Hoping for Love

By: Marie Force

Series: Gansett Island

Book Number: 5

Star Rating:

Sensuality Rating:



Spoiler Disclaimer


Grace Ryan spent most of her youth being mercilessly teased for being overweight. As an adult, she'd tried every diet ever invented in an attempt to lose weight to no avail. Then she finally decided to take drastic measures to change her life and had lap-band surgery. Since then, she's lost a hundred and thirty pounds and is feeling much better about herself. Finally ready to get into the dating pool, she goes out with a guy she's had a crush on since high school, only to find out what a jerk he is when he abandons her at McCarthy's Gansett Island Marina with no money after she refused to have sex with him. With nowhere else to go, she ends up at the Tiki Bar, crying at a table, while a gorgeous singer performs on stage. After his set, Evan comes to her aid, behaving like a perfect gentleman. A week later, Grace returns to the island and ends up spending the entire weekend with Evan, but he isn't a commitment kind of guy and with his new album about to drop, he isn't planning to stay on Gansett much longer.

Evan McCarthy is a talented musician who's been pursuing dreams of stardom all of his adult life. He's been back on the island, helping out the family while waiting for his new album to release and a promised tour to start. While performing at the Tiki Bar with his best friend, Owen, he sees a beautiful woman, crying alone at a table and goes to see if he can help. When he finds out her boyfriend stranded her on the island without any money, he steps up to help her out and get her home. When Grace returns the next weekend, Evan's attraction for her starts to confuse him. The commitment-phobe in him only wants to have fun with her, and they have plenty of that throughout her stay. However, even though Grace is being pretty laid back about the casual nature of their relationship, Evan can't seem to help feeling jealous of every other guy who even looks at her. Soon he's starting to wonder if he's finally found a woman worth settling down for, but with his career about to take off, it's not a good time to fall in love. Evan and Grace will have a lot to work out to find their happily-ever-after.


Hoping for Love is the fifth book in Marie Force's Gansett Island series and it's Evan and Grace's story. Grace spent most of her life overweight until recently getting lap-band surgery. Since slimming down, she's started dating and is finally about to lose her virginity until she discovers that the guy she's with is a complete tool. She goes for a walk around the Gansett Island Marina, only to return to her date's boat and find him gone. Stranded on the island, she goes to the Tiki Bar where Evan is performing. He sees her upset and after his set is over, offers a shoulder for her cry on and a place to stay the night. Although there's a strong attraction between them from their first meeting, Grace needs to get back home and Evan is about to head out on tour soon as a new recording artist. However, after visiting the local pharmacy and discovering it's for sale, Grace starts planning to make an offer on the store. She returns the next weekend to do just that and also seeks out Evan to pay him back the money he gave her. The two hit it off and end up spending the entire weekend together, getting to know one another and burning up the sheets. But Evan is a confirmed bachelor who never thought he'd ever settle down, and the feelings he's experiencing for Grace are completely foreign to him. If he can't get his head on straight, he just might ruin the best thing that's ever happened to him, but with him leaving soon for his tour, he isn't even sure if a relationship is possible between them.

Evan is the McCarthy's third son and a talented musician who's been working toward fame and fortune his entire adult life. It's finally starting to pay off with his first album about to drop and a tour scheduled to start in a couple months. He's also a commitment-phobic playboy who has a different woman in his bed almost every week and has never met anyone who's even tempted him to settle down. One night, while playing the Tiki Bar with his best friend, Owen, he spots a beautiful woman sitting at a nearby table, crying. Although he could have his pick of nearly any woman in the bar, for some reason, he feels drawn to this one. When he finds out that her boyfriend left her on the island with nothing but the clothes on her back and her phone, and that with all the island accommodations full for the holiday weekend, she has no place to sleep, he offers her a room at his parents' house where he's staying. Evan is crazy attracted to Grace, but he can tell that she's not the kind of girl he can just love and leave like all the rest, so he tries to keep his distance. When he puts her on the ferry the next morning, he figures he'll probably never see her again. When she returns the next weekend, he's surprised, but they end up spending the entire weekend together. However, after one night with Grace, Evan is thoroughly confused, which sends him running. A part of him wants exclusivity with her, but since that's not something he's ever desired before, he isn't sure why. He also quickly finds himself floundering in jealousy over other guys flirting with her, and if he can't figure it out, he just might miss out on a really good thing. Evan is the first hero in this series who's the classic man-whore, but he's also Big Mac McCarthy's son, so deep down, he has a good heart. I like how he looked after Grace when they first met, and how when they first make love and he figures out she was a virgin, he's very sweet and nonchalant about it. I maybe wanted to smack him (lightly) a time or two for his cluelessness, but at the same time, his bewilderment was rather amusing. When he goes to Grace drunk and vulnerable, I couldn't help but feel for him. I'm just glad he figured things out and didn't fight it for long.

