I am sorry this wasn’t out earlier in the day today. When I first started reading the book for this tour, there was a glitch with the version I had making it very difficult to read. Once that was worked out, I finished the book on time, but had not had much time to sit down and write my review and prepare this post and then Thursday night through most all of Friday, I was down with an awful stomach bug so during the time I intended to get this post ready, I was unable to. Again, I apologize for the delay today, but I hope you’ll enjoy the post anyway.
About the Book:
Name of book: A Semi-Sweet Summer
Author: Jan Elder
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 18, 2017
Cassidy Cooper never wanted to set foot in Crystal Falls again. Ten years earlier, she’d given her heart to a boy who’d, in turn, humiliated her deeply. Now, back in town as the sole beneficiary of her sister’s estate, she’s determined to make her sister’s dream of an upscale chocolate truffle shop, come true.
Hunter Gray is very intrigued by his new neighbor. His escape artist cow, Marigold, engineers an introduction…but it’s not quite the first impression he was hoping for. Baffled by the nagging suspicion he’s seen this woman before, he plots to win Cassidy’s heart at every opportunity.
With the object of her unrequited love living within shouting distance, Cassidy prays for strength to forgive and forget. And Hunter? He just wants to get back to his own dream to grow his farm and get to know the pretty girl next door. If she’ll let him.
About the Author
JAN ELDER is an inspirational romance writer with a passion for telling stories other women can relate to on a deep level. She strives to write the kind of book that will strengthen the reader’s faith, introducing the reader to a loving and forgiving Lord who walks beside us in our daily lives, while also providing an entertaining and engrossing love story.
Happily married for fourteen years to loving (and supportive) husband, Steve, the two live in central Maryland along with Jamie (a chubby black and white tuxedo cat), and Shu-Shu (a willowy tortoiseshell cat). On the weekends, Jan and Steve comb the nearby countryside in search of the perfect ice cream flavor.
Guest Post from Jan Elder
How did you come up with your premise? Is there a story behind your book? How did the story evolve?
When I first parked myself in front of my laptop, preparing to write A Semi-Sweet Summer, I was waxing nostalgic. Shortly before that, I joined a Facebook group, people from a church I had attended when I was a teenager. Memories flooded through me and a myriad of feelings, some quite strong, rose up to assault me. There were a great many pleasant remembrances, but what I recall the most about being in those “stuck in the middle” years was that there was a great deal of anxiety, the sensation of being so very different—certainly not part of the “in” crowd.
A large part of this book harkens back to my teenage years, my thoughts swinging to a boy I had the biggest crush on in high school. He was three and a half years older (I still remember his birthday) and he was definitely in the “elite” segment of our church youth group—the cool kids I so longed to be a part of. Sorry to say, I followed him around like a puppy, learned all of his favorite foods, chosen hobbies, etc. I try not to think I actually stalked him, but I was very aware of his presence, and searched for ways to be near him.
In A Semi-Sweet Summer, I tried to transfer some of that raging angst into fodder for Cassidy’s discomfort in finding her unrequited love living right next door. Cassidy never really fit in, hardly that enviable cheerleader, not a person that anyone would notice. Rather, she sees herself as sort of an ugly duckling. Now she’s back ten years later and it’s a tough situation. By this time, my characters have grown and changed from the people they were in high school. They are well on their way to the path God has set before them. And by the end, they are very different—kinder, gentler folks who have learned a bit more of what it means to truly love.
I like to think that God can use our experiences to help others through similar situations. Maybe this novel will provide some hope or closure for those who have been in the same boat, and spur them on to get past the pain. And hey, who doesn’t love a good story about baked goods, happy cows, and chocolate truffles?
As for me? The funny thing is, my husband has the same first name as my first love. He even has the same color hair, the same easy grin as that other guy. I guess one could say I am attracted to a certain type. But oh, my sweetheart is so much better. My guy is the man God had waiting for me. The other was only a pale imitation, just practice for the real thing.
A Semi-Sweet Summer turned out to be a fun, enjoyable read for the most part. At first, I honestly wasn’t all that crazy about Cassidy or Hunter, but as the book progressed and I got to to know them and their stories a little better, I found that they were pretty likable. 🙂 I really enjoyed Hunter’s character—the good guy who doesn’t know how good he is. I loved how he sought to take care of Cassidy and jumped in quickly whenever she needed him. Cassidy grew on me as she began to change and loosen up throughout the book and as she began to return to her relationship with the Lord. I also enjoyed the supporting characters and getting to know a bit more about them as well. The little bit of mystery on the side was a nice addition to the story even though it was fairly obvious to me who the culprit was from the beginning. The situation provided some opportunities for Hunter to come along side and be there for Cassidy, showing himself to be a changed man from the person he was in his past.
The book is a bit predictable, but it was a good read for the mood I was in. Sweet, clean, lighthearted romance. I know that’s not always what I’m in the mood for and neither are others, but if you find yourself needing or wanting that kind of a book, this one could be a good one to try.
A Baker’s Perspective, October 12
ASC Book Reviews, October 12
Have A Wonderful Day, October 13
Avid Reader Book Reviews, October 14
Reflections From My Bookshelves, October 15
Red Headed Book Lady, October 16
Remembrancy, October 16
Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, October 17
Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 18
A Greater Yes, October 19
Carpe Diem, October 19
autism mom, October 20
Redeemed Hope Dweller, October 21
Inklings and notions, October 22
Quiet Quilter, October 23
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 23
Karen Sue Hadley, October 24
Through the Open Window, October 24
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 25
Reading Is My SuperPower, October 25 (Interview)
To celebrate her tour, Jan is giving away a 12 piece box of Godiva Chocolates and a Kindle Fire HD Tablet with Alexa (Valued at over $100)!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher and have chosen to review it. My opinions are my own.