Book 2, Harborside Nights
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HARBORSIDE NIGHTS is an evocatively real New Adult Romance series that follows a group of friends who have known one another for years as “summer” friends, and now come together after college to build their lives. They’re tough, edgy, and accepting—most of the time. This series is written in the same loving, raw, and emotional voice readers have come to love by New York Times & USA Today bestselling, award-winning author Melissa Foster.
Discovering Delilah is a romantic story of friendship, family, and the courage to love.
In DISCOVERING DELILAH...
After the death of her parents on the day of her college graduation, Delilah Armstrong thought she could finally follow her heart and come out to her closest friends, but the guilt of going against her parents’ beliefs haunts her. The feelings she has for her best friend, Ashley, are stronger than anything she’s felt before, but Delilah has never even kissed a girl, and fear stops her at every turn.
Ashley Carver promised herself that she would never again date another girl who wasn’t out, but that was before she met intoxicatingly sweet and sexy Delilah.
When another girl offers to teach Delilah the ropes, it changes Delilah’s whole world and gives her the courage to go after the only girl she really wants. But coming out isn’t as easy as Delilah imagined, and moving past her parents’ death and the feelings of guilt she is left with is even harder. The intense passion between Ashley and Delilah is too strong to deny, but coming together means risking everything.
COMING SOON… The complete Harborside Nights series:
Catching Cassidy (Het)
Discovering Delilah (F/F)
Tempting Tristan (M/M)
Chasing Charley (Het)
Breaking Brandon (M/M)
Embracing Evan (Het)
Reaching Rusty (Het)
Loving Livi (Het)
Characters from Melissa Foster’s Love in Bloom series may appear in the Harborside Nights books.
Another winner from Melissa Foster!!! I was anxious to read this series and this book was amazing!!! Everything about this story was so very well written and the characters taking shape grab your heart and pull you in. I cannot wait for the next...and the next..and the next...and more!
Another Great Love Story by Melissa!
I first knew Melissa from the WLC a few years ago. She encouraged me to pursue my writing. I am currently writing an erotic novel that includes two college ladies who discover their love for each other quite by accident. My wife suggested that I read Melissa’s “Discovering Delilah”. I purchased it yesterday and finished it early this morning. I loved it. It is fantastic!
There is an appropriate amount of lovemaking for the story to be authentic, but not objectionable to most readers. Melissa skillfully describes Delilah and Ashley’s feelings and what they think as they pursue their love for each other.
Delilah and Ashley had become best friends, and both are so attracted to each other they are about to burst with love and desire. The biggest challenge is that neither knows if the other feels the same. They value their friendship too much to actually make a move. They are dying inside to be in each other’s arms, kissing and making love to each other.
Delilah does not even know if her feelings are real or just in her head. She dated a couple of guys in college, but found the experiences to be rather disgusting. Delilah has never even kissed a girl. Delilah’s parents were killed on the way home from her college graduation. Just before she walked to get her diploma she told them she liked women. The shocked expression on their faces meant to her that these very conservative parents were disgusted with her. A few hours later her parents were dead.
She feels guilty that somehow their deaths are her fault as they had preached to her how wrong same sex love is. She had hidden her feelings since she was an early teen. Every time she thinks of stepping out, she fears their disapproval, disgust and her guilt lurking over her like a exploding thunder cloud.
She attends a grief support group dealing with her parents’ death. One of the ladies there sees inside her dilemma and offers to teach her some of the basics of female lovemaking—for one night only. They don’t do anything too intimate, but Delilah KNOWS for sure now that her feelings are legitimate. She decides that she is going to take the step and tell Ashley how she feels and hope that Ashley reciprocates.
Finally the next night she gets up the courage to tell Ashley of her feelings and hopes that she has been reading the signs that Ashley feels the same. They end up in a dark alley and their love explodes all over the place.
No spoilers, but the scene is earth shattering to both of them.These women are falling deeply in love with each other. The big hurdle is that Delilah has a tremendous challenge showing her feelings for Ashley in public. Ashley has sworn (because of a past disastrous relationship) to never be with anyone who will not publicly acknowledge them as a couple. Until she meets Delilah, that is. Delilah is worth it, but both struggle with Delilah’s fears and guilt.
No spoilers. Will Delilah overcome her anger, fear and guilt to publicly embrace Ashley, or will she be unable to overcome her past? I will just say that the ending has a brilliantly wonderful twist that I never even suspected. In one day EVERYTHING changes for ever.
