Two things keep Holly Campbell grounded: her precocious son and preserving her forty-year-old family diner in the face of expansion and change. She doesn't need a blast from the past like Luke Saxon, who's back in Butterfly Harbor after more than a decade away. The hard-luck kid who nearly destroyed her family, leaving her to pick up the pieces, is taking over as sheriff. She can't trust him, even if Luke's ideas for the town's upcoming anniversary seem to show he's trying to give back to their community. Has Butterfly Harbor found its unlikely savior? And has the widowed single mother finally found a man she can believe in, rely on…and love?
A geek at heart, USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J Stewart writes "refreshingly unique, quietly humorous, and profoundly moving romance." (RT Book Reviews) Her books include The Butterfly Harbor series for Harlequin Heartwarming, along with the Blackwell continuity series. She also writes the Honor Bound series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense and has written in the ongoing Colton family saga. As her first love is paranormal romance, she's published a number of novellas, including the Tome Wardens trilogy collection. EXPOSED, her first book of The Circle of the Red Lily romantic suspense series with CAEZIK Romance will be released in November of 2022. Readers can get a taste for what's to come with her Nemesis Files Trilogy (light romantic suspense), available on audio through Scribd.
NYTimes bestselling author Brenda Novak says "The talented Anna J Stewart delivers every time!"
Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural & Jason Momoa addiction, surrounds herself with friends and family and tolerates two devious cats named Sherlock and Rosie.
I started reading this series at book #5, but wanted to go back and read the ones I missed. I am so glad I did. In The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor, we meet Holly Campbell and her son Simon. Simon is very smart for his age and sees himself as a superhero, ready to right the wrongs in Butterfly Harbor. Because of this, he gets himself into a lot of trouble. When the new mayor forces her father to retire as sheriff he brings in Luke Saxon to finish off his term. Luke was a bad boy, son of the town drunk, who fled Butterfly Harbor after driving drunk and severely injuring Jake, Holly's dad. What is he doing back in town? Why does Jake support his appointment? Can Holly forgive him for ruining her life years ago?
This is a sweet book about love, forgiveness, alcoholism, physical abuse, trust and family. I really enjoyed watching Luke and Holly dance around each other. Simon was a hoot. His heart is in the right place, but he needs to think about the consequences of his actions. When he makes a bad decision that puts himself in serious danger, Luke needs to act fast to keep him safe. I really enjoyed meeting the characters that I had gotten to know a bit in future novels. Simon and Charlie steal the show for me, who doesn't love kids in a romance. I loved Luke. He was such a great character. Not only does he have baggage, but he won't allow Holly to know the truth. He has a soft spot for kids who have not been given a fair chance in life and his plans to help the youth in the town was admirable. I enjoyed watching their romance grow, and was cheering them on to their HEA. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.
Note: I was given a complimentary copy for an honest review.
Holly lives in Butterfly Harbor - at least what's left of it. However, she's struggling to accept the change that is sure to come now that there's a new mayor. A mayor she voted against. A mayor that is bringing in a new sheriff to replace her father.
Luke has bad memories of Butterfly Harbor, yet he's coming back at the request of one man - the man he's replacing as sheriff. The man he owes everything. The only man who ever believed in him. The man he almost killed.
When Holly sees Luke and realizes that he's the new sheriff, her anger explodes in front of her son. The boy who seems to get in trouble without even trying.
Can Holly accept the fact that Luke has changed from the boy he used to be? Will Luke be successful with his new job? Or will his past get in the way? Can Holly convince her son that she was wrong to get angry?
If you enjoy books that are way more than a romance - books that have a plot and message to convey, then you'll enjoy this book. Yes, there's romance that develops nicely and at a steady pace - nothing is rushed. But, there's also an incredible story of forgiveness and accepting that when people are truly sorry for their wrongs, that they can really change for the better. I loved how Luke always took the high ground and erred on the side of honesty.
I found the characters fully developed and there are even some secondary characters that I hope will get their own books!
