Sandy M's Reviews > The Summer of You

The Summer of You by Kate Noble
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's review
Jul 25, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: historical

Oh, heavens. This dilemma doesn’t happen to me very often. I’m a happy reviewer, cruising right along book after book, enjoying a lot of what I read. Then the unusual occurs. I come across a book that doesn’t work well for me for one reason or another. The biggest problem for me with this story? So slllllloooooow.

In fact, so slow that I have to say I was bored a lot during the first half of the book. We get a lot about the heroine’s plight since her brother took off for parts unknown and her father’s slide into oblivion. When Jason comes home, you’d think it would be a nice reunion, not having seen each other for years. Didn’t happen.

Life goes on as usual with their snide comments to one another and said sibling not wanting to face their father’s illness, nor help with the man’s daily care. He goes out and does his own thing once again as he did just after their mother’s death, with no thought to anyone but himself, leaving it all up to Jane, adding to her stress and disenchantment with her lot in life.

There’s also a lot of other side things that go on and I didn’t feel they added anything to the story at all. I kept waiting for the hero to show up during all of it, but it took chapters before he’s in the picture with the heroine. They needed to be together so much sooner.

The point of the story is to clear him of accusations of being the highwayman who’s terrorizing the area where Jane and her brother whisk their father to so he’s not seen during the season in London, thereby having to explain to friends his current state and, thus, causing embarrassment all around. But the mystery part of the story doesn’t come fully into focus until much later in the book.

Neighbors, friends, acquaintances, and anyone else around who’s nosey all stop in for one reason or another, causing Jane more problems, all on top of what her brother comes up with. And then by the time Jane and Byrne begin their investigation to clear his name, I actually didn’t care anymore. With so much going on, I had nothing invested in these two characters, and it’s too late to do anything about it to bring around a different reaction.

Once Bryne and Jane act on their attraction to each other, those scenes are the best in the book, but, once again, even as good as the sexual tension is between them and as long as it’s taken to get us to this point, there’s too many interruptions that keep them apart over and over again. That almost ruined the ultimate moment for me when Jane finally gives herself to him. I’m all for sexual tension, but when I’m strung out so long on secondary issues and characters, stringing out sexual tension loses steam and appeal.

I did enjoy Byrne’s character the most. He as well as his situation is interesting. Obviously he has more patience with Jane than I did. She does have a lot of responsibility due to her brother’s absence and she does it all efficiently. She even blackmails her brother when he returns so she can now get a little enjoyment out of life and that was the first spark that made me like her, but that faded until much later when she’s with Byrne.

Jason does eventually grow up a little bit, tries to take his responsibilities more seriously, but his effort is sort of half-assed and, like other things in the book, too late. But he does try. The highwayman is, of course, eventually caught, and that did come as a surprise, so that’s a rare plus from me in the whole scheme of things.

I’ve been assured by friends that there are other of Ms. Noble’s books I will like. I always give an author a second chance, so I’ll be hunting down one of those recommended stories as soon as I can.

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