Book Review: ‘Small Town Summer’ anthology collection

SmallTownSummer_Boxed-Set

Title: Small Town Summer

Published: 14th July 2015

Authors: Terri Oxburn / Heatherly Bell / Jamie Farrell / Liz Flaherty / Regina Kyle / Amy Lamont / Stefanie London / Megan Ryder / Rebecca Thomas

Synopsis:

From warm sunny days to long sultry nights, spend your summer falling in love in a small town! These nine contemporary romances featuring sassy heroines, sexy heroes, and lots of heartwarming romance make the perfect beach read. Whether your pleasure is sweet small town romance or smolderingly sexy love stories, there’s something in the Small Town Summer box set for everyone!

Small Town Summer includes novellas from nine BESTSELLING, AWARD WINNING, and RISING STAR authors:

AWAKENING ANNA, by Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Terri Osburn

ANYWHERE WITH YOU, by Heatherly Bell

MOONSHINE & MAGNOLIAS, by National Bestselling author Jamie Farrell

SUMMER IN STRINGTOWN PROPER, by Liz Flaherty

SUMMER STOCK, by Regina Kyle

SERENA’S SOLDIER, by Amy Lamont

A KISS IN KITE HARBOR, by Stefanie London

HER LAST SHOT, by Megan Ryder

SWEET HOME ALASKA, by Rebecca Thomas

Review:

I love anthologies as you can get so much with them. A lot of short stories that are perfect to read over the lunchtime break. This collection had a lot going for it, some I liked a bit more than others, but as a whole an enjoyable read. You will laugh, fall in love, and sigh throughout each of the journeys that the characters go on. Short but sweet comes to mind when thinking of this collection of entertaining summer reads.

AWAKENING ANNA (Terri Osburn) – Librarian Anna Robinson is fascinated by Max Marshall, the hot young writer occupying the bestseller lists, and the apartment above hers. In one night, Max awakens Anna to true sexual pleasure, but the new lovers quickly learn that one night is never enough.

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Well who wouldn’t want a hot young author to teach you a thing of two in the bedroom department? Anna is the local librarian and has had a bit of bad luck in the romance/bedroom department so when a hot young author Max starts to rent the apartment above hers her fantasies start to get away from her. Little does she know that every sexy thought she has had about him he has had about her in return. After accepting a dinner invitation, and a bit of encouragement from her sister to just go for it, she ends up having the best night of her life. But is one night ever going to be enough or can she expect more?

ANYWHERE WITH YOU (Heatherly Bell) – Welcome to Starlight Hill, California, where the wine flows freely and so does the gossip. Celebrity stylist Kailey Robbins wants a second chance with ex-military pilot Joe Hannigan, but can she convince him that this time she’ll settle down into small town life?

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

When feelings get too real and the chance for a HEA gets ever closer what does Kailey do, run every time. She ran from Joe because she felt that didn’t deserve him and that she would never fit in with his little town. When a news report shows that he was involved in a plane crash she does the only thing that makes sense, run right back to him. With Joe needing a helping hand after his accident it’s the perfect opportunity to integrate her back into his life where she wants to stay. All she is wanting is another chance, to not just prove to him she can stay where she is truly happy, but to stay for herself aswell.

MOONSHINE & MAGNOLIAS (Jamie Farrell) – Shelby’s a newly single mother learning how to be herself again. Zack’s the hot military man next door who loves a good adventure. And a chance encounter at a steamy summer softball game will challenge what they both thought they knew about their hearts, their lives, and their forevers.

Review: 5 out of 5 stars

When a hot military man moves next door to Shelby she all but drools every time she sees him. But she has sworn off men after her disaster of a marriage fell apart, she just wants to focus on her children. Zack is not looking to make this place his permanent home, just renovate the house while waiting for the call for his next line of duty. Another seven years in the army then he can retire early and travel the world. But there is just something about his neighbour that draws him to her and after a chance encounter at a softball game that leads her into the hospital with a broken arm everything changes. He can see that she needs help doing things around the house and is only too glad to help, a bit of guilt about the broken arm that’s what he keeps telling himself. It’s not the fact that he can’t get her out of his head with all the things he wants to do to her. A fun loving story about two people definitely not looking for love but finding that fate has other plans in mind.

