Former Marine Gabriel St. James is an award winning photojournalist, not a wedding photographer. If the groom was not a former comrade, he would have never agreed to this saccharine assignment. Shelter Bay, Oregon is a scenic spot, and Gabe will enjoy taking in the local scenery before heading to the next state in his current project. Some of the local women are visually stunning as well, and Gabe has a momentary wish he were not just passing through.
Veterinarian Charity Tiernan may not have grown up in Shelter Bay but she has put down roots. Her practice is thriving, and her no-kill shelter is full to the brim with homeless pets. She has a gift for putting people and pets together, and residents have learned to be wary when she gets that gleam in her eye.
Rescuing an abandoned dog while on a photo shoot, Gabe finds himself at Charity’s doorstep. Convinced that he has no room in his life for a pet or romance, Gabe only agrees to stick around long enough to make sure that the little guy is going to be OK.
Shelter Bay has other ideas. As the townspeople draw Gabe further and further into their lives, he sees all his plans drifting away. Will he be able to put away the past and begin again with Charity? Only time will tell.
One Summer begins with a wedding, and carries the theme of belonging through the novel. Charity has found her place in the community and wants others to have that same security. Her work as a vet, as well as the hours she spends at the shelter and a summer camp for foster children, demonstrate her commitment. Gabe has managed to limit his commitments to his work for so long that he doesn’t even recognize how easily he has become attached to Shelter Bay.
Author JoAnn Ross has crafted another fine book in the Shelter Bay series. It can easily stand alone, but will beckon readers to catch up with the residents before the next book arrives in January.