by Holly Chamberlin

May 2004
ISBN: 0-7582-0145-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Kensington Publishing
Trade Paperback

Looking for that one ideal summer read? Then do yourself a favor and get your hands on Holly Chamberlinís Strapless release, The Summer of Us.

Three women that couldnít be more different decide to share a house together for the summer. Strangers from diverse backgrounds, they all share the hope for their retreat on Marthaís Vineyard to be the beginning of something new, something better. They might not have counted on finding best friends in their fellow housemates, but thatís what they get.

Gincy Gannon, Danielle Leers and Clare Wellman. Casual, flashy and classic dress. Looking for a fling, looking for Mr. Perfect and looking to get free from a husband to be. Margaritas, the beach, various dates, (mis)adventures and true friendship keep them and the reader entertained. One might start out identifying with the one woman most likely to resemble oneself. But already after only a few chapters one canít help but get involved with the lives of all three of them.

Stories about vanities, insecurities and dating problems of women on the verge of turning thirty can easily be found. The Summer of Us stands out. Maybe because of the setting, but probably more so because of the genuine and nice characters. I cared for them. I wanted for Gincy, Danielle and Clare to find happiness and cheered them on when they grabbed hold of it. And itís not all easy and simple. No happy ending is guaranteed. At least not the romance happily-ever-after sort of ending. Goals shift, eyes are opened and hidden strengths and courage are discovered.

Itís a beach read. A perfect one. It has enough minor catastrophes for laughs, insights for tears and romance for sighs. Three wonderful women in the hands of this talented author make one captivating and fun story to read. Donít miss it!

Reviewed in July 2004 by Kris Alice.

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