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Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Summer Reunion - Kasey Michaels et. al.



Released July 2011

Kasey Michaels
Sarah Mayberry
Teresa Southwick
Harlequin

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

I love anthologies where one central theme is followed but each author gets to take her own spin on the events and situations. That's the case in A Summer Reunion. Sisters Peggy Longwood and Victoria "Tory" Fuller were separated as young girls when their parents died in a tragic car accident. As their parents had no living relatives, the girls and their brother were put into foster care and eventually adopted by different families. Decades later, the sisters find each other and learn that their baby brother has since died, but a family reunion is planned to bring all of their blood relatives and adoptive families together.

Peggy plans an elaborate event in her coastal home. With her sister by her side for the first time in decades, Peggy's ready for an amazing reunion. There's one problem, in addition to having a broken leg making it hard to move around, Peggy's kidneys are failing for unknown reasons and she's waiting on a miracle.

In Kasey Michaels' story titled "All Our Yesterdays," Tory's daughter locates and contacts her birth father. Tory never told her ex-boyfriend that she was pregnant, she simply walked away and moved to the other side of the country. He wants to get to know his daughter, his grandchildren and possibly reunite with the only woman he's ever loved.

Sarah Mayberry's story stole my heart. In "All Our Todays," Peggy's daughter Laurie is stunned when her ex-husband of two years sends her a puppy. The last thing she needs to complicate her already busy life is a puppy, but he's not answering his phone and Peggy has a feeling his fling has ended and he wants to come home. Once she arrives at her mother's beachfront estate, Laurie is shocked to find an instant attraction to one of her mother's guests. Adam Hunter was Peggy's late brother's business partner and he's there to share pictures and stories of the brother/uncle they never really knew. Laurie and Adam hit it off but with Adam living in Australia and Laurie in the U.S., can they make a relationship work?

Finally, Teresa Southwick's novella "All Our Tomorrows" focuses on Peggy's son David. After his fiancee called it quits, David moved into his mother's guest cottage and threw himself into his work. Peggy's physical therapist Kinsey has been in love with David for years. Having to share the guest cottage won't be easy, especially when it becomes clear to Kinsey that David simply doesn't return her feelings.

All three stories move smoothly with a fast pace and great chemistry between the characters. While I really loved Kasey Michaels' and Sarah Mayberry's stories, I found Teresa Southwick's story a little less gripping. I think my biggest issue is that David is obviously scarred and dealing with something and when it's finally revealed, I was a little surprised at how quickly he suddenly got over it. I've never been in his shoes, so maybe I'm simply ignorant to the emotional healing process after something like that, but it just seemed far too easy a resolution to me.

Despite that one issue, I did enjoy A Summer Reunion. It's a great beach read and one that most romance fans will enjoy reading more than once.

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