First impressions are hard to shake…
Big-headed ex-rugby star, Daniel Dante, refuses to believe a word celebrated ceramicist Kanako Janssen says, though why her new landlord’s opinion bothers her so much is anyones’s guess. She has enough to worry about, with her soon to be ex-husband refusing to sign divorce papers, Daniel’s dog appearing regularly to freak her out, and an exhibition date looming.
Like the swallows, Kanako’s only in Otago for the season. But willing or not, the self-proclaimed introvert is being slowly absorbed into small town life on the lake, and she’s in grave danger of falling in love with it.
Kanako is everything Daniel isn’t, and nothing he’s used to. Trust doesn’t come easily to a player who’s been burnt so publicly before, but if he can’t learn to lean on this fresh-faced, quirky artist, he could well lose her altogether.
This book is about Daniel Dante, brother to Cam, from the first book in this series. Daniel is an ex-rugby star. I like the author included a glossary to better understand the different languages in the book for the reader.
Kanako and Daniel meet excitingly on the beach. I love the slip to her heritage in her conversation and the fact that he reciprocated as well. Kana is an artist who has taken a residency in the south of New Zealand. Her residence is with Potter Dante; Daniel Dante’s mother, Kana, has a fear of dogs.
This story gets interesting as Kana finds herself living on Dante’s property. They have a few uncomfortable encounters with each other. She is very hesitant near him, almost uncomfortable. He is a little broody about a misunderstanding. Things do get steamy as they have some moments together. I love getting to know Adele and Clementine, as well as more about Dante in this book. The car nicknames from his mother for him and his brother Cam are hilarious. Things do get steamy eventually.
Dante and Kanako are like magnets for a while, at least until a preconceived misconception cuts off their communication. Then this gets more emotional and more difficult to read. Dante is being a real jerk to Kanako, and despite his family’s warning, he doesn’t get out of his own way. Then the author surprises us, and I really hope they communicate and this works out happily.
Finally, this book reads like a real romance, and they are done with the miscommunication and games. However, their moments have been sweet, but I still feel like these characters don’t know each other very well.
This book ends sweet and happy, and after getting to know Adele and the entire Dante family better, I can’t wait to read more in this series.
This story was full of ups and downs and many heartbreaking scenes, but it was a truly happy romance story. I love how quirky and unique the author’s characters even add foreign language and places into the account. These romance books are lovely, unique, and interesting. I’ve learned so much about places I would love to visit someday. The way the author incorporates the place into the story is just magical. This story is primarily filled with a big-headed sports player and, of course, the starving literal artist, but add in the family love, beautiful scenery, and a little does of humanity. You have a wonderful romance story. I love that both characters have issues; neither is perfect. There are times when your reading where you want to hate the main characters, primarily for being a bonehead. But it all works out at the end, sometimes in the very last chapter. If you enjoy a new destination with exciting people, you will love The Otago Waters Series. I can’t wait to read the next book and learn about New Zealand and the Dante family.
If you would like to read Ruby Island by Stephanie Ruth you can find it on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases.