Just for the Summer
Grade : A-

I loved Abby Jimenez' Yours Truly and was excited to read her latest, Just for the Summer. This story is a lovely, sharp summer romance and I'm happy to recommend it!

Justin and Emma each have a big problem: Both are cursed. Every time either of them goes on a first date with someone, it not only doesn't work out but the next person that person dates turns out to be their soulmate. Not only are both Justin and Emma very very single, people want to date them so that they may next, once they've dumped Justin or Emma, find their true love. Justin posts about his dilemma on Reddit and Emma sends him a DM that says the same damn thing is happening to her. They decide to date each other to see if it will break the curse. Their romance is just wonderful and Jimenez tells her story with care and talent.

Emma is a traveling nurse currently working in Utah. She and her best friend Maddie, who is also a nurse, spend six weeks in each location they choose. Justin is a software engineer who builds websites and works remotely. Justin asks Emma if she could choose Minnesota for her next nursing location. Emma and Maddy find a cottage to rent for the summer on Lake Minnetonka, a place only reachable by boat, and they begin working at a hospital in Minneapolis. Emma and Justin begin to spend time together. On their first date Justin takes her to visit a friend with kittens for them to play with followed by a delicious dinner at a family café. Readers, I was SOLD on Justin.

Justin and Emma both have tough issues that they face together and help each other with including abandonment and grief. Emma was abandoned when she was young by her mother who suffers with mental health issues. When Emma’s mother shows up and causes problems for Emma it’s sad and the way it’s portrayed felt very real. Meanwhile Justin is the guardian of his three younger siblings (I don’t want to reveal spoilers of how this happened). As Emma gets to know Justin she also becomes close to his family and dog.

The second half of the book focused on Emma’s growth and journey with the help of Justin, Maddie and therapy. I loved Maddie and think she is one of the best book friends I’ve seen. She is there for Emma through thick and thin, with words of wisdom and support plus she’s hilarious.

I loved this book but it's not without its flaws. The ending felt a little rushed and I wanted to see more of Emma and Justin together. That said, I love stories with found family and it was special to see cameos of characters from Yours Truly and Part of Your World.

The cover is pretty with its bright colors, cute couple and dog but the book really isn't a light summer romcom. It’s got depth - Jimenez tackles tough issues and handles them with great care making this story heartfelt and meaningful and masterfully done. It gets a DIK from me!

Reviewed by Kayne Spooner
Grade : A-

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : April 3, 2024

Publication Date: 04/2024

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Kayne Spooner

Kayne Spooner is a retired science teacher, dog owner, and proud grandma who lives in beautiful Colorado. While she's an avid reader of all genres, romances have always swept her off her feet. Kayne gravitates toward stories with humor, swoon-worthy love interests, and memorable furry sidekicks, although really, if there's a happy ever after, she's here for it! She loves sharing her passion for books with the romance community and connecting with fellow readers. https://www.instagram.com/kspoonerfish/.
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