Shawna's Reviews > One Reckless Summer

One Reckless Summer by Toni Blake
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5 stars – Contemporary Romance

One Reckless Summer is a very touching, sweet, and steamy contemporary romance that’s a perfect escapist read for a hot, lazy summer day, but it also has emotional depth and makes you think and feel.

Jenny Tolliver returns to her small hometown of Destiny, Ohio to spend a summer in the lakeshore cottage where she grew up to heal and regroup from a painful divorce that’s left her self-esteem and soul bruised and battered. Her ex-husband had an affair with Jenny’s 21-year-old teaching assistant at the school where they both worked as teachers, resulting in a crumbled marriage and her leaving the job she’s comfortable with. Her cheating “rat bastard” ex blames his affair with a “chippie” on the fact that Jenny’s too much of a good girl and just too nice to meet his needs in the bedroom. He even compares her to June Cleaver...yikes!

While staying the summer in Destiny, Jenny hopes to rediscover and reinvent herself while catching up with her childhood girlfriends. She’s tired of being the perfect, good girl and wants to prove, especially to herself, that there’s much more to her than that. She gave up her dream of being an astronomer to teach because her husband convinced her that it was foolish. Jenny’s nursing a broken heart and spirit, and she never expected to find everything she ever wanted and needed in town bad boy Mick Brody.

Mick Brody and his older brother come from the wrong side of the tracks, or lake in this particular town, and were Destiny’s notorious hellraisers. Mick and Jenny were in total opposite worlds as teenagers, but they shared a memorable moment of attraction that both were too scared to act on because of Jenny’s innocence and good girl reputation and Mick’s bad boy ways. Mick left Destiny to avoid following in his brother’s criminal footsteps and to turn his life around. Now he’s come home in secret to fulfill a promise to his brother that could cause a lot of trouble if discovered.

When Jenny crosses paths with Mick while trespassing on his family’s property across the lake to use their hill for stargazing, Mick makes her swear to keep his presence and secret from everyone in town, including her sheriff father. Of course, they experience an explosive attraction that ignites a wild, passionate, reckless affair that’s sure to complicate matters, and neither is prepared for it to evolve into a serious, deep relationship.

This is a very pleasant contemporary romance with lots of steamy sex scenes, and although there’s nothing too overtly erotic, it’s definitely hot! What’s really surprising, at least it was for me, is how heartwarming, moving, and thought provoking the story is. Jenny is a lovable heroine, and anyone who’s been hurt and left to pick up the pieces after a devastating break-up or divorce can relate to her. Mick comes from a poor, abusive background and has always been an outsider looking in, longing to be a part of Jenny’s world and to be accepted by the town. Anyone who’s ever been judged, teased, ridiculed, looked down on by the rich, popular crowd, and/or had to overcome abuse or hardships can relate to his struggles. I had tears in my eyes a few times, especially reading the scenes involving Mick and his brother. Jenny and Mick make a great couple, both trying to shed unfair stereotypes, her always feeling judged as the good girl and him never quite feeling good enough.

It’s an emotionally moving, tender, and steamy romance with great characters and a terrific story about looking beyond misconceptions, past mistakes, labels, and appearances, that things aren’t always black and white, and the healing power of forgiveness and love, even for yourself. It’s a delightful contemporary romance and a great summer read. I’m looking forward to the next book in this terrific new series. 5 stars!
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Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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Auntee Yay! You liked it! Great review--somehow I almost missed it.:)


Shawna Auntee wrote: "Yay! You liked it! Great review--somehow I almost missed it.:)"

Thanks! And big thanks to you because otherwise I might have overlooked this great read!

Here's what I found from Toni Blake's website about future books in the series:

"Take Me Home Tonight: Destiny Book 2 - 2010
"Destiny Book 3" (untitled) - TBA


Auntee I hate having to wait that long.:(


southpaw285 Fantastic review, Shawna! Another one for me to add to my wish list.


Lindsey Faber Shawna wrote: Here's what I found from Toni Blake's website about future books in the series:

"Take Me Home Tonight: Destiny Book 2 - 2010
"Destiny Book 3" (untitled) - TBA "


The newest info (which will be up on her website any day) is that TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT will be June 2010 and Book 3 will be February 2011. Definitely too long! ;)




Shawna Lindsey wrote: "The newest info (which will be up on her website any day) is that TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT will be June 2010 and Book 3 will be February 2011. Definitely too long!"

Thanks for the update Lindsey, and yes, waaay too long!


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Awesome review!


UniquelyMoi ... So I Can Shine... Great review, Shawna! I don't know why I didn't see this before.

This series has turned out to be one of my favorites.


Shawna Belated thanks, Eyre! *Another case of not receiving GR notices, I'm sure.*

Thanks, Dhes! I love this series!


UniquelyMoi ... So I Can Shine... Whisper Falls is my favorite, but they're all amazing.


message 11: by Lisa Kay (new) - added it

Lisa Kay Lovely review, Shawna! Sounds like a great summer read, even if it is S-T-E-A-M-Y! As long as I have plenty of lemonade, I should be alright.


UniquelyMoi ... So I Can Shine... It's wonderful, Lisa Kay. Steamy? No... burn up the pages hot is more like it.


Shawna Thanks, Lisa Kay! This is a wonderful series! And definitely steamy!

LOL, Dhes! True, true!


message 14: by Lisa Kay (new) - added it

Lisa Kay UniquelyMoi *~*Dhestiny*~* wrote: "It's wonderful, Lisa Kay. Steamy? No... burn up the pages hot is more like it."

Well, you know, Dhes, I was going to put H-O-T (it is easier to spell), but it has an "O" in it (sorry, Shawna, kind of an inside joke, since I've been known to drop mine on occasion, and even though Dhes claims to be blind-as-a-bat, she catches me!); plus, Shawna described it as "steamy" in her review. **sticks out tongue** :)


UniquelyMoi ... So I Can Shine... LOL!! You know, my great grandmother always made us do things for her because she "lost her eyesight" but one day she came walking across the street with her cane and noticed that the license plate frame on my car said Clippinger... the tiny FRAME, mind you.

Blind my arse.


Shawna LMAO, ladies! :)


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