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The One Who Stays

(Summer Island #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Lose your heart to Summer Island, where summers are easy, winters are cozy and friends welcome you with open arms.

Summer Island has always been home to Meg Sloan. She runs the Summerbrook Inn, like her grandmother did, and she loves the laid-back pace of life and the close-knit community the island offers. Meg also loves Zack Sheppard, a local man she’s been seeing for yea
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Expected publication: August 27th 2019 by HQN Books
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  61 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars!

Romantic, engaging, and sweet!

The One Who Stays is a heartwarming, inspiring tale featuring the dependable innkeeper and cancer survivor Meg and the charismatic, secretive, hardworking Seth as they work together to unravel secrets from the past and find a place to truly call home.

The prose is light and hopeful. The characters are supportive, welcoming, and authentic. And the plot is a dramatic tale full of relationship dynamics, genuine emotion, family, friendship, community, life, los
I enjoyed The One Who Stays, it provides a good book-cation! It was a cute and sweet romance.

Meg loves Summer Island, the memory of her grandmother, Summerbrook Inn (the inn her grandmother left her) and Zack, a local fisherman who simply won’t commit.

Seth is a “wander” searching for his past on Summer Island. He meets Meg as a handyman and helps Meg see her dreams again while remodeling Summerbrook Inn. What he didn’t plan on was falling for Meg.

Meg is conflicted with her attraction to Seth and
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
What a beautiful book this was. Filled with love, heart-break, a little intrigue and some amazing women who will make you proud. Meg grew up on Summer Island and wouldn’t trade her life for anything. She was in love and knew that she was loved back. Unfortunately, he won’t commit to her and she’s finding that it’s something that she needs.

Everyone assumes that her and Zack will be together forever but she can’t stand him sailing away when the mood strikes. Along comes Seth, the summer worker who
Alecia ~☆~The Staircase Reader~☆~
Review will be posted soon!
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review.

I assumed, “The One Who Stays,” would have had more romance to it. 

40% through the heroine bored me. The story concentrated too much around her since she's getting to know herself. Meg is one boring ass chick. Nothing about her story or thoughts pulled me into the book. 

The first couple of chapters had me swiping until it fell flat. 

I was expecting a romance read instead of a woman discovering who she is on the
Jul 06, 2019 rated it liked it
3 stars!

The blurb is intriguing. However, I thought this was a romance novel - based on the title (my fault) It is, but it dwells more on the heroine finding herself through reading her grandmother's journal and the love triangle that follows.

Unfortunate for me, I am not fond of reading about finding one's self. I find it boring and while I am looking forward for the love triangle, it lacks some kick. The story was a bit slow (at least for me)

This book is captivating on its own. But, like I s
Good book, though it read more like women's fiction than the romance I thought it was. It was enjoyable, but I frequently found my attention wandering to scrolling through facebook rather than reading the book. The only thing that kept me on task was that I was reading on a transatlantic flight, so distractions were limited.

Meg is an innkeeper on Summer Island, running the inn that she inherited from her grandmother. She retreated to the inn several years earlier, recovering from both a serious
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
It’s been several years since I’ve read a book from this author, and my recollection of her work is quite positive so I was excited to read an early copy of this book. I loved the picturesque, vivid island setting and small-town feel. The main characters were well developed and authentic, and the secondary characters just enough quirky to make them memorable.

