Cover Image: Summer at Hope Haven (Dune Island Book 1)

Summer at Hope Haven (Dune Island Book 1)

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Member Reviews

Right from the start of this book, my heart went out to Emily. She has already been through so much, following the loss of her parents along with her brother in a tragic accident, and as if that wasn't already bad enough, her fiancé then leaves her shortly after her awful loss too.

Emily understandably needs to escape and retreats to the family summer cottage. When there, her childhood friend Wilson along with his wife Collette welcome her with open arms. 

This book was incredibly moving, and I loved the strength in which Emily showed throughout, despite all she had to overcome. The characters were relatable and charismatic, and the story flowed beautifully from beginning to end.
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How much pain can one person go through and still have the strength to keep living. Emily lost her parents and her brother in a helicopter accident. Her fiancé leaves her just months after losing her parents. In overwhelming pain Emily retreats to the family summer cottage. Her childhood friend Wilson and his wife Collette welcome her with open arms. Emily has agreed to use her artistic talent to paint murals at the hospital in the children’s wing. 
Will Emily find her way back to living? Can she deal with the surprises she finds in the family cottage? Will she ever be able to open up her heart again?

I enjoyed this book. I read it in one afternoon. I recommend it to anyone needing encouragement to finding a way forward after losing so much. 
Thank you Netgalley for complimentary copy.
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Whilst the story-line was enjoyable, I unfortunately couldn't finish this book in it's entirety. I am grateful and appreciate the opportunity to read an early arc. Thank you, Netgalley.
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I was very surprised to see that this story had more than a few negative reviews - I am glad I didn't see them until after I had read it, as they may have put me off starting it, but as it was it was a fantastic read. 
As well as your obvious romance that you expect in books like this, I was taken on a rollercoaster of a journey with Emily of complete heartbreak, then leading to hope then love. 
There were a couple of ongoing stories within the book, but it wasn't confusing and I found they all blended together nicely. 
Another book that I didn't want to put down, I already have the 2nd book Of the Dune Island series to read on netgalley so I can't wait!
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Fantastic read!!! This is such a heart felt book with mysterious family secrets. This is a hard book to put down. At times it made me want to cry sad tears then at others times I wanted to cry happy tears. This book offers a story of  true friendship, romance, and mystery all rolled up in one. It was so hard to put this book down. I highly recommend this book to romance book lovers.
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This is book 1 in the Dune Island series.  I liked the idea of returning to a happy place of childhood to start over but it was a little predictable with the turn of events.  Emily has lost her family in an accident and her boyfriend dumps her because she's too sad.  When she meets Luke he seems to help her accept the family is gone.  Dune Island is a place I'd love to visit and live.  The small community can be both a blessing and a pain.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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I found this one really slow paced, even at half way through nothing much had happened. Sorry but I do not think I will be recommending this one.
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This was a good read. There was a lot of heartbreak, some mystery and a new outlook on life. It did seem a bit sluggish at times, but then just cuddled one with a comfy blanket again. Bit middle of the road, but overall enjoyable.
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Slow paced, almost felt like giving up half way through as it was a little depressing and Emily wasn't a particularly likeable character. It did redeem itself towards the end though
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Thank you netgalley for allowing me to read this early.   I have never read anything by this author so i was excited when I was granted access.  This was a lovely story & I loved the mysterious aspect to the story as well.  It kept me interested for sure!
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Kristin Harper's novel, Summer at Hope Haven, was an enjoyable story with some mysterious elements. Emma, who left a troublesome place to restore her soul at her family's cabin at Hope Haven for a summer. Though Emma suffered from lost of family members, and a breakup with her fiance, she learned how to trust again with a relationship, and discovered a secret.. Harper did an excellent job with  #SummeratHopeHaven describing the characters, the beautiful setting , and a new love..Thank you to #NetGalley for allowing me to enjoy this novel.
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I just finished this book the other day and I really enjoyed reading it.  You will fall in love with the characters, the Island of Dune, and the storyline!

How would you survive losing your entire family in one day and having your fiancé break up with you all in the matter of months?  How would you turn your life around, could you?  Would you reach out to the only person that you call family, though he really isn't, if it meant having to relive your grief over and over again, but just in a different place that was filled with sweet childhood memories?  Going back to a safe place to heal is just what Emily did.  She want home to Dune Island and to the childhood cottage that was owned by her family.  Her next door neighbor is her brother's childhood friend and someone that Emily has leaned on since her Mom, Dad and Brother were all killed in the same accident.

