Title: Take Me All the Way
Series: Coral Cove
Author: Toni Blake
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: 24 Nov 2015
Source: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads
You can’t go too far when you’re fighting for love…
Tamra Day swore off men a long time ago. Her art, her friends, and her garden have always been enough . . . until now. Suddenly, Tamra is aching for a connection. Unfortunately, Coral Cove’s most eligible bachelor is the troublemaker who’s building the mini-golf course she’s designing. Brusque and sarcastic, he’s made a habit of annoying Tamra. But more infuriating is the fact that Tamra can’t help noticing how sexy he is.
They call him a war hero, but Jeremy Sheridan knows better. Still haunted by painful memories from Afghanistan, he’s just hoping for a fresh start. So far, the only problem is his new boss, Tamra, a control freak who’s easy on the eyes—and way too fun to tease.
Despite their differences, Tamra and Jeremy aren’t as alone as they think they are. And together, with a little Coral Cove magic, they’ll discover how good it feels to embrace a bright new future.
I’ve got to be completely honest and say I really struggled with this story for a large proportion of Take Me All the Way. That isn’t to say that the story itself is in any way bad but rather it was a writing style I find particularly difficult to connect with.
The third person narrative gave the story a soap-opera feel, although the plot mainly concentrated on Jeremy and Tamra there was sub-plots involving the character from the previous books and another couple as well as a one-eyed cat 😉 Although this does add another dimension to the story as a whole I, personally, find it interrupted the flow of the plot and my connection to the main characters.
Both Jeremy and Tamra have extensive emotional barriers in place. Both are trying to work through their insecurities. Events related to the creation of their barriers and insecurities are skirted around very little detail is divulged for the majority of the narrative. Again this is one of the things I struggled with, I am one of those people who like to know the ins and outs of a character, so the lack of revelation left me feeling more than a little frustrated.
Themes of identity and self-awareness, as well as fate/destiny are cleverly crafted into the story. Experiences shape us but it is how we choose to use the lessons that life gives us that really defines us. You have to live life for yourself and not rely on other people to provide happiness for you. Respecting your own worth and not accepting anything less than you deserve is one of life’s greatest lessons. It is these aspects that altered my view of Take Me All the Way, engaging me far more than I had previously been.
The setting itself, Coral Cove, appears to be a beacon for lost souls and a place of rebirth. It really made me want to pack my bags and move there myself.
While I would have liked to have witnessed more of the romance between Jeremy and Tamra , and a longer epilogue; the themes made all the difference to my rating of the book as a whole.