Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: The Sweetest Summer by Susan Donovan

The Sweetest Summer by Susan Donovan
Series: Bayberry Island, Book 2
Publisher: Signet Select
Genre: Contemporary Romance The Sweetest Summer Cover
ISBN: 9780451419293
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Every instinct told Police Chief Clancy Flynn that his island’s claim to fame was nothing but a silly tourist attraction. But now and then, he couldn’t help but wonder if his lifetime of bad romances—starting with the pretty tourist who broke his fourteen-year-old heart—could be traced back to a childhood prank involving that very statue....

Then one day the pretty tourist comes barreling back into Bayberry—all grown-up and on the run with her niece. Though Evelyn McGuinness is wanted for kidnapping, she tries to persuade Clancy that there’s more to the story. Now the by-the-book police chief must make the toughest decision of his life: to take Evelyn into custody—or into his arms....

True love gets a second chance in The Sweetest Summer. Susan Donovan’s second Bayberry Island novel is an ideal vacation read – breezy but not without depth.

Evie is a woman at the end of her rope. She’s desperate to keep her niece, Christina, out of the clutches of the girl’s biological father, a Congressman who’ll seemingly stop at nothing to get his way. Evie may not be wholly in the right, but as the story goes on the reasons for her actions make more and more sense. If there’s one thing you should know about Evie it’s that she’s got a good heart. Fate brings her to Bayberry Island and throws her in the path of Clancy, a man who’s determined to help her despite her wariness of him. As teenagers the two had fallen in love, but through circumstances I won’t spoil they were separated. As Clancy helps Evie try to find a way to keep her niece, their former attraction reignites and develops into something newer, stronger. It was easy to like them both as individuals and as a couple, and it was lovely to watch both their past and present love stories unfold.

Though Clancy and Evie’s quiet romance is the heart of The Sweetest Summer, the plotline involving Christina is every bit as essential to the story. The Sweetest Summer faltered for me a bit when it came to the Congressman, as his character seemed to change personalities a few times, going from complex character to black-hatted villain to something else entirely. Excepting Christina’s father, there were a number of quirky supporting characters in the story that added appeal. Fans of the first Bayberry Island book, Sea of Love, will delight in revisiting Rowan and Ash, while readers new to the series will likely become intrigued by the Flynn family and their friends. All in all, The Sweetest Summer was a delight to read. It’s softer, less brazenly funny than some of Ms. Donovan’s other books, but that’s just fine. A sweet, warm-hearted romance is sometimes all you need for a great summer read.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.