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Moonlight Over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan
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Moonlight Over Manhattan

by Sarah Morgan

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I really liked this one. A light read, funny, and charming. Somewhat predictable. But the thing that I liked about it the most is that the author showed that it was okay for feelings to not turn out to be mutual in the end. Not that I'm saying it didn't turn out mutual in the end, it is a romance novel. But the idea that girls don't have to be rescued all the damn time, and that they can actually do their own rescuing is refreshing. ( )
  pistachioph | Aug 25, 2018 |
I always love movies and stories that are set in New York. I don't know but New York for me is a melting pot of everything and there are a lot of places there that would be a good start for a very good story. It's like anything can happen there. The city is teeming with endless possibilities, more so with the most unexpected love stories.

I think one of the reasons I signed up to review this book is because it was set in New York. The blurb is also curious and who can't resist a story about a dog walker in New York, right? Sounds like an easy enough and fun job. That is, if you love dogs.

Harriet Knight is a shy dog walker who owns half of the dog walking business with her sister which is based in Manhattan. To escape her creepy date she met online, she ended up with a sprained ankle. In the emergency room, she meet Dr. Ethan Black, which turned out to be not the last time that she will see him.

This is one of those meet-cute stories. When Ethan met Harriet, Ethan had his own theories and questions about Harriet's sprained ankle. He's mind was coming up with these possibilities about Harriet's situation. Some were bordering on hilarious and extreme. He was used to dealing with the chaos of the ER and the hoard of demanding patients but he was not prepared for a nice one like Harriet who seemed to have melted his heart with just her smile.

I think the cutest and the most important character here in this story is Madi. Yes, without her, Ethan and Harriet would not have meet again and became closer. It was all Madi's fault. I think dogs are just the most successful matchmakers. They often draw two people together. Even if sometimes, these two people may not have anything in common at first glance. Madi is one of the reasons why I really enjoyed this story. It's not only funny but also inspirational.

This is an example of stories where at first, it seemed to be a disaster in the making but is actually sort of fate intervening. With Madi's antics, I don't think Ethan and Harriet would have been able to get to know each other. Also, the classic saying "The best way to a man's heart is through his stomach" is still very much applicable. Ethan was not immune to Harriet's culinary skills. He ended up wanting Harriet for keeps.

I give this book 5/5 very cute and cuddly dogs. I love that Harriet's character is very kind and very caring. Even though she's so shy, she more than made up for it for her ability to reach out and get close to people who really needed the attention and kindness. Just like the two old ladies here in the story whom Harriet helped. Even Ethan was so surprised that she knew more things about her old neighbor than him. I think that's one of the most endearing qualities that Harriet has that drew Ethan to her.

This story really made my day. Anyone having a bad day will definitely feel better after reading this. It's not only cute but very sweet as well. And I really liked that both of the characters here became better versions of themselves because they complemented each other. Harriet was able to overcome her fears and was able to do things she was afraid to do before. Of course, like all relationships, there were conflicts too but then love wins at the end. What sets this apart from all other meet-cute and happy ever after stories, is of course, Madi. It was all because of Madi. The best performance in a supporting role award goes to---Madi! I may be partial because I love dogs but still I'd say, it was all Madi.

No, because if you die in the night I don't want that on my conscience. I already have enough scars and baggage to deal with. Carrying any more will give me spinal problems.
- Sarah Morgan, Moonlight Over Manhattan -

Thank you again Netgalley, Harlequin, and Sarah Morgan for the review copy. ( )
  iamnotabookworm | Jul 22, 2018 |
Wonderful book, full of love, joy, dogs and Christmas spirit. I really loved Harriet and Ethan's characters and I fell in love with both of them. Wonderful book! ( )
  InnahLovesYou | May 2, 2018 |
Originally posted on Tales to Tide You Over

Moonlight Over Manhattan is a delightful read that is not without its dark and serious moments. Harriet is struggling with the consequences of mental abuse that have undermined her sense of self while Ethan believes himself incapable of real emotions after having to turn them off to manage the stress of trauma medicine.