Themes - Forgiveness, Honesty, Taking Responsibility for your actions, Trustworthiness, Anger
Possible (negative) Triggers - alcoholism, child abuse / neglect
Harlequin Heartwarming! I love this line of books. I'm always excited to be a part of reading and reviewing titles from this line because I know exactly what I'm in for. These books are sweet and clean and well, Heartwarming. :)
Luke had a rough childhood. He made a big mistake and paid a heavy price but someone believed in him and gave him a second chance. Luke used that second chance and made something productive and good happen. Life is hard though and Luke returns to Butterfly Harbor battered and bruised but full of determination to face his demons and redeem himself. As a reader, I couldn't help but love Luke.
Holly holds onto a lot of hurt and resentment, especially when it comes to Luke. When he shows back up in town, Holly is full of bitter. It takes a whole town and many events to calm Holly but at least she knows how to admit her mistakes and offer an apology.
This book focused more on healing and redemption than on romance. It was a community book and by that I mean that while there were a couple of main characters, it was more about the whole community than just those two characters. This book felt to me like made for TV, feel good film. I would watch this book on TV! I enjoyed my time in Butterfly Harbor and look forward to going back again with another character.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. There is so much to love about this story. Ms. Stewart has a way of delving deep into a person’s heart and soul. I won’t go into detail but let me say this: Holly Campbell is carrying around a big ol’ bag of grudges and it is weighing her down. She has the most precocious little guy – her eight year old son Simon – who is just a riot. Reminds me of someone near and dear so I had some very big laugh out loud moments. Luke comes back to town and is one of Holly’s biggest grudges but the story about how they get an HEA is really special. My heart ached for Luke, I laughed at Simon and most of his antics, and wanted to sit Holly down and tell her to lighten up, at times. I am SO looking forward to more of this series as I want to know what happens with some of the secondary characters. Great job! I highly recommend.
The Bad Boy of Butterfly harbor is a really unique story. I love Butterfly too so the title really catch my attention quickly.
Luke Saxon was the bad boy of the city. When he became the next sheriff, Holly and her son were absolutely livid. Holly still held a grudge for a long time for the accident in the past. Not to mention, she was reeling because Luke turned out to be a better man. It was much easier to hate him if he was still bad.
Luke was a strong guy having a rough past. I couldn't imagine the pain he endured. He had a very admirable quality. His protective nature of Holly's son made him more adorable.
Holly was a woman with grudge of the past. She didn't understand why her father forgave Luke immediately. After some times knowing each other they finally realize how true her father was.
Love this book!
Rating: 4.5 stars I received a complimentary copy in exchange of an honest review.
I mistakenly thought that I could go back to the first story in the Butterfly Harbor series and get the general feel of this series since I had purchased the recent release of Bride on the Run without realizing that I hadn’t started the series. Yeah, the blurb was that good that it drew me in without double-checking myself. My intention had been to go back and slowly get caught up while keeping up-to-date on the newer releases — yeah. Right. I was hooked by the first story, The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor, and came to realize that each story builds somewhat on the previous ones, so a slow catch-up was not in my future. I needed to continue and did so with a week-long binge-read a few weeks ago. I regret nothing. I’ve fallen in love with these characters, the real battles and issues they each face in their own ways, and the community that Butterfly Harbor truly represents. This series is so good, if you haven’t discovered it then please check it out for yourself.
Luke is returning to Butterfly Harbor a far different man than the teenager who had left years ago. Second chances will do that for you, take something bad and turn it around into a life well-lived with purpose. Now, Luke is hoping for another second chance from the residents of Butterfly Harbor as he takes on the difficult job of finishing out the local sheriff’s term as he heads into a somewhat forced retirement from the position by the new mayor. He owes so much to Jake, only he knows that Luke isn’t here for the long term but he couldn’t say no to Jake. Facing the good folks of this small town won’t be the easiest task, but it’s also not the worst thing he’s had to deal with.
To say that Holly wasn’t thrilled to learn that Luke was the man taking over her father’s job would be the understatement of the century. She’s angry and not afraid to let Luke know exactly what she thinks of him and his return. Unfortunately, Holly’s son Simon was there when angry words were said – and Simon is the most precocious, wise beyond his years, crazy schemes trouble finder you’d ever encounter. And he takes his mother’s words to heart.
