Published by Entangled Publishing on 11 March 2013
Genres: Adult, Chick-lit, Contemporary, Romance
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Just for the Summer is a quick contemporary romance, with lots of snark and humor, as well as its' share of tender moments spiced up with some heartache and pain. Dani has been through a lot in the past few years, and coming to Lake Bliss for the summer is supposed to help heal her heart and her mind. Writing a cook-book with healthy, but delicious food is on the menu. As is getting to know her son, Sam, whom she gave up for adoption eight years ago. Little does she know Sam and his dad Matt will both make her feel like she has found everything she's ever longed for.
*I received a free ARC of Just for the Summer from Entangled Publishing via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
When Dani arrives in Lake Bliss, just for the summer, she has no idea how quickly she will feel like she’s a part of the community. She meets her biological son Sam on the first day, when she has to put her nursing skills to the task in order to help him get some sand out of his eye. As Dani strikes up conversation with Rachel, she learns that Sam is living with his father Matt, and that Rachel had him over to play with her own three boys for the day.
Because Dani has decided that this relationship can last just for the summer, she has decided to not tell anyone in town that she is Sam’s biological mother. But when she meets Matt for the first time, and sparks fly, she already wants to stay for more – to get to know those to a lot better than she thought she’d have a chance to before she arrived. All Dani had planned was to maybe watch Sam from afar, getting to actually know him made her heart break in ways she had never thought was possible.
Matt and Rachel start flirting at their first meeting, and that’s what made Just for the Summer appeal so much to me. The friendly flirting and banter, the sexual innuendos – it just got to me in the best way. Dani is all alone in the world now, no parents or grandparents left, the only living relative she has is Sam, and both he and Matt think that his birth mother left him because she was a selfish woman who didn’t have enough love in her to care for a baby. This, of course, made Dani want to keep her secret to herself.
When it is discovered that Sam has diabetes, Dani is there to help him, Matt and Matt’s mom adjust to their new life and diet. This is also when the readers get to know a little bit about Gina, Matt’s ex-wife. And it is easy to understand why Matt thinks honesty is so important, and why he has this idea about the woman who gave Sam up for adoption. Sam’s grandmother also has her own views on cooking and comfort through food, so when Dani tries to teach her a different way to cook, it’s not the easiest for the grandma to hear at first, as she feels criticized in how she’s been caring for her family.
The writing flows easily, and Just for the Summer is a quick read; mixed in to the romance and the various relationships, there is Dani’s cookbook. And the way she uses talk of food to continue to flirt with Matt is expertly done! I was laughing out loud in some places, and even though there was a heavy undertone to the overall story, this wasn’t dwelled on too much. I thought that was good, because in a novella like this, it is impossible to go in depth on certain subjects if the romance is supposed to be the main focus. Also, Dani’s rape and subsequent decision to give Sam up for adoption happened eight years ago. So even if that is still a part of her life, she does not let her fear or her guilt rule her life anymore.
If you are looking for a short read with some hot romance and fun characters, Just for the Summer could be the book for you. I enjoyed it, and I’ll be checking out other books in the Lake Bliss series as well. Light romance and spicy humor is needed some days.