What happens when the world thought you were dead and suddenly, now you are alive?
Ben Turner is back! Not quite as dead as everyone thought, fresh out of a nine-month stay in prison, and back home in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Having been dishonorably discharged after charges of desertion from the military, this once well-loved local has fallen from the top. With no plans for college or the future, and hated by the town that once loved him, Ben feels like he’s drowning all over again.
Juniper is pregnant, alone, and running from her crazy fiancé. With only enough money for a one-way bus ticket, she heads to Kill Devil Hills, NC, a town she vacationed in as a little girl, a town she knows, come February, will have plenty of beach rentals to lie low in for the next couple months. Except she didn’t plan on getting caught on day one by the man living next door. Ben. He’s a man who has even more problems than she does, but maybe it’ll take a man like Ben to save her life.
**New Adult Romance. This novel is the fourth book in the Kill Devil Hills series, however it can be read as a standalone. Recommended for 18+
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I have enjoyed the entire Kill Devil Hills series so much! And Ben finally has his own story. He has been an overarching person throughout the entire series, one who has had a serious affect on everything while being absent. The way his memory has woven through the past three books is brilliant! So naturally, when I got my hands on his story, I was ready for something phenomenal. For me, I feel like this one fell short. There were parts I loved about this book but overall I wanted more from Ben. I wanted more of his second chance at everything to be a bit more profound and real. At times he still felt like a whiny kid. I was glad to finally understand what happened to him and a bit more about his thought process, but I could not connect with it at all. I felt like I never got a true reconciling of who he is and what he did. He feels guilt but there was no conversation and true change in him in regards to what he did and how he hurt everyone. I will admit I had a very high standard for this one going in so I was expecting MUCH more.
His attraction to Juniper and their love story was sweet. I liked their connection and how they fall for each other. It was a bit superficial but the way it is introduced into the story is well done and smooth. Quinton, Juniper’s crazy ex, is a lingering ghost over these two for quite a while. When everything comes to fruition, it felt rushed. I wanted to see more happen. Juniper was one of my favorite parts of the story. She is breakable but strong. I liked her affect on Ben and the way she starts over. My other favorite parts are seeing glimpses of all my favorites from the series, living their lives, happily and completely.
While this one did not hit home for me like I was hoping, do not miss the series! The way Sarah Darlington weaves in and out of these people’s lives is great and it creates a sense of comraderie. I was still anti-Ben for most of this story because I connected so deeply with the other stories and characters. The world Darlington creates is real and flawed, one that will keep you hooked!
There was so much pain in his voice, it made me want to squeeze my arms around him tighter and hold on forever. He found his mistakes unforgivable, but they didn’t really matter to me. It wasn’t like I was going to stop being his friend because of them. He was home now, he was trying to make it right. He showed remorse for his actions. That was the thing about Quinton, he never showed remorse. Not once for hurting me. Ben cared so much. It was an amazing quality to find in a man and my heart suddenly ached in longing. Breathing became difficult and a giant lump lodged itself in my throat. I realized how much I cared for this man, how much I wished I’d met him before Quinton, how much I wished he could be the father of my baby.
It was a scary, terrifying thought.
One that left me breathless.
One I only let myself think about for a fleeting second before I shoved it from my mind. Because a wish like that was unrealistic and pointless and something that would never come true.
So why waste even a single moment thinking it?
“We all make stupid mistakes sometimes. That’s part of being human,” I said, in some attempt to comfort him. I wasn’t just talking about his mistakes either. The words I’m not Lilly Davenport were on the tip of my tongue. It suddenly felt like the right moment to tell him the truth about me. Except, he let his grip of my legs go.
My body slipped down his back and my toes hit sand.
“The buzz I had going is wearing off,” he said as he took a step away from me. In the moonlight, I could see his face well enough to see that it had hardened. He’d dropped his guard with me for a moment, but his walls were back up now and seemingly more fortified than ever. “And I’m not really supposed to leave the house after eight. So…”
I understood. He wanted to say goodbye now.
I didn’t though. I wanted more from him. Which was completely wrong of me. I realized how sweet Ben was. And attractive. Suddenly exactly my kind of attractive. And how completely off limits he was.
Wow, life sure had a way of kicking you in the gut when you were down. On top of being pregnant, broke, scared, and alone—I now had feelings for a guy I couldn’t have.
Thank you, irony.
“Goodnight, Ben,” I muttered. I moved swiftly, standing on my tip-toes, leaning in to give him a quick kiss on the cheek before pulling away. I left him, jogging up the beach in the direction of the Davenport’s house. I didn’t look back as I went inside.
You can get more of the Kill Devil Hills series now! Check out the series today and don’t miss this series of standalone stories with interconnected characters.
Sarah Darlington, a New Adult and contemporary romance author, lives in Virginia with her husband and two children. Best known for her Kill Devil Hills Series, she’s also a former flight attendant, with a degree in school counseling, who harbors a huge passion for traveling. She’s especially set on visiting all 50 states.