Review: Suddenly Last Summer by Sarah Morgan

Suddenly Last Summer
Suddenly Last Summer

 

Suddenly Last Summer
by Sarah Morgan
Series: O’Neil Brothers, Book 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by Harlequin HQN, 2014
E-book, Purchased
384 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: Fiery French chef Élise Philippe is having a seriously bad day. Not only have the opening day plans for her beloved café fallen apart, but Sean O’Neil is back in town, and looking more delectable than ever. Last summer, they shared an electrifying night together…and the memories have Élise really struggling to stick to her one-night-only rule! Her head knows that eventually Sean will be leaving, so all she can do is try to ignore her heart before she spontaneously combusts with lust.

Being back in Vermont—even temporarily—is surgeon Sean O’Neil’s worst nightmare. For Sean, returning home to the Snow Crystal Resort means being forced to confront the reasons and the guilt he feels about rejecting his family’s rural lifestyle years ago. But discovering that Élise has settled in Vermont and still sets his blood racing is a very welcome distraction! Thinking he can persuade her into a replay of last summer is tempting, but remembering how good they are together is going to make walking away more difficult than he could imagine…

More often than not, he saw a family as stifling, whereas in fact it was a cocoon. Not a straightjacket, but a protection. He’d always had that, it had always been there, even when he hadn’t noticed, or wanted it.

and

“What she means is you are truly terrible at cooking.” Élise poured coffee into mugs and set them on the table. “What? Why are you all looking at me?”

Brenna grinned. “Because you don’t know the meaning of the word tact.”

“I speak the truth so none of us is poisoned….”

Cheers

  • The O’Neil Brothers series celebrates family–the love, the anger, the belonging, the fear for our loved ones, the friendships. Sure, it’s idealized, but the family isn’t perfect either. They have problems to work out and don’t always do the best communicating.
  • I like Élise and Sean. Neither wants a relationship (for different reasons), but there’s mutual attraction (which they fight against at first). They get to know each other better and they become friends.
  • Élise and Sean must learn to trust each other and Élise especially must bury the ghosts of the past.
  • I like the humor and comradery found between so many of the characters.
  • I like the cooking Élise does in the book. Not too much detail, just enough. I wish I could cook some of her dishes!
  • A nice summer read.

Jeers

  • I was bored sometimes in the early part of the book. I think this is just me…I’m not reading much romance these days and even less contemporary romance.

And a few thoughts

  • The third book in the series–Maybe This Christmas–comes out on November 1 of this year. I look forward to this one since I love Snow Crystal in winter and at Christmas!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Review: Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan

sleigh-bells-in-the-snowSleigh Bells in the Snow
by Sarah Morgan
Series: O’Neil Brothers #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by Harlequin HQN, 2013
e-book, purchased
384 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: Once upon a time, Christmas was Kayla Green’s favorite time of year. Now all the workaholic wants for Christmas is for it to be over—as fast as possible! So when duty calls her to snowy Vermont to close a deal with a new client, Kayla is grateful for an excuse to avoid the holidays for another year. 

Jackson O’Neil left a thriving business behind to return home and salvage his family’s resort—it’s in his blood, and he can’t let it fail. Now that he’s got marketing whiz Kayla Green working with him to put Snow Crystal on the map, success is on the horizon. The fact they strike enough sparks off each other to power all the Christmas lights in Vermont is just an added bonus. 

Kayla might be an expert at her job, but she’s out of her depth with Jackson—he makes her crave the happy-ever-after she once dreamed of, and it’s terrifying. As the snowflakes continue to swirl, will the woman who doesn’t believe in the magic of Christmas finally fall under its spell?

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“I remember the first time I met the O’Neils. It was like being buried by an avalanche. There were twelve of them sitting in the kitchen the night Michael brought me home. Twelve not counting animals, all talking at once and not one of them stopping to listen to another, although somehow they seemed to manage to hear what was said anyway. I just wasn’t used to it. I’m guessing you’re not used to it, either. You’re used to order and shiny meeting rooms and suited executions. We’re nothing like your usual clients–I’m sure of that.”  –Elizabeth O’Neil

What I like about this book:

  • The O’Neil family reminded me of my husband’s family! He has four brothers and sisters and the first time I met them all was at Thanksgiving. I come from a small family (one brother and parents). We were also pretty quiet. When I sat down at the table to eat breakfast with them that first day they all spoke at once…they all reached for the same piece of toast…and I was completely charmed. Of course, like any family they aren’t perfect, but I fell in love with them just like I fell in love with my future husband!
  • The O’Neil family for all their warmth and charm aren’t perfect either!
  • Kayla figures she’s safe from Christmas by working for a client, but the O’Neil family make sure she finds Christmas again.
  • Kayla must discover what’s really important and have the courage to pursue it. Jackson has to learn he can’t take things for granted. They both have to learn how to communicate.
  • I love the Vermont setting. It’s the dream of winter and Christmas brought to life.
  • This time of year…the cold weather, the possibility of snow, bright blue skies, sunshine and cold brisk days, baking cookies, the anticipation of Christmas and spending it with my family.
  • I so enjoy reading Christmas and holiday books this time of year!

What I don’t like:

  • I admit the book is predictable and I’m never in any doubt how it will end. The book might not work as well in a different setting or for people who don’t enjoy holiday stories.

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My thoughts: 

I liked this book a lot. Because the O’Neil family reminded me so much of my husband’s family I enjoyed this book more, I think!

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Have you read this book? What did you think of it?