Guest Reviewed by Ami
Title: Suddenly Last Summer
Author: Sarah Morgan
Series: O’Neil Brothers #2
Hero/Heroine: Élise Philippe/Sean O’Neil
Genre: M/F Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 Pages
Publisher: Harlequin (HQN)
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Available at: Harlequin, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance Ebooks and Kobo
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Fiery French chef Élise Philippe is having a seriously bad day. Not only have the opening day plans for her beloved café fallen apart, but Sean O’Neil is back in town, and looking more delectable than ever. Last summer, they shared an electrifying night together…and the memories have Élise really struggling to stick to her one-night-only rule! Her head knows that eventually Sean will be leaving, so all she can do is try to ignore her heart before she spontaneously combusts with lust.
Being back in Vermont—even temporarily—is surgeon Sean O’Neil’s worst nightmare. For Sean, returning home to the Snow Crystal Resort means being forced to confront the reasons and the guilt he feels about rejecting his family’s rural lifestyle years ago. But discovering that Élise has settled in Vermont and still sets his blood racing is a very welcome distraction! Thinking he can persuade her into a replay of last summer is tempting, but remembering how good they are together is going to make walking away more difficult than he could imagine…
Suddenly Last Summer brings together Sean O’Neil, the orthopedic surgeon who has been staying away from Snow Crystal Resort, and French chef, Élise Philippe, who has been working there. They had a previous hot encounter last summer (which, sadly, we never get to read) and apparently the attraction is still there. However, Sean thinks that being in love and in a relationship means to sacrifice dreams – and after what happened with his father, he doesn’t want to experience the same thing. Élise has been burned out by a relationship in the past. Both are convinced that love is not on the plate for them.
I admit that it took me awhile to warm up to the characters, especially Élise. She feels like too much drama, and I am not familiar with a hot-tempered heroine in my romance. I think Sean’s personal development is better explored. After reading book #1 (and as learned via conversation between Jackson and his grandfather), I have an understanding about the dead father – and knowing that Sean is close to his father, I can understand why Sean is determined not be “trapped” the same way.
Élise though … I had issues connecting with her. I can sense by the secret of her past that she keeps away from Sean. However, seeing that she can easily pass her love to other O’Neil family members and her loyalty to Jackson, I’m a bit frustrated with her constant attitude of pushing Sean away.
The final act (about 1/3rd of the story) also gave me a bit of whiplash. I think the whole pushing away that both Sean and Élise do to each other, in addition to their unwillingness to bend, makes me want to pull my hair out be the roots. This includes the sudden decision that Élise makes before we reach the final chapter. I guess I am just not familiar with romance where BOTH the hero and heroine seem to be so persistent about not being in relationship. It makes me slightly second-guess the happy ending, since both of them are just so stubborn.
But overall, it is still quite an entertaining read. I like reading about Sean being “the local hero.” I like Élise’s passion to help Snow Crystal Resort with the restaurant. I guess, with Sean’s tenacity and Élise’s temper, one thing is for sure, their relationship will never get boring. Two words: outdoor sex (LOL).
Overall Impression: I liked it
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*