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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
Kerk Murray's Since The Day We Danced is the first book in the Hadley Cove Sweet Romance series. Emma is struggling to recover from her divorce from her high school sweetheart, Chad. She is forced to move from the house her grandparents had given them as a wedding gift. Emma moves into a small house with her dog, Riley. After the fireworks display, Emma discovers Riley is missing. Meanwhile, Luke has decided to move to Hadley Cove to provide a change of scenery for his son, Jeremiah. Since his mother died, Jeremiah has been expelled from school for fighting. On the second day at the new house, a dog shows up on their porch. Luke encounters Emma, and she is elated to find that he has found her beloved dog. They find it easy to spend time together; however, Jeremiah refuses to move past losing his mother.
Kerk Murray alternates between Emma's and Luke’s views on living in Hadley Cove. There is exceptional detail given to how friendly the small-town residents are. The rumors also follow, with everyone knowing everyone else in town. It was obvious that Jeremiah lacked trust in his father. I could see Luke feeling guilty for not being present in Jeremiah’s childhood; his wife had always been the stable force for Jeremiah. Emma’s attempt to disguise her feelings shows in her determination to stay busy. It was easy to see why she was hesitant to let Luke into her life, especially with Jeremiah requiring Luke’s constant attention. The plot becomes unpredictable with the appearance of several supporting characters. They added to the complex story and challenged the relationship between Luke and Emma. Since The Day We Danced will appeal to readers who enjoy clean romances with complex characters.