Sadly, this book didn’t live up to my memory of this author's work. My problem was with the copious amount of narrative that detracted from
Margaret Dombrowski
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won this book but I would have purchased it, because Toni is an automatic buy for me. I am very excited about this new series on Summer Island. I honestly was surprised (pleasantly), how the interactions between Meg, Zack, and Seth. My, a threesome! (Not!!) really brought to light how life's situations can determine your path. There were a few times that I became somewhat frustrated with Meg, but her reasoning on certain issues made sense. I truly loved the ending and I can't wait to rea ...more
Bette Hansen
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This is a beautifully told story of a woman that takes a hard look at her life and finds it lacking. This is her journey to finding the happiness and life she longs for. Superior writing, intriguing characters and a beautiful story make this a book not to be missed.
Olivia Farr
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: other-reviews
THE ONE WHO STAYS was an engaging women's fiction/romance that follows Meg as she makes decisions for her life and love. Meg runs an inn on Summer Island, which she took over after her grandmother's death. She is starting to think more about leaving the island, which had been her dream until her grandmother got sick. She is about to celebrate a kind of 5-year anniversary with her it's-complicated-boyfriend, Zack. They have been kind of off-and-on as he comes in and out of town without warning or ...more
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Meg Sloan runs an inn on Summer Island, a small community on Lake Michigan that comes alive each year when tourists wake up their sleepy town. The Summerbrook Inn was originally established by her grandmother several years before Meg went to live there while recovering from a serious illness and afterwards, never left. She has a relationship with the commitment phobic Zack Shepard who spends weeks and sometimes months on the water as a commercial fisherman. Every time Zack leaves, Meg’s heart br ...more
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
Toni Blake sets her newest series on Summer Island in Michigan. She chooses a unique background for her story and it allows her to build a romance in an isolated region. Ms. Blake spends a good bit of the story describing the surroundings. This story could not have taken place somewhere else.
Meg Sloan runs the Summerbrook Inn which her grandparents owned for years. She returned to the island to recover from her cancer treatments and then stayed to take over the Inn when her grandmother died. Meg
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
The One That Stays is a good story about a young woman growing into herself & choosing what path her life would take going forward. Meg Sloan has had a lot dumped on her in her short life. This spring has her feeling down & depressed. Meg has to decide what is important to her & find the light & love in her life again. Two men are vying for her last be. Which will she choose? Or will she do the unexpected & leave the island?

Zack Sheppard is a commercial fisherman. To him, be
Meg gradually tries to cope with Zack’s lack of commitment. Some of the towns folks really pushed for him which struck me as odd since they were together for five years and he couldn’t commit. She then meets Seth who is a “drifter”. He is in town looking for work. She needs someone to help around the inn and pretty soon a friendship develops.

I love romance stories by Toni Blake. She knows how to deliver a cozy small town romance. So I became so excited to read this story once I discovered a bran
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a lovely book about a lonely woman who faces decisions to make about her life, livelihood, and the two men in her life. Meg has been living on Summer Island, an island in northern Michigan similar to Mackinac Island, but smaller. She came there after she got sick and her fiance abandoned her and she’s been there ever since running her grandmother’s inn. She has a relationship with Zack, a fisherman, but he leaves her for long stretches at a time and refuses to make any sort of commitmen ...more
Marcie Robinson
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In “The One Who Stays”, Toni Blake delves into the world of women’s fiction. Her writing voice is perfectly suited to this genre.

