The Love We Keep by Toni Blake

Release Date - January 28, 2020



The Books in the Summer Island Series

Counting The Love We Keep, there have been three Summer Island romances. The other two novels are:

The One Who Stays - Meg Sloan inherits the Summerbrook Inn after her grandmother passes away. Meg has been in a relationship with Zack Sheppard for a while, but he hates staying. He's more at peace out on his fishing boat where he is gone for weeks at a time. Meg soon meets and starts falling for a summer visitor, Seth Darden, who is hiding things from Meg.

The Giving Heart - Lila is Meg's sister. She's on the island to house sit and meets an irritating real estate developer who wants to cut down trees adjacent to Meg's property. As much as Beck wants to appease Lila's anger, the development's been planned for a while and it's his job to make sure things get done.

This brings me to The Love We Keep. Meg's best friend, Suzanne is the island's florist. Her husband died six years ago, and she's still hurting that the man she had her eye got snatched up by Lila. Seeing them happy and seeing Meg and Seth has definitely changed dynamics. Keeping them all together is Zack's Aunt Dahlia who announces she's going on a vacation for a while. She's closing her restaurant and flying south for the winter to experience a warm, sunny winter for a change.

What happens next is shocking to everyone. While Suzanne planned a quiet winter, Zack slips on ice and winds up with serious injuries that leave him dependent on others. Suzanne was a nurse and she's the only unattached person in their circle of friends. She agrees, albeit begrudgingly, to care for Zack until ferries are running again and he can go to a specialist.

The grumpy Zack with a wanderlust nature surprisingly fits into Suzanne's life with more ease than she could have imagined. She starts to see the side of him that no one is allowed to see, and it's making her fall hard for him.

The Key Characters

Suzanne and Zack are clearly the leads in this novel, but there is some attention paid to the other characters, too. Dahlia plays a strong part in the third book, too. She may be away, but she's always been the other characters' rock, and they need her this time around. She remains part of their lives through texts and phone calls.

I will say I was very disappointed with Meg in this book. Her flip-flops annoyed me. I don't want to give away a spoiler, but I didn't like her for most of the book. I'm still not sure I like her anymore. I did love Suzanne and Zack together and loved every minute of their building romance.

My Take

I don't know if there will be more books in the Summer Island series. At this point, the main characters are all matched. Some of the summer residents could become main characters I suppose. I definitely have loved the trips to Summer Island. If it's over, I'm kind of sad.

I've loved the characters' chemistry, the setting, and the pace at which the stories are told. If you haven't read any of these books, start from the beginning. They do stand alone, but they're so good that you won't want to miss one.


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