Book/Author: Love on a Summer Night by Zoe York (2015)

Reviewer: Bethany

Age/Genre: Contemporary Romance

Preferred Reading Environment: On the beach!

Reading Accoutrements: Blanket, towels, sunscreen, and a cooler full of the beverage of your choice. And snacks!

It’s SUMMERTIME and I haven’t had an opportunity to get out and enjoy the weather as of yet (I’ve been stuck at work for what feels like forever x_x). So, I felt the need to find a book that would satisfy my summer craving. Love on a Summer Night even has “summer” in the title! And it’s a Romance!!! What could be better?

Fantasy novelist Faith Davidson, a widowed single mother, knows that it’s time to try to find a stable relationship again. She and her mother, also widowed around the same time as Faith – 3-4 years ago, make a good team as they raise Faith’s 4-year-old son; Faith writes the books and makes the money and her mother makes sure everybody eats. But recently, Faith has been feeling lonely. She just needs to find a man who will fit the new rules she has for her future relationships: namely, that he is stable, dependable, and not a risk taker – AKA the exact opposite of her late husband.

One night, while she works late at the diner with WiFi in Pine Harbour, she meets Zander Minelli: “…exactly the wrong kind of man.” Zander brings Faith her pie from the self-serve counter, and when he asks if she needs anything else, she makes a flippant comment asking if he knows anything about katanas. Several hours later, Zander, a full-time soldier (they don’t get specific about his job title) on leave to visit his family, is fascinated by the novelist sitting across from him. Faith, on the other hand, is sure that Zander is too dark and dangerous for her – and he knows a suspicious amount about sawed off shotguns. Faith is determined to avoid Zander, but the two keep bumping into each other all over the peninsula.

Outwardly, Faith is struggling with her grief and trying to keep her son safe. Inwardly, Faith is struggling with her own adventurous nature and her need to be responsible (read: safe and dependable) for her son. She takes this inner turmoil to some interesting extremes, but – and this is the first time I’m saying this on the blog you guys, so mark the day in history – the internal conflict in this book seemed pretty reasonable and realistic. York did a great job of taking Faith’s thoughts just far enough to create conflict without going overboard. 

Zander, on the other hand, seems to go from Playboy-living-the-dream-single-life to “oh man I want forever and a baby with that lady” in about 3.6 seconds flat. Okay, okay, you’re right. That was an exaggeration. It takes him a couple of days to decide that he wants more than just the One-Night-Stand he originally propositioned her for. But then he goes all in on a long-distance relationship, potentially moving in together, and thinking about marriage. While we do get some of his inner dialogue, Zander’s change of heart seemed a bit sudden to me…But then, that tends to happen in romance novels.

The book takes place on the eastern shores of Lake Huron in Canada, which made for no small amount of confusion when I first started this book. Some of the things the officers and military discuss in the story, specifically laws and military actions, are not accurate to the United States (because we have different governments). I’m not saying one is better than the other, I just missed the fact that this book takes place in a different country (it’s the fourth book in the series – oops! Started in the middle! – so that’s probably how I missed it) and I was confused for a moment. When the characters started talking about massive raids on civilian farms that resulted in civilian casualties (which really has nothing to do with the plot of this book, but I gathered that it might be prominent in others in the series), I thought the plot was going to be twistier. But these events actually reflect real-life Canada, plus we went back to being in Romance-land.

Other than the brief confusion I had about the setting, this book was a pretty straightforward romantic read. I was a little disappointed that some major plot points of the book happened in deep winter in Canada (because brrrrr), but that’s nothing a little time in the summer sun couldn’t cure…if I can ever get a day off work!

What are your favorite summer reads? Let me know in the comments!


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