Kim’s Review of Desire After Dark (The McCarthys of Gansett Island #15) by Marie Force

dadmfSeveral years ago I was scavenging on the Barnes & Noble website for a new nook book to read. I stumbled upon Maid for Love by Marie Force and was transported to a tiny New England island called Gansett Island, which was modeled after Block Island.  I read Maid for Love in a night, downloaded the next books available in the series (6), and proceeded to read them all over the next two days. Since Maid for Love I’ve downloaded each new book on its release day and completely devoured it. Yesterday, Force released the 15th book in the series (!!!) Desire after Dark.  All I can say is, what a wonderful return to Gansett Island! Every new book in the series feels like a homecoming. Each book and each love story given to us is another glimpse into the lives of our Gansett family, because that’s what this group of characters has become, family. We’ve been with them as they’ve found love, started families, dealt with miscarriages, abusive parents, new career paths, divorces, and grief. Just when you think you’ve experienced everything possible with them, Force surprises us and gives us something new to love.

Plot from Goodreads:

Tobias “Slim” Jackson has the perfect life as a pilot on Gansett Island in the summer and in Florida in the winter. He’s happiest when he’s in the air, or at least that was the case before last summer when he met Erin Barton, Gansett Island’s newest lighthouse keeper. Now he can’t seem to find his usual enthusiasm for flying, winter in the sunny South or anything that doesn’t include her.

Erin has been stuck on pause since she lost her twin brother. She’ll tell you herself that her life has been a hot mess since Toby died. After dropping out of law school, she’s flitted from one pointless job to another, existing rather than truly living. Then she comes to Gansett Island to take over as the new lighthouse keeper and meets Slim, who happens to share her beloved brother’s first name. That small coincidence is enough to convince Erin that she needs to spend more time with the dashing pilot—except for the fact that he’s spending the winter more than a thousand miles from her.

Now Slim’s come home to Gansett for the holidays and to hopefully pick up where he left off with Erin. He’s got twelve days before he’s due back in Florida to finish out the remainder of his winter obligations. A lot can happen in twelve days, but will it be enough to convince Erin that it’s time to start truly living again? Read Slim and Erin’s story and catch up with the rest of the Gansett Island cast in Desire After Dark!

If you’re new to the Gansett Island series, I highly recommend starting with Maid for Love and working your way through the series and ending with this fantastic latest installment. I know that 15 books may seem daunting, but trust me, it’s worth the wait. Each book acts as an additional chapter to the overall story of the island and its inhabitants, and you get the opportunity to revisit couples from previous books as time passes. Force does a wonderful job immersing the reader in the story, and before you know it the books fly by. This new work is no exception.

Erin and Slim’s story is yet another wonderful chapter to the Gansett series. When I first learned about Jenny (the heroine of Meant for Love) and Erin’s past and the substantial amount of grief that existed in their lives I wanted so badly for them to find their happy-ever-afters. They are such beautifully strong women, and the men who love them treat them like the queens they are. They are showered with so much love and desire that they can’t help but fight against it for fear from their past losses. Thankfully Slim and Alex fight through their grief and prove to them how wonderful love can be.

Not only was Erin and Slim’s story a pure joy to read, I was SO excited to get more of Owen & Laura, Grace & Evan, and David & Daisy. Force is a master at giving you JUST enough of the other couples and rotating the focus of each new book so as to never feel like you’re missing out on anything important in their lives. Sweet, romantic, and fun, this is the perfect read to get you in the mood for summer!

4 out of 5 Stars

Special thanks to Ms. Force for my review copy!

Desire After Dark by Marie Force
HTJB, Inc (2016)
eBook: 280 pages
ISBN: 2940157747572

#47 A Review of Ready For Love (McCarthy’s of Gansett Island #3) by Marie Force

Marie Force is quickly becoming a force (haha) to be reckoned with in the world of indie self publishing.  If you follow her Facebook and Twitter accounts not only will you find one incredibly hard-working individual, but one earning awards left and right for her many works.  I count myself among the lucky to have found her works when doing my weekly scavenge for nook books.  I came across the first book in this series, Maid For Love, and upon finishing it found myself quickly reading all five that are currently published. I felt like I was reading as fast as this man speaks.

