Book Review: Paradise Cove by Jenny Holiday

pcoveParadise Cove

Author: Jenny Holiday
Series: Matchmaker Bay, book 2
Publisher: Forever (July 28, 2020)
Mass market paperback, 386 pages
Romance, Adult romance, Contemporary romance

Dr. Nora Walsh has just been dumped in spectacular fashion, making it the perfect time for a major life change. She figures taking over the medical practice in tiny Matchmaker Bay for a couple of years will help her get over her broken heart, and then she can head back to the big city. But when the first man she sees looks like a superhero god, she wonders if maybe there’s something to small-town living after all.

Jake Ramsey also has a broken heart — one he never expects to heal. He doesn’t need people anyway and is content hiding out in his secluded cottage on the beach. But after helping Nora with a medical emergency, he finds himself opening up to the witty, warmhearted doctor. Soon the local matchmakers are working overtime to pair them off, and Jake begins to wonder if his campaign to get Nora to stay is for the town or because he can’t bear the thought of her leaving.

CW: death of a child (in the past, but remembered in detail on page), cancer (on page)

I’m definitely not kidding about the CWs – I normally struggle some with kids in danger on TV shows and in movies, and didn’t realize how hard this was going to hit me even though Jake lost his son prior to the events of the book taking place. I may have had to go hug my babies a couple of times reading this, so if that’s triggering for you please be aware of what you’re in for. This is a beautiful book but will definitely be difficult for some folks.

I was SO GLAD to return to Moonflower Bay (aka Matchmaker Bay) and all of the small town wackiness that goes on there. Fair warning though, this book is at time quite sad and heavy. I probably spent about a third of it leaking from the eyes because my heart hurt so much for Jake or for Nora or for them both. They develop this beautiful friendship that, much like the lake they love, has various moods – at times silly and playful, at times serious, always there supporting and buoying each other up.

Nora and Jake are often off in their own little bubble, as Jake doesn’t seem to open up well to many people, so the focus of this book falls more on them and to some extent their small circle of friends. Because of this, there’s a bit less focus on all the wacky town antics than in the previous book (though let’s be real, there are still PLENTY of amazingly wacky town antics!) Jenny Holiday masterfully weaves themes of friendship, love, and grief into this amazing story about letting go, holding on, and letting love lead you forward.

This is the second book in the Matchmaker Bay series, and can be read as a stand alone with some minimal spoilers for the first book,Β Mermaid Inn. There’s also a bit of set-up for the third book, which I CAN. NOT. WAIT. FOR.

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.

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