Harriet’s brother and twin sister have protected her from both their father and life in general for too long, but with both of them falling in love, Harriet knows she needs to learn how to fend for herself. She goes about this in a way that is both strange and yet strangely courageous as she tackles things that intimidate her by attempting something she would not do each day until Christmas from online dating to wearing high heels.

It’s those two elements that land her in Ethan’s emergency room on a busy night in which she appears as a pool of calm, but then she’s gone. She makes enough of an impression to linger in Ethan’s mind.

It’s coincidence, though not as great as you might think with Fliss and Harriet’s-dog walking company dominating half of Manhattan, that she’s called in to help Ethan care for his sister’s dog when she has an emergency trip out of town.

This much you can gather from the book description. However, the description fails to capture a crisis-filled second meeting that leaves Harriet fiercely defending the needs of Madi (the dog) despite having all her fears of being unable to survive on her own thrown in her face.

Both Harriet and Ethan are decent people to start out with, but they grow on the page as they learn more about each other and themselves than many do in a lifetime. While they appear very different on the surface, both of them are observant, caring people who are not consciously aware of the difference they make. Madi helps in this by throwing the confident, controlled Ethan so far out of his element that he has to solicit Harriet’s expertise out of desperation.

I loved how Harriet pushes herself to become self-sufficient, and how that effort grows to include her true mate rather than having him fill the gap left by her siblings’ life changes. It speaks to the strength of Sarah Morgan’s characters that I thought I’d already read Daniel’s story (Harriet’s brother) when he appeared in this one because I know him so well from the previous book I’d read. The characters I met in this book are much the same. I wanted some closure with the instant friend Harriet meets in the very beginning, even though circumstances made it unlikely they would meet again, but Natalie was such a bright spot I hope she shows up something else.

This is not a clean read. There is on-screen sex though not with explicit detail, but it has that kind of feel, focusing more on the people, their lives, and overcoming the shadows they carry from the past. I felt like I was there with them for both the high points and the low ones.

There are quite a few chuckles; heartfelt moments for animal lovers; and deeper, wrenching times when both their pasts come up to haunt them and attempt to disrupt any chance they have of a true relationship. Ultimately, it’s as sweet a Christmas story as it can be with a complexity that makes it feel real.

P.S. I received this title from the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review. ( )
  MarFisk | Jan 31, 2018 |
Another sweet, feel-good read from Sarah Morgan--this time with dogs and Dr. Hot!

I really liked Harriet's character--her love of dogs and her determination to do something every day that she was afraid to from Thanksgiving to Christmas ("Challenge Harriet") was inspirational. It would have been so much easier for her to keep doing what she'd always been doing, so props to her for stepping waaaay outside her comfort zone each and every day. (That first scene with the Great Date Escape--OMG, too, too funny! And a great place to start.)

Though they don't seem to have much in common at first, Ethan was definitely a great match for her--it just took him 90+% of the book to realize it. I loved how Harriet seemed to know him even better than he knew himself at times, and how she really made him work for their HEA in the end--again, it would have been so much easier to take the path of least resistance, but even when it could mean never seeing him again, she does the right thing. Go, Harriet!

Moonlight Over Manhattan does pull in a few characters from the rest of the series (especially those from Holiday In The Hamptons and New York, Actually , since they star Harriet's siblings) but it absolutely works as a standalone as well. There's also an appearance from many of the characters from the O'Neil Brothers series that is extra fun if you've read those books (and if you haven't, watch out, because that setting is unbelievably tempting! TBR piles, watch out...) but won't leave you out in the cold if you haven't had a chance to yet.

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. ( )
  beckymmoe | Dec 31, 2017 |
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"Determined to conquer a lifetime of shyness, Harriet Knight challenges herself to do one thing a day in December that scares her, including celebrating Christmas without her family. But when dog walker Harriet meets her newest client, exuberant spaniel Madi, she adds an extra challenge to her list--dealing with Madi's temporary dog sitter, gruff doctor Ethan Black, and their very unexpected chemistry"--Amazon.com.… (more)

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