Now that our heads are spinning…

In her third installment of the McCarthy’s of Gansett Island series, Ready for Love, Marie Force tells the story of Luke Harris.  Born and raised on the island, Luke had a summer romance with Sydney Donovan, whose wealthy parents had a summer home on the island.  When the summer ended and Sydney was destined for college, the romance ended, as is most often the case.  Fast forward many years later: Luke still lives and works on the island, and Sydney is happily married to another man with two beautiful children.  However, all of this changes when a terrible accident claims the life of Sydney’s husband and children.  Seeking an escape from this terrible loss, Sydney comes back to Gansett Island 15 months later, only to find that Luke is still there and his love for her is as strong as the day they parted so many years ago.  Will they rekindle their love or will Sydney’s pain be so great that she cannot love anyone any more?

I’m writing this review having finished the first five books of the series.  Having read them all I can honestly say that Ready for Love is my second favorite. (Book one, Maid For Love, is the only one beating it!)  Force has an extraordinary ability to create characters that are relatable, charismatic, and have great personalities, which in turn makes readers WANT to care about them.  Her books are filled with a collection of characters that become like a second family the further you get in the series.  For any author to achieve this is a great feat in and of itself, but Force continually does it book after book.  It’s one of the main reasons I keep reading all the books in this series.  I want to meet more of the Gansett Island folks!  Knowing that there are several more books expected for this series makes me SQUEE with joy.

Additionally, another great thing about Force’s writing is that her plots aren’t unrealistic.  In my opinion, Ready For Love’s main theme is that true love waits.  Luke has truly been in love with Sydney since they were teenagers.  They definitely weren’t ready for “the rest of our lives” when they were 17, but the trials that life has put them through in the years since their last meeting have turned them into the people they are today, the people they need to be for their love to last.  Sydney’s plight, albeit a sad one in that she lost her husband and children, teaches her that her life can be redeemed from the depression she’s been beholden to with Luke’s effervescent personality, charm, and sheer confidence in the strength of their love.  It was a touching story from start to finish.  If this is the first review you’re reading for the Gansett Island series, then click back for my reviews of book one and two and give this series a try.

5 out of 5 Stars

Ready for Love by Marie Force
HTJB, Inc (2011)
eBook: 642 Pages
ISBN: 2940012807687

#32 A Review of Fool For Love by Marie Force

After devouring Maid For Love, book one in Marie Force’s McCarthy’s of Gansett Island series, I knew I had to continue reading about the lives of the Gansett Island folk.  I couldn’t get enough of Force’s fun and witty writing style, so I knew I was definitely in for a treat when I cracked open Fool for Love, the second in the series.

This time, Joe (Mac’s best friend from Maid for Love) is the main interest.  Seeing Mac happy and in love makes Joe’s heart-break, as he is the unfortunate victim of unrequited love.  The object of his desire is Janey, Mac’s younger sister, who is engaged to a medical student living in Boston.  All that changes, however, when Janey finds her fiance in bed with another woman after she travels up to surprise him.  Furious and hurt, she leaves in a hurry only to have her car break down.  She calls the one person she knows will help her: Joe.  She’s always viewed Joe as a “fifth brother” whom she could confide anything in and turn to when times got tough.  Joe jumps at the chance to help Janey, but he is wary of her recent break up, and feels even more pressure when Janey decides to stay at Joe’s to recuperate before she travels back to Gansett Island to tell her family of her break up.  Will Joe be able to handle having Janey, who he’s always admired from afar, so close to him (and single) for the first time?  Will Janey begin to view Joe as more than just a friend?  What will Mac have to say about all of this?

