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review 2020-06-02 13:13
The Summer Deal by Jill Shalvis
The Summer Deal - Jill Shalvis

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I loved this book! I have been a fan of Jill Shalvis's books since I picked up one of her books a few years ago. I haven't read all of her books yet but I have kept up with all of her more recent releases. This book might be my favorite out of those I have read. I had such a great time with this book and found it really hard to put down. This book is the fifth book in the Wildstone series but each of the books in the series read as stand-alone novels so you can feel free to jump into the series anywhere.

I was taken by the cast of characters in this story right away. Brynn is going back home to her two moms in Wildstone after being taken advantage of by her boyfriend. Kinsey has lived with major health problems for a long time and feels like she has an expiration date so she avoids making connections with the exception of Eli. Eli has been Kinsey's best friend since they were kids. He has had plenty of his own issues but he watches out for Kinsey even though they are just friends. Brynn, Kinsey, and Eli all went to summer camp together and some of their memories of each other are less than pleasant.

All of the characters in this book felt very authentic to me. Brynn's entire life was turned upside down but she working to put things back together. I loved her two moms but understood her desire to be out on her own. Kinsey has been dealing with some pretty big health issues for years and I thought that she had a pretty good attitude about everything. Eli has been through a lot of things in his life but he still wants to take care of those that he is close to.

This book did a lot of things really well. I love the romance between Brynn and Eli and thought that they were great together. I was thrilled that we got a second romance in this book with Kinsey and Beck and I thought that their story was really well done. The relationship between Kinsey and Brynn was really pivotal to the book. I enjoyed seeing them open up and start to trust each other. I thought that getting a glimpse of how they saw each other as kids through their journal entries added a lot to the story.

I would highly recommend this book to others. I thought that it was a very well done story with a great cast of characters that focused on a variety of relationships. I cannot wait to read more from Jill Shalvis!

I won an advanced review copy of this book from William Morrow Paperbacks through a giveaway on Goodreads.

Initial Thoughts
I loved this book. It falls somewhere between 4 and 5 stars for me and I am rounding up for now. I loved the characters in this book and their complicated relationships just seemed to work for me. There were a lot of things going on in this story and I think that the characters all really grew throughout the book. It was a lot of fun to see them all work to improve their relationships.

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review 2020-05-31 21:23
Review: The Summer Deal by Jill Shalvis
The Summer Deal - Jill Shalvis

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

The Summer Deal is a love note to messy, wonderful families, both the ones we make and the ones we’re born into. Jill Shalvis’s fifth Wildstone novel features the imperfect characters and bumpy roads to a heartwarming happily ever after that I’ve come to expect and enjoy from this series.

Brynn has come home to Wildstone with a bruised heart and a lack of trust in her own instincts. Brynn is kind, quirky, and somewhat of a mess at the beginning but I loved watching her learn to stand up for herself over the course of the story. The person who pushes her to do that isn’t a love interest, but rather her old summer camp frenemy (and secret half-sister), Kinsey. Kinsey claims to have a black heart but really what she is is fearful. She’s been sick most of her life and has been battling kidney transplant rejection for years. Kinsey feels like she has an expiration date and she doesn’t want to hurt others by letting them in, so she pushes them away first. She and Brynn don’t have the best history, but Ms. Shalvis shows why each of them acted the way they did as children and it makes sense. These are flawed heroines, but they’re relatable because of it and it’s easy to root for both of them.

Brynn and Kinsey’s relationship is central to The Summer Deal, but that doesn’t mean Ms. Shalvis skimped on the romance. Kinsey is clearly in love with her non-boyfriend Deck, a caring, incredibly patient nurse and father. It’s obvious from the start that Deck wants more with Kinsey, but her fear may cost them a shot at happiness. And the main love story is between Brynn and Kinsey’s lifelong best friend, Eli. Eli might just be one of my favorite Jill Shalvis heroes. He’s a sexy-as-sin marine biologist with a marshmallow heart. Eli has been rejected more than once by people who should have loved him and he’s afraid of getting hurt (a theme in this story). But Brynn has always captured his interest so she slides quite easily into his heart. Eli cares for people deeply and it shows every time he’s on the page. He’s pretty much the perfect hero and I can’t count how often he made me melt. It was easy for me to fall into his and Brynn’s romance and even though I could see the obstacles that would inevitably come their way, I was rooting for them every step of the way.

