Summer… the time for fun, sun, and also the time for romance. Now that summer is officially here, it is the perfect time to gently laze around in a hammock under the shade from a huge tree or relax in a lounge chair down at the beach. A summer romance book is the perfect complement to either scenario; fiction romance is that soft breeze that blows on a hot summer day. If you are in the mood for romance, try one of these wonderful summer reads.
One of the best “what if” romances is Jude Deveraux’s Summerhouse. Three women who met for one day on their 21st birthday are reunited for a week’s vacation in Maine for their 40th birthday. At 21, they were filled will hopes, dreams, and ambitions. Life has not worked out exactly as they had planned. Leslie, who dreamed of dancing on Broadway, is now a suburban housewife with 2 children who take her for granted and a husband who is having an affair with his secretary. Ellie, who wanted to set the world on fire with her art, is now a famous novelist but has just been through a nasty divorce. Madison, who dreamed of being a model, is now an embittered, thin, ugly woman and has also lived through a horrible marriage. All three are offered the chance to relive three weeks of their lives. At the end of those three weeks, they can choose the life they have now or the one they would have had if they had made different choices. What three weeks would you relive, and what choice would you make?
The new novel Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews is a good fun, light hearted, summer read. It actually starts on the same premise as the book before. Three women go on vacation to sort out their lives. However, the tone in this book is much lighter with laugh out loud moments. Ellie has just been downsized (laid off, fired) from her job at the bank. She plans (and over plans) this trip with her friends; she keeps bugging the landlord of the rental with requests, questions, and demands. Her friends Julie and Dorie arrive. Julie is trying to decide whether to marry to her lover of many years. Dorie has secrets and troubles of her own. Enter Ty Bazemore (the secret owner of the rental) who lives above the garage; the house is about to go into foreclosure if he does not come up with money quick. Yes, it’s predictable, but it’s also a lot of fun.
Another good romance is Sweet Hush by Georgia author Deborah Smith. Any book that starts with a rotten apple being thrown at a fictitious First Lady is bound to be fun. Hush McGillen, widow and single mother, runs a successful apple business in the mountains of North Georgia. Her Harvard attending son upsets the apple cart when he elopes with the daughter of President of the United States and takes her home to escape the First Lady’s wrath. The President sends his “killer” nephew Nicholas Jacobek to “take care” of the situation. Full of southern charm and the small town way of life, this romance proves that good Southern values can beat Yankee politics anytime; bless their hearts.
Sometimes a good book will touch your heart and sear your soul. Get out your hankies for debut Georgia author Jeffrey Stepakoff’s Fireworks over Toccoa. The novel begins with the drought of 2007. Lakes dried up and parts of Georgia were exposed that had been covered for fifty years. Two boys racing their bikes across a dried up lake bed near Toccoa, Georgia found something lost since 1945. In 1945, Toccoa is preparing to welcome home the soldiers with a fireworks display like no other. They hire Jack Russo, a troubled WWII vet, to create the fireworks. Lily Davis is preparing for her husband’s return from WWII. She married him only a week before he shipped out; though she has had occasional letters, she is not sure she still loves him. A chance encounter between Jack and Lily in a star-lit field challenge all they believe about love, honor and fidelity. Does love really conquer all, including honor? What if you meet your soul mate too late?
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