Falling for Love

By: Marie Force

Series: Gansett Island

Book Number: 4

Star Rating:

Sensuality Rating:



Spoiler Disclaimer


Grant McCarthy is a Hollywood screenwriter who won an Oscar a few years ago, but ever since then, things haven't been going his way. Abby, his high-school sweetheart and the woman he'd fancied himself in love with for most of his life, left him when he refused to return to Gansett Island with her, and he can't seem to find another writing gig to save his life. In fact, he's lost his writing mojo altogether. Now back at home for his sister's wedding and to help out at the marina while his father is recuperating from a serious injury, he's vowed to win Abby back, but that was before he had too much to drink at the wedding and woke up in bed with Stephanie, the manager of the marina restaurant. Grant is determined to make it a one-night stand, but he just can't get Steph out of his mind. Then Tropical Storm Hailey blows in, leaving them stranded on the island in a blackout, creating the perfect environment for a lot more passionate encounters. Grant is pretty sure Stephanie is hiding something from him. When he finally earns her trust and learns the truth, he finds himself eager to help her out and forgetting all about the woman he came to woo. But when he finally gets a promising offer for a screenwriting deal, will the lure of Hollywood, once again, draw him away from the woman he's fallen in love with?

Stephanie Logan never knew her father and was raised by an abusive mother. The only person who ever showed her any love and kindness was her stepfather whose efforts to get her away from her mother ended up with him in prison for kidnapping and assault. Feeling like she's responsible, Steph has spent every spare penny she's earned for the last fourteen years, trying unsuccessfully to get him out of jail. She met Big Mac and Linda McCarthy while working at one of their favorite restaurants on the mainland, and they lured her to Gansett to manage the marina's restaurant. It's been a great gig because with free room and board, she can put more money toward her stepfather's legal fund. Then she meets Grant at his sister's wedding, and that night, he rocks her world with the best sex of her life. Knowing that he intends to pursue his ex, she figures it was a one-time deal, which suits her just fine, since she doesn't feel like she has much to give a relationship. However, the storm and the blackout offer the opportunity to get to know Grant better and she finds a man who's unlike any other guy she's met before. He actually believes her story and seems genuinely interested in using his connections to help her with the case. Grant is so kind, Steph simply can't help but fall for him, but when Hollywood comes calling, can she trust him to return to her?


Falling for Love is the fourth installment of Marie Force's long-running Gansett Island series. In this one we have Grant, the second-oldest McCarthy sibling, paired with Stephanie, the young woman his parents hired to run the Beachcomber during the summer season. As an award-winning screenwriter, Grant had been in Los Angeles, but he returned home for his sister's wedding with intentions of wooing back Abby, the woman he's always believed to be the love of his life. However, Abby is now engaged to someone else, and when Grant meets Stephanie, sparks fly. At the end of the previous book, these two were headed toward a one-night stand, and this book opens in the awkward aftermath of their steamy night together. Overnight a powerful Nor'easter blows in, leaving the residents of Gansett Island cut off from the mainland and in the dark, without power, for several days. Grant and Stephanie thought it would only be the one night, but with everything closed down and not much else to do, they get to know each other better, leading to many more passionate encounters that rock both their worlds. Grant learns of Stephanie's plight with regards to her imprisoned stepfather and decides he wants to help in any way he can. He also comes to the realization that Abby wasn't the woman for him after all, and that he feels more strongly for Stephanie in just a few days than he ever did for Abby over years. But convincing Steph of his sincerity could be a challenge especially when he's offered a new, potentially lucrative screenwriting deal that requires him to be back in L.A. in a few short days.

Grant has always had a passion for writing and his talents earned him an Oscar for a screenplay he authored. But ever since winning the award, he can't seem to find another gig and he's lost his muse. Grant had been in love with his high-school sweetheart and they'd been together for many years until Abby found her passion as a gift shop owner on Gansett Island. She begged him to come home and write there, and told him that if he didn't, it was over between them. Not taking her seriously, Grant chose to stay in L.A. to keep pursuing an elusive movie deal that never materialized. A year later, he's returned to Gansett for his baby sister, Janey's wedding. While there he intends to get Abby back, but he's shocked to discover that she's now engaged to someone else. Drunk and upset, he meets up with Stephanie at the wedding and ends up sharing a night of passion with her. He awakens the next morning to no memory of what happened, and when it becomes obvious that they slept together, he hopes to just pretend it didn't happen. He has no such luck when a powerful storm blows in, knocking out power to the island. He also pretty quickly comes to the realization that things really are over between him and Abby, and as his memories of the night with Stephanie start to resurface, it slowly becomes a case of "Abby who?". Grant and Stephanie can't seem to keep their hands off each other and share many more passionate encounters. They also get to know each other on a deeper level and when Grant learns how hard things have been for Stephanie, he wants nothing more than to help her even if this thing between them doesn't last. But when he's finally offered a new movie deal, he'll have a hard time convincing her that he's coming back for her. Grant is yet another to-die-for hero in this series who I absolutely fell for. Man-whores in romance seem to be a dime a dozen, so I love that he's a one-woman kind of guy who'd never been with another woman besides Abby until his night with Stephanie. Then in pretty short order, he's all-in on Steph. I also adored him for wanting to use his money and influence to help Steph with her problems and that he's very supportive of her. He's just an all-around great guy.

