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‘Those reckless memories would almost bring me to my knees.’

Catherine Cowles is an author we’ve been really looking forward to reading and Reckless Memories was a wonderful introduction to her works, bringing with it an emotional childhood friends to lovers, a tad of the forbidden – a small town romance with a bit of intrigue and suspense which culminated in story that had our hearts racing towards the end!

‘I’d never have the one thing my heart wanted above all others. Him.’

We do love small town romances, and Catherine Cowles Reckless Memories delivered the atmospheric feel of the picturesque Anchor Island, population 1500, to the point where we could almost visualise ourselves smelling the sea air and taking in our surroundings whilst sipping a drink and chatting to the locals at The Catch.

The story opens with a sweet prologue which tells of young love and friendship, however the story turns to tragedy, ripping apart the town and especially two people who would consequently be consumed with pain and guilt. Causing one to face the pain alone whilst the other left the town full of guilt and regret.

“I needed you, and you just left. Like it was the easiest thing in the world.”

It’s nearly eleven years later and Ford Hardy is forced to return to Anchor Island to help his parents take care of their business, the local pub, The Catch, and in the time he’s been away, Ford has carved out a successful career for himself, being known as ‘The Nightlife King” of the bars he’s opened and owns across LA.

It’s with a heavy heart that Ford Hardy returns home after so many years, and having to face his childhood friend Isabelle (Bell) Kipton, who feels betrayed by Ford’s absence, especially at a time, all those years ago when she needed him most. Bell also feels riddled with guilt, having feelings for Ford she tries to supress. But it’s not only Bell he needs to make amends with, he also needs to mend fences with his younger brother, Hunter who has been left to pick up the pieces following Fords departure.

‘And even though my heart had claimed him, he hadn’t been mine.’

Having Ford back makes Bell reassess everything and adding to the stress, someone is trying to rattle Bell by tormenting her with gifts and even, at times, becoming violent. Who is behind the attacks and why are they targeting her? We did have our suspicions!

Catherine Cowles writes with such beautiful flair; her characters were endearing, the setting was charming and the story combined many elements we love. A wonderful first time reading experience that ensured us looking forward to checking out where this series of standalone reads goes.  We especially can’t wait for Hunter Hardy’s story!

“Maybe you’ve just been missing the things that give life heart. It’s not always the big, glamorous accomplishments. Sometimes, it’s the everyday things that have meaning.”

Synopsis

I loved him before I knew what the word meant.
From skinned knees to first dates and everything in between.
But he was never mine to love.
I settled for friendship, even though I always wanted more.

That was before.
Before he ripped my world apart and didn’t bother sticking around to help me pick up the pieces.
I knit every last shred back together all on my own.
And I’ve all but forgotten his name.

Now, he’s back, and everything is torn apart once more.
But he’s not the only one doing the tearing this time.
And there might be no stopping the person who has it out for us both.

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