The Summer Deal is a heartwarming story of healing, family, and love. I enjoyed everything about this book and I look forward to revisiting Brynn, Kinsey, Eli, and Deck again soon.


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

 

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/05/review-summer-deal-by-jill-shalvis.html
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text 2020-05-30 17:47
Booklikes-opoly 2020: UPDATE

I'm pushing out a game update, because

 

 

Are you ready for it?

 

Well, here it is:

 

EVERY DAY IS A ROLL DAY

 

You can still only roll one time per day, but now, if you end up DNF'ing, or you don't like where you landed, or you just read really, really fast, you can roll

 

Tomorrow.

 

No matter what.

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text 2020-05-30 17:32
Reading progress update: I've read 15%.
Dockside - Susan Wiggs

Several years ago, my mom was addicted to this series by Susan Wiggs. It's set in a small town on Willow Lake, so it fits my current Booklikes-opoly prompt perfectly. The series alternates between winter and summer, so I picked this one because it's one of the summer books. 

 

Susan Wiggs, Debbie Macomber & Robyn Carr all specialize in this sort of series - romances which feature one specific couple that is part of a small-town ecosystem, with each book focusing on one pairing. The first one I read was Macomber's Cedar Cove series, which I read for years, although I think I petered out around book 5 or 6.

 

I stumbled on Robyn Carr's Virgin River series when I bought a cheap omnibus for my kindle, in the early days. It was either the first 3 or 4 entries in the series, which has now been adapted for television. I ran out of steam on this one, too, but it's been adapted for a Netflix series that looks pretty entertaining. 

 

The things that make these series charming are also the things that make them annoying. The small town setting is charming, but the books are universally centered around a couple finding love, as required by the genre conventions. Usually, they are white and heterosexual. They are frequently previously unlucky in love and can be a little bit older (widows, widowers, divorced parents, and single career women rethinking their lives are all staples)- these aren't the typical historical romance, where the female half of the coupling is usually very young. Like a Hallmark Christmas romance, this relentless centering of coupledom can become wearisome. They also aggressively tap into nostalgia for a small-town Americana that never really existed - and if it did exist, it was only available to a select (read: white, heterosexual, affluent) few.

 

What I like about them is the sense of community that they can demonstrate. They are basically soap operas, in book form, with long-form story telling. This intrigues me. They generally lack the moral complexity and dimension that would be required to make them really interesting, though. There is very little actual poverty - which you would find in a real small town. There is "picturesque" poverty - like the plucky, single mom who can't afford to buy her gorgeous teen daughter the newest and most popular fashions and has to scrape by, but always has soft, beautiful hair and a perfect teeth.

 

The problems featured in the books are usually easily resolved in one book - the stalker who follows the pretty new resident to town; the abusive ex-husband who needs to be dispatched by the hero; the angry step-child who just needs to be won over by the new, and better, companion, the financially troubled bakery that needs the marketing talents of the ad executive who has opened an office in town. Everyone is always very attractive. I can't help but wonder if a series that took a more complicated look at a small town would even sell, although I think I would be much more interested in that sort of thing.

 

This is a long post and I'm just rambling now. I'm not sure if I'm going to finish this book or not.

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text 2020-05-30 16:30
Booklikes-opoly 2020: updates

 

 

Ledger:

 

Novelty cards: race car

 

Beginning Balance: $20.00

5/25/2020: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain (385 pages, +3.00): $23.00

5/29/2020: A Quiet Life in the Country by T.E. Kinsey (278 pages, +3.00) $26.00

 

Game Play

 

Roll 3:

 

 

At the Lake House 20

 

Read a book that features a dog or which has a dog on the cover or that is set in an area known for its lakes or on a fictional lake. I started a Susan Wiggs romance in her Lakeshore Chronicles series, called Dockside. I'm not really into it yet, though, so I might dig around for something else, although it will be a very fast read if I decide to keep going.

 

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