A SUMMER TO REMEMBER by Erika Montgomery

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: May 11, 2021
Source: Review copy from NetGalley
Rating: ½


A SUMMER TO REMEMBER blends elements of family drama, mystery, and romance into a bittersweet story. Frankie is grieving the loss of her mother while trying to keep their Hollywood memorabilia store afloat. She comes across a couple of sealed letters, and a photograph of her mother with a pair of married movie stars taken a year before Frankie’s birth. Always curious about who her father was, Frankie heads across the country to Cape Cod where the photo was taken in hopes of finding clues to his identity.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed the sense of place and the Hollywood nostalgia, and I was very curious about the family secrets surrounding Frankie’s father. The romance was lovely — two lost souls coming together. However, the pacing was slow, and I found the big reveal rather frustrating. It was unnecessary to keep this particular thing a secret for 30 years. If you can get past that hurdle, A SUMMER TO REMEMBER makes a great beach read that will leave you craving margaritas and fried clams, and wanting to dust off those old VHS movies.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

SUN DAMAGE by Sabine Durrant

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: June 2, 2022
Source: Purchased from The Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★¼


The heat is intense.
The secrets are stifling.
She just needs to escape…

Nine guests arrive at a remote villa in the south of France.

They know each other well. Or think they do.

But at least one of them has plenty to hide — and nowhere to run.

Under the relentless sun, loyalties will be tested, secrets revealed, and tensions pushed to the point of no return.

I think the blurb for SUN DAMAGE is purposely vague, so I’m not going to say much about the plot. It’s set in the south of France, my favorite new thriller setting. Two con artists are working the beach resorts there, until things get a bit out of hand. And then…

Is summer gothic suspense a thing? Because that’s how I would describe this book. It’s an absorbing slow-burner with just the right amount of tension. I was really taken in by the rich descriptions of this place, like the yummy food, gorgeous scenery, and the stifling heat. The big twists at the end were brilliant.

THE SAFE PLACE by Anna Downes

Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: July 14, 2020
Source: Review copy from NetGalley
Rating: ★★★¾


In THE SAFE PLACE, main character Emily’s life is a wreck. She’s broke, unemployed, and days away from being kicked out of her apartment. So when Scott, her former boss, offers her a position as caretaker at his estate in the South of France, she simply can’t say no.

In theory, the job sounds like paradise, but in reality, Emily finds things a bit off. Scott’s odd wife and child live there permanently, isolated, and with strange rules for Emily to follow. No internet! Emily is soon convinced that something isn’t right with this seemingly perfect family…

This was a fast-paced and suspenseful thriller, set in a gorgeous, summery location. Poor Emily! She was so naïve, but I suppose she had to be for the set up of the story to happen. Her gullibility did frustrate me though, especially towards the end. The author created a good amount of tension as the story progressed, and I was surprised when the final big twist was revealed. I was convinced things were going in a different direction!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Weekend Update — Mid-July

This week I’m linking up with Sunday Post and It’s Monday! What are you reading? Thanks for hosting, Kimberly and Kathryn!

My reading and posting slowed down some this month. We’ve been busier lately, doing this and that. I found out there are going to be some big changes in our classroom this upcoming school year which has me a bit stressed. It’s outside of my control, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to worry about it!

My son finished up his summer orchestra camp today with a group performance. He plays viola and was the only one in the camp. Violas are in demand! My daughter plays cello and made it into the high school’s chamber orchestra for her senior year. We’re very proud of both of them. It’s hard to believe we have a senior and sophomore now.

The cicadas are singing which means summer’s days are numbered! I know they annoy a lot of people, but I like listening to them. They seem quiet this year, though maybe it’s August that they’re louder.


Read Since Last Time:

THE HOUSE ACROSS THE LAKE by Riley Sager

SUMMER’S EDGE by Dana Mele

SUN DAMAGE by Sabine Durrant *

THE SAFE PLACE by Anna Downes *

* I’m loving the South of France setting!


Posts Since Last Time:

THE HOUSE ACROSS THE LAKE by Riley Sager [Review]

IN ANOTHER LIGHT by A. J. Banner [Review]

142 OSTRICHES by April Davila [Review]


Currently Reading:

THE LAST TO VANISH by Megan Miranda

New York Times bestselling author Megan Miranda returns with a gripping and propulsive thriller that opens with the disappearance of a journalist who is investigating a string of vanishings in the resort town of Cutter’s Pass—will its dark secrets finally be revealed?

 

A SUMMER TO REMEMBER by Erika Montgomery

Experience the salty breeze of a Cape Cod summer as it sweeps through this sparkling, romantic, and timeless debut novel tinged with a love of old Hollywood.

Hopefully I can do some blog hopping this weekend and catch up with everyone. Thanks for stopping by & have a wonderful week! — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