Stephanie was raised by an abusive mother and the only person who ever truly cared for her was her stepfather, who is now unjustly in prison for kidnapping and assaulting her... except that he didn't do it. He never laid a hand on her and only technically kidnapped her to get her away from her mother. Feeling responsible, Steph has spent the past fourteen years and nearly every spare penny she's earned trying to get him a new trial in hopes of him finally being released, but so far, to no avail. Steph met Big Mac and Linda on the mainland, where they asked her to manage the Beachcomber for them during the summer season. It's a job that has paid well and that she enjoys, but when the summer is over, she plans to return to Rhode Island. Then she meets Grant. The two seem like oil and water until the night following Janey's wedding, when Grant totally rocked her world. She needed to blow off some steam, and knowing that he still wants to pursue his ex, she decides not to make a big deal of it. But then it happens again... and again, until she can no longer deny their chemistry. She also gradually warms up to him, sharing her story and is surprised to find an ally. Not only does Grant believe her, but he also wants to use his resources to try to help her, something no one has ever done for her before, which finally gives her hope for the future. But when she learns about Grant's new job offer, she doesn't truly believe him when he says he's coming back for her. Steph is a young woman who's had a rough go of it in life. She's never genuinely known the love of family until meeting the McCarthys and all the other wonderful people on Gansett Island. I think she wants to believe it can be hers, but isn't sure she deserves it, yet her heart is open when things start falling into place. Steph is sweet with a back bone, challenging Grant in a way Abby never did and matching his passion with a fire of her own. I loved and related to her very much.

Given the long-running nature of the Gansett Island series, we have secondary POVs aplenty and I loved catching up with all the other island residents. Mac and Maddie (Maid for Love) welcome their new baby in dramatic fashion during the storm. I love the way Mac cares so tenderly for Maddie but is also fiercely protective. Joe and Janey's (Fool for Love) honeymoon gets postponed due to the storm. Sydney (Ready for Love) takes care of Luke who is still suffering from an injured ankle after his heroic rescue of Big Mac in the previous book. Big Mac (Celebration After Dark) is also still recovering with Linda's help after his life-threatening injuries. Grant's younger brothers Evan (Hoping for Love) and Adam (Waiting for Love) are also on the island for the wedding and to help out. Grant's cousin, Laura, (Season for Love) is visiting, too. She comes clean to the family about why her new husband isn't with her and meets musician Owen who offers her a tempting new opportunity. We briefly see Blaine and Tiffany (Longing for Love) and learn that Tiffany's husband is leaving her. Janey's ex, David, comes to the rescue when Maddie goes into labor early and begins his redemption arc toward becoming the hero of Time for Love. But perhaps most fun of all is old Ned. When he was introduced in the very first book, I never would have guessed what a hopeless romantic he'd turn out to be. He reconnected with his long-lost love, Francine, in the previous book and although Francine drops a bit of a bomb on him in this book, they work through it to take the next steps in their relationship.

Overall, I loved Falling for Love every bit as much as the previous books in the series. Grant is a yummy hero, sweet, gentle and a passionate lover. Although he didn't initially think Stephanie was his type, I was glad that he didn't pine very long over Abby and instead opened his heart to Steph pretty quickly. She also proved to be the muse that he desperately needed. Steph is a strong, determined woman, but open to letting Grant help her when he offers. Although she has a hard time believing that it will actually work out between them, she gradually lets him in and is surprised by what she finds. These two were great together, and I'm absolutely certain we'll see more of them as the series progresses. I can't wait to learn how things turn out with a couple of loose threads that were left hanging and I have to doubt that Marie Force will fill us in later. The supporting characters give the series lots of flavor and many different perspectives, and I loved learning what's going on in the lives of the people we've already met, as well as meeting new ones who'll play roles down the line. Falling for Love was an absolute pleasure to read and I can't wait to continue the series soon.


Marie Force


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