on it. I also expected more from Luke. Perhaps because there was a child in the mix and she needed to be Luke’s priority, I don’t know. Luke and Kate just didn’t have that all consuming love and passion-I just didn’t feel it at all.

  • Jasmine (singprettyreadbooks)
    2018-11-02 09:28

    UGHH what is it about the army brother in romance series that always gets me?!

  • Susan
    2018-10-24 09:12

    This was my first book by Virginia Kantra, but it won't be my last. Luke is a Marine, serving in Afghanistan when he finds out that he is the father of a ten year old girl. His high school girlfriend never told him she was pregnant when she broke up with him. She has recently passed away and left him with custody of their daughter. He immediately takes emergency leave and goes home to settle things.I loved Luke. He is an honorable man, intent on doing his duty to his country and Corps, fully planning to put in his twenty years. Finding out he's the father of a ten year old girl has thrown him into emotional turmoil, but he's determined to do the right thing. He heads home on emergency leave in order to meet Taylor and get her settled with his family while he finishes his deployment. He has no idea how to relate to her, but is determined to try. He has emailed and Skyped with her while he finished his tour but still feels awkward around her once he returns. His ex's parents challenge him for custody, and the family lawyer who is handling his ex's estate steps in to help him navigate the hurdles. Besides being grateful for her help, he is intensely attracted to her.Kate is a family lawyer who deals mostly with helping women and children in difficult situations. She is cautious at first when Luke arrives to take custody of Taylor. Her own experiences with a military father have made her doubtful that Luke would be a good one, but he soon proves her wrong. Kate is also independent and avoids emotional entanglements as a way of protecting herself. Seeing Luke's attempts to connect with Taylor softens her heart toward him. Kate is also fighting an intense attraction to him, and losing the battle. She's reluctant to give her heart to a man who will be leaving again soon. I really felt bad for her because she had such a hard time believing that Luke would really want her for anything long term. Her childhood with her alcoholic and abusive father and submissive mother left her feeling unlovable. She doesn't know what to make of Luke's persistence and his family's easy acceptance of her into their circle. She's afraid of getting attached and then losing it all.I really liked the way that Luke admitted to his growing feelings for Kate and pursued her accordingly. He was determined, but he was also sensitive to her fears. I loved the way that he would know when to back off and give her space, and when to press forward. But things didn't always go smoothly for him as he wasn't always the most articulate of men. He nearly screwed things up completely at the end, but his recovery was really sweet and awkward. I figured out what he was going to do before the end, but I enjoyed hearing the details of it as he told Kate.Taylor is adorable. She is realistically portrayed, especially with her fears about fitting in with a new family. It was just her and her mom for so long that she is unsure how to deal with having so much family now. She was really nervous about whether her dad would like her and want to keep her around, so she was very cautious around him. I loved the way she began to trust him and start to behave more like a normal ten year old. Her scenes with the puppy and the cat were sweet and emotional. I could also see that she was holding back on a problem and the clues that were given made me really ache for her. When it all came out I loved seeing how she was finally able to fully trust Luke and Kate.I also enjoyed the rest of the Fletcher family. I loved his parents and the bits of their history that got worked into the story. I especially enjoyed his mom's comments on being a Marine wife with a deploying husband, because she really nailed what it is like. I also loved the way they had all taken Taylor into the family. Her conversations with her teenage cousin Josh, with their Princess Bride references, were fun. I also loved how he was there for her when her mom's family came to visit. I had to laugh at the conversation between Josh and Luke after Josh's girlfriend went home. The support and love they all had for each other was wonderful. Their motto of back to back to back was perfect for them. I will definitely have to read the first two books in the series, as well as the next one.

