Harbor by Rebekah Weatherspoon
Contemporary romance released by Rebekah Weatherspoon Presents on June 27, 2020
Betrayed and set adrift…
Months before she’s set to walk down the aisle, assistant district attorney Brooklyn Lewis suffers an unthinkable loss. It’s bad enough her fiancé is violently taken from her, but along with her grief she must also process the fact that the man of her dreams was unfaithful. Friends and family want to see her heal, but Brooklyn doesn’t know how to move on from trauma and deception until she discovers she’s not the only one broken by this tragedy.
A light in the storm…
Attorney Vaughn Coleman and his partner Chris Shaw have also lost the love of their lives, who was found lifeless in the same bed as Brooklyn’s fiancé, taken from them by the same killer.
Unmoored by grief, Brooklyn, Chris, and Vaughn fall into a relationship that both fulfills them and threatens to pull them under the waves of guilt, but they soon realize it may take the love of three people to bring their battered ships back to shore.
*This romance features a polyamorous relationship between two men and a woman, with BDSM overtones*
While this is a stand alone novel, there are additional characters featured in other stories. Reading order for the characters in this story: Haven, Sanctuary, Rafe, Xeni, Harbor.
There are a couple of content warnings I want to provide before diving into this review. The book talks about death and infidelity. This is a romance between three people, Brooklyn “Brook,” Shaw, and Vaughn. What I liked most about this book is that Weatherspoon starts off in a place of grief and confusion, but successfully gets the characters, and by extension the readers, to a happy ending. Vaughn and Shaw grow just as much as Brooklyn, although their growth felt more intertwined because Vaughn and Shaw already have an established relationship before meeting Brooklyn. We also get to see a lot of female friendships on Brooklyn’s side of the story, which I always enjoy.
Brooklyn is funny, outspoken and generally confident. However, that self-confidence is shaken by what she learns about her fiancé at the beginning of the book–namely, that he was cheating on her for months. Brooklyn has to regain that self-confidence, and also internalize the belief that she can be loved and find happiness. Sometimes, she gets in her own way, but this doesn’t last too long and seems fairly reasonable within the context of the book. I think it helps that she knows that her friends’ paths to love and happiness weren’t conventional.
Vaughn and Shaw are also shaken up when they discover that their partner was cheating on them for months. She was cheating on them with Brooklyn’s fiancé. Vaughn is impulsive and decisive. He attends his partner’s memorial because he feels very strongly that he needs to pay his respects, regardless of how his partner’s family feels about their unusual relationship. He tracks down Brooklyn because he thinks that he and Shaw can learn something about why their partner cheated on them with Brooklyn’s fiancé, and because he thinks they can offer each other some kind of understanding that others can’t. Shaw is just as intense as Vaughn, but warier, and willing to see how situations play out before jumping in. He’s not sure seeing Brooklyn is a good idea at first. He’s worried that she might hurt them, especially Vaughn.
I enjoyed, among other things, reading the scenes between Shaw and Vaughn and Shaw, Vaughn and Brooklyn where they check in with each other. They always make sure they’re on the same page, emotionally and physically. You got to see that making a relationship work wasn’t just pants feelings, but difficult conversations, which you don’t always see in romance novels.
Finally, cute dogs, cute children, and yummy food make appearances in this book. The children and dog aren’t central to the plot, but they also didn’t feel forced in or pointless. And, like I said at the beginning, Brooklyn has lovely female friendships. Most of her friends have had their stories told in previous books, but I haven’t read them and didn’t feel like I was missing out on too much while reading this book.