Tuesday, June 2, 2020

The Summer Deal by Jill Shalvis: I Officially Want to Move to Wildstone + Giveaway!

The Summer Deal (Wildstone #5) by Jill Shalvis
Published: June 2nd, 2020
Publisher: William Morrow/HarperCollins Canada
# of pages: 384
Tropes: Friends-to-lovers, roommates, second chance, small-town
Heat level: Steamy
My rating: 5 stars
Acquired this book: From the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for honest consideration
Add to Goodreads
Buy: Amazon Canada || Amazon US || Indigo

Brynn Turner desperately wishes she had it together, but her personal life is like a ping-pong match that’s left her scared and hurt after so many attempts to get it right. In search of a place to lick her wounds and get a fresh start, she heads back home to Wildstone.

And then there’s Kinsey Davis, who after battling serious health issues her entire twenty-nine years of life, is tired of hoping for...well, anything. She's fierce, tough, and pretty much the opposite of Brynn except for one thing: they're half-sisters. Kinsey is keeping this bombshell, and a few others as well. Long time frenemies from summer camp, there’s no way she’s going to tell Brynn they’re related.

But then Brynn runs into Kinsey's lifelong best friend, Eli, renewing a childhood crush. He’s still easy-going and funny and sexy as hell. When he gets her to agree to a summer-time deal to trust him to do right by her, no matter what, she never dreams it’ll result in finding a piece of herself she didn’t even know was missing. She could have a sister, love, and a future―if she can only learn to let go of the past.

As the long days of summer wind down, the three of them must discover if forgiveness is enough to grasp the unconditional love that’s right in front of them.

I’m new to Jill Shalvis’s books, and this is my third of hers so far this year. My first - Almost Just Friends, the fourth book in the Wildstone series of standalones - was an excellent start both to her writing and to the year. I went to Shalvis’s Cedar Ridge next with Nobody But You, and now I’ve returned to Wildstone with The Summer Deal. It's safe to say I'm officially in love with Ms Shalvis’s books, particularly the Wildstone series.

The Summer Deal was about love in all its many messy forms. It was about friendship and family - the ones we’re born into and the ones we choose for ourselves.

I loved the characters in this book. Brynn was always different and was often alienated, but it didn’t stop her from having a big heart. Her moms helped with that; their unconditional love and support, while at times bordering on smothering, taught Brynn to have an open heart and mind. Kinsey masked her pain and fear with a prickly personality, and kept people at arm’s length for their own good since she knew it was only a matter of time before her kidney gave out. She’d been best friends with Eli forever, so she let him love her, along with Eli’s younger brother Max, but other than that, she kept her distance from people, thinking she was saving herself and others a lot of unnecessary pain. She had trouble keeping her distance from Deck, though. The big, sexy nurse and father of an adorable little boy started out as a ‘friend with benefits, minus the friends’, but quickly turned into much more. He was so kind and caring, and he saw beneath Kinsey's tough exterior and fell for her even though he knew she didn’t want any attachments. And finally, there was Eli; he was patient, understanding, easy-going, and incredibly sexy. These characters were perfectly imperfect, relatable, and so much fun to read about.

I wanted to move into the beach house with Eli, Max, Kinsey, Brynn, and their big goofy dog Mini. They were all misfits in a way, they’d all experienced hurt and trauma, but their shared history - even though it left a rift between the girls - created a connection that couldn’t be broken. Their dynamics made for an entertaining, frustrating, hilarious, heart wrenching, heartwarming read. I loved the sibling relationship between Eli and Max, the tentative, budding sibling relationship between Brynn and Kinsey, and I also really loved the platonic friendship between Eli and Kinsey. The book I read immediately before The Summer Deal (Always a Bridesmaid by Cindi Madsen) had a great male-female friendship, and it made me realize how those friendships are lacking in romance. Ms Shalvis did a fantastic job of showing Eli and Kinsey’s bond, their affection for each other, and the deep connection they shared.

The Summer Deal made me laugh out loud, tear up, and swoon. It was such a lovely story about unconditional love, healing and forgiving past hurts, and allowing yourself to love and be loved.

The publisher has generously allowed me to offer a print copy of The Summer Deal to one lucky Canadian or US reader. Good luck! 

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website, www.jillshalvis.com, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures. Follow Jill on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Have you read The Summer Deal? Have you read any of Jill Shalvis's other books? What are some of your favourite books with sibling relationships and/or found families?

*Please note I'm an Amazon affiliate, and some of the links in this review are affiliate links. All income made through affiliate sales goes directly back into maintaining Ramblings of a Daydreamer. Thank you for your support!  

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