Thursday, April 25, 2019

Review - - The Summer Retreat

The Summer Retreat
by Sheila Roberts
Moonlight Harbor - Book 3
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: April 23, 2019
Reviewed by PJ

Celeste Jones has plans for a perfect summer with her boyfriend (and hopefully soon-to-be fiancĂ©)—until he dumps her to be with the woman he’s had on the side for months. Heartbroken and furious, Celeste resolves to move on. When the going gets tough, the tough…okay, the not-so-tough go to the beach.

As soon as school lets out for the summer, she waves goodbye to her first-graders, packs up her bikini and heads for Moonlight Harbor, where she knows her big sister, Jenna, will receive her with open arms. Jenna could probably use some help at the Driftwood Inn, and Celeste is happy to do chores around the place in exchange for a relaxing summer escape. She just needs something—or someone—to distract her from her troubles.

Finding The One can be tricky, and Jenna is determined to make sure Celeste gets it right this time around. Not that Jenna’s an expert. She’s still trying to sort out her own love life. But if both sisters listen to their hearts, eventually they’re bound to discover that life—and love—is good at the beach.

My thoughts:

One of the things I most enjoy about Sheila Roberts' writing is how she creates a wonderful sense of community in her series. That community might be one of the reasons why The Summer Retreat left me feeling a bit like the new girl in town. You know, the one who doesn't know people's back stories or the inside jokes that have everyone chuckling? It's the third book in Roberts' Moonlight Harbor series and I haven't yet had time to read the first two. As Roberts' characters continue to evolve throughout the books in the series, I have a feeling I would have been less confused and had a greater appreciation for who and where the characters are in their journeys had I read the books in order. Which I will do soon and recommend readers new to the series do as well. 

I hope we continue to see more of Celeste, the primary focus of this book, as the series continues. She still has more growing to do and I'd enjoy seeing that play out over the course of the books. Her sister, Jenna, also has a storyline that continues to evolve and I'm very interested to see what happens next with the two men in her life. And, of course, there are other citizens of Moonlight Harbor still searching for their perfect mates and a "mean girl" who might turn out to be not so much mean as misunderstood.  

If you're looking for a meaty novel with complex characters and deep emotion, this book may not be your cup of tea. If, on the other hand, you're in the mood for an easy, breezy summer story with a town full of quirky characters, some laughs, a sisterly dynamic, a cranky mystery writer, and an adorable rescue dog, The Summer Retreat should be a fun addition to your summer reading list.