I highly recommend this to lovers of romance, and especially to women who may be struggling with the same issues. True love between two women is a beautiful thing. Don’t miss this great story!
A sweet, sad, ultimately hopeful love story
Growing up with incredibly conservative parents, Delilah has learned to be ashamed of her attraction to women, not just hiding it, but actually avoiding any chance of developing a relationship with another woman. But now that her parents are gone, she's faced with the juxtaposed feelings of freedom to do what she wants and shame about who she is. Falling for someone won't be as simple as it is for most people, as it means embracing herself and getting past what her late parents may have thought of her choice in a lover.
But... I'm not sure I can get on board with how bisexual women were portrayed in the book. Mind you, it wasn't a gigantic label applied to them all, but the couple of them who were part of the story were incapable of remaining faithful, as there was always that pull to the other sex. I'm positive this wasn't intentional, simply because that's not the feeling I get from Melissa Foster's myriad of characters, not to mention the plots of the upcoming books in this series. But at least for now it seemed to marginalize those who happen to enjoy both sides of the fence.
Judging Covers: Simply beautiful, just as I expected. And obviously two women, which I wouldn't point out, except that sometime after signing up to review Discovering Delilah, another email arrived to spell out that it's a lesbian love story. I can only guess that someone who hadn't paid the least bit of attention to Delilah's blatantly stated sexual orientation in the first book as well as the complete lack of male presence on the cover of this one was somehow shocked at the subject matter, creating worry that the rest of us might be equally oblivious. I don't understand humans. Still, gorgeous cover that's just perfect for the book.
The Verdict: Delilah knows she shouldn't be ashamed of who she is, but that's a hard obstacle to overcome when all she ever heard from her conservative parents was how homosexuality was wrong. Even being around friends and her brother who are not just tolerant but 100% welcoming of people regardless of sexual preference, she's having trouble finding her place.
Despite her reluctance to even think about a relationship, she's pretty much fallen head over heels for her good friend Ashley, but she has no idea if her advances, clumsy as they're sure to be, will be welcomed or humiliatingly rejected, and the insecurity is killing her. Then there's the fact that she's never even dipped a toe in being-with-a-woman pool, so while she knows what she wants, she's a nervous wreck about her lack of knowledge and experience. What should have been the awkward fumbling of growing up and experimenting now feels like crippling ignorance, and she's terrified of disappointing the woman she wants to be with, a woman who's no stranger to same sex relationships.
Another friend Janessa, who just so happens to be bi, actually ends up something of a catalyst for Delilah's change — if not immediately being able to accept herself, at least being able to move ahead with who she is. Offered a no-strings-attached first experience, Delilah goes for it, taking advantage of the opportunity to learn from Janessa without judgement and become more comfortable with what she wants. This was the scene I was most uncomfortable with, not because it was two women but because if I'm thinking of Delilah and Ashley like I would any other couple on a romance novel, Delilah shouldn't have been with Janessa at all. Had this been your standard male/female romance, and the guy hooked up with a friend because he wanted to basically learn sex, we would have expected him to (a) turn out to be a total douche, or (b) fall in love with that friend and live happily ever after. I really, really, really wanted Delilah's first experience to be with Ashley, so as well-intentioned as the night with Janessa was, it made me all kinds of uncomfortable. However, Delilah's not your standard romance heroine, and her fears about a relationship are certainly much different and more real than the usual contrived fears we read about in standard romances, so it's hard to completely judge.
Ashley, Delilah's best friend and giant crush, is out and open, but she has promised herself that she will never again fall for a girl who's still in the closet. You see, her previous relationship went up in flames when she discovered that her girlfriend wasn't just still in the closet but was actually involved with a man behind her back. Perhaps that ex had real feelings for her and was simply showing the world what they expected to see, but it also felt a bit like she made Ashley an experiment to satisfy curiosity. It's hard to say, but it definitely messed Ashley up.
Discovering Delilah did a wonderful job of exploring just how difficult it must be for someone to come out when not only surrounded by judgement but actually raised in it. For every real-life story of parents and loved ones accepting family members who aren't “straight,” there are dozens more in which people are ostracized and persecuted. Delilah's struggle with everything about her sexuality, from how to simply be to what others may think of her is an emotional ride, and Melissa Foster did a wonderful job of not only portraying Delilah's coming of age, but also showing every aspect of self-reflection in the process, from shame to confusion to determination and love. It's a sweet, sad, ultimately hopeful love story, and I can't wait to see where this series goes next.
***FicCentral received this book from Brook Cottage Books for free in exchange for an honest review.