I was going to save this book for one of the Christmas book posts, but as I didn’t like anything else I read last week enough to write more than a couple of paragraphs about them, it seemed a bit disingenous to call anything else the BotW. So another Sarah Morgan book gets the nod. Sorry, not sorry.
Moonlight over Manhattan is the latest book in Morgan’s From Manhattan with Love series, which started off with three romances for the ladies who run an events company and has now told the linked stories of the three siblings linked the dog walking company that the events company uses. That sounds really weird and tangential, but it’s actually not and makes total sense if you read them in order. Moonlight over Manhattan is a run-up-to-Christmas story (as in it’s Christmassy, but not so super Christmas-focused it feels weird reading it in October before Halloween is over and done with) about the shy twin from the Bark Rangers, Harriet, who is setting out to conquer her shyness now that her twin has found love and has moved away from New York to the Hamptons for a while (see the previous book). Harriet is thrown out of her comfort zone when she ends up dog sitting for Emergency Room (that’s A&E for us Brits) doctor Ethan, whose life is turned into chaos when he has to look after his sister’s pet when his niece is involved in an accident across the country. Ethan is recently divorced, blames himself and is determined not to hurt another woman. Harriet had a difficult childhood and doesn’t want to be rejected by a man the way that her father rejected her as a child. The stage is set.
Harriet is a great heroine and the thing that I really liked about this story is that she gets over her fears herself rather than the hero fixing everything for her. Yes, she gets her happy ending, but se gets it because she did the hard work herself and not because love magically fixed things for her – or worse because the presence of The Man in her life made every thing better, or even worse The Man did everything for her.* As a couple, Harriet and Ethan work really well together, bringing out each other’s strengths and supporting each other at times of weakness. And that’s what I love to see in romances – and in real life to be honest – couples who bring out the best in each other and who become the best versions of themselves with the support of their partners. Anyway, sappy bit over.
As always with Sarah Morgan, the medical bits are really good and feel like more than just set dressing (she used to be a nurse so she really does know what she’s talking about) and the setting is great too. I’ve only been to New York once, but I always feel like the descriptions of the city in this series have been spot on. And as a total bonus, there’s a lot of characters that you’ll have met before if you’re a regular Morgan fan – including a return visit to Snow Crystal. This does feel like the end of the series this time – in that I didn’t spot anyone obviously being set up to be the next group of people in this, the way that you sort of did at the end of the first three of this – so I’ll be sad if it is, but it’s been a lovely series and this is a good way to finish. I know it still seems a bit early to be starting on the Christmas books, but as I said earlier Christmas is very much the end point in this rather than the whole raison d’etre, so it’s a lovely book to read in the run up to the season before you get too fed up of it all!
My copy came from NetGalley, but Moonlight over Manhattan is out not and should be orderable from all the usual sources. Morgan’s books often crop up in the supermarkets and WH Smith’s book display as well. At time of writing Amazon have the paperback edition for £3.99 and the Kindle edition is £1.99 and the Kobo is £2.99.
*Tangent: this is my main gripe with Legally Blonde the musical as opposed to the film. In the film, Elle is successful because she’s clever, she works hard and she turns out to be good at being a lawyer. In the musical, Emmett does a lot more of the leg work for Elle and you always half feel like Elle is successful because he helped her (a lot) and underneath she can’t really do it on her own.