No Place Like You by Emma DouglasCloud Bay #3
Published on December 5, 2017 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Romance
Home--in the island village of Cloud Bay--is where the heart is. . .
Leah Santelli always knew that Zach Harper, son of a rock legend and her best friend's brother, was painfully out of reach. Then, on the night of her eighteenth birthday, Leah shocked herself by asking for--and receiving--the gift she wanted: one night of passion with Zach before he left town to pursue his rock star dreams. Now, years later, Zach is back in Cloud Bay to record his first solo album. His return could also be Leah's big chance to step up her own music career. But getting the producing credit she needs means spending long hours with Zach in the recording studio...and falling back into the habit of longing for him, for better or worse.
Zach used to believe that a man must put his past behind him. But coming back home for Cloud Bay's famed music festival has allowed him to finally make amends with his family and, much to his surprise, reunite with Leah. He might have left her once but now it seems he can't stay away. Trouble is, even though the heat between them burns hotter than ever, Leah has old wounds in need of healing before she can give Zach a real chance. Can he find a way to convince her that they can make more than just great music together--and that she's the one that he wants for all time?
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The third of the Cloud Bay novels, No Place Like You has secured its place as my favorite of the series. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Need You Now and A Season of You but it turns out that I liked the oldest of the Harper kids best.
Unlike the previous books, No Place Like You took slow burn to the next level. Leah sees an opportunity in the return of Zach Harper to Cloud Bay — she could launch her producing career. Zach wants to make it in music so it’s not a bad deal, especially since these two have history. Obviously this puts them in close proximity so I expected there to be some snap, crackle, and pop between them. Instead, it was more of a simmer. You could feel the potential for romance and knew it was coming but it took its time getting there. I did want more heat but enjoyed the slow burn at the very least.
Leah was fun. She reminded me of Faith in Need You Now (in fact, they’re close friends in this world). She knows what she wants and she’s honest with herself and those around her. I liked that she didn’t stay reserved even when it involved bringing up potentially awkward conversations. I’d say Zach was the opposite. He came off as being in-tune with himself but not always the world around him. Of the two, I definitely felt Leah was the stronger character as well as the stronger personality, and that Zach was more along for the ride.
As far as the story went, I liked seeing both parties pursuing their dreams (and it worked that they were connected by the music industry). I wouldn’t say it was a super eventful book, focused mostly on both of them sorting through their feelings for each other as well as where they wanted to go with their futures, which made it a bit of a slow read at times. But it also felt natural, like this could happen to anyone despite the more outrageous careers of both protagonists.
No Place Like You was an enjoyable read and I did find myself enjoying it more than the first two books despite some of the issues I had with the story and romance, and that applies to everything. . . except the ending.
So for these first 3 books, there’s been mention of a secret gift of money by Grey Harper, the protagonists’ father. Each book has revealed one more clue but it’s only really brought up once and seems irrelevant at the time. Well, this book answered the mystery but also didn’t and I’m not really sure I’m happy with it. I won’t spoil what happens because it’s quite literally the end of the book and leads into what I assume will be #4 in the Cloud Bay series, but it just felt a bit forced. Planned out between the 3 books, yes, but more a ploy to write a 4th book. I would have been okay with a trilogy, to be honest.
Overall, this was fun. Good slow burn romance set in a contemporary setting with a touch of the musical life in the background.