The Best Part of Me is the first book in the McKenna series by Jamie Hollins. Ewan McKenna’s days and nights are filled with drink orders, beer kegs, and noisy bar customers. Now that he’s put his tumultuous past behind him, he’s more than happy to live a solitary existence running his family’s pub. After years of walking the line between good and bad, Ewan now needs control and order to rest peacefully at night. What he doesn’t need is the fiery, intriguing woman who’s found her way into his thoughts and his bed. Spending the summer getting her hands dirty in her aunt’s garden in a tiny town outside Boston is exactly what Quinn Adler needs. She’s ready to shake off the grief of losing the people who meant the most to her and to start feeling again. What she doesn’t expect is to find a man who sets all her senses on fire. When the pieces seem to be nearly in place for a bright future, everything falls apart.
The Best Part of Me is a compelling romance between two wounded hearts. Quinn is still recovering from the loss of her parents and is starting to live again. Ewan is still struggling to reconcile his less than wonderful history with the day to day work that keeps him busy and in the background. when the two collide sparks fly even though neither think it is a good idea. I like that both characters are flawed, but aware of their flaws. Their coming together is just about perfectly paced for them, with plenty of conflict as they each try to protect themselves from heartache. Watching them slowly find their way, both individually and together, was both heart warming and heart wrenching in turn. The emotion was real and raw, and the balance of small town atmosphere and small world crisis was just about perfect. A enthralling weekend read that is so worth the heart ache of the story.