It's been an absolute delight reading Sarah Morgan's From Manhattan with Love series. I brought the latest one, Moonlight Over Manhattan, with me on a recent vacation because I knew it would be the perfect beach read and because it would help me get in the holiday spirit while on said beach. Though, I must say, reading a Christmassy book while in Australia was an interesting experience!
Here's the synopsis:
She'll risk everything for her own Christmas miracle...I had the warm and fuzzies as soon as I started reading this book. I loved the way Harriet and Ethan met! It was such a sweet meet cute and I loved the twist Morgan threw in that had them come together once again. Their second meeting was a bit tough to read - and I don't think this will be too spoilery - as Ethan's anger at the way his day had gone resulted in him yelling at Harriet. If you've read the other stories you'll know that Harriet had a really rough childhood and his anger triggered her stammer. But Morgan knows how to write her heroes and Ethan quickly figured out that he was the issue and he worked hard to correct his behaviour. Harriet didn't trust him right away - rightfully so - but she could see that he was genuine in his desire to make things right. It was really sweet to read.
Determined to conquer a lifetime of shyness, Harriet Knight challenges herself to do one thing a day in December that scares her, including celebrating Christmas without her family. But when dog walker Harriet meets her newest client, exuberant spaniel Madi, she adds an extra challenge to her list--dealing with Madi's temporary dog sitter, gruff doctor Ethan Black, and their very unexpected chemistry.
Ethan thought he was used to chaos, until he met Madi--how can one tiny dog cause such mayhem? To Ethan, the solution is simple--he will pay Harriet to share his New York apartment and provide twenty-four-hour care. But there's nothing simple about how Harriet makes him feel.
Ethan's kisses make Harriet shine brighter than the stars over moonlit Manhattan. But when his dog-sitting duties are over and Harriet returns to her own home, will she dare to take the biggest challenge of all--letting Ethan know he has her heart for life, not just for Christmas?
I absolutely loved getting to know Harriet more. Especially because she was trying so hard to become more assertive and less shy. I can totally identify with that and am in awe at some of the things she made herself do. She didn't want to rely on her (super amazing) support system so much and that's admirable but I also think that, at times, she pushed them away too much. It was like she swung too far into the "I am going to do this on my own and I absolutely cannot accept any help from my siblings." I think that was a bit of a mistake but I can understand why she was feeling like that.
Morgan has worked her series Puffin Island, into this series before so I wasn't too surprised to see the O'Neil Brothers pop up in this story. Unsurprising, maybe, but not unwelcome. I thought the setting of the ski lodge was perfect (note to self: read more books set at ski lodges) and seeing Harriet and Ethan bond even more in such a picturesque setting was lovely. I especially love the date idea Ethan came up with. It was perfect! (Nope...no date spoilers here.) And, even though I've only read one of the O'Neil Brothers series (always wanted to read the rest but just never found the time), it was really nice to catch up with the family.
Like most Christmas romances, this book isn't overly Christmassy. The focus in this book was more on how Harriet was trying to stand on her own two feet and allowing her siblings to have Christmas with their new significant others. She knew she could have gone to see her grandmother in the Hamptons, or stayed with Fliss and Seth (their story was Holiday in the Hamptons and you can read my review here if you missed it) but she wanted to stay in New York City for the holidays. Now, I've never been in NYC for Christmas (only ever been once in my life) but I've read enough holiday stories and seen enough movies to know that it really does look like a magical place in December. (And, yes, I'm aware these shows and books show it as picture perfect and it's probably not but let me have this vision, ok?). I could see why Harriet would want to stay in the city and enjoy all that it has to offer during the holiday season. Plus, it allowed for a really sweet scene with Harriet and Ethan later on in the book!
Small sides note: if you're a dog lover, you'll love this one. Harriet understands dogs at a whole other level and Morgan is able to write her in such a way that you can really see how talented she is at working with animals.
I really hope there's going to be another From Manhattan with Love novel but I have a feeling Sarah Morgan has reached the end of the stories she has to tell from New York City. Ever story in this series has been so heartwarming, sweet, funny, and a little sexy. If it is the end, Moonlight Over Manhattan was a great novel to end on. It very well might be my favourite of the six! If you want a nice Christmas-ish read this holiday season, this is one to pick up!
PS I really did bring it to the beach!
*An advanced copy of this novel was provided by the publisher, Harlequin, in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*