Jennifer's Reviews > A Summer to Remember

A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh
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Re-read in January 2016

5 Stars

One of my goals in 2016 is to re-visit some of my favorite books and review them for the blog. I know that I am a very different reader than I was when I originally read these books and I am intrigued to see whether they hold up. I am also going to use re-reads to help me get through a reading slump rather than just slogging through books that I am not interested in.

A Summer to Remember focuses on Lauren Edgeworth whose life was turned upside down when she was jilted at the altar during the events of One Night for Love. But, a chance meeting with the scandalous Kit Butler provides her with an opportunity she can't pass up. Kit has lived in exile from his family for years and is finally being summoned home. He decides that, in order to fully be embraced by his family again, he needs a fiancee, a perfectly respectable fiancee. So, Lauren and Kit hatch a scheme where she will pretend to be his betrothed for the summer in exchange for him providing her with one last adventure before she begins her new independent and proper existence.

The strength of this book is the character development and the overarching theme of freedom. Readers get to see both Lauren and Kit learn more about themselves and each other. Lauren has spent much of her life trying to be the perfect lady for reasons that stem from her mother's abandonment of her as a child and then being jilted at the altar. Her experience with Kit allows her break free and finally find happiness on her own terms.

Kit, on the outside, acts like the typical Regency rake, but, as expected, there is so much more to him. He feels major guilt over his younger brother's war injuries and the fact that he never got to say goodbye to his older brother. His facade hides deep pain, but Lauren is the perfect person to sooth those wounds and help heal the rift between Kit and his family.

Pretend relationships are always an entertaining plot point for me especially in historical romance. They allow for so much character growth and provide two strangers (usually) the opportunity to be forced into proximity enough to fall in love despite their best efforts to avoid such a scenario. This book works because of Lauren and Kit as characters and as a couple. They meet in London and immediately have a connection though it takes time for it to truly develop. I loved the way that Balogh depicted them growing as friends and then eventually moving into love all in a smooth, gentle manner.

This book is considered to be a prequel for Mary Balogh's famous Bedwyn Family saga. The Bedwyns are introduced in this book and make such an impression that it was obvious they would be getting their own stories. If Lauren and Kit weren't such strong characters, I think the Bedwyns could have easily stolen the entire book. There are also other interesting side characters who will later get their happy endings, in particular Kit's war-injured brother, Sydnam (Simply Love) and Lauren's widowed cousin, Gwen (The Proposal).

There is so much more I could say about why I love A Summer to Remember, but I think it really needs to be experienced for itself. Mary Balogh is an expert at gentle, character-driven romances that know how to make a reader feel the whole gamut of emotions. I am glad that I re-read this book and am happy that it is just as wonderful as I remembered it to be.

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Quotes Jennifer Liked

Mary Balogh
“I am free, you see," she said, "to love or to withhold love. Love and dependence need no longer be the same thing to me. I am free to love. That is why I love you, and it is the way I love you.”
Mary Balogh, A Summer to Remember

Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 24, 2009 – Shelved
January 10, 2011 – Shelved as: regency-england
March 2, 2011 – Shelved as: favorite-heroes
March 21, 2011 – Shelved as: favorite-heroines
January 30, 2014 – Shelved as: historical-romance
April 30, 2014 – Shelved as: aar-top-romances
November 12, 2014 – Shelved as: aar-annual-winners
December 23, 2015 – Shelved as: family
December 23, 2015 – Shelved as: pretend-relationship
December 23, 2015 – Shelved as: rake-rogue-hero
Started Reading
January 28, 2016 – Finished Reading
January 29, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016-reads
January 29, 2016 – Shelved as: best-reads-of-2016
January 29, 2016 – Shelved as: jilted-heroine
January 29, 2016 – Shelved as: opposites-attract
February 12, 2016 – Shelved as: favorite-books
February 12, 2016 – Shelved as: reviewed-on-blog
February 12, 2016 – Shelved as: tearjerker
April 13, 2016 – Shelved as: print-book

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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message 1: by Desi (new) - added it

Desi i just reread it, it holds up beautifully and is so much better than much that is on offer today

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