The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor is exactly what I search for in the opening story of, what has become a long series. Yes, we have a slow-growing romance between Luke and Holly, but there is so much more here. Second chances, perhaps several of them. Redemption. Forgiveness. Learning from past mistakes. Redefining the future. Allowing love to flow between two supposed enemies, an action that will change lives forever. And the uniqueness of a small harbor town that beautiful butterflies flock to – and perhaps add a magical, mystical touch to those who live here.
There is not one single thing I didn’t enjoy about this story. The growth of the main characters, the shenanigans of not only youngsters but oldsters as well. The close-knit community, and the chance to make a difference in lives far beyond the moment. I loved every second I spent in this world, and returning to it for a binge-read was a given once the final words arrived. If you enjoy a romance that so much more than two people falling in love, then this story, this series would be perfect for you.
I own a Kindle edition of The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor. It was a 4.5-star rating read for me.
Luke may have second thoughts about coming back to Butterfly Harbor, but its been the only home he ever had. As he takes up residence he must prove to the locals that he is no longer the bad boy, but the mature soldier, cop and now Sheriff who can handle their town. Unfortunately Holly has not forgiven him for the accident that nearly killed her father and changed her life twelve years ago. The hate that she feels is considered just by Luke who is also unable to forgive himself for what happened that night.
Holly's son Simon is a precocious and intelligent child who manages to get into trouble because he believes in super heroes. While his friend Charlie tries to keep him out of mischief the two of them cause Luke more headaches than he though possible, Finally he gangs up with Holly's father Jake to teach Simon a lesson. Unfortunately it just turns Simon's focus from comic book super heroes to Luke. Now he wants to be the best deputy ever...and manages to get into a life and death situation.
Will Luke survive the hazards of his job? And will Holly be able to see past the boy to the man he has become? Will there have any kind of future together when both of them are still battling their own pasts? Find out when you read the book. The story was interesting, the characters believable and the second chance was one both Luke and Holly deserved. Easy reading with a happy ending.
Luke Saxton had a horrible childhood with an abusive, alcoholic father. He made an awful mistake as a teenager that altered many lives, including Holly and her father, Jake. He is now back in Butterfly Harbor to take over from retiring Jake as Sheriff. Widowed Holly has her hand full running her diner, raising her precocious son Simon, and worrying about her father. Of course, Holly hates Luke for the mistakes he has made and that he is taking over her fathers job, but he is a different man now. Luke is back to make amends to Jake and Holly, and to Butterfly Harbor. This is a nice clean romance where Holly has to learn to forgive and Luke needs to get past his guilt. This is the first in the series, and the author does a nice job introducing characters that will be in future books without detracting from Luke and Holly’s story. I won the first four books in this series from Harlequinjunkie.com and the author and am giving my honest review.
Holly's father Jake was being forced to retire from the Sheriff's dept and Holly was not happy about it. She really wasn't happy when she found out the new Sheriff was the man who caused her father to walk with a limp. Butterfly Harbor's bad boy Luke.
Luke knew coming back to Butterfly Harbor was going to be hard but he owed Jake and Jake asked him to take over the rest of his term so he would.
As you read the story there are ups and downs. But Ms. Stewart has a way of making you feel like you are living in Butterfly Harbor and you are part of the story. It is a fast paced book that will keep you in your seat from start to finish . I found it so hard to put down. Now I can"t wait to start the next book.
I loved this book. When Luke Saxon came back to Butterfly Harbor he didn’t know what to expect. The minute he walked into the diner Holly Campbell he might have just made the biggest mistake of his life. She still held so much anger at him. If it wasn’t for her father he doesn’t know where his life would be. Now he’s going to be the new Sheriff in town. She can’t stand it. She’s a widow and a single mom. She needs him to leave town. But when he finally tells her the truth will be believe him?
See what happens. So much more. Funny moments and not so funny. I won’t give any spoilers away.
A reformed bad boy comes back to his home at butterfly harbor (yawning at the name) to become the sheriff to the chagrin of the current sheriff's daughter. The daughter has a boy aged eight from a former relationship (luckily a guy she hated in the end, so no loose ties there). The guy has a background as an explosives expert, and coincidentally, he ends up in a cabin full of dangerous explosives he alone recognizes. Apparently. OMG. Snoozefest. Do not read unless you can suspend your belief throughput anything.