  • Pretty Sassy Cool
    2018-11-12 06:23

    5 stars.This review also appears on Pretty Sassy Cool.Sometimes, you start a book and you’re all…meh. Sometimes, especially if it’s not the first in an established series, you might worry that the book won’t “work” for you as a reader if you haven’t read the rest.And sometimes? All of that is totally unfounded.I will state here at the beginning that I really enjoyed this book. Without having read the others in the series (you can BET I’m adding them to my TBR!) I was able to immerse myself into the warm and loving Fletcher family with ease and lose myself in the romance between Luke and Kate.First off, Kantra did her job on her Marine, here. As the wife of a former Marine, I tend to be very, very picky when I read that a hero is a military man. I worry that someone made a Ken-doll kind of character and dressed him in fatigues, you know? But Kantra absolutely has a legitimate Marine in Luke Fletcher. He “reads” completely real as a combat veteran. “Semper Gumby,” Tom said. “What?” Taylor asked. Luke glanced down. “It’s a saying. Like . . . be flexible. Like Gumby.” That right there? Straight from the USMC. I heard it myself during Operation Desert Storm back in the ’90’s. In addition to being gorgeous and responsible and respectful and dedicated, he’s also devoted to his family as he is in his late twenties. And when he finds out he has a daughter? He steps up with everything he has and we meet Taylor, the daughter that Luke’s long-ago ex-girlfriend didn’t even tell him he had. Well. That’s a very interesting story and you should check it out. But know that Taylor is a very real little girl, here. Not glamorized, not over-aged, not hugely precocious. She, too, “reads” completely real.In fact, Kantra seems to have a gift for making her people real. And I very much appreciated it.But wait! What about Kate?Well, we meet lawyer Kate Dolan and things get rich with UST in no time at all. Kate’s got a background that is kind of a mess, but that has built in her a need to help and empower others to help themselves, and this shows in everything she does. She helps everyone, it seems, except herself. But Luke helps her get over that, all while letting her know she is fiercely and heatedly desired.Yes, it is steamy in the Carolinas, I can assure you!“. . . hitching closer, jerking away. He hunted her response, wringing it from her flesh . . .”Because the UST does indeed become resolved sexual tension, in very real way. And I was rooting for the two of them to enjoy it, and they did.You will, too.Be aware, however, that there are ugly things discussed and “remembered” in the course of this story. Kate’s childhood was not sweetness and light. Young Taylor has had it kind of ugly, too. And do not forget the memories of a combat veteran who is home on leave and trying to decompress. Kantra handles difficult topics without glossing them while providing her characters and readers with workable resolutions.All in all, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary romances, who loves/needs to read about happy, healthy families, and all those people who do like a man in uniform.--For more reviews and bookish talk, visit our blog at Pretty Sassy Cool

  • Golfmagic
    2018-10-22 07:20

    I expected more from this book. Suzanne Brockmann, who I LOVE, has plugged Kantra's books for years, and I'm not into that immortals-under-the-sea idea (isn't that one of her recent series?) so when I saw this contemporary series, I finally decided to give it a try. I chose this third book in the Dare Island series because I do like a military hero.However, the book was very *meh* for me. First, the military hero hardly had any military-ness to him, beyond saying "hoo-yah" or whatever special phrase Marines say. No sense of authenticity at all for me. Second, the heroine was a TOTAL insecure wimp. I really saw no redeeming qualities in her, so it was hard to understand what the hero saw in her after meeting her twice then falling head over heels for her. I'll backtrack a little there: we do get a bunch of "telling" about what he sees in her, like he listens to her doing lawyer-y things on the phone--we don't get to hear them (no showing)--but the hero is all like, "wow, it was awesome that she was really tough when she needed to be." However, I can't think if one time in that whole book when we got to see her be tough. We just got to read her incessant insecurities about how she didn't think anyone would love her. Please.The family was cardboard. The sister, who speaks her mind because she's some ex-high-powered careerist from NYC; the mother who is all about the nurture and having her family around the homestead (they own a B&B); and the little girl's other grandparents and uncle, who are horrible stereotypes of people who don't have a lot of money (their values are evil; they are lazy; they are stupid and speak like hillbillies; they have horribly bad teeth and hygiene). All stock, one-dimensional characters. I also thought the little girl's issues weren't handled in a sensitive or realistic way. I felt like the author gave her a *very* heavy backstory as a shortcut to emotionally engage the reader, which ended up being a cheap ploy because Kantra used these issues when she needed to ratchet up the tension in the story and ignored them at other times when it was convenient. I thought that was lazy writing and insulting to the reader.The other thing I hated was stylistic, but bled into quality: Kantra's very frequent habit (at least in this book) of having the characters' thoughts repeat exact wording from other characters in previous scenes. So there were tons of italics everywhere that just functioned as total redundancy. Yes, author, I do in fact remember what the hero told the heroine 6 pages ago--you don't have to repeat it in the heroine's thoughts, saying she remembered what the hero said. We all get it, can we move on with the story now? The reason I say this bled into and diluted the quality of the writing was because the reader was already there, making the inferences, which is the engaging part of the story. It's like having that friend who has to explain in literal terms what everyone else in the conversation has already inferred, laughed about, and moved on from. The first few times, you turn to that friend and patiently acknowledge "yes, yes, that's what that meant!" Then after several occasions, you start rolling your eyes, but still do it to be polite. Then you just ignore that friend's comments or stop hanging out with them all together. You just don't click; you're not on the same page. Your friend is kind of slow on the uptake. That's how this felt.All that said, the writing was fairly competent, the story was so-so, and Kantra's voice must be somewhat engaging because I kept reading. I can't say I cared much about the characters, but for some reason, I kept reading. So I don't know what to make of that. 3 stars, I guess.

