HALF MOON HILL – Toni Blake
A Destiny Novel
Destiny, Ohio – Present Day
Several months ago, Anna Romo discovered she'd been kidnapped as a child by a woman now deceased. Anna found her real family and was immediately enveloped into a loving family, even though she barely remembers them. While she remains in her family's hometown of Destiny, she has kept herself aloof and shut off, buying a house far from town, intending to remodel it into a bed and breakfast. One day, she is out walking near her home when she stumbles across a bearded, disheveled man. To her surprise, not only is he her brother Lucky's best friend, Duke Dawson, but he's living in a rundown shack on her property. She could ask him to get off her land, but instead, she lets him stay. In exchange, he helps her with the repairs to her house so that she can get it ready to open for business. Having Duke around brings them closer as the days pass, and it soon turns into an intense sexual attraction neither expected—or wants. Meanwhile, Anna finds an old diary of a sixteen year old girl who lived in the house before her—and one who fell in love with a man living in the nearby shack. Is history repeating itself?
Duke is hiding after a horrific accident left him emotionally and physically scarred. The pain has him hiding away, subsisting on the food of the land (and water) to survive. After Anna discovers him, he's brusque and makes it clear that he wants to be left alone, but when he spots her trying to fix up her house on her own, the do-gooder in him wants to help. Working on Anna's house draws him out of his shell, and soon he's opening up to her. Closeness turns to more than a friendship, but Duke can only promise her a fling, because he's not ready for any kind of commitment.
Toni Blake returns readers to Destiny with HALF MOON HILL, where the long ago disappearance of Anna Romo had left scars on the Romo family. Her sudden reappearance should be a time filled with joy, but Anna keeps to herself, slowly trying to build a relationship with her brothers, Mike and Lucky, as well as her parents. Her two sisters-in-laws, Rachel and Tessa, as well as their friends, Amy and Jenny, have opened their arms to her and forged a friendship, but even then Anna doesn't open up to them about the strangeness she feels to suddenly rediscover her family. Duke's need for isolation mirrors Anna's, and the two quickly form a shaky bond as he works on her house. Anna is intrigued by Duke, wondering about what drove him to withdraw from society, including not contacting Lucky. He rebuffs her questions at first, but trust soon develops, which also allows her to voice her thoughts about her tentative relationship with her family. Anna and Duke are truly kindred spirits, and finding each other is as though it's meant to be. But can they trust one another enough to take the next step…to love?
The small town of Destiny and the people who reside there are a close-knit bunch and everyone knows what is going on. But in HALF MOON HILL, no one realizes that Anna and Duke have these scars that force them to withdraw from revealing their innermost feelings. Their kindred friendship quickly develops into sexual attraction—and lovemaking—but once the bed and breakfast is ready to open, Duke will move on. A feel good tale with fiery passion between Anna and Duke, HALF MOON HILL is an enticing read that is hard to put down once you start. Readers will ache for Anna and Duke while cheering them on to find a happily-ever-after that seems to have recently eluded them. Part of the Destiny series, readers catch up on all the couples from the prior books, plus a couple of added surprises about them. While you can enjoy HALF MOON HILL without having read the earlier books, I highly recommend that you grab the other books in the series to get a sense of what Destiny is all about. If you love a passionate romance that combines small-town feel with sensuality, then HALF MOON HILL is just the book for you.