An Island Summer by Jenny Hale

EXCERPT: Walking over to the kitchen sink, she turned on the water. It spit and sputtered before letting out a stream. She turned it back off. “How am I supposed to be a chef in the middle of nowhere?” She laughed out loud now at the ridiculousness of her choices.

If she were being honest with herself, there were many more opportunities in New York. There were a handful of culinary schools in the city nearby and she could’ve researched grants or scholarships, but she’d come to Hatteras Island instead. What was she thinking, planning to build a new life here?

ABOUT ‘AN ISLAND SUMMER’: In the summer, everything feels possible… A heartwarming small-town romance about new beginnings, old secrets and how home is truly where the heart is. Fans of Susan Mallery, Pamela Kelley, and Mary Alice Monroe will fall head over heels for this romantic page-turner.

All that Meghan Gray has left of her beloved Pappy is his cottage on the edge of the shimmering Atlantic Ocean. Longing to feel close to her grandfather, she returns to the golden sands of Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks for the summer, clutching the manilla envelope he gifted her tightly in her hand.

On her first night on the sun-drenched island, she meets brooding Toby Meyers, a local businessman. She might feel lost without Pappy, but looking into Toby’s sparkling blue eyes feels like coming home.

The beach house where she spent her childhood is just how she remembers: a shingled bungalow with two rocking chairs on the porch and shutters on the windows. As Meghan strolls along the sand with Toby, breathing in the salty air, she realizes she is making new memories…

When Meghan opens the envelope, she finds a black-and-white photograph of someone she doesn’t recognize. If she can find out its meaning, and why Pappy gave it to her, she’ll unlock a secret that has been hidden for decades. The truth has the power to change everything Meghan and Toby thought they knew about their lives—and it will either bring them together, or break their hearts…

MY THOUGHTS: An Island Summer is a quick, light read about a young woman trying to find her place in the world after her career hopes are dashed. There’s some romance, and a little mystery involved.

Now, I have read a few of Jenny Hale’s books, and they have all been 4 – 5 star reads, but An Island Summer just didn’t work that same magic on me. I couldn’t connect with Meghan’s character – I felt absolutely nothing for her. She raised all sorts of questions for me (probably totally irrelevant to the storyline, but once they lodge themselves in my brain there’s no getting rid of them!), like if she and Tess have been doing the same job, why does Tess have savings and Meghan doesn’t, especially as she hasn’t spent the money on cooking courses? Her first day in her new job, she gets $200 in tips, so over the course of her six-day-week, she’d earn $1200 give or take, plus her base wage. She has no accommodation costs, only food and utilities – half of which would be covered by Tess – and fuel, so is she just bad at managing her money? Oh, yes, and no one is going to take a waitress and put her in a chef’s position. You got to work your way up. And cooking the same dish for a handful of people is vastly different to cooking for a large number of people all eating different things.

I loved Rupert, Toby’s grandfather, who lives in a care facility and who has dementia. When he meets Meghan, he thinks that she’s someone from his past, someone he once loved. This is a lovely story with an element of mystery as Meghan slowly pieces together Rupert’s story and makes a startling discovery that affects her own life.

And now I’m going to put my medical hat on. Rupert’s doctors talk about him withdrawing inwards and ‘indulging in his fantasies’, which made me a little cross. Rupert has Alzheimer’s. Most of the time he honestly believes he is twenty years old, and that’s the life he’s living. It’s not fantasy. To Rupert, it’s very real, and I don’t believe any doctor these days, when we know so much more about the ravages and effects of Alzheimer’s, would say that.

Although this was a disappointing read for me, I still love Jenny Hale’s writing and continue to look eagerly for her next title. I love the cover.

⭐⭐⭐.3

#AnIslandSummer #NetGalley

I: @jhaleauthor @bookouture

T: @jhaleauthor @Bookouture

#christmasread #contemporaryfiction #familydrama #mystery #romance

THE AUTHOR: Jenny Hale is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic contemporary fiction. Her novels Coming Home for Christmas and Movie Guide Epiphany Award Winner Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses are Hallmark Channel original movies. Her stories are chock-full of feel-good romance and overflowing with warm settings, great friends, and family.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of An Island Summer by Jenny Hale for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and Goodreads.com

Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbler. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

6 thoughts on “An Island Summer by Jenny Hale”

  1. Wonderful review, Sandy. I have this one coming up and can see where your frustrations come in. I might wait a bit before I pick it up. I am disappointed that it is not as good as her others, yes, I trust your judgement. 📚💖😊

    Liked by 1 person

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