I would normally have thought that the plot of this book was ridiculous, where a girl who has been in a relationship for 15+ years finds out that her boyfriend has been cheating on her, jumps into another man’s arms, and begins a relationship with him in the same night that she discovers the infidelity!  In reality I think that you would need more time in order to get over the shock of this event.  However, Force somehow makes all of this work, and even makes it believable to boot.  Joe’s ability to start this relationship with Janey is never in question, he’s pined over her for ages.  And while at first hesitant and scared of becoming a rebound, he eventually realizes that he may never be able to get another chance to show Janey that he’s the one for her.  Janey, on the other hand, is at first confused and conflicted in her feelings for Joe and what her impetuous behavior says about the relationship she had with David for the past 15 years.  When all of those feelings and emotions the two are feeling come together it is volatile, giving the reader a great story to follow along with.

The way in which Force incorporates the characters from her first work in this series into the plot of this work creates a very close-knit and believable community that ties the works together.  As we read more about the lives of those on Gansett Island, we get a better picture of the goings on in the community as a whole, effectively making the island its own character.  I can’t wait to see what else Force has in store for this series, and I know that once I get to know even more characters from this island I’ll fall in love all over again.

4 out of 5 Stars

Fool For Love by Marie Force
Marie Force (2011)
eBook: 632 pages
ISBN:  2940012576842

#27 A Review of Maid For Love by Marie Force

In the first novel in the McCarthys of Gansett Island series, Maid for Love, Marie Force tells the tale of Maddie Chester and Mac McCarthy.  Mac’s family owns a local inn and are both wealthy and well liked in town.  By contrast, Maddie has a much harder upbringing, with an incarcerated mother and a difficult job as a maid that is constantly given the dirtiest rooms in the inn which Mac’s family owns (do you see the connection yet?).  Additionally, Maddie is haunted by a tarnished reputation that she has had from her earlier years in school, where a vicious rumor (which was false) labeled her as being promiscuous and a floozy. Upon returning to the island for a reprieve from his over-stressed life, Mac absent mindedly steps out into the street, colliding with Maddie who is riding her bike.  He injures her fairly seriously and she faces a long road of recovery, which Mac surprisingly offers to help her with.  Nursing her back to health, as well as caring for her young son and job while she is out of work, Mac falls head over heels in love with Maddie despite his original misgivings about even returning to the island.  Will Maddie return his affections?  Will her reputation be a thorn in Mac’s quest to woo Maddie?  Will Maddie be able to put aside the dislike she has for the McCarthy family?

I believe I’ve told you all before that as a child I spent a lot of time in Cape Cod.  During my trips to the cape we spent time at both Block Island in Rhode Island and Martha’s Vineyard.  When I heard about the Gansett Island and how it was modeled after Block Island I was immediately intrigued, having always found the island to be a quaint place to have lived.  It is the perfect setting for a book series, and I found myself greedily devouring Maid For Love because of it.  Force has created a wonderful setting that becomes as much of a character in the novel as the people do!

I LOVED Mac and Maddie! They are complete opposites and so utterly perfect for each other.  Of course what kind of romance would this be without its share of conflict, misunderstanding, and redemption?  Mac’s willingness to help out this woman he’s never met is not only romantic, but noble.  He’s a genuine good guy that deserves a happy ending.  Maddie helps him see a future he never believed would happen for him.  He left the island years ago and never looked back.  His surprise in finding everything he’s been looking for in the place he didn’t think he’d find it was a joy to read.  Not only is Mac a great guy, but Maddie has suffered SO much.  The teasing she’s suffered as well as the disrespect the other “island natives” have offered her is totally distasteful.  Mac’s acceptance of her and her son on her terms was the balm she needed to soothe all the wounds she’s received emotionally over the years.   Force does a great job at developing both of these characters really well, albeit their love match does happen over an unrealistic time period; I guess the old saying “you know when you know” comes into mind.

If you have yet to read any of the five novels currently in the McCarthys of Gansett Island series, may I highly suggest you change that ASAP?  I read all five consecutively and was drawn to each and every one.  They are written as stand alone novels, but I would tell you to read them in order.  It adds to the experience when you know everyone’s back-stories already.  Happy reading!

5 out of 5 Stars

Maid For Love by Marie Force
Marie Force (2011)
eBook: 636 pages
ISBN: 2940012457301

This book is currently a steal at .99 for nook users. GO GET IT!