Format Read: e-ARC provided courtesy of Author for Review
Length: 218 Pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Home To Harbor Town Book III
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition
Formats Available: Mass Market Paperback, Kindle, Nook
Purchasing Info: Publisher, Author’s Website, Amazon, Books-A-Milliion, Powell’s, , Goodreads, Book Depository, IndieBound, Kindle, Nook
In high school, small-town princess Colleen Kavanaugh had had it all, and Eric Reyes was the outsider with his nose pressed against the glass. Then a sudden change in circumstance led to a reversal of fortune. Now Eric was a wealthy, successful, arrogant surgeon who rubbed the onetime golden girl the wrong way.
When an ironic twist of fate forced Eric and Colleen back together, the single mom found herself drawn to the irresistible doctor despite their dark history. Sure, she’d felt something for Eric when they were teenagers, but those memories were long forgotten—or so she thought. It wasn’t long before he wooed her into his arms…and his bed. But could their newfound passion lead to the happily-ever-after of their dreams?
The picturesque lakeside community of Harbor Town rests on the shores of Lake Michigan, Illinois, and is a place where well off Chicago families historically have purchased summer homes and enjoyed their vacations with friends and family. Derry Kavanaugh bought a house in Harbor Town, for his wife Brigit and their four athletic children Marc, Liam, Colleen and Deidre and the family spent active summers full of water sports and good times. Then, sixteen years ago, unspeakable tragedy struck when an intoxicated Derry caused a three way motor vehicle accident killing himself, Kassim and Shada Itani, and, Natalie Reyes’s mother. Natalie was the only survivor but the young girl had bad injuries and required extensive reconstructive surgery. Eric Reyes, a teenager at the time, assumed a parental role to his young sister.
Derry was charged with reckless homicide and a law suit awarded the Itani children, Mari and Ryan, and, the Reyes’ substantial compensation. It took every penny of Derry’s estate, including the sale of their home in Chicago to pay the damages. After the accident and emotionally charged court proceedings, a bitter, angry Brigit settled in Harbor Town with Marc, Liam and Colleen. Deidre left home the night of the accident and remains estranged from her mother.
Claiming Colleen is the third book in Beth Kery’s emotional, relationship driven Home To Harbor Town series surrounding the lives and loves of the Kavanaugh, Reyes and Itani families.
Colleen Kavanaugh Sinclair, is a devoted single mom of two pre-adolescent children. She married young to an Army Ranger who was killed overseas. A consummate professional, Colleen is an intelligent, compassionate clinical social worker who works at the town’s Family Center. When her son Brendan, requires orthopedic surgery, Colleen is faced with the difficult decision of whether to let Dr. Eric Reyes, a man who has every reason to hate her and her family do the surgery.
Eric has known of Colleen since she was 17 years-old, but they didn’t socialize in the same circles. Oh, he’d noticed the very pretty, popular rich girl who spent perfect summer vacations with her friends in Harbor Town. Eric was the son of a poor immigrant single mother who cleaned offices and houses for a living. Eric spent his summers working as a landscaper for families like Colleen’s and when he wasn’t working he had his nose in a book. Then the crash happened, and in a heartbeat their lives changed.
Eric worked extremely hard, earned his medical degree and has proved to be a gifted adult and pediatric orthopedic surgeon. Given the baggage between them, Colleen’s hostility regarding his involvement in her son’s case, doesn’t surprise Eric. Not only did Colleen’s father kill Eric’s mother, but there are other factors adding to the already monumental conflict existing between these two people. Eric is the quintessentially handsome orthopedic surgeon who has enjoyed the company of many women. He is also well off, having made shrewd investments and owns a beautiful beachfront home on the wealthiest street in town. Colleen views him as a womanizing playboy and they have butted heads on more then one occasion professionally as Eric volunteers a little of his time at the Family Centre. Further, during an angry confrontation with Colleen’s brothers in a restaurant parking lot (which occurred in an earlier book of the series) she punched sexy Eric in the jaw. That was after another confrontation that ended in a heated kiss on the beautiful, now private Sunset Beach.
“Sixteen months ago I kissed you, and a few months later you slugged me in the jaw in Jake’s Place parking lot.”
Her mouth fell open, but she didn’t utter a word. She didn’t know what shocked her more: the fact that Eric had again brought up that kiss on Sunset Beach or his reference to her impassioned, impulsive act last summer…or possibly the evidence that said jaw was now hovering half a foot away from her upturned face.
“I..I’ve never apologized for that. I’m sorry,” she whispered.
“I didn’t bring it up because I was looking for an apology.”
“No?” she mouthed. She stood frozen to the spot, even though she knew she should back away.
“Which do you regret more?” he asked.
When she just stared at him, her bemusement obvious he clarified, “The punch? Or the kiss?”
For a stretched few seconds, neither spoke. The silence was absolute. Colleen wondered if they both held their breath…”
Claiming Colleen © Beth Kery
The thing is, Colleen feels uncomfortable and guilty because she is attracted to Eric, and the attraction is mutual. He’s frustrated because she won’t give him the time of day. Colleen does consent to Eric performing the need surgery for her son. Then his sister Natalie and her brother Liam announce their engagement and plan to marry very soon which gives Eric a long awaited opportunity to spend time with Colleen.
Kery crafts an emotional, sensual multi-layered romance about a strong woman who, along with her family has suffered and continues to try to move past a tragedy that has defined them. Colleen has significant preconceived opinions about Eric as a person and is surprised to discover he isn’t the shallow arrogant rich guy she thought him to be. Eric bonds with her children and, much to his surprise falls hard for Colleen.
What I’ve loved about this book and the series is watching this family slowly heal and unite to get past the tragedy that happened so long ago. This is particularly true of Colleen’s mother Brigit. Kery has progressed Brigit’s character through each book, she was a woman with dark secrets, remorse and so much bitterness concerning the accident. Colleen continues to deal with startling revelations concerning her mother and father’s relationship that were brought to light in Liam’s Perfect Woman, book 2 of the series.
Colleen and Eric’s romance blooms in the midst of planning a family wedding and the Thanksgiving Holiday. If you enjoy a special, sensual, small-town romance with endearing multidimensional characters, you might like to give Claiming Colleen a try. IMHO Claiming Colleen can be read as a standalone, but I do think reading this series in order would facilitate maximum enjoyment for readers.
I give Claiming Colleen 5 Stars
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