Wow. I thought this was just going to be a bit of fluff based on the publishing imprint (Carina) and the title. But no. It’s almost a saga. There are juicy family secrets, tensions between siblings, eccentric writers, hidden woodland hideouts, varied buildings on the family estate, and the sudden appearance of an assistant, an envelope, and a diary.
The Last Days of Summer explores deeper issues, too. I especially loved the discussion of the blurred line between truth and fiction — and the ways it can help or hurt a relationship. Pembroke also broaches the topics of forgiveness, honesty, and loyalty.
My favorite character had to be carefree Caroline, though she was followed closely by her older sister, main character Saskia. I was enamored by their dad and grandfather… their warmth came right through the pages.
Pembroke really showed her talent for weaving a complicated tale that reads easily. From the arguments to the embraces, the clothes-horse auntie to the raggedy writer, this story had threads of consistency throughout. Pairs of characters on benches, the office, the woods… Every repeated instance kept the storyline tight and moving forward. Brava!
I sort of want to keep talking and writing about this book, but I don’t want to end up giving away spoilers… so I’ll end here! Don’t miss this excellent read.
Molly is the baby of the family, and her siblings always took her for a flake. So the year she finally moved out and got a job in London on her own merit was supposed to be the year of her dreams.
Instead, Molly spent the year thinking about family friend Jake, and the kiss he shared with her last New Year’s Eve. Jake spent the year thinking about it too.
It was so much fun to watch Molly and Jake dance around the kiss they shared the year before. Sophie Pembroke wrote in the perfect amount of flirting, holding back, candor, humor, and misunderstanding.
This was a lovely story around Christmas time… Joyful, uplifting, romantic, full of family love, and ending happily ever after. 🎁🍷🎄❄️
The nice thing about most romance novels is there’s a happily-ever-after…predictable, but appreciation-worthy.
The nice thing about Summer of Love is the unpredictable happily-ever after. Lily and her boyfriend have ups and downs, believable and authentic. And by the second to the last chapter I still wasn’t sure what was to become of Lily’s love life. And even though it was unexpected, it was happy and quite satisfying.
Sophie Pembroke wrote a terrific friendship sub-plot between Lily and Cora. They interacted like true best friends: with exasperation and candor, assertiveness and love. I really enjoyed seeing them support each others’ dreams, and encourage each other to be honest with themselves.
The guys in the story were loveable and handsome Everymen. They treated women with respect as far as they knew how, and they were honest about their feelings without being far-fetched.
Summer of Love is a great beach read or relax-after-a-long-day read. I love my British chick lit, especially when it ends with true love and a big smooch.
Well, I have never met a sweeter hero! Nate is the gardener, sure, but he’s also at innkeeper Carrie’s beck and call when her inheritance – The Avalon – endures some hilarious emergencies. He is just determined to do right by Carrie and her grandmother’s legacy, even if Carrie doesn’t appreciate him.
This guy figures out how to get exotic purple roses the day before a wedding! He takes care of the drunk and hungover stag party friends, the elderly friends of the inn, the gardens, and most importantly, Carrie. He doesn’t want anything in return, either. Well, he WANTS, he just doesn’t EXPECT. 🙂
Carrie is a workaholic, out trying to prove she can do anything, do it herself, and do it well. She can, of course…. but the handsome gardener decides to help. And that, my friends, is the start of something beautiful… Funny, crazy, nostalgic, and beautiful.