I have to admit that I was really excited to start this book. I have enjoyed everything I have read from Samantha Young, and it has been awhile since I have read anything from her. The One Real Thing kicks off her new Hart's Boardwalk series, so I couldn't wait to see what she had in store for us. But I have to say that while I liked this one I didn't love it. I did enjoy this world she is setting up though, and I am interested to read more in the series down the line.
Jessica Huntington is a doctor that works at a correctional facility. She doesn't get emotionally attached as she prefers to avoid it after being betrayed in the past. But when she comes across some letters in the prison library, she sets out to visit Hartwell and deliver the letters to the intended recipient. There she meets local bar owner, Cooper Lawson. Cooper has also been betrayed in the past and has been focused on his family and his pub. But both Cooper and Jessica find themselves drawn to one another. While Cooper is determined to explore their connection, Jessica is determined to remain as detached as possible. But can Cooper show her that what they could have together is real and worth taking a chance on?
Part of my problem here was the characters. While I really liked Cooper, I struggled with Jessica. She was annoying to me much of the time and I never felt like I could connect with her. I was rooting for these two to get together, but I struggled with their connection if I am honest. I think a lot of that had to do with Jessica, as Cooper was great. I just never felt invested in her or their relationship like I should have.
The other big issue I had here besides the characters was some of the story itself. It felt like something was missing and much of the time I was a bit bored. There wasn't a lot to captivate me and make me want to read this story. There didn't seem to be a lot of depth, despite the potential for it with their pasts, and I just was disappointed that we didn't get to dig any deeper with these two. Communication was an issue here, and I felt that played a huge part in the lack of depth here. It just got frustrating as the story continued and I think that these two needed to talk more about things in order for me to have felt any connection forming between these two. Without that, the bond they were supposed to be forming fell pretty flat. As I said though, I did like the setup of the town and some of the characters that were introduced here and I would be interested in getting to know them better. I just struggled with this one, and wanted more.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**