Grace is a pharmacist who spent most of her life overweight and was teased mercilessly by the other kids throughout her school years. She'd tried everything to drop the weight without success, until she finally decided to have lap-band surgery. Now a hundred and thirty pounds lighter, she's found a new sense of confidence and even started dating the guy she had a major crush on all though high school. They're spending Labor Day weekend on his boat at the Gansett Island Marina, where she fully intends to finally lose her virginity, until she chances to see a text on his phone and realizes that it was all a big joke to him. To clear her head, Grace goes for a walk around the marina, only to find the boat and all her things gone when she returns. With no money and no place to go, she ends up at the Tiki Bar, crying. Then the hot guy who'd been singing comes to her rescue, offering her a room for the night and some money for the ferry the next morning. While there, Evan takes her on a tour of the island, which she starts to really love, and she also discovers that the local pharmacy is for sale. After getting good vibes, Grace decides to shake up her life, returning to Gansett the next weekend to make an offer for the store and return Evan's money. She and Evan end up spending the entire weekend together, having a blast, then capping it off by burning up the sheets. But when she awakens the next morning, he's gone. Since she went into it knowing that Evan isn't a commitment kind of guy, Grace doesn't regret a thing and tries not to be disappointed, but a part of her hopes that maybe something might still come of their time together. When he starts acting like a jealous ass over other guys flirting with her, hope springs anew, but she knows that for them to have a future together, compromises will need to be made. Grace is sweet and vulnerable, but at the same time, she has enough confidence in herself to make some bold moves in both her personal and professional life. I like that she didn't sit around waiting for Evan to get his head on straight, but she was open enough to let him back in when he finally did.

With Hoping for Love being part of a long-running series, there are supporting characters aplenty, many of whom get their own POV scenes and their own books elsewhere in the series. Evan's oldest brother, Mac, and Maddie (Maid for Love) are adjusting to life with a new baby in the house. The second-oldest McCarthy brother, Grant, and Stephanie (Falling for Love) wait hopefully for her father's release from prison, but hit a rough patch as they disagree over the screenplay about her life story. They also host a huge going-away party for Grant's ex, Abby, who'll be returning in the eight book, Waiting for Love. Grace briefly meets Luke, who is recovering from surgery after the accident, and Sydney (Ready for Love) on the ferry when she returns to the island. Big Mac and Linda (Celebration After Dark) must work though some things after the bonk on the head from the accident leaves Mac a bit edgy, while also doling out advice to the younger generation. Evan's best friend, Owen, an equally confirmed bachelor with wanderlust, finds himself falling for Evan's cousin, Laura, who he hired to put the Sand & Surf Hotel that his grandparents own to rights. Laura, who is just as attracted to Owen, is going through a divorce from her philandering husband of only three months and is pregnant with his child, leaving her with some complications of her own to work out. These two become the hero and heroine of the next book, Season for Love. Maddie's sister, Tiffany, is having a hard time accepting the failure of her own marriage, so she takes drastic actions that end up being equal parts LOL funny and sad. However, she discovers an undeniable chemistry with hot new police chief Blaine. They'll get their story told in the seventh book, Longing for Love. I think I may have to lodge a protest, though, over the fact that Irish charmer and shameless flirt Seamus, the guy Joe hired to take over the ferry while he's gone, doesn't have a book yet.:-(

Overall, Hoping for Love was every bit as good as all the other Gansett Island books I've read to date. Normally I'm not a big fan of insta-love stories, but while Evan and Grace fall for each other in a matter of a couple of weeks, all the emotions that I expect in a romance were definitely there, which still made it a winner. Evan has a few flaws and he's thoroughly befuddled over his feelings for Grace, but mostly in a cute way that was easy to forgive. Grace is the quintessential girl next-door, and like all the other ladies in this series, someone who I think would be easy to be friends with. These two fit together very well. Evan faced some news regarding his recording contract that wasn't entirely resolved by the end, but that wasn't a huge problem for me, since I know this author always revisits past couples in future books. I figure I'll just learn more about what happens then. As always, I very much enjoyed visiting with all the supporting characters and learning what's going on in their lives. The developments for both Owen and Laura and Tiffany and Blaine have really whetted my appetite for their stories, so I can't wait to continue with the series soon.


Marie Force


Doctors, Nurses, & Medical Professionals