Contemporary Romance

ARC Review: The Truest Thing – Samantha Young (Hart’s Boardwalk #4)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Blurb
Nine years ago, Emery Saunders moved to Hartwell to start her life over as a bookstore owner. Her inability to trust people made it hard for her to find a place in the small community until Jessica Lawson moved to town and befriended the shy beauty.
But there was one person in Hartwell who tried to befriend Emery long before Jessica arrived…

Jack Devlin has his secrets. One of them is that he fell hard for Emery the moment she appeared in Hartwell. Another is that his father blackmailed him into covering up a dark family tragedy. It forced Jack to sever his relationships to protect the people he cared about. Yet, staying away from Emery has not been easy throughout the years and he hasn’t always succeeded. When Jack’s mixed signals hurt Emery once again, she puts him out of her heart for good.
Until the Devlin family secret is finally revealed, freeing Jack from his father’s machinations. What Jack wants more than anything is to repair his relationships, starting with Emery.

However, Emery isn’t ready to forgive and Jack’s not ready to give up.
And when the town’s latest scandal ties Jack and Emery together, Jack is not above using their new reality to prove to Emery once and for all that their love is worthy of the legend of Hart’s Boardwalk.

My Review
The Truest Thing is the stunning fourth installment in the Hart’s Boardwalk series! It centers around shy, sweet Emery Saunders; secretive, bad boy Jack Devlin and their long nine year journey to finding happiness. I have been wanting Jack and Emery’s story since the first book in the series and I loved this one so much. It was absolutely worth the wait!

The heroine, Emery, is incredibly shy, soft spoken, and a general sweetheart. She grew up in an incredibly privileged but difficult household and in turn, it made her into the quiet, lonely person she is. Despite this upbringing, she is still full of hope and wonder about her future making her an intriguing and relatable character.

The hero, Jack, has a notorious reputation around Hartwell. Once considered the black sheep of the family (for being a decent person unlike the rest of the Devlins), he mysteriously changed his ways one night by betraying friends and hurting the community. Without a doubt, he suddenly became a Devlin in the truest sense and no one knew why… until now.

The author has created a beautiful story detailing Emery and Jack’s relationship over a nine year period. Since it contains a lengthy timeframe, the author wisely utilises the flashbacks to really put emphasis on the significant events with the hero and heroine’s history. Usually I find multiple flashbacks in stories to be quite hit or miss, but Samantha Young knows how to create beautiful flashbacks that truly enhance the story. Each moment she described was completely necessary to gain a full understanding of their background and it added so much more feeling and emotion into the characters. It also really helped readers to gain more perspective about unfolding events that happened in the previous three books.

Jack and Emery’s romance was full of many tender and bittersweet moments that left me wanting more. The Truest Thing kept me on my toes and I kept wondering what else was going to unfold. Boy did it ever! I thoroughly enjoyed the surprise twist in the story and that ending had me swooning!

Outside the the main characters, long time readers of Hart’s Boardwalk gets to revisit our favourites! I’m a huge fan of this series and I loved getting to seeing past and present moments of Jessica and Cooper, Bailey and Vaugh, Dahlia and Michael, Ivy, Kat, and Ira and Iris. Even ol’ Archie. So many beloved residents of Hartwell made an appearance and it felt like coming home. If I could jump into any fictional world, I would love to live in Hartwell.

While I’m sad to think this could be the finale of the Hart’s Boardwalk series, I don’t think she could have ended on a better note! The Truest Thing was perfect for both fans of the series and new readers. It can definitely be read as a standalone but is infinitely better in combination with the other books. Overall, Samantha Young has delivered another fantastic story. She’s such an amazing writer and I swear her books just get better and better. If you haven’t read this series yet and you love contemporary, small town romance, you need to get on this quick!

Disclaimer: Thank you to the author and Valentine PR for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

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