Life isn't always rosy and perfect, it contains many ups and downs that we each have to navigate in our own way.  This story takes you inside the mind of Emily.  What she is feeling, how she is coping with loss, and how she tries to pick herself up and move on.

Pick up this book, settle into your favorite reading chair, and live life through Emily.  Hopefully if you have faced loss and/or when you do, this book might just help you get through it.  Enjoy!
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of ‘Summer at Hope Haven’ by Kristin Harper in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own..

Emily, an artist, takes refuge at her family’s cottage in Dune Island after her fiancé walked out in her. After losing her parents and brother in an accident, she hopes to find some solace over the summer. While she is working on a mural for the hospital she meets Dr Luke. 

I love the friendship between Emily and Luke as well as her brothers friend Wilson and his wife Collette. Dune Island is described as a gorgeous place to vacation and live. It was so vivid I felt like I was there on the beach with Emily at times.

I loved the element of secrets and mysteries that Emily tries to make sense of when she gets to her family’s cottage and finds some old keepsakes meant for her and her late brother.

I definitely would recommend this book to my friends who enjoy a good romance and general picturesque summer fiction.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

Emily has lost her entire family in a tragic accident and hopes this summer at their ancestral house on Dune Island will provide the comfort she needs to mourn them and reflect on her loss. She has also volunteered to paint murals at the local hospital while she is on break from teaching.

One day she meets Luke and she thinks he might be stealing her stuff so she lays into him...little did she know that Luke was also a Doctor at the very hospital she is volunteering for and that he would provide a new chance for happiness. Another reason she has decided to retreat to the island is that after she lost her family, she also lost her Luke might be just what she needs to take her mind off of all of her heartbreak.

This was a light and easy read...yes, there is heartbreak but there is also a lot of happiness taking place on Dune Island. Happiness in the form of new babies, new loves, new family...Who doesn't love happiness?
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There are certain words that are grossly underutilized, and - at least here in the United States - milquetoast is one of them. If I had to use one word to describe the heroine of Summer at Hope Haven, milquetoast would be it.

Emily lost her father, mother, and brother in a tragic accident and is still struggling with crippling grief nine months later. When her brother’s best friend Wilson contacts her about a job painting murals on the walls of a new pediatric wing at a hospital where he works on the other side of the country, Emily decides to forego teaching art classes at the college where she’s an adjunct professor, sublet her Seattle apartment and escape to her family’s east coast island cottage where she vacationed growing up. But her one condition of spending the summer in Hope Haven is that Wilson and his wife not tell anyone about her family’s death.

As she spends her time fixing up the family cottage and painting at the hospital, she catches the eye of pediatric doctor Lucas, becomes close friends with Wilson’s wife, does her best to keep anyone and everyone from learning about her family’s death, frequently freaks out about lightning, and discovers an actual huge family secret.

There’s a lot that goes into making a story enjoyable: Writing. Characters. Plot.

The writing was okay, but there was an abundance of stilted and clunky dialogue that had me thinking “no one talks like that.”

The main characters had very little going in their favor. The heroine treated everything about her life and her family like it needed to be a big secret, and was in desperate need of a therapist. As for the hero, I finished this book last night and I’m at a complete and utter loss at how to describe him, so I think that speaks for itself. Their relationship was wrought with miscommunications and misunderstandings galore and it all seemed so immature for people who were supposed to be in their 30s.

But my biggest issue, however, is the plot. The death of Emily’s family is treated like a big scandalous secret, as if her parents and brother died while involved in drug cartel activities or human trafficking. FYI...they were not. No, she just didn’t want “everyone to pity her” and acted all “mysterious” and elusive towards everyone. The big family secret she does discover - which was an actual scandal - was a really good storyline. But if a major plot point (her family’s death needing to be a secret) doesn’t make sense, it’s hard to gain any traction for the rest of the story.

I really wanted to like this debut author’s first book - one of the best things about getting books from NetGalley is discovering brand new authors! But this time...there wasn’t anything about the story that worked for me. Sometimes you gamble and win. This time was a loss.

* thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review
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Summer at Hope Haven by Kristin Harper is the first book in the new contemporary romance Dune Island series. With this series being romance I would expect that the second book will probably change main characters as do a lot of these series however I’m not positive on that just yet. This first book does however read well on it’s own bringing this couple together without any cliffhanger or seemingly need to continue their story further.

Emily is an artist that is struggling with grief after the loss of her entire family in an automobile accident. As Emily found herself drowning in grief she felt removed from not only her work but from her relationship and found it crumbled around her leaving her alone. In order to try to get past the loss of her parents and brother Emily decides to move to Hope Haven where her family had vacationed as she was growing up.

