Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SUMMER’S END by Kathleen Gilles Seidel

Publisher: Penguin
Date Published: May 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-200467-3
Trade Paperback
Contemporary Romance
Reviewed by Angie
Review Copy Provided by the Publisher

Amy Legend is an Olympic Gold Skater who has stolen the public’s heart for years. She finds herself an outsider to her own family who do not understand her, yet she knows her place in their lives. When her father remarries, she finds a new side of herself as well as her family as they learn to accept the new family dynamics. Her father’s new wife turns out to be a delight, her daughter a confidant and friend, but the son steals her heart in a way she never expected of any man.

Jack Wells never felt like his father was proud of him, he rebelled and never found acceptance from his family. His sister Holly was a career woman, yet he feels he failed at being an adult and still does not know what he wants to be when he grows up. When his mother remarries, he learns that not all men are as regimented as his father and that her new husband is a man he can relate to. He finds his new step brother boring, his wife overbearing, the eldest sister he can tolerate but yet does not understand the dynamics of their life, and the way they cannot accept change. It is the youngest sibling, Amy that he most feels an alliance with, she pulls at his heart and makes him fall in love, not as a brother but as a lover.

Kathleen Gilles Seidel is a talented author who brings a modern family together and meshes them as one. She takes on the challenge of two romances – Hal and Gwen, the parents who fall hard and fast – and at their age, do not have to wait for their family’s approval any longer. As secondary characters these two are both amazing parents who allow readers to discover, there is life after becoming a grandparent. Amy and Jack are both successful in their own rights, yet feel lacking, only feeling complete once they meet and realize they are strong enough alone to come together as a couple. The love flows from the pages and steals the reader’s heart from chapter one.

The family dynamics of this story are truly what make this novel a worthy read. Families are never simple, divorce, new romance, moving, death all parts of everyday life bring about emotions in SUMMER’S END leads the reader on a great path as it weaves toward the happily ever after ending that every romance reader wants to find on the last pages.

The one downside to this entire novel was Ian’s failed marriage. As a woman I felt for him and the family when his wife and eldest child left, yet could not fathom a woman leaving her family because of a high strung teenage fit. Can any woman really not accept their child’s faults and let them grow into an adult without learning that every action has a reaction/consequence? The dynamics between Ian and his adopted daughter left me reeling. While I do realize reality brings this into dynamics, I felt as though many parts of their lives needed more explanation – they deserve a story of their own, and I feel Ms. Gilles Seidel is an author talented enough to tell their tale.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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