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One Summer

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  3,413 ratings  ·  104 reviews
High school teacher Rachel Grant believed in her student Johnny Harris's innocence even after he was convicted of murdering his girlfriend. Now, 10 years later, he's out on parole and Rachel has taken him under her wing, even finding a job for him. It isn't long before their relationship changes and Rachel and Johnny become much more intimate. But when another murder occur...more
Paperback, 389 pages
Published June 1st 1993 by Dell (first published January 1st 1993)
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Lover Awakened by J.R. WardDark Lover by J.R. WardLover Eternal by J.R. WardDevil in Winter by Lisa KleypasLover Unbound by J.R. Ward
Best Alpha/Gamma Hero
206th out of 647 books — 507 voters
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King of the Bad Boys
70th out of 93 books — 28 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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MelissaB
Rachel Grant is a thirty-four year old teacher in a small town in Kentucky who causes a big stir when she allows Johnny Harris, a man who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend during their senior year of high school, to work in her hardware store on parole from prison. Rachel was Johnny’s English teacher in high school, where Johnny was the typical bad boy from the poor part of town but she was able to bond with him over a shared love of reading. Rachel does not believe Johnny killed the gir...more
Shawna
5 stars – Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense

If you’re a romance lover who enjoys emotionally moving stories that tug the heartstrings, then I highly recommend this fantastic read. Thank you Melissab for giving notice to this great book because it would have been a real shame to miss out on it!

Johnny Harris is the local hell raising bad boy of his small Kentucky hometown who comes from the wrong side of the tracks. His father is an abusive drunk, and he and his siblings are all considered no...more
Miss Kim
Sep 15, 2009 Miss Kim rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Recommended to Miss Kim by: Melissab
I loved this book! Thank you so much Melissab for bringing it my attention!

First I want to say that the age difference between the H&H is 5 years. He is 29, she is 34. I don’t consider that a May December romance in my opinion.

Johnny was unjustly convicted of murder 11 years ago. He’s just gotten out of prison and returned to his small home town in Kentucky. Johnny’s family was considered white trash. His father was an awful mean abusive drunk. He was the classic rebel teen that was always...more
jenjn79
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Glamdring

I bought this book years ago but for some reasons I never got around to read it. I'm glad I finally did.

When high school teacher meets bad boy...

"Then explain to me what trash is, Mother. I want to know. If being poor, or black, or drinking, or being abandoned by a parent, or spouse beating, or being divorced doesn't do it, I want to know what does."
Elisabeth spluttered, "I may not be able to describe it, but I know trash when I see trash, and what's more, so do you!"
Rachel felt herself trembli
...more
Carrie
This is a hard-to-find audio book well worth searching for. Thank you to my friends for loaning it to me!

Two things make this book a listen to remember, and a book I'll probably revisit in the future. First, the narration was incredibly good. Anna Fields/Kate Fleming was perhaps the most talented narrator for contemporary fiction in her time. Her voices, inflection, timing and delivery are simply perfect.

Secondly, the love story has a realistic feel (the ups and downs and hesitations feel real...more
Jane Stewart
The first 60% of the book was depressing, but the rest was very good romantic suspense and emotionally fulfilling.

STORY BRIEF:
Johnny and his siblings were raised by an abusive, hateful, low income father. Rachel was Johnny’s high school English teacher. She saw Johnny’s love of reading which he hid from others. She cared for him as a teacher. A girl Johnny slept with was killed. At age 19, Johnny was wrongly convicted of the murder and sent to jail. Ten years later he writes to Rachel asking her...more
Audrey
A decent story that was bogged down by the suspense side plot, this book was about 100 pages too long. Although this book had a lovely romance that featured good-girl-falls-for-bad-boy and older-woman-younger-man, I just couldn't pull myself past a general indifference to anything else happening in the book that DIDN'T feature the smokin' hot hero, Johnny Harris. Rachel Grant, the heroine, reminded me of the heroine from Lightning That Lingers in that her sheltered good girl (and somewhat insipi...more
Jemma Gutierrez
This book got me soaring. SOARING!
Oh. My. Gosh.


"You know what I used to dream about, in stir?" His voice was hoarse, the words low and fast and faintly guttural. "I used to dream about you. You were the only clean and good and decent thing left in my life, and I would dream about you. I used to dream about taking your clothes off piece by piece, and what you would look like naked, and how it would feel to fuck you really good. I used to dream about that in high school, too. In fact, I got off a...more
Yona
I was a little skeptical of this book because of the age gap between the characters, I prefer when the male is older than the female not the other way around, but in this case it didn't bother me at all.
I liked the story although there was a lot of little talk and information I really didn't care about.
Krista (One Love) (Critical)
I loved this book, despite its perfectly corny ending. (I kind of like corny endings, though, so I was pleased).