  • Marina
    2018-10-26 07:19

    Another good read in this ongoing series. Great characters and storyline. Emotional. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------SpoilerNote to Self;Luke Fletcher(younger bro,29yo,dad,Staff Sergeant Marine)& Taylor Simpson(10yo,his daughter,niece)and Snowball(her cat) and JD(her puppy)+ Kate Dolan(Katherine,lawyer),Matt Fletcher(oldest bro,pal, divorced,charter boat Capt.)&Josh F.(his son,nephew,HS student)+Allison Carter(H.S. Eng teacher),Meg Fletcher(Megan,Meggie,older sis,34yo,ex-VP marketing)+Sam Grady(pal,rich,building co. owner),Tess Fletcher(mom,59yo,inn owner)+Tom F.(dad,64yo,retired Marine,career sergeant major),Jack Rossi(Police Chief,ex-sniper Marine).

  • Katie
    2018-11-05 03:31

    So I'm still looooving this family stuff, but the romance in this was really weak for me. I just flat out don't believe that Kate, as written, would commit to a serious relationship that quickly.But ohhh. (view spoiler)[SNOWBALL. I was SO UPSET about Taylor not getting to keep her kitty, so this made me SO HAPPY. And my cat was cuddling with me while I read their reunion scene and it was just WONDERFUL. (hide spoiler)]Kind of on the fence about the next one, though, since the romances aren't really working for me and the focus is off the family.

  • Jess
    2018-11-11 09:20

    I LOVE THIS FAMILY. And I loved Luke and Kate and the family they made with Taylor. This is a serious book, dealing with serious things, but it handles them really well.I'm sort of wary about expanding this series beyond the siblings, but I'm willing to give book four a try (I will be pre-ordering book four, who am I kidding), since both characters have been set up in other books. I like that.READ THIS SERIES.

  • Mariann {at} Belle's Book Bag
    2018-11-03 01:16

    Love this series. Luke was such a great character and I loved reading his relationship with Taylor grow. He was so great with her ~ especially towards the end. I also really liked Kate and Luke together. I'm so happy how this one ended. Another great story in this series and I cannot wait for more.

  • Shabby Girl ~ aka Lady Victoria
    2018-11-10 03:39

    This one is the third in the Dare Island series. It is much, much better than the first two, although I did enjoy those. I really enjoyed the couple in this one and seeing more about Taylor. She seems like such a cutey.

  • Dls
    2018-10-31 05:10

    This is a lovely book. Luke is thoughtful and charming and sensitive and does a fantastic job of developing a relationship both with his just met daughter and with the lawyer who employed the daughter's dead mother. I have reread this book more times than I can count. I want a Luke.

