Title: Summer Burns
Author: Candice Gilmer
My Rating: A-
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Celestial Springs #1
Main Characters: Summer and Matthew
Release Date: July 2015
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy
Story Overview:A Barrum, KS Contemporary Romance
The last thing military widow Summer Bettes wants in her life is a new man. Correction, a new military man, though they're all over Barrum, Kansas.
She’s convinced herself she works hard enough between taking care of her daughter, trying to maintain control of her asthma, and styling hair in the salon her mother owns that she doesn’t need to add a man into the mix.
When Matthew Hennessey walks into her life--or rather, back into her life, she starts to question everything.
Her husband's rival on the wrestling mat in high school, Hennessey never forgot Summer. She always held a special place in his heart.
So after serving with her husband overseas, it was only right that he pay his respects to the widow when he came back state-side. He only wants to do right by her.
Unfortunately his desires are eclipsing his logic, and doing right by Summer is harder than he thought.
This book is the first in a new contemporary series and I think I'm going to like this one. Celestial Springs is the name of these three girls' mother. She is a hippie type (I know, I can hear how shocked you are about that after hearing her name.) She owns a beauty salon in Kansas where her three girls work and live with her. The girls are Summer, Autumn, and Winter.
This story (if you hadn't guessed from the title of the book) belongs to Summer. Summer married her high school sweetheart and then he joined the Army...something she never liked, because even when they were married, she spent a lot of time alone and away from family. Three years ago he died in Iraq. So, since then she's lived and worked in her hometown raising her now 6 yo daughter.
Matthew served with Jake in the Army and was there the day he died. But Matthew is also from this small KS town and knew Summer in high school and has always been intrigued by her. So when he comes back to KS, he has to see Summer...both because he promised Jake and because he simply wants to see her and make sure she's doing okay.
I truly just liked this story. Because I spent 20 years as a military spouse, I can completely understand and relate to Summer's issues with becoming involved with another military man. While they drive her nuts, she loves her family. If she falls for another guy in the military she'll have to leave all that behind to go live somewhere else...and most of that living will be as a single mom because your spouse is gone all the time...whether it's deployments or training. Military spouses are single parents who then have to adjust their lives for a few months to accommodate someone else living with them temporarily. It's so not an easy life...and just as soon as you get it all under control, you up and move again. So, yeah, I could feel for her and understood why she didn't want to get involved with Matthew.
But Matthew...yeah, how could she not fall for him? He's a great guy and watching him interact with her daughter was priceless. Every single time those scenes left me with a smile on my face. Flat out...Matthew and Summer were just good together. I did love that he has a developing relationship with Summer AND her daughter...it's a slow build up...at least for the two MC's. For Summer's daughter, she fell in love with him at first smell (yeah, I loved that little detail too.)
I'll give you a warning though. This book is different. It alternates POV between Matthew and Summer (which I love it when authors do that.) BUT Candice Gilmer did something I've never seen before. When the story was in Summer's head, it was written in 1st person POV. When it was in Matthew's head, it was written in 3rd person POV. I'll admit that was a bit jarring at first, but I really got to where I liked that. As a female reading the story, somehow it began to feel right. But it definitely took a few chapters to adjust to that.
And it does set up an interesting series. Next up is Autumn's book. Autumn and Summer do NOT get along. As a result, I didn't really like Autumn's character all that much in this one, so it will be interesting to see how Candice Gilmer wins me over with her story. Don't worry...I have no doubt it will happen, but it's going to take some convincing.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.