Nadya Montgomery was Gypsy Beach’s own personal wild child. There was nothing she wouldn’t do, especially when it came to Grady Havens. Until disaster struck and tore them apart. Desperate to protect Grady, she ran away from everything and everyone she’d ever known.
Fourteen years later, Nadya returns to the beach to try to rebuild some semblance of her life out of her ex-husband’s shadow, but that means returning to her past and seeing Grady Havens again.
Now a charter boat Captain constantly trying to put his past behind him, Grady doesn’t know what to make of Nadya’s return. All he knows is she was always meant to be his, and he intends to make his claim. He wants her back in his life and most certainly back in his bed.
When his entire family is threatened, he’s caught between rekindling his relationship with Nadya and protecting what belongs to him.
Together they try to rebuild what always should have been, but their pasts are determined to keep them ensnared. As passions ignite between them, they realize that even Grady may not be able to keep her safe this time.
This is my first book by Jillian Neal and we got off to a bit of a slow start but at about the halfway mark, give or take a few chapters, I found myself totally engrossed in the book and in the end found it to be an enjoyable read about two people learning to forgive themselves for their past transgressions and look to building their future together all while fighting the prejudices that come with being a Gypsy.
The slow start for me had much to do with Grady and Nadya because they just didn’t jump off the page for me in the beginning, I found myself more interested in finding out who was breaking and entering and framing the Gypsies and the other characters than them. Horrible, I know, but while I felt empathy for what they had both been through I just couldn’t connect with either of them in the beginning and even after they finally came face to face it still took me awhile to get on board with them, but once they started to work their issues out they both finally came alive on the page and I got to see just who they were to each other before Nadya fled and what they could be together if only they allowed it to happen, which they did. The process isn’t as long and arduous as you would think considering what had driven them apart and then brought them back together, they grew up together, they were each others solace for years before becoming lovers and it shows in their interactions with each other and that connection actually helps to move them forward instead of holding them back.
The writing, despite the fact that the beginning was a bit slow for me, was engaging. I loved the secondary cast of characters, Grady’s brothers and their interactions with each other had me wishing they were mine, and I like the way she showed the prejudice the Gypsy’s deal with daily. The mystery and suspense aspect did keep me guessing and the reveal at the end wasn’t what I was expecting.
The Bottom Line: Though this one took be a bit to get into, I found it to be an enjoyable and quite smexy read and will be keeping my eye out for the others in the series.
~ ARC received via Rock Star PR in exchange for an honest review ~
Jillian Neal is a Romance author that manages to blend her imagination, Southern sass, and loving heart in every novel she pens. She showed her talent for weaving intricate plot lines and showcasing dynamic characters in her seven-book, urban fantasy, series, The Gifted Realm. Her skillset continues to shine in her contemporary series, Gypsy Beach, which will leave you with a longing to pack your bags and move to a tiny beach town full of bohemian charm.
She lives outside of Atlanta with her husband and their children.