First of all, the beginning was great. It really hooked me in and made me want to keep reading, plus it was laced with my kind of humor. We really dive straight into the story without getting huge info-drops or long-winded background stories.

I ADORE Rachel. She is one of my favorite heroines. The way she stood up for Johnny made me want to give her a hug. She was strong, but also kin...more
Crista
LOVE a tortured hero....and they don't get much more tortured than Johnny. Raised by an abusive alcoholic father, Johnny and all his siblings were labeled as "no good" trash and were alienated by most of the affluent townspeople. Rachel was Johnny's teacher, 5 years older, and was one of the only people that ever believed in and cared about Johnny. Johnny was convicted of killing a classmate and sentenced to do time in prison. The story begins as Johnny is released from prison and returns home...more
Saly
Johnny was the town's ultimate bad-boy, he came from what people liked to call trash, had a mother who ran off, and a father who liked to drink and beat the crap out of him and his siblings. He did wild things and the girls loved him. When he was eighteen he was convicted for murder, on the basis of his reputation and because the girl was last seen with him. Everyone considered him guilty except Rachel, who was his English teacher. Rachel was only five years older than him and saw huge potential...more
Iraida Corral Bueno
Aug 29, 2014 Iraida Corral Bueno rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Romance readers that don't need a deep story
Nice story and characters, but I found it all happened in a rush. I enjoyed this book, but certainly I won't read it again.

May contain spoilers:
As many romance books, I had the feeling that Rachel and Johnny fell in love too fast. There was not any kind of development here. Suddenly, the always-correct-and-puritan Rachel decides to turn her back to her family and her neighbours and doesn't even care about his current boyfriend. I found it hard to believe.


Anyway, it's an enjoyable reading.
Jacqueline
Older woman story. The author made it fairly easy to get over any squick factor about her having been his high school English teacher. It was pretty well written, the story was interesting and moved pretty rapidly. I'm fond of both the ex-con and the older woman tropes so a double win for me.
ElaineY
REVIEW OF EBOOK & AUDIO; FEBRUARY 12, 2014
Narrator: Kate Fleming (Anna Fields)

This was an uneven story as far as enjoyment went so the 3 stars are a compromise.

The Narrator: The late Anna Fields was wonderful here. I liked her in the abridged version of Karen Rose's You Can't Hide so I was hopeful for an equally good performance here. I'm encouraged to try the Susan Elizabeth Phillips series, Chicago Stars and Wynette, Texas, both of which Fields narrated in their totality. I knew Fields was...more
Lea's Audiobooks Hensley
This dual review was originally written for AudioGals as part of the first edition of our Hunting for Hard-to-Find Audios feature. Please refer to that article to understand the purpose of our Hunt.

Includes sound samples

Brenda and Lea’s Dual Review of One Summer
Narrated by Anna Fields

One Summer features schoolteacher Rachel Grant, now in her mid-thirties, and former student Johnny Harris, five years younger, who has spent the last ten years imprisoned for a murder he didn’t commit. An extreme ba...more
Brenda Audiobooks Only
Narrated by Kate Fleming/Anna Fields - narration 5+*s - the narration easily bumps this book to 5*s.

Mini Review from AAR's Speaking of Audiobooks column - http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=6961

ETA: I don't think that the older woman / younger man scenario is what made this relationship seem taboo for many, a 5 year age difference is nothing, it was the "Teacher to Student" aspect that raised eyebrows.

“Reading Karen Robards’ One Summer was a distant but fond memory. When I discovered it was avail...more
Tammie
Jul 09, 2014 Tammie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of bad boys, romance with suspense elements, and classic romances
5.00 Stars - Romantic Suspense

Johnny Harris came from the wrong side of the tracks where he lived with an alcoholic father. As a sullen teen, with low self-esteem, he had a crush on his English teacher, Rachel Grant. Rachel was the one person who saw through his bad boy act. She's the only person who believed his innocence when he was accused of murder.

