My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.
SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER makes me wish yet again that the Snow Crystal resort in Vermont really existed. I would sit out on the deck of my lodge suite and just admire the view all day, especially if it included any or all of the O’Neil brothers. In this book, Sean O’Neil is so appealing as a romance hero, especially once he realizes how wrong he’d been about everything, including his grandfather, and how he can be a positive force in Elise’s life instead of just another man she has to push away. Elise was a decent heroine in her own right, although she did start to grate on me after a while with her over-the-top über-French drama about how it was all her fault about Walter and the inevitable delay in opening the new restaurant in the resort’s old boathouse. I think part of my reaction was because this is now the second romance I’ve read in the past year with a passionate French chef heroine named Elise. While that’s not this book’s fault, I am hoping very hard that this is not a new romance trend.
I also had a problem with one of my personal reading pet peeves: inconsistent condom use. There was a specific point where one was explicitly referenced the first time they had sex, but never again thereafter, despite several scenes where I would have expected there would have at least been a passing mention. Considering how adamant both the hero and heroine were about never settling down or having children, I was worried about the possibility of an unintended pregnancy throughout the rest of the book, so I was quite relieved when that did not happen.
Beyond those minor issues, Elise and Sean were a joy to read when they let themselves just enjoy the moment and be honest about their true emotions. I loved how he handled the fallout from their final Big Misunderstanding, and when they finally shared their feelings for one another, their HEA was worth every moment of earlier doubt. SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER is a worthy followup to the previous book in the O’Neil Brothers trilogy, and I’m so glad that there will be one more book in this series so we can see Tyler and Brenna get their own happy ending, too.