While looking for another book in this series to review, I found that I had never written one for #1. I loved the story of Holly and Luke, and once you read this, you'll just HAVE to continue with the other 7 books. In fact, I can hardly wait to see who is featured in #9 (crossing my fingers that there will BE a #9)!
(2015) Holly Campbell is upset that the 'bad boy" who almost killed her father in a car accident returns to town -- as the Sheriff! Luke Saxon puts his heart & soul into th job while struggling with his demons. Add a couple troublesome boys, and....
I’ve read book 3, 4 & 5 before this one. But I am so glad I read this one now. A very compelling story line. Anna writes incredibly believable characters, especially the children. They are never treated as insignificant. They are a big part of the story, and that is wonderful!
I loved this clean romance, the story, the characters, especially Luke, and his dog. The best dog ever! I've read four books in this series and you get a bit of Cash in every book. Highly recomend it.If you're going to read the series, it has to be read in order. You get to read about other characters in the book to come, so it works much better if you read the series in order.
Let's start with what I didn't like about this book. Hmmm.
Well, that was quick. lol.
The cover hooked me, but I confess the title scared me a little. Since I'd not read anything by Anna J. Stewart before, I worried that this book might contain graphic scenes. But it's a Heartwarming, so I decided to take a chance. I'm glad I did. Heartwarming is definitely an apt description.
Luke bumped Holly's father out of his job as sheriff, and Holly blamed him for her family's breakup. They had more than a few bumps on the road to romance.
"Owning up to our mistakes, to our misgivings about people, is what makes us better people."
Luke blamed himself too. A son of an alcoholic father, Luke was abused, physically and emotionally. Stepping foot in his childhood house again releases ugly memories.
"Eight years in the ground and his father could still chip away at Luke's self-worth. Luke had been a soldier and a cop, but in his mind, he'd always hear his father beating him down, telling him he'd never amount to anything. That he would always be unworthy of respect, let alone affection."
Holly's father never stopped believing in Luke and was the driving force behind the new Luke. While this isn't a Christian romance, I pictured our spiritual father. Always believing in us, always encouraging, never giving up on us. That starts a "pay it forward" theme for Luke as he comes back to help Butterfly Harbor regain its footing, a different man than the one who left. An unlikely companion and a kid following a similar path as Luke's help Luke find peace with his past. But Holly and her precocious son Simon offer hope for the future.
Secondary characters play a big role in this story, and I hope we'll read about their stories in future books. More than focusing on romance, though, The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor is about hope and overcoming obstacles, about forgiveness and relationships, about forging a different path for the future than the sorry one left behind. Thankfully, the worry about explicit scenes was unfounded. I'm glad I took a chance on The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor, and I'll be looking for more by Anna J. Stewart. If you're looking for something light and flirty, this isn't the book. But, if you'd like to dig into something a bit meatier and heavy on the heartstrings, definitely check this one out. :)
Disclaimer: I purchased my own copy of this book. I was in no way compensated and this is my fair and unbiased review. ~Dora Hiers, Fiction Faith & Foodies Blog
I really wanted to like this book. The description was interesting. However, the book is filled with anger and hatred. The story is depressing and dark. There was a lack of hope in this book and it was reflected in the state of the town itself. I'm not into reading books that lack any sort of lightness, hope, or happiness.
I gave up on this book at the 30% mark, it's not my style and I didn't enjoy it. This is a well-written novel with developed characters (dark, angry, and depressing but they are still well-developed). If you're into a depressing book that overwhelms you with it's darkness, then you'll love this book. Some people like books like this and find them cathartic. I'm not one of those people. Books are my happy place and I read them as fantasy escapes.
I feel bad leaving a 1-star rating. However, according to the Good Reads rating system that means I don't like the book. Since I didn't like it enough to finish it? Anyways, others love it so give it a try. This is just my opinion.
The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor, despite its seemingly oxymoron-ish name, is a very sweet romance about redemption and second chances.
