Georgia Bockhoven has written a sequel to the enjoyable The Beach House. Another Summer is equally enjoyable and the four couples whose stories are told in this latest work are as entertaining as those in the earlier book.
The Beach House is the centerpiece of this book. The house has existed for almost a century and has been owned by several couples. It has a legacy of love and family connected with it. The current owners rent it out for a month at a time each summer. The last summer, the owner met her new husband and three other couples found love. This summer, four more couples will find love.
May: Andrew Wells lives in the house next door to the Beach House and watches over it for the owners. He goes to a high school reunion hoping to see his old girlfriend, Cheryl. Andrew broke Cheryl’s heart many years ago, and he needs to explain to her why he did it. When he finds that she is divorced, he knows that this is his chance to win her back. When they meet, they discover that love is still there. Andrew promises to do anything or give Cheryl anything she needs, and Cheryl agrees to try. Both were engaging and passionate characters. Andrew has gained wisdom in the years since he left Cheryl, and has an inner peace. Cheryl is still angry with him, but still in love; she’s wary but willing to give things a try. Their story begins the book and finishes in August.
June: Kelly Anderson and Matt Landry are the couple for this month. Kelly Anderson is a lawyer enrolled in a class on the environment with Matt Landry. They hit it off immediately and things progess from there. Kelly has an epiphany during their relationship and realizes she’s not doing what she really aspires to do. Matt and Kelly were easily my favorite couple. Both are sincere and fun, and they fit together very well. There’s lots of sexual chemistry here, but I could have done with a little less preaching about environmentalism.
July: The flavors for the month for July are Ann and Craig Davis. The Davises go to the Beach House, with son Jeremy in tow, in hopes of healing their marriage. Ann hasn’t been the same since their baby daughter died, and Craig knows this will be his last effort before he calls it quits on the marriage – even though he still loves Ann and wants her back. Kelly and Matt might be my favorite couple, but I think this might have been my favorite story. There were so many sweet touches, most of them centering on Jeremy. He befriends an old man who has a special role in the Beach House’s history and a cat (which ends up becoming part of the family). Bockoven handled this sentimental story nicely without becoming too treacly. The one off note was when Ann finally decided to get better and just did so on her own.
August: Andrew and Cheryl’s story concludes here, bringing three teenage girls into the mix. The girls are disadvantaged kids whom Cheryl works with, and the month at the Beach House is supposed to open them to opportunities. It definitely does for one of the girls. Readers really get to see what kind of person Cheryl is here, while getting glimpses of Andrew through the rest of the stories. Cheryl is almost too nice and sweet. Andrew is just about perfect.
I did wish that Kelly and Matt’s story had been longer, but that was because I hated to see them go. This book was the perfect comfort read I hadn’t realized I’d been craving. This book is romance, but it’s also women’s fiction. There weren’t any romantic brooding looks, wistful glances or aching loins in the book, just characters to get to know and enjoy for a short time. Bockoven has an easy style to read, and she develops her characters as well as she can given that each couple has only about a quarter of the book. Spend a little time at the Beach House this winter, and you’ll wish it were summer, too.