When Emily arrives on Dune Island in Hope Haven she finds the memories in the house she shared with her family surrounding her. With old friends nearby and an art project lined up Emily hopes that she will begin to heal over her summer and finds herself enjoying the time she spends with a man she has met on the island, Lucas Socorro. Before long though Emily finds out a shocking secret about her family’s past.

I have to say the majority of Summer at Hope Haven was actually quite enjoyable to read. Having Emily be a somewhat flawed character dealing with such a huge impact on her life made me warm up to her rather easily and feel the emotion that oozed from her. However, the one thing I would nitpick at with this one was the inevitable conflict comes and it seemed the characters took the longest time to learn their lesson repeating the same confict. Of course I’m one that would just prefer the HEA without the messy stuff so maybe I’m being picky there as the rest of the book was lovely.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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The cover is what initially drew me to this book and made me request it. This is a book of grief, love, secrets, and friendship. I wanted to love it more than I did. The main character Emily was hard for me to take. I understand the grief but, she's just off the rails at times, petulant, and childish.
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Emily Vandemark returns to her family cottage in Dune Island to reflect and try to move forward with her life after an emotionally devastating year in which she lost her entire family, consisting of her parents and elder brother, to a helicopter crash and her fiance ending their relationship. 
She has accepted an invitation to volunteer for a mural art project for the new children's ward at the local hospital, hoping that this art project will not only keep her busy for the summer but will also be a healing process for her emotionally, mentally and physically. While at it, she also decides to give the dour looking cottage a bright and lively makeover. With the help of her art, the support of Wilson, her brother's best friend and his wife Collette and her newly formed friendship with the handsome Dr. Lucas Socorro, Emily gradually sheds her shell of grief and begins to hope, live, laugh and love again. Her summer at Hope Haven truly becomes a haven of hope for her. 

This is a lovely, slow burn story about making peace with past secrets, healing and finding hope and love again. Dune Island, with its beaches, coves and inlets is beautifully described and the setting has a soothing and therapeutic feel to it. Even the thought process behind the murals and the invitation cards for Collette's baby shower that Emily paints show her moving towards hope and healing. The only thing that irked me about Emily was that she could at times become very impulsive and jump to conclusions about things which led to a few issues and misconceptions between her and Wilson as well as Lucas. 

Overall, I liked it and look forward to reading more of the series. This is also the author's debut novel. My thanks to NetGalley, the publisher Bookouture and the author Kristin Harper for the e-Arc of the book.
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The story of a woman struggling with the grief of losing her parents and only sibling.  She finds peace and healing by returning to Dune Island, where she and her family had spent every summer.  I love any book set by the sea, as for me too, that is the most healing place on earth.  Stories involving medical personnel also draw my in - so this book hit two of my favorites.

Emily has lost weight and looks sickly due to her overwhelming grief.  The portrayal of pain and grief is very realistic and not glossed over - there is no time limit to it, and I appreciated that everything is not easily resolved.  There are additional problems to work through.

One mistake that is relatively minor to the plot but that grated on my nerves was in the character Barbara.  The author noted that she would be a doctor once she completed her residency.  However, in the United States, an individual is a doctor once she completes Medical Schools before she begins her residency.  

I look forward to reading future books in this series and to learn more about the other characters at the hospital and on the island.
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This is the debut novel by this author and let me just say I love her writing style. Kristin Harper knows how to grab you and pull you into this story, so, pack your bags because you’re going to Cape Cod. I was looking forward to escaping into this book and seeing what Hope Haven has to offer.

As Emily arrives in Hope Haven she is there to feel close to her family whom she had just lost. She went back to a place full of happy memories of her childhood, with the family she loved. As she begins to make changes to her family’s house, she is also changing. As she moves through the stages of grief, she meets Lucas who is the pediatric doctor in the town’s hospital. Emily is an art history major as well, and as she paints murals on the walls at the hospital, a relationship begins to develop with Lucus. As the story continues, you find yourself cheering Emily on. Flipping through the pages, you see her flourish and once agin finding happiness in her life. I loved the details in the back stories of both Lucas and Emily. The characters are so relatable and they make you want to hang out on the porch chatting and drinking iced tea. This is a real page turner that you can’t put down once you begin reading it. Thank you Kristin Harper for such a wonderful story of love, family, friendships and most of all hope. I highly recommend this book as I’m sure it won’t disappoint. It definitely has all the feels.

I really enjoyed this story and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. I am so glad that this is just the start of a series, that means there is so much more to come and I look so forward to reading what’s next. I will definitely read more books written by this author.
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