I really enjoyed Holly and Luke's story. Luke, the former town bad boy, is returning to the place he never thought he'd see again--this time as its interim sheriff. He's not planning on staying long--he'll swoop in, finish up the previous sheriff's term, maybe accomplish some good in a town that's in desperate need of it, and then he's out of there.
Holly is less than thrilled to see that Luke's back in Butterfly Harbor. Though she never really had much to do with him back in high school, she has come to equate Luke Saxon with one of the most painful periods of her life, and she doesn't trust his motives now that he's back in town--especially since he's taken over the job her father loved, the one he was forced to retire from. These days, keeping her diner going and an eagle eye on her son is about all she can handle on a daily basis--she doesn't need the last guy she wanted to ever see again complicating things.
Especially if he's going to be so bent on making a difference in town. And be so darn irresistible while he's doing it...
This was such a feel-good story! Luke definitely put his all into reforming his "bad boy" reputation, and it's fantastic how much he managed to do for the town in such a short amount of time. Poor Holly--she never really had a chance! ;) My only complaint is that the "I love you"s came awfully quick, especially given the long-standing animosity she'd been harboring for so long. Still, they clearly would be heading in that direction eventually, so it's hard to really mind all that much.
Holly's son Simon was a riot--poor kid's too darn smart for his own good. He's one who definitely needs to figure out how to use his powers for good instead of mischief. Fortunately, he's got his "sidekick" Charlie to help keep him in line--that poor girl has her work cut out for her, that's for sure!
I loved all the characters in this story--Holly and Luke, along with their large cast of secondaries. This series has real potential, and I'm looking forward to my next trip to Butterfly Harbor.
Rating: 4 stars / B
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
I've always been a sucker for a bad boy who comes back to a town from his youth and tries to makes up for past mistakes! This is such a book. But I have to say I really felt a strong connection to the hero, Luke. I've read several of these types of stories before and liked the main characters but Luke has to be among my all-time favorites! He just seemed real and fallible and I loved how the author didn't make him too macho in the beginning or too sappy at the end! I loved his humility and his desire to "do the right thing" as situations arose even when other people in the community questioned his decisions. Luke comes back to town to be the interim sheriff and Holly cannot believe it! Luke almost destroyed her family, mostly her father, who is the current sheriff, when they were teenagers and she can't forgive Luke for that. Why is her father giving his job to Luke? Holly has so much on her plate, namely a young son who is getting in so much trouble, a father who she doesn't understand, a business that is stressing her out and she's a widow! Her town is falling apart and now Luke is back in town after a decade away - WHY???? Luke, on the other hand, was the child of the town drunk, and he knows people are not going to accept him until he shows them he's not like his father. There's a lot to do in Butterfly Harbor and he's going to do his best to help the struggling town but he's going to need Holly's help...if she'll just forgive him. I love this book and all the characters were fantastic! I can't wait for the next book in the series!
Butterfly Harbor has seen better days. The town needs a lot of work restoring the properties since many of the houses and businesses are empty. Helping to rebuild the town is one of the things the new sheriff wants to do. Luke had a rough childhood in Butterfly Harbor and made a mistake as a teen. But having one man believe in him helped him make something of himself. When he came back as the new sheriff he expected to have a hard time with the people in the small town accepting him. But Holly still held a grudge against him for almost killing her father many years earlier and her son, Simon, picked up on her feelings. Holly was also angry that Luke was taking her father's job as sheriff.
Luke had changed a lot over the years but Holly could only see him as the boy that nearly killed her father. She wouldn't let go of her anger at him or her belief that he was bad. I really liked Luke. He was a good man who helped everywhere. Holly was hard to like because of the way she held grudges and wouldn't accept that people could change. She was a good mother though. Even so, her son, Simon, got into a lot of trouble. It just seemed to follow him. Luke stepped in to help there too.
I enjoyed this story and I'm so glad I won a copy. There was so much going on in this small town with everyone knowing everybody else's business but also there was forgiveness and eventual acceptance.
This story has drama, romance and wonderful characters. I highly recommend it.
When the trend is to blur the line between romance and erotica, stories as Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor bring a sweet, clean air.
The main themes of this story are: to make peace with yourself and second chances: to offer and accept them. Both themes are to be found independent, but also entwined; together they create a generous scene in which the characters, main or secondary, have their specific role as to exemplify different paths and the results of their different choices.
