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18 September 2015

Review: 'Summer by the Sea' by Jenny Hale (2015)

They say there’s always one summer that changes you.

For Faith the one summer she can’t forget is when she fell in love as a teenager – only for her sister, Casey, to steal her man. Now, at the request of her beloved ninety-year-old Grandmother, Faith has agreed to a family holiday – at their childhood beach house, where it all began. 

Faith hasn’t seen her sister in years but is finally ready to forgive and forget, enjoy the sunshine and relive happy memories. What she’s not ready for is meeting Jake Buchanan – the owner of the beach house – or the long-forgotten feelings he ignites in her. 

Can Faith overcome the hurt of the past, rekindle the close bond she had with Casey and make this summer THE ONE to remember?

If there is one 2015 book release that immediately made me long for sunny summer days, delicious ice cream cones and gorgeous walks at the beach, it has to be Jenny Hale’s latest novel ‘Summer by the Sea’ which was released by Bookouture on the 12th of June. I fell in love with the stunning colourful book cover as soon as I saw it and immediately added it to my TBR-list for the summer. I’ve had the pleasure of reading all of Jenny’s previous works and loved all of them (especially her Christmas reads are just amazing and perfect to get into the festive spirit): ‘Coming Home for Christmas’ (click here to read my review), ‘A Christmas to Remember’ (click here to read my review), and ‘Love Me for Me’ (click here to read my review). I definitely had my fingers crossed for another wonderful Jenny Hale read and hoped the book would match my expectations!

Faith and her family spent some wonderful summer holidays together down at the beach at Outer Banks where her grandmother had her own beach house. Yet, all that remains now are their memories because the house was destroyed and Faith’s sister Casey did something unforgiveable when she stole the guy Faith was in love with. When Faith’s grandmother decides to celebrate her 90th birthday by going back to the rebuilt beach house for one last family holiday, Faith knows she can’t possibly refuse to go. She decides it is time to forgive Casey and get to know her 5-year-old niece, Isabella. But what Faith doesn’t expect is meeting handsome Jake Buchanan, who immediately makes her feel things she hasn’t felt in a long time. Will Faith finally be able to leave the past behind and make this another wonderful summer to remember?

Another great chick lit read by author Jenny Hale and publisher Bookouture! ‘Summer by the Sea’ is mainly set at the beach in North Carolina and focuses on protagonist Faith, who works as a kindergarten teacher and used to spent her summers together with her family at their grandmother’s beach house. Now, it’s years later and a lot has happened, but the family once again finds itself spending a summer week at the beach. I loved the descriptions of the amazing scenery and the many family memories Faith has, which made me think of the house near the beach where my grandparents used to live and where I spent all my childhood summers with my family. This definitely added a special touch to the story for me personally, and made me curious to read more about Faith and her family.

The novel has an interesting collection of characters at its centre. The sparks between main character Faith and local businessman Jake Buchanan were difficult to ignore and I found myself wondering what would eventually happen to the two of them and the many differences between them. I loved Faith’s old and wise grandmother, her sister Casey (who goes through quite a tumultuous period in the story), and cute niece Isabella. All characters were realistic, mainly because they were all flawed in one way or another. As the novel progressed I did feel the story became a bit slow-paced and I wouldn’t have minded if another, smaller, plotline had been added to the story as a whole, just to keep things flowing. However, I still thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and loved how it transported me back to my own summer holidays at the beach! ‘Summer by the Sea’ is a fabulous read about family and being able to let go of the past; a great read to pick up if you still have some days at the beach planned or if you want to hold onto that last piece of summer!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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