Reading The Summer House was a bit like having some delicious leftover birthday cake sitting in the kitchen – it was so moreish, I kept nipping back to it (just one more slice).
Amazingly, this is the first time I’ve read one of Jenny Hale’s books, despite her being a USA Today and Amazon best-selling author of romantic women’s fiction – with eight (I think) titles to her name.
Her latest sounds like it’s come straight from one of my (very best) dreams – not only opening a bed and breakfast on the coast but also managing to capture the attention of the local millionaire at the same time.
Here’s the blurb:
Callie Weaver and best friend Olivia Dixon have finally done it: put their life’s savings into the beach house they admired through childhood summers, on the dazzling white sand of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
They’re going to buff the salt from its windows, paint its sun-bleached sidings, and open it as a bed and breakfast.
Callie’s too busy to think about her love life, but when she catches the attention of local heartthrob Luke Sullivan, his blue eyes and easy smile make it hard to say no. He’s heir to his father’s property empire, and the papers say he’s just another playboy, but as they laugh in the ocean waves, Callie realizes there’s more to this man than money and good looks.
Just when true happiness seems within reach, Callie and Olivia find a diary full of secrets… secrets that stretch across the island, and have the power to turn lives upside down. As Callie reads, she unravels a mystery that makes her heart drop through the floor.
Will Callie and Luke be pulled apart by the storm it unleashes, or can true love save them?
It’s heartwarming, charming and a proper page turner. The characters are all likeable, the plot keeps you engaged and the setting is dreamy (I want to see wild horses on the beach).
In fact, I can’t really fault The Summer House…and yet there was just something that didn’t quite flow for me in the writing.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, I did, but just not as much as some of the other books I have read this year. I know Jenny Hale has lots of fans so maybe it was me?
It certainly wouldn’t put me off reading her other books or watching the film adaptation of Coming Home For Christmas if I got the chance.
My rating: Three and a half stars.
With thanks for the Bookouture (via NetGalley) for the ARC in return for my honest opinion.