Series: Wildstone #5
Published by William Morrow on June 2, 2020
Source: the publisher
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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 she’s keeping more than one bombshell of a secret from Brynn -- her long-time frenemy.
But then Brynn runs into Kinsey's best friend, Eli, renewing her childhood crush. The good news: he’s still easy-going and funny and sexy as hell.
The bad news: 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 real connections, possibly 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 received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Brynn Turner and Kinsey Davis have known each other since they were little kids. Their relationship has always been contentious and volatile at best. The girls attended the same summer camp year after year, and they never got along…then one summer, Kinsey stopped coming to camp. That’s when summer camp became fun for Brynn because there was no more bullying from Kinsey.
Now their paths have crossed again, years later. They become reluctant roommates, sharing a house with brothers Eli and Max. Eli has been Kinsey’s best friend for her entire life. Max is Eli’s brother. This is the story about how they all learned to get along and love one another as family.
I’m leaving a lot out because I don’t want to be spoilery, but you should know that I loved The Summer Deal. Jill Shalvis does what I completely expected her to go: create a cast of characters that I love, that I wish I knew in real life, that I ended up falling completely for even though Kinsey does her very best to be unlikable. The story features the evolving relationship between Brynn and Kinsey in a way that moves forward from the present, but also includes snippets from both girls’ journals since the year they first met. This way, I was able to see that living together and moving on from their difficult past was something they were working on and I was able to see exactly how and why things were so hard for them to get along as children. I didn’t really love their path to reconciliation and friendship, because there was enough push-and-pull and secrecy to make it feel a little stressful. BUT I appreciate that it must have been hard for them and I like the way it all ended. Truthfully, I still don’t really know if I really like Kinsey all that much but I appreciate where they ended up.
Both girls have romances. Brynn’s romance is sweet in that her love interest is interesting and genuinely fantastic, and he’s a guy that has crushed on her for years. Kinsey’s romance is sweet in that her love interest must be the most patient man in the entire world. He sees the best in her even when she isn’t being nice to him at all. The evolution of Kinsey’s romantic relationship was as chaotic as her relationship with Brynn, to be honest. But both guys are pretty irresistible, which is another thing I love about every Jill Shalvis book. I love the way the romances ended up.
There is humor too. And a dog! And sunshine and water sports and great banter. I inhaled this book here at my house, but I had serious beach and poolside vibes while I was reading! I completely recommend taking this one outside or on vacation if you can. This book is technically the fifth book in the Wildstone Series, but it reads perfectly fine as a standalone.