The One Real Thing

The Hart's Boardwalk Series
Narrated by: Tad Branson, Angelica Lee
Series: Hart's Boardwalk, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (315 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author of On Dublin Street is back with the first in a sexy new romance series set in a small town on the Delaware coastline.

Welcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts....

While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women's correctional facility where she works, she's always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life. Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison's library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town's charm - and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny. 

Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they've owned for generations. But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her. 

Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there's only one real thing in life worth fighting for.... 

©2016 Samantha Young (P)2016 Penguin Audio
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Hello Doctor.

Ahh, I do love diving into a new series. I was waiting for more books to be out so I could binge. ;)
I adore Samantha’s work and I was expecting Scottish but it wasn’t I was pleasantly surprised.
Doc Jessica was a great main character her past being sooooo secretive got to be a little much but I get it. I still enjoyed her and the way she comes across I love that she befriends two of the women in town one who is so friendly but the coffee/bookstore owner who is terrifyingly shy surprised me and I loved this about Jessica she knew how to interact with both women. This helps her grow a family of sorts. I dug it.

Cooper cracked me up, this dude is looking for no strings and you can’t blame the guy his ex is a bag of NUTS lol. I loved the back and forth you could see the attraction from both of them and when they finally give in. Explosive.

We have to talk about how Samantha brings all these characters together and how she makes us love all the secondary characters so much we want MORE. Vaugh, I can’t wait for his book I am chomping at the bit here.

I loved the narration Angelica Lee does a great freaking job….Yep, I knew it she narrated Hero by Samantha Young to one of my favorites. Tad is newish to me, I know who he is and I like the way he narrated Cooper maybe because I listened at a higher speed maybe I missed some of the emotion I expected from him? I will have to slow down his chapters in the future to see if it was me.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Nice to hear from Samantha Young again

Samantha wrote an easy to follow, very hopeful and positive book about forgiveness and love.

I love the way that Samantha Young builds her stories and layers on subplots. Her "background characters" are always my favorite and it was no different in this book.

I had a hard time with the ending. It's hard to write why without giving up the plot but I can say that I thought there was a big to-do about nothing.

That being said, it's a Samantha Young book, therefore it's very well written and extremely entertaining!

Tad and Angelica are dream narrators. I have not one criticism to give them, excellent choice for this book!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An Intense Emotional Journey

I am probably one of the ONLY people who has never read/listened to On Dublin Street, Samantha Young's most famous novel. But this first edition of the Hart's Boardwalk Series piqued my interest, and I'm so glad it did.

Jessica is a doctor at a women's prison, a career she seems to thrive in. At least, in her own mind. When her coworker reminds her that she never takes any time off, Jessica plans a vacation to a spot not too far away in Hartwell. She books three weeks in a seaside inn and prepares to restore her inner peace. The homey, small-town atmosphere in Hartwell takes her by surprise, making her wonder if she is, really, happy in her job, or in her life.

Cooper owns the local pub on the Boardwalk, and from the very first time they lay eyes on each other, the sparks start to smolder. Neither of them is looking for anything long term--Cooper is still trying to get over finding his ex-wife in bed with his best friend. But fate has other plans.

I found this to be the whole package as far as contemporary romance goes. Great characterization, some mystery throughout, development of a relationship in a slow, believable manner, and some hot sex scenes. I totally enjoyed it, and will NOW be going on to listen to On Dublin Street.

As far as narration: I enjoyed the story being told by two narrators, male and female. It was interesting how Jessica's chapters were told in the first person, where Cooper's were told in third. Threw me a little at first, but the author kept us invested more in the heroine than the hero that way. My only criticism is that Angelica Lee, at least, in the mastering of this audio, had a slight lisp. I found that distracting and it took a while for me to ignore it.

I highly recommend this story to any true fan of full-length, contemporary romance.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great book.

female narration was spot on but male voice sounded very different from the description of the rugged bartender he was narrating for. great story line! can't wait until the next book comes out. Already preordered!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

New Series, New TOV

Before you read this book, accept the fact that it is not the Dublin series.

It seems like Samantha Young has pulled in some similar themes but a new interesting set of characters. I'm definitely interested to see where she takes this series.

Worth the credit

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good but not nearly as good as On Dublin Street

I liked the story but it's not nearly as good as the Dublin street series. Her Scottish characters sound so exotic and interesting and this one felt a bit boring. I actually increased the speed just to get it over with. Parts of the story just didn't feel real to me. Maybe it's the fact that the characters were older and professional and I felt as they should be on a different stage in their life as portrayed in this story.
The narrators were good and made the dual POV work. In summary this story is good but not great. Nevertheless I will get the next book on the series because Bailey and Tremaine sound like they will be better than this original couple.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

cute

really adorable story I found it a little cliche but that's what make it likeable. recommendation

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book 👍👍

I love Samantha Young’s writing really because it’s normally set in Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 and it makes me think of home. This one was a little different so it took me a little bit to embrace the change.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Cringe worthy

The dialogue, the plot, the cliches...

I'm kind of a sucker for new adult and romance novels but this was painful. One-dimensional characters that seemed to come from the imagination of someone in middle school...and zero chemistry between the lead characters. I found myself wondering if the narrators were cringing as they read the book.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Boring

I don't mind predictable but this one was too easy to figure out! Sorry pretty boring.