by Catherine Hudson
This fun Novella collection had me entertained from page one, book one, to last page, book four. The Stories were penned by four fabulous authors: A Summer Remade by Nicole Deese, Waves of Summer by Tammy L. Gray, A Painted Summer by Amy Matayo, and Wild Heart Summer by Jenny B. Jones.
In A Summer Remade, Joss Sanders heads back to her family’s cabin she has promised to spend every summer vacationing at, with the friends who have had to sadly renege on their promise for this particular year. But fear not, these four friends become the spunky heroines for each of these novellas, in a fresh idea that provides continuity, and draws the reader onwards.
Joss tries to escape the pain of her present by returning to sweeter memories she shared with her family at the cabin—only things are not the same, life moves on and so must Joss if she is to embrace the future. The love story in this first book is breathtakingly sweet, revisiting that boy-next-door childhood friend who makes the perfect literary hero.
Waves of Summer flows perfectly in style from the previous one, even though Sydney Andrews is a very different character to her friend Joss. Sydney’s summer adventures turn to romance when she becomes friends with the bartender at her mother’s wedding. Holiday life doesn’t let Sydney relax into complacency or mere spontaneous living, but ensures she faces the real her, to find a better future, one that includes love.
A Painted Summer expands on a subtle theme throughout these books; that holding to stereotypical ideas or an old mindset can keep a person from the best things in life. Darby Sparks has lived a sheltered life and finally could take it no more—she’s followed her dreams to Los Angeles. Thing is, she runs out of money, and ends up working for Lennon Dixon in a tattoo parlor. This inked-up hero challenges and surprises both Darby and no doubt the reader, as he shows her that people are not always what you expect, and the best things in life can be found in unexpected places.
In Wild Heart Summer all Avery Crawford wants to do is get to her summer internship cooking on a ranch and get back to college—without having anything to do with her grandfather who owns the ranch, or falling in love with a certain attractive cowboy. Of course, just like her friends, Avery is not the same by summer’s end. She will face her past, her beliefs, her fears—and be open to a beautiful future.
The writing in these four Novellas is, in my humble opinion, stellar. Fresh, witty, funny, clean, and with a plot line that flowed from book to book, pulling you on to finish each story and experience the romance. The stories fit general market romance, but they were clean, with hints of inspirational tones. I highly recommend these fun reads and I will be reading these authors again.