Friday, July 1, 2016

Review: Once Upon a Summertime by Melody Carlson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Managing the Value Lodge in her hometown was not what Anna Gordon had in mind when she set out in the hospitality industry. But it's a safe choice for a woman whose childhood was anything but stable. Out of the blue, she gets a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reinvent herself by moving to New York City, where she hopes for a management position at a stylish new boutique hotel. The big city is full of surprises--not the least of which is Sean O'Neil. Her childhood crush has applied for the very same position!

I enjoyed this quick, easy summertime read from Melody Carlson.  The romance was sweet although a little downplayed due to the fact that Anna is fearful of losing her job if she lets herself fall for Sean.  I liked the immediate connection Sean and Anna feel after not having seen each other for years.  However, after spending an amazing day together, they have to pull way back on any ongoing relationship when they find out they are working for the same hotel.  This causes Anna to agonize way too much about her feelings for Sean.

As with the other book in this series, I enjoyed the description of the city and their working environment and how they both were helping renovate and get this new venture up and running.  It was fun to read about Anna getting away from her dead end job to such a glamorous change. :)

There's very little to recommend this as a Christian romance.  No mention of any kind of regular church attendance and maybe a few mentions of prayer.  It's pretty much just a clean romance.

*Thanks to NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.*

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Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women and children. That's a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a "storyteller." Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She's won a number of awards (including Romantic Time's Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at