The first book in the Summer Island series introduces us to Meg Sloan, the owner of Summerbrook Inn and several other residents of the island.
Meg loves the island and the inn. It’s a place where she sought shelter after a life-altering event. But now, she isn’t sure it’s a place she wants to be nor is she sure if she wants to be with Zack, a man she’s been in a non-co
Jul 29, 2019 rated it liked it
This is the story of Meg, an innkeeper on Summer Island who has a lot of soul searching to do when two men are in her life. She has had an open relationship with Zach for five years as he leaves for long periods as a commercial fisherman. However, Zach then enters the picture as a handyman around the inn.
I would definitely call this novel women’s fiction rather than a romance novel. Yes there were elements of romance, but there was a lot more introspection and angst than action. At one point I r
Pelusa Rivera
Well I was bored the heroine bored me and it was kind of hard to stay on course and read it til the end, but I did. It was sad to say that by the end or middle or whenever I could not care less who she would pick, ok let me back up and explain. So Meg has had a sort of-yes sort of relationship with Zack for 5 years but he wouldn't really commit yet everyone on the island saw them as a couple. When he goes off on on one of his fishing trips she ends up meeting Seth, convenient right? Any who she ...more
Sandy Kelly
Jul 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This is book 1 in the Summer Island series and while I normally love books by Toni Blake, I had a really hard time with this one. In it we meet Meg Sloan and Seth Darden. Meg has been dating a fisherman named Zack for years but is tired of him leaving her to spend most of his time on his boat doing what he loves along with his refusal to settle down with her. When she meet's Seth she isn't expects sparks to fly or for her to make a decision on where she wants her life to go this soon. But now sh ...more
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, arc
First off, this book read a bit more like women's fiction then a traditional romance. With the love triangle happening the firm romantic relationship can't be made to keep the mystery of who she will choose going through the story. This story also had a delightful secondary story, told via a found diary, of the h's grandmother back in her late teens. This story also had reoccurring themes that readers may notice, and was also quite heavy in the introspection. I liked the h Meg, but she was a lit ...more
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reading this book, while being from Michigan & having visited Mackinac Island many times, I was surprised at how well the book captured the draw of Northern Michigan that so many of us here have. It is truly an experience & worth an actual visit... or don't, it can already be crowded in the summer ;)

The book was a bit slow to start, but that didn't stop me from reading it in 2 nights. I didn't mind the parts about the main character finding herself & being on a path of self discovery
Laura Bloch
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This sweet romance was fun to read. Taking place on the beautiful Summer Island and featuring Meg, the owner of Summer Island Inn. When handyman Seth arrives Meg finds herself at a cross roads. With her long time relationship with Zack, with the path her life is going and whether honoring her Grandmothers memory means staying on Summer Island. I loved the flash backs as Meg discovers more insight into her Grandparents love story as she reads a newly discovered diary. And rooted for her to find h ...more
Jun 19, 2019 rated it liked it
First time for me reading this author. I liked it, but I definitely didn't love it. I would call this Women's Fiction, not romance based on the story itself. It was a little slow but once it got going it did get better for me, it just took a while to get there. It was definitely missing that certain something for me. I enjoyed the author's writing style using multiple POVs though and would most likely try another book from her sometime.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC.
Aug 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book, 2019, romance
This one was interesting, Meg seemed to be at a crossroads in her life. One where her life on the island was in question. I liked that Meg let herself ponder what life off the island would be like, that she finally decided what she deserved from a man in her life and demand it. I liked that at the end Meg embraced the island, because she belonged there and I liked who she ended up with, the one who stayed, something she had in common with her grandma.
Amy Wicklund
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book to read on a summer day. It was extra special to me as a Michigander reading a book set on an island in the Great Lakes. I was drawn in right from the beginning. The story is a great telling of a woman with conflicting loves along with glimpses of her grandmother’s love life in 1957.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved visiting Summer Island. Meg and Seth were the perfect escape from hot summer days. Blake’s books are usually more about the heroine than the hero and this is no exception. I enjoyed watching Meg figure out what was best for her, even as she realized sometimes the best things are right in front of you.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this novel.
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The new book in the Summer Island series is a great book for the beginning of the series. So charming and I find any story that that revolves around an island and an inn works for me. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Patty Champion
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time with this book. For me it was slow to start. I was h Alf way through the boom before it got interesting and even then it didn't do z good job of holding my attention.
Thenk you Netgalley and harlequin for allowing me to read this title for an honest review.
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Toni Blake's love of writing began when she won an essay contest in the fifth grade. Soon after, she penned her first novel, nineteen notebook-pages long, and announced to her mother over breakfast one day that she was going to be a writer when she grew up. Since then, Toni has become the author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels. Her work has been excerpted in Cosmo, she's been a re ...more

Other books in the series

Summer Island (3 books)
  • The Giving Heart (Summer Island #2)
  • The Love We Keep (Summer Island #3)