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One Summer

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,346 Ratings  ·  138 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. WardDevil in Winter by Lisa KleypasLover Eternal by J.R. WardLover Unbound by J.R. Ward
Best Alpha/Gamma Hero
208th out of 686 books — 582 voters
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King of the Bad Boys
47th out of 105 books — 53 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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
Miss Kim
Sep 15, 2009 Miss Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Kimberly Carrington-Fox
Lo comencé a leer sin pretensiones y ha sido una sorpresa muy agradable. Más en la reseña!
Karina Garcia
Apr 29, 2016 Karina Garcia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Primer libro que leo de Karen Robards y me ha impresionado muy bien.
Relato impecable, muy buena historia.
El protagonista te roba el corazón apenas comenzas la lectura.
Muy buen libro de suspense romantico.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jane Stewart
The first 60% of the book was depressing, but the rest was very good romantic suspense and emotionally fulfilling.

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
Jasha 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

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
This is a really good romance with suspense and lite paranormal. A wonderful book that sidesteps the pitfalls that could have mired it in the martyr or TSTL muck. Very well written with the ending very satisfying.

Johnny Harris is returning to his small hometown after being paroled for the murder of his high school girlfriend. The social lines are well drawn and enforced in this town and Johnny was nothing but white trash to the country club set. Rachel Grant, his high school English teacher, nev
Sep 14, 2011 Audrey rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
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
Krista (I remember you, Min) (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
Sep 08, 2015 Zairobe25 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es el segundo libro que leo de esta autora, me gusta mucho su narrativa, resulta muy entretenida, en ningun momento te aburre, por momentos queria saltarme parrafos pero no por aburrimiento, era por ansias de saber quien demonios era el asesino que le arruino la vida a Johnny, la parte romantica una vez que explota resulta muy dulce por todo lo que hace Johnny por Rachel. Un buen libro si te gusta el suspense/romance.

Durante toda la lectura me imagine asi a Johnny...

Y ya mas lueguito cuando se a
Sep 02, 2014 Yona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 26, 2015 Veronica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Erano secoli che non leggevo un libro di Karen Robards. Ho fatto male!
Questo romanzo mi ha presa completamente, la parte romance è molto coinvolgente ed emozionante, la parte suspense mi ha sorpresa.
Ammetto che non ci ero arrivata per niente a capire chi fosse l'assassino, se avessi dovuto scommettere dei soldi avrei perso miseramente.
La storia dell'ex galeotto Johnny e della maestra Rachel è scritta meravigliosamente, i personaggi sono ben descritti e delineati.
Superare i pettegolezzi e le m
Jan 10, 2015 Iraida rated it it was ok  ·  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.
The story of a couple that that is meant to be together despite their differences, whether those are the 5 year age difference, the fact that Rachel used to be Johnny's teacher, or the fact that she is an upstanding member of the community while he has just been released from a 10 year prison sentence for the murder of his high school girlfriend.

She has agreed to give him a job so he can get out on parole, but he is far from the young man she remembered, and not nearly as grateful as she would h
Mar 11, 2015 Kristiej rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a reread of a reread of a reread and I can keep going as I've lost count of the number of times I've read this book. It's in my top ten all time books. It's one of the books I simply HAD to have as an ebook so I could carry it with me always.
I'm having a hard time picking a rating for it. As an emotional and enjoyable read, there's no question it's even higher than 5 stars as I do believe it's my most reread book. I have absolutely no hesitation on recommending it to all readers who read
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
Jul 04, 2011 Saly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: older-woman
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
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.
Apr 27, 2016 Kari rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, 2016
One Summer is a book that I was hoping would grow on me as I read it. In the end, it ended up being a just OK read for me. I was torn because there were a few things that I didn't like. Rachel was Johnny's teacher 10 years before, so he was 17 to her 22. It's not unusual for a student to have a crush on his teacher, so that didn't bother me, especially since nothing was ever acted upon when he was a minor. What did bother me was the speed at which Rachel and Johnny fell in love after he got out ...more
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.
"One Summer" took another stab (pun intended) at the "ex-con released back into the small town" romance story. I admit to having a fondness for that storyline, but I find that most stories are, sadly, pretty similar. It's a small town. The townsfolk look down upon the hapless ex-con, who, invariably was innocent all along. Some woman takes pity on the guy, and they fall for each other despite the disapproval from the townsfolk. This story was that story... But, it was more too...

The novel examin
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
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
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 -

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
Jul 09, 2014 Tammie rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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Karen was born in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. She has been writing since she was very young, and was first published nationally in the December 1973 Reader's Digest. She sold her first romance novel, ISLAND FLAME, when she was 24. It was published by Leisure Books in 1981 and is still in print. After that, she dropped out of law school to pursue her writing career. Today she is a regular on the New ...more
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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.”
“She kept her nose in a book and her head in the clouds.” 6 likes
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