Through stellar characterization Ms. Kery brings to life Marianna “Mari” Itani and Marc Kavanaugh, who as the Prologue indicates meet after a 15 year separation and share a single night of passion in a Chicago hotel room. Mari has no intention of seeing Marc again but weeks later, she returns to Harbor Town to pack up her family’s summer home and make it ready for sale. It is here that she and Marc are reunited again.
The depth of desire and longing Mari and Marc feel for each other is literally palpable. However, due to what happened to their families so long ago, Mari feels there is too much grief and anger for them to be together. Mari is a delicate, beautiful, woman who I felt shouldered incredible sadness for what she had lost so long ago. And, she also feels guilt because she wants Marc Kavanaugh.
Once Marc sees Mari again in Harbor Town, he makes it his mission to win her back. He is a man with incredible strength of character who does his utmost to convince her they should be together. However, this couple does face significant obstacles including the disapproval of Marc’s embittered mother Bridget, and Mari’s angry brother Ryan.
The Hometown Hero Returns is also about lost friendships, heartbreak and lives that were forever changed because of an accident which caused these families untold grief. However, as mentioned in the book synopsis, Mari discovers she is pregnant and she must decide if she can move forward with Marc and leave the past behind.
Ms. Kery has also crafted a strong cast of secondary characters who each play pivotal roles in the storyline including Liam and Colleen, Marc’s brother and sister, and Eric Reyes, a well respected physician in Harbor Town.
I was moved to tears on more then one occasion while reading The Home Town Hero Returns. It’s one of my favorite reads this year, a definite keeper.