Love at Meg’s Diner (The Endicott’s of Silver Bay) – ARC review

Love at Meg’s Diner
by Lara VanHulzen
Release Date: September 7, 2022
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Book #1 in The Endicotts of Silver Bay series
Number of pages: 188
Source:  ARC from publisher
Contemporary Romance
Ages 13 and up
CW: burn injuries, death by fire
She’s running from her past…
As a former firefighter, Meg Malone lives by one rule: no dating firemen. The dangers of the job are too high, and she’s already lost too much. So, she returns home to Silver Bay, California, to take over her dad’s diner, hiding her scars and pretending she’s fine. Life is perfectly routine, predictable, and most of all, safe. Until the unpredictable happens in the form of a perfectly patient, definitely intriguing fireman.

He’s chasing a future…
Chet Endicott moved to Silver Bay to escape the expectations of his burdensome family name. Intrigued by the beautiful owner of Meg’s Diner, he can’t help but want to peel back the layers she protects herself with, but no one gets under Meg’s skin. Especially him, it seems.

When they are thrown together by their mutual passion for running, Chet sees a glimpse of the fire under all Meg’s ice, and he’s determined to fan those flames. But can Meg truly trust her heart? Or will this be the fire that consumes her?

This is a sweet story about taking a chance at love. It’s about embracing those feelings when a certain person affects you in a way nobody else does, instead of running from those feelings. Turns out this new series is a spin-off of the author’s Silver Bay series, but I didn’t feel as though I was missing anything by not having read that one. The characters from that earlier series were easily integrated into this book without any confusion or overlong explanations needed.

Silver Bay is where Meg grew up. She moved away for some years but came back after a series of tragedies in her life. Now she runs the diner she inherited from her father and keeps mostly to herself. After the losses she’s been through in her life, she just doesn’t feel she can open up to anyone anymore, even her best friend. Chet is a newer resident of the town. He moved across the country and to a small town to get away from his family and expectations. Not that it’s a bad family, but he never felt he was free to be whom he wanted to be. In Silver Bay, he found his calling as a firefighter for the small town. And has been enamored with Meg who studiously avoids the man.

Circumstances lead Meg and Chet to spend time together daily, and Meg finally starts to face her demons and find a way to open up to a few people. There’s no denying this couple has a wonderful connection. I yearned for Meg to let Chet in and be open to having love in her life. Chet is excruciatingly patient and seems to understand Meg, even when she doesn’t say a word. It’s beautiful to see Meg learn to trust, not only Chet but others in her community as well.

Although Meg has a lot of hang-ups and fears, I love how the author handled the moments Meg felt she had been deceived. While there was an immediate response that wasn’t great, it fit Meg’s personality that she was able to take a step back and think things through rationally. She wasn’t afraid to tell Chet the ways she felt she was wronged. Chet, for his part, also took responsibility for the part he took in things. Not so much in how they became friends and more, but in his lack of communication at a crucial time. He didn’t negate her feelings and she didn’t try to hide her pain.

I really enjoyed this story and look forward to more stories from this small town.

4 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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1 Response to Love at Meg’s Diner (The Endicott’s of Silver Bay) – ARC review

  1. Pingback: Christmas Cakes and Kisses (The Endicotts of Silver Bay) – ARC review | All In Good Time

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