SUMMER IN STRINGTOWN PROPER (Liz Flaherty) – Banker Molly Linden never expected to be alone and unemployed at fifty. Buying hunky carpenter Joe Rahilly’s saloon takes care of the employment situation, but she’s still alone. Or is she?

Review: 3 out of 5 stars

When Molly’s marriage fell apart at the age of fifty she wasn’t expecting to be able to find love again, she was just hoping to find something to do with the rest of her life. She had it all planned out and now she has to start over, but starting over turns out to be the best thing she could have ever done. When she gets to town for her aunts wedding she gets introduced to Joe, a good-looking man who makes her pulse race. Which is surprising for her as it has been so long since that has happened before. When an opportunity to buy out the old saloon of Joes she jumps for it. She just wants to be accepted into the town and just maybe into Joes heart aswell. I like that they found a way to true happiness with each other in a more natural way starting with a true friendship and slowly building to love from there.

SUMMMER STOCK (Regina Kyle) – Jax Donovan left his hometown—and high school sweetheart Georgi Petersen—for the bright lights of Broadway. Now he’s back, but can he convince the lovely librarian that their romance is worth rekindling, on stage and off?

Review: 5 out of 5 stars

When Georgi’s director for her amateur dramatics play falls ill she fears that this will be the end of the play and more to the point end of the theatre which is in need of funding or it will close. They need to find a director and anyone capable will do, well that is unless the person in question is her high school sweetheart who 12 years ago left her broken hearted when he broke up with her in a note attached to her car window so he could go off to the bright lights of Broadway. Needless to say that when he strolls into the theater she is less than thrilled to see him, especially when he mentions one of his reasons for coming back is to win back his girl. Jax knew he made a mistake in ending things the way he did it the moment he got to New York but by then the damage was done. 12 years on and he wants to do things right this time. He will start by just keeping things professional between them, helping show the leading man how to make the chemistry seem real when kissing his leading lady Georgi is all in a days work. At least it shows him that the chemistry between them is still burning hot. He needs her to believe that he wants her for forever this time and he will stop at nothing to get his girl back. The question is whether Georgi can trust him enough this time for she feels that her heart won’t survive it if he leaves again. A great story about doing things right the second time around.

SERENA’S SOLDIER (Amy Lamont) – Young nurse Serena Adessi can’t wait to be reunited with the soldier she’s loved for as long as she can remember. But when Mace Palmer sustains a career-ending injury while deployed, can she convince him he still has a future worth fighting for?

Review: 5 out of 5 stars

Serena first met Mace on Kismet beach and ever since has believed that he would be the man she would marry. After a summer romance their families moved away but they kept in touch, letters, texts, emails, spread over eight long years, so even though they were apart they always felt they were together. Serena went to college to be a nurse and Mace enlisted in the army. Both knew that when the time was right they would find their way back to each other, but after eight months of silence from Mace Serena was starting to worry, that is until she finds that he has come home. She all but runs the whole way to get to him but is not prepared for the welcome she gets. Mace tells her that their relationship was nothing more than a silly crush and that he would of thought she would have got the picture by now as he hasn’t contacted her in months. She doesn’t notice until later that when he spoke to her he kept himself behind the sofa and its only after speaking with his sister that she finds out he was involved in a road side bomb explosion damaging his leg. Mace has always wanted two things, to be a soldier and marry his girl Serena, they went hand in hand and now that he can’t be a soldier anymore he feels that he can’t be the man she deserves so pushes her away. He should have remembered her stubborn streak because now she knows his reasons are all rubbish she will do what ever it takes to get her Mace back, not this shell of a man in his place. I loved this story as it had so much feeling in it. You feel for Mace with what he is going through and know that the only way he is going to heal is if he really wants to and that’s the only way he will be able to back to get his girl, which is all he really wants.