But here it is not only about people, or maybe it is, but under another approach because the characters’ past, present and the promise of a happy future are deep connected with the past and present of their beautiful, but almost dying town. Butterfly Harbor is like a mirror image of the characters and just like them, it needs a second chance and love in order to survive.
The love story is sprinkled with some smiles, but also with dangers, most of them brought by the heroine’s son. The dangers in question will threaten a possible HEA, will spice the story and will fuel up the pace and tension in it.
Told in an attractive style, Bad Bay of Butterfly Harbor will be appreciated by those who enjoy a clean, but not a dull romance. I know I read it with pleasure.
A beautiful story about people in a small failing community, fighting back to build up the town again, and the human destinies of the small town. I love Jake, the former sheriff of the town and Holly's dad. Him, Luke, Matt, they all had that ability to see more than just the act, to look deeper than the circumstances, and trust the person inside, trying to do what is right. Both Matt and Luke didn't have it easy growing up, but they had made something special out of their lives, something to be admired. Luke's connection with Simon, that special boy of Holly's, is adorable. That little deputy gets into more trouble than anyone, but he has a heart of gold, and mind of a genius. The characters really touched my heart, they are real, struggling each with their issues, but learning from them, and moving forward, better person than before, because of the struggles. The trust, attraction, and caring between Holly and Luke grew slowly, but surely. As they put their past where it belongs, get to know each other as they are today, they form a bond between them, a unique connection, that is to be admired. An inspiring, heartfelt, and sweet story of a town folks, that are willing to do the hard work, to put their home back together again. ~ Five Spoons
What is it about a bad boy? We all know they're wrong for us, but we just can't resist the challenge. But in this case, Holly doesn't want to just resist Luke, she wants to run the new sheriff out of town. Between dealing with her precocious, possibly felonious son and running her diner in the dying little town of Butterfly Harbor, Holly's got enough on her plate. She doesn't need a living, breathing...and very sexy...reminder of the past. Luke comes back to town a better man than when he left it, thanks to Holly's dad. He knows Holly wants nothing to do with him, but what's a guy to do when they live in a small town and are all tangled up in each other's lives? Get a little more tangled up in an up close and personal way! Luke's the best kind of bad boy, the one with deep scars that's made himself a better man. He's hard on himself but puts,everyone else first. This bad boy is now a hero. I love the characters that Anna creates; the have such a rich and full personality and back story. I'm hoping that we see more of Matt and Abby in a future book...those two would make a great story! Two thumbs up, five stars and an enthusiastic standing ovation...you can't go wrong with an Anna Stewart book!
I received an ARC for an honest review...all opinions are my own.
“Two things keep Holly Campbell grounded: her precocious son and preserving her forty-year-old family diner in the face of expansion and change. She doesn't need a blast from the past like Luke Saxon, who's back in Butterfly Harbor after more than a decade away. The hard-luck kid who nearly destroyed her family, leaving her to pick up the pieces, is taking over as sheriff. She can't trust him, even if Luke's ideas for the town's upcoming anniversary seem to show he's trying to give back to their community. Has Butterfly Harbor found its unlikely savior? And has the widowed single mother finally found a man she can believe in, rely on...and love?”
This was a heartwarming, fun read! Action begins pretty much on page one and continues throughout the whole book – the characters fit into the well-planned plot just perfect, well written more than enjoyable book! I was quite surprised because even though this is a Harlequin book, not really a romance – love brings a family together and a terrific read!
Can people really change? Holly isn't sure she wants to give Luke a chance to find out. Butterfly Harbor is a small town that needs to make changes to survive. Holly ' s father has been town Sheriff for years and is now being replaced by Luke. Holly and Luke have a history that almost tore her family apart, but Holly doesn't know the entire story. The town isn't sure what to make of the bad - boy Luke returning after years away. The characters are rich and it's the type of town you'd want to be a part of.
No spoilers from me, but there is great mysteries to be solved, friendships to be made and action that kept me reading into the wee hours of the morning.
Stewart covers some serious issues: abuse, alcoholism, redemption while rebuilding and bringing a town closer together. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
I received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.