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.

THE DEAD ROMANTICS by Ashley Poston

A disillusioned millennial ghostwriter who, quite literally, has some ghosts of her own, has to find her way back home in this sparkling adult debut from national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem — after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead.

When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father.

For ten years, she’s run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it.

Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is.

Romance is most certainly dead…but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.

Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: June 28, 2022
Source: Review copy from NetGalley

What a sweet (and bittersweet) story! I’m usually a hard sell when it comes to rom-coms, but this one I could not resist, with a ghostwriter haunted by her handsome editor’s ghost, and a quirky small town funeral parlor setting. I wasn’t sure how a phantom love interest would work, but it did.

THE DEAD ROMANTICS is a funny, unique, sad at times, and emotional romance/family drama. I loved how the book handled grief and forgiveness as the main character dealt with the death of her father. The pacing was a bit slow in the middle, but the ending was twisty and wonderful. Recommended to fans of rom-coms that will pull at your heartstrings.

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

EVERY SUMMER AFTER by Carley Fortune

Six summers to fall in love. One moment to fall apart. A weekend to get it right.

They say you can never go home again, and for Persephone Fraser, ever since she made the biggest mistake of her life a decade ago, that has felt too true. Instead of glittering summers on the lakeshore of her childhood, she spends them in a stylish apartment in the city, going out with friends, and keeping everyone a safe distance from her heart.

Until she receives the call that sends her racing back to Barry’s Bay and into the orbit of Sam Florek — the man she never thought she’d have to live without.

For six summers, through hazy afternoons on the water and warm summer nights working in his family’s restaurant and curling up together with books — medical textbooks for him and work-in-progress horror short stories for her — Percy and Sam had been inseparable. Eventually that friendship turned into something breathtakingly more, before it fell spectacularly apart.

When Percy returns to the lake for Sam’s mother’s funeral, their connection is as undeniable as it had always been. But until Percy can confront the decisions she made and the years she’s spent punishing herself for them, they’ll never know whether their love might be bigger than the biggest mistakes of their past.

Told over the course of six years and one weekend, Every Summer After is a big, sweeping nostalgic story of love and the people and choices that mark us forever.

Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 10, 2022
Source: Review copy from NetGalley

★★★¾

This is a sweet & summery story about friendship, love, mistakes, and forgiveness. It’s told in alternating time periods — during Percy and Sam’s teenage years when they met and fell in love, and then 12 years after the end of high school, when a huge mistake drove them apart.

I enjoyed seeing their relationship develop over the course of six summers, with endearing childhood moments and angsty teen drama. I do feel like the resolution was rushed in the end, and I wish there had been more focus on them as adults working through their conflict.

The setting was amazing. A cottage by the water and lazy summer days made me nostalgic for my childhood family holidays. Lovely! Would recommend to fans of second chance romances.

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

Vintage Gothic Romance: GHOSTWIND by Rachel Ann Payne


Publisher: Paperback Library
Release Date: November 1966

“A madman stalks Jane Corby at sinister Hampton Hill.”

Oh, Jane Corby! Just ever so slightly too dumb to live. It’s 1867, and Jane, a young New York City librarian, is hired to catalog the extensive library at Hampton Hill, a mansion in a remote area near Syracuse. Locals aren’t too keen on the house’s new owner, the reclusive Captain Ralf Hampton. Something is off about him, his fickle personality, and his entire situation, but Jane can’t help falling in love.

“You just be sure he’s not a wicked man with a key to your door.”

The first half of the book was a little slow, and I did not understand Jane’s insta-love for Ralf, considering she felt threatened by his abusive temperament much of the time. By the second half, the pacing picked up as Jane set out to uncover the mysteries of Hampton Hill and the creepy family vault in the cemetery. I enjoyed the twists and a bit of Civil War history woven into the story, plus, how wonderful that Jane is a librarian. Rating: Good.

GHOSTWIND was originally published in 1966 by Paperback Library. Rachel Ann Payne is a pen name used by John Jakes. — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