CALIFORNIA SUMMER by Anita Hughes / Romance / Released
Review by Colleen L Donnelly
The premise that launches “California Summer” is cleverly revealed in tangled bedsheets—tangled in a way Rosie, the heroine, had never seen them in ten years of living with Ben, the love of her life. I found myself talking about this plot introduction, the incredulity Rosie must have felt when Ben tried to dismiss and explain away his break from the norm. A comfortable norm Rosie had fallen into, trusted, and didn’t have to evolve or grow with like she did after she finally dredged the truth out of Ben.
True to Anita Hughes’ style, “California Summer” is written as a slice of life, an event that cuts deep rather than being spread thinly over time. Anita walks us in Rosie’s shock, her disbelief, the denial she prefers over change. Like any broken heart, Rosie has to be dragged at times the direction she needs to go, making me want to reach into the story and yank her forward, bop her on the head for being ridiculously stubborn, or shake her into what I as the reader could see that she couldn’t. But Rosie is young, she’s naïve, and she’s well written women’s fiction that roused reactions in me.
Romance promises a happily ever after that women’s and literary fiction aren’t bound to. Somehow Anita Hughes always accomplishes a satisfying ending, and has in this story of a young woman whose world and heart have been shattered, complicating it with other broken hearts, shallow people, a reappearance by Ben, and more advice than the heroine wants.
I am always blessed to review an Anita Hughes novel, and recommend California Summer’s journey to finding inner and outer success, the one step forward and two steps backward we have all experienced. I thank The Book Breeze blog site https://thebookbreeze.wordpress.com, Net Galley, and St. Martin’s Press for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. As an author, reader, critique partner, and part time copy editor, I appreciate the crux of a story, characters that are as colorful as the scenery, and dialogue that brings me into the hearts of those speaking. As with all of Anita Hughes’ books, “California Summer” satisfied me at every level.
Colleen L. Donnelly
Amazon #1 Bestselling Author of “Mine to Tell” http://www.colleenldonnelly.com/