Book Review

ARC Book Review: Merritt and Her Childhood Crush (Oakley Island Romcom #2) by Emma St. Clair and Jenny Proctor

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 340 pages
Author: Emma St. Clair and Jenny Proctor
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: TBD 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


I said I’d never set foot on Oakley Island again. Not so long as HE lived there. But after my life implodes, I’m reconsidering EVERYTHING. Including my reasons for avoiding the first—and only—man I’ve ever loved.

I’m a high achiever. Driven. Maybe a little TOO driven.

So when my boyfriend confesses to cheating AND steals the promotion I’ve been working toward for years, I do the unthinkable for someone like me.

I break.

But the timing couldn’t be better for me to fall apart—I can escape to the idyllic Oakley Island and oversee the renovations on my late grandmother’s estate.

There’s just one tiny, massive, little problem: no one told me the contractor is the grown up version of the boy I fell in love with years ago.

He was my first love. My first kiss.

My first heartbreak.

Now, I’m faced with seeing Hunter daily. Being his boss. Forging a new dynamic that fits our adult selves.

Hunter is bigger. Bearded. Talks in grunts rather than words.

And has just as much hold on me as he ever did.

Trouble is, Hunter’s life is on Oakley. His daughter is on Oakley. And it was never my plan to stay here permanently.
Do I really want to risk having my heart broken a second time? More importantly, do I want to risk breaking his?

Merritt and Her Childhood Crush is a second chance at childhood first love romantic comedy. The Oakley Island Romcoms follow three very different sisters as they renovate the house they inherited and find love on the island along the way. The stories are standalone, but if you like continuous stories, we recommend reading them in order. Each book is closed door, with sizzling chemistry but no spice.

Thank you to the authors for an eARC.


This feels exactly like that the type of books I have come to expect (and love) from these authors. BUT this one also had this extra layer of deep that really resonated with the story and the character dynamics. Merritt and Hunter are both in lower places than they expected when they meet again and that takes time to crawl out of and see the future before them.

There’s definitely still some comedic antics that had me smiling and chuckling along. Though I keep turning back to all of the meaningful conversations that were brought to the table. I loooove that both of them worked hard on trying to communicate with each other. There’s past grievances, many questions, and a sense of will they stay? that bring out the feels as the pages go by.

Merritt was a fantastic FMC and very much relatable to my modus operandi. The oldest child seeking constant perfection and an escape from her parent’s divorce. WOW THAT HITS. Slowly and surely she connects back with her true self and acknowledges that she can be a combination of all the Merritt’s she’s tried to be and I LOVE THAT. + the addition of a super swoony Hunter who is short on words and big on trying. He makes mistakes too and finding that I need to set boundaries moment was critical to the story.

I loved this story and could continue gushing about it. It was everything I hoped for and my excitement for book three is off the charts.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Violence: low
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: mentions of childbirth, divorce, loss of a grandparent, cheating (recounted – NOT between main couple)

Instagram || Goodreads || The StoryGraph

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