  • Mandy
    2018-11-14 08:22

    3.5 stars- for Luke and Taylor. Not a big fan of Kate but I loved how Luke pursued her even with her own deep seated issues. I truly enjoyed the bonding between Luke and his daughter Taylor.

  • ✼Danielle✼
    2018-10-24 07:16

    Luke FletcherKate Dolan01/01/15 | 4 stars

  • Cait
    2018-10-30 06:19

    EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS.but mostly: luke & taylor. that was the book for me.

  • Ellen (more books, please)
    2018-11-04 01:36

    I won Carolina Man and the three other current installments in the Dare Island series from a giveaway on Dear Author.I am again very impressed by Ms. Kantra. This is the third of the series I have read. Her writing is lovely. Her narratives speak to her understanding of her characters. This might seem very basic in a novel, but often I find myself saying to the author as I read their words, “Nuh-huh, he wouldn’t do that. That is just stupid.” Sometimes in my reading my internal dialogue with the author will interfere with my reading of the book, and that is when I know it is time to walk away. I have yet to have that problem with Ms. Kantra’s Dare Island series.So here are the basics. Luke Fletcher was gifted with knowledge of his ten-year-old daughter’s existence by a lawyer after the death of his high school girlfriend. The lawyer, Kate Dolan, was the employer and a friend, of sorts, of the girl’s mother. As a family practice attorney, Kate had insisted that Dawn, the girl’s mother, write a will just in case.Well, just in case happened and Luke gets custody of his daughter, Taylor. The situation is further complicated by Luke being an enlisted Marine, a man who had every intention to give his 20 years to the Marines. This is a story of how the best laid plans are suggestions as best.There is a lot going on in Carolina Man. You have the third child of Tom and Tess Fletcher returning home for the holidays, and you have the third child of Tom and Tess Fletcher finding the love of his life. As with the other books in the series thus far, the Fletcher family is intrinsic to the telling of the story. The two previous stories and couples are touched upon and mentioned. If you haven’t read their stories, it is not a big deal. Enough info is given. This is the final installment of the Fletcher arc and you have got to deal with all the issues, and dealt with they are.You also have a very complex heroine in Carolina Man. Kate has baggage, as we all do, but Kate’s baggage in very much undealt with. Yes, she has a therapist. Yes, she discusses things with the therapist. But other than a therapist and a kinda sorta friend, Kate practices law, lives above her office and keeps to herself. But she is involved in Taylor. She knew Taylor more as a picture on her assistant’s desk than an actual person. But upon Dawn’s death, Kate steps up. She packs stuff away for Taylor. Because of Kate’s own upbringing, she understands the need to maintain bits of family and personal history. This is shown (not told) very well in her thoughts and actions. You see the similarities between Kate’s past and Taylor’s present, and the dissimilarities. You feel for Kate. You wish for Kate a family, a love, even a finish, a banishment of old hurts and injustices.Luke also has issues. They aren’t extraordinary issues for a man who has done tours in war zones. They aren’t even all that bad the way they are shown. He does stuff instinctively based on his history, but he appears thus far to be safe from the depression and the other major issues chronicled daily in the news. He is a man who loves his family, loves the new addition he is not quite sure what to do with, and loves his Marine Corps.When he gets the news of Taylor’s existence, his reaction is understandable. “He dragged in an uneven breath. His responsibilities were here. His life was here. The familiar tent whirled and refocused around him, his surroundings assuming the flat, clear detail of a firefight, boots, locker, green wool blanket, everything coated in a fine layer of grit. Time slowed. The paper trembled slightly in his grasp.”This is Ms. Kantra’s (one of many) strong suit. Giving us a view, a setting, for what is happening in the story. She gives a physical setting as well as a mental setting throughout her stories. Sometimes she gives you both at the same time. After Christmas Eve mass, Luke and Taylor are driving back home. Luke still doesn’t feel close to Taylor, as if there are barriers that he has no idea how to breach. Luke has taken a detour by the beach on a whim.“Dad.”He lost his breath.Taylor twisted to look at him. “We’re not searching for Santa’s sleigh or anything, right? Because I’m ten.”Luke grinned. “No sleigh. I brought you to look at the stars.’“Cool.” She settled against his side. “Like the wise men.”“Yeah.” He put his arm around her. So she wouldn’t get cold. “You know, before we moved here, Grandpas was in the Marines. Uncle Matt and Aunt Meg remember that better than I do. But there was this one Christmas, right before he got out . . .He couldn’t come home. He was in Iraq. The first go-round. I was pretty disappointed. Well, I was only eight. Younger than you are now.”Luke cleared his throat. “Anyway, after Grandma was downstairs, I climbed out on the garage roof and looked at the stars. I thought, wherever he was, he could see them, too. I picked out one star to be, like, my Dad star. Because stars are always there. Always with you. Even in the daytime, when you can’t see them, they’re there.”Taylor looked at him blankly. Oh, God, he was screwing this up. Did she get what he was trying to say?“Your mom . . . I figure she’s like one of those stars . Watching over you.”Taylor nodded slowly, her eyes shining in the moonlight. When the shining threatened to overflow, she squeezed her eyes shut, burying her face against his sid.Luke tightened his arm around her. “She’ll always be with you,” he said hoarsely.And so will I.This puts you in the place, in the moment so well. Another step in the growth of the relationship between father and child. No, it is not an original idea. Yes, many people and writers do the star thing, but it was just so perfect in placement, in execution, it made me sigh happily.So as always the writing/editing works for me. The hero and heroine are great. All the characters (well, the characters we like) are great. The situations are great fun. The romantic relationships are hot and wonderful. But a recurring issue I have is everything is so very rushed. This book happens over a three-week period. A three-week period including Christmas, wedding planning for previous characters, bad guy development, good guy development, the delicate placement of the next hero into the Fletchers’ world. Three weeks from nothing to everything. Yes, this quick turnaround is featured as a family trait. Tom and Tess, the familial genesis, met and married in two weeks. Hey, it worked for them. But all three of the kids don’t have to follow suit.There were a lot of loose ends to tie up in this book. Granted, 99 percent of those loose ends dealt with Taylor and her physical and psychological well-being so the return of her father is exactly where it should be tied up. But these issues were tied up very quickly. And while it was a very satisfying tie-up in a lot of ways, it felt much too rushed and much too easy.All that being said, I did enjoy the book and look forward to the fourth one, Carolina Blues. It deals with a new resident of Dare Island and it ventures outside the Fletcher familia.