A KISS IN KITE HARBOR (Stefanie London) – When plus size model, Shelby Jenkins, returns to her hometown she must face up to the bullies from her past, but the only person who can help her is the one who broke her heart. Small town advocate Nate Ritter is ready for redemption, but will he lose the woman of his dreams to the big city again?

Review: 5 out of 5 stars

The moment that Shelby could leave her hometown she never thought she would look back. She moved to New York and became a very successful plus sized model. But the torment she went through as a child just because she was a bit different has never really gone away. After her father has an accident leaving him in a few casts she comes home to help him not expecting to meet any of the people who hurt her feelings, especially not the boy who broke her heart. The boy in question though has grown into one hell of a man and he still has the power to make her go weak at the knees. When Nate moved to a new town he just wanted to fit in with the crowd at school, so when he is caught kissing Shelby (who he had wanted to kiss for weeks) he does the only thing he can think of by saying that she throw herself at him and why would he want to kiss fat Shelby. From then on the friendship was dead but now that she is back all he wants to do is amend his mistakes and start fresh as friends. The friends thing might be difficult though as the first time he sees her again is when he opens the door to the spare room at her fathers house and find her naked bar a pair of pants and none of his thoughts are one friendship but on what he wants to do to her. He is going to have his work cut out for him as Shelby has walls so high around her to protect her from getting hurt again. Now that they are older and hopefully wiser they might be able to have the relationship they should have had all those years ago.

HER LAST SHOT (Megan Ryder) – Girl next door Rachel Darling has been in love with local baseball hero, Bastien LeBeau, for her whole life. Now that he’s back in town, can she convince him that she’s the right woman for him or will he lose the best thing that might ever happen to him?

Review: 5 out of 5 stars

Rachel has had a crush of her best friends older brother, and local baseball player, for years and now that he is back home she can’t wait to try and get him. She just wants him to notice her as a woman and not as his younger sisters best friend. She thinks she might have her chance when he comes up to her at the bar saying she must be new as he doesn’t recongize her, that is until she turns round and he gets a good look and then all but runs away. He feels that he can have anything to do with her because of the fact that she is his sister’s friend. Rachel doesn’t take this well and all but slams his head into the pool table. This leads him to follow her outside where he over hears her telling his sister that she would be happy for just one night with him. He is beyond flattered but lets her down anyway. It seems to be that the moment Rachel decides to step back and focus on finding someone else to be with though that Bastien finally gets his head in the game and realizes that he does like her. He then goes out of his way to spend time with her to see where this could go. But when he gets a call to be a player again he has to think about what’s more important, the game where he is getting too old to play or the future with the girl who has always been waiting for him to open his eyes and truly see her?

SWEET HOME ALASKA (Rebecca Thomas) – When Lauren Kinkade abandons her Hollywood dreams to run the family business back in Alaska, she reaches out to a former schoolmate to help get things off the ground. Trey Briggs has his reasons for turning her down, but can he really resist the girl he’s always wanted?

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Lauren left her hometown of Alaska to move to Hollywood and become a big time movie star. Things don’t always seem to ho to plan though when needing to get a job to cover the bills while waiting for her big shot she gains experience as a caterer. She always knew she loved to cook from her grandmother having her own shop and now she has a new passion. When her grandmother passes away leaving her the shop she goes home to try and make a go of things. She lines herself up with an interview to be the caterer of the opening of a new hotel knowing this would be the best way to get back into the good graces of the town as the person interviewing her is something of a town hero. Trey was always a bit awkward in school and none more so when he crashes into someone after noticing Lauren stretch in the lunch hall. He always had a crush on her and from just seeing her name down as someone he has to interview he starts to feel all his insecurities again. After cancelling her appointment her goes for a run to clear his head, he just doesn’t expect to see Lauren while out running. After convincing him to give her a chance they get to see a lot more of each other. This is good, as both seem to be developing feelings for the other. Trey can’t believe his luck when she comes right out with it that she wants him. With the opening coming up and a job offer that could take her away, will they be able to survive what they have started. A great story about finding the happiness you always deserved.

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As a whole though I would give this collection 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this ARC from Give Me Books for my honest review.

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Filed under Reading Nook Blog Posts, Romance

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