Review: Falling for the P.I. by Victoria James (Still Harbor #1)

Note: This ARC was provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Kate Abbott's life is all about her adopted daughter Janie, her two best friends who are more like her sisters and their daughters who are more like her nieces, her work as a teacher, and her advocacy for women and children, especially when it came to domestic abuse. Her love life has never been a priority but when she meets Matt Lane in a bar, he sparks something in her that she's never felt before. However, Kate has secrets that involve her past and she's wary of people's reactions to Janie, so keeping Matt at a distance would be the right thing to do. But Matt is more than ready to prove to Kate that not all men are the same and he wants to get to know every single about the woman he's falling for, if only she'd trust him.

Falling for the P.I. is the first novel in the new contemporary romance series entitled Still Harbor from bestselling author Victoria James and is set in the fictional province of Still Harbor, Canada. Kate Abbott doesn't want to keep looking over her shoulder and living in fear that the man who wreaked such havoc on her life as a child and teenager had found her. Very few know of what she endured--two of whom were already gone, two others who are her best friends, those who refused to believe her claims, and the man who made traumatized her. Meeting Matt Lane allows her to experience an attraction like no other but finding out that he's a former police officer turned private investigator has her fortifying each of her walls. But as they both take chances on one another, their relationship develops, and Kate needs to decide if being with Matt is worth the risk of her sharing with him her past, even if it means he may walk away after.

Kate and Matt are two people who have lived with domestic abuse and both have dealt with it in their respective ways. You can tell right away that Matt is a man like no other--patient and understanding, wanting to get answers to the countless questions popping in his head but willing to only push so far and wait until Kate fully trusts him. The way he was with Janie had me sighing contentedly, and I actually liked that his initial reaction to realizing that Kate had a child felt honest and real rather than idealized. What was going on between the two of them was certainly more of a slow burn but one that was easy to accept and appreciate because of Kate's history. There's a twist that is introduced early on, but as a reader, you can't help but anticipate when it's all going to come to a head and when Kate learns what connects her to Matt. The story is like a fire that's stoked but is never let out of control nor is it extinguished prematurely.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the cast of characters, but I did notice that there were moments that felt abrupt and there was also a problem with continuity a time or two. Of course, this could be due to my reading an advanced reader's copy (ARC), and my hope when it comes to stuff like this is that everything that needs to be addressed editing-wise will have been addressed before the book's release. Still, I was more than satisfied with how everything played out and the epilogue has me more than curious about what Matt learned about Alexandra McAllister, Kate's younger sister, and Alex's daughter Cassandra and what the second book in the series will have in store for readers. Falling for the P.I. was a heartrending and heartwarming story about the power of love, whether it be romantic or familial, can help us overcome even the most trying of circumstances in our lives. I'm giving this first in the Still Harbor series 4.5 stars. ♥

Release Date: 10 August 2015

Date Read: 09 August 2015

Learn more about Victoria James here.

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