  • Kathy
    2018-10-22 01:20

    Marine Luke Fletcher and family lawyer Kate Dolan... and Taylor...Luke is home for 3 months before his next deployment - 1 month of leave... and it's time to get to know his daughter...Luke is a man's man - caring, strong, decisive, gentle, patient, prepared... and though at a loss with 10 year old Taylor, he is determined to figure things out...and Kate - Taylor's mother's boss (his high school sweetheart who died) is not representing Luke's family (as executor of Taylor's mother's will) - but she is in their court 100%; she is struggling with her past and lack of trust - because of an abusive, drunk military father; but as her attraction for Luke grows, as she witnesses his love for his daughter and his family, she makes her way to peace and to love...He touches without being overwhelming (to both Kate and Taylor) - reading their responses... and he gets her a puppy (from the pregnant dog they adopted in Iraq)... she sets out food and a cage to catch Taylor's cat (abandoned when grandma said no to cat - she's allergic)... and when Taylor's uncle shows up, Taylor's fear is evident... and the family gathers around to love and protect her - to teach her that all is well... and Luke goes to the uncle's with the local sheriff (exMarine - who offers him a job) - and when they see evidence of cooking meth, they call the local authority - and when the uncle tries to escape, he ignites his 'potion' - and is hospitalized (Luke does what he can to save him)...and Luke wears his heart on his sleeve, and proposes to Kate - at first with assumptions... but then slows down and gives her his heart and the right words...ahhhhh