Goodreads Synopsis:

Samantha Casey loves everything about her job as an elementary school librarian on the sunny, historic island of Galveston, Texas—the goofy kids, the stately Victorian building, the butterfly garden. But when the school suddenly loses its beloved principal, it turns out his replacement will be none other than Duncan Carpenter—a former, unrequited crush of Sam’s from many years before.

When Duncan shows up as her new boss, though, he’s nothing like the sweet teacher she once swooned over. He’s become stiff, and humorless, and obsessed with school safety. Now, with Duncan determined to destroy everything Sam loves about her school in the name of security—and turn it into nothing short of a prison—Sam has to stand up for everyone she cares about before the school that’s become her home is gone for good.

My Thoughts

Katherine  Center has done it again!  Not that I had any doubts whatsoever!  I love her writing because there is always a deeper story than your typical romantic connection.  Lets begin.

I loved Sam’s character.  She is everything you would want and more in an elementary school librarian. Books are her jam, and that’s probably why I love her.  I love a character I can connect with.  Now Center’s books always come with some sort of loss, and in this story it’s the beloved principal.  A guy everyone adored.  However, the school is in for a real treat per Sam!  They hired Duncan, Sam’s old co-worker to be the new principal.  He was Mr. Fun Guy!  The guy who made everyday fun at their old school.  The guy Sam left her old school to get away from because she couldn’t bring herself to tell him how she felt before someone else snatched him up!

However, what Sam doesn’t know, but is quick to learn, the Duncan she once knew is gone.  The Duncan she used to have a crush is now someone who repels her.  His make life fun attitude has been replaced with more of a prison ward attitude.  Paint the walls gray, hire security, cancel all field trips, new rules, etc….  What has changed him into this person that Sam doesn’t even recognize?

I will tell you the reasoning behind Duncan’s drastic change is tear jerking.  It’s this reason Sam fights to bring out the old Duncan even more.  She’s falling in love again, but is it too late to save Duncan?  You’ll have to grab your copy on July 14, 2020 to find out.  If you love Katherine’s writing as much as I do, you don’t want to miss this.

Book Rating: 4/5

Thank you St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the advanced copy!

For the grand finale this would pair nicely with a very chilled St Supéry Sauvignon Blanc 2017.