Johnny comes back to town, an ex-con with a chip on his shoulder. He's determined to find the real killer and to explore the feelings he still ha...more
Ying Yuvejwattana
Five Romantic Suspense Stars

I read this book many years ago in Thai version and I remember I quite like it. Reading it the second time in english version, I am impressed and love it even more. I am normally not a big fan of second chance love story. But this one is so good. It makes you believe that when you are soul mates, nothing is matter - not age gap and not social status. At the end, only you will know best who is right for you.
Johny and Rachel are so much different - he is younger, her ex...more
Brittany B.
One hell of a book. I was distracted while reading, so I don't know if I fully appreciated the last few chapters. I'll wait to review more thoroughly until I reread. Has a fantastic sexy dance scene that made me think of Dirty Dancing: (they dance to "be my baby" and the super hot bad boy's name is Johnny).
The book is centered around Rachel, a teacher who helps a former student rebuild his life upon his release from prison. Her former student, Johnny, served 10 years for a dubious murder convic...more
Tessamari ♥Many Waters...♥ ~ Sweet Spot Book Blog
3.75 Stars

First and foremost, this story is about second chances. That's the part I loved. The part where a woman takes a chance and hires a fresh-out-of-prison former student to work for her in her store. The two had to go through certain struggles to be with each other, but you knew they were exactly what each other needed. Their chemistry was great and I found myself rooting for them to work out. However, I did find myself skipping around and looking for more dialogue. I felt that the author...more
Rachel Whitley
WHIPLASH!!!
That's what I got from the ending of this book! It was a plot twist I never could have imagined!
Overall, I liked the characters, the pacing of the story was good, and the ending was most definitely creative! But the romance between Rachel and Johnny just never connected for me, thus the four-star rating. It just felt a bit rushed, or contrived, and it felt like there were gigantic timeskips in the development of their relationship. They're awkward and uncomfortable around each other....more
Lovetoread47
I enjoyed it. It was a high school crush for Johnny Harris. Rachel Grant was his high school English teacher. He was always in trouble; he and his family lived on the poor side of town; he and his siblings came to school with bruises. When Rachel asked if he was being abused at home, he laughed at the accusation and denied it. However, he was touched by the inquiry. Not one adult nor teacher had asked that. Only her. Slowy his crush turned into hot for teacher fantasies. While Johnny was having...more
Ann-marie
Rachel is a teacher who lives in a small town in Kentucky where everybody knows everyone. She has signed on to give Johnny(the man who was accused of rape and murder of his girlfriend ten years ago)a job and a place to live. So starts this romance-suspense novel. The whole town wants nothing to do with Johnny and Rachel has to constantly fight his battles that come up with the town folks. Johnny reveals right in the beginning that he has always have the hots for Rachel(who use to be his teacher)...more
Robin
Johnny Harris is home again after a 10-year stretch in Federal Prison for murder. Now he's out on parole and ready for the job Rachel Grant has offered him. Rachel was his High School English teacher who always believed her former student was innocent of murder. When the killer strikes again and all evidence points to Johnny, Rachel is the only person in town show believes him.

I first read this book 20 years ago and loved it. I enjoyed it just as much this time around. Johnny is my favorite kind...more
Ning
สนุกมาก
ความหวานเต็มเปี่ยม
.. ในช่วงของการฆาตกรรม + ฆาตกร ก็ซ่อนเงื่อนได้ดี
เกือบเดาไม่ถูก เพราะหลงไปกับความหวานของพระ-นาง
เสียตรงที่ พร่ำเยอะไปหน่อย
ตอนแรกนึกว่านอกเรื่องที่ไหนได้ ... ดันสำคัญตอนจบซะเนี่ย
อ่านผ่าน ๆ ไปแล้วด้วย ..ขี้เกียจอ่านซ้ำ
แทนนที่จะหักคะแนนตัวเอง หักหนังสือละกัน :)
4.5 ดาว ค่ะ



Sherry
One of my top ten.
Melinda

Now, why in the heck are publishers recording old hackneyed, dated mediocre books from the 80s while wonderful audiobooks like this are out of print and next to impossible to find?
Diana
Audiobook narrated by Anna Fields

I'm looking forward to this.
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Karen was born on 24 August 1954 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. She has been writing since she was a teenager. She sold her first short story, when was very young, and was published in the December 1973 Reader's Digest, but she cannot sold her first romance novel until 1981, when she was 24. After it, she dropped out of law school to pursue her writing career. Today, a regular on the New York Times...more
More about Karen Robards...
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“Thoroughly ruffled, Rachel turned her back on the source of her annoyance and started for the door. She could feel his gaze on her, and the notion that he was watching her made her suddenly self-conscious. In her teetering heels, she could not help but sway.
Just as she reached the door, he made an odd sound that caused her to glance back at him, startled.
“Rachel,” he said in what was scarcely more than a husky whisper, while his eyes drilled into hers, “don’t sleep with him. Sleep with me instead.”
Her breath caught for a moment as the words coiled around her like a seductive snake. Only by forcing herself to keep walking was she able to escape.”
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“Rachel, on the other hand, always had her nose in a book and her head in the clouds.” 2 likes
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