Shannon Stacey fan-girl here. Just thought you should know that. I adored her Kowalski Family series to embarrassing degrees and I loved her novella Holiday Sparks. So, I got instant grabby hands when I heard about Slow Summer Kisses. This novella is actually part of an Editor’s Choice anthology, but it’s also sold as a standalone title.
Anna has recently lost her high-powered job in the financial industry and is feeling somewhat lost as her fast paced life style has suddenly come to screeching halt. She’s used to working long, hard hours at break neck speed. Now that she’s unemployed she decides to take some time to regroup and relax at her grandparents camp on the lake while she plans her next career move. (It’s called a camp, but it’s a house on the lake so don’t picture a tent and porta-potty like I did. I have no idea what the difference between a small house on the lake and a camp on the lake actually is. I repeat, there is no porta-potty. )
Cam left the fast-paced lifestyle of the corporate world behind and now lives full-time on the lake. He enjoys a slower, laid back lifestyle but when his childhood friend Anna arrives for the summer, it quickly becomes clear his quiet life on the lake is about to be disturbed. First, Anna was always a bossy, annoying kid and he suspects that hasn’t changed in adulthood. Second, she’s distractingly beautiful and the last thing he needs to do is get involved. But since he promised Anna’s grandparents he’d look out for her during her stay at the lake, it’s going to be difficult to avoid her. Seems life on the lake is about to change as these two clash early on:
Hey, Jim, you know how you asked me to keep an eye on your granddaughter? I had to kill her instead. Sorry about that.
Slow Summer Kisses is a friends-to-lovers story…sort of. Since Cam and Anna knew each other as kids, they have history, but not a romantic history. Both have preconceived notions about each other and both are a little surprised to find themselves reluctantly attracted to each other. This makes for some really great romantic tension and clever bantering.
“I’m having a cheeseburger,” Anna said. “With fries smothered in vinegar and salt.”
“I told you I wouldn’t kiss you again. You don’t have to poison your mouth.”
“Very funny. What are you having?”
“Something with onions and garlic.”
While I love action packed romances and the world building of urban fantasy, sometimes I just like to curl up on the couch with a contemporary romance that focuses on the couple falling in love without a lot exterior drama. What better setting for that to happen than semi-secluded lake where two childhood friends are reunited and all they really have to do is spend their days getting to know each other again. Slow Summer Kisses is a sexy, romantic story that does just that, focuses on the couple falling in love.
There is a bit of emotional conflict in that Anna must eventually return to her old life and career. Although they fall in love, their lifestyles are very different and unless they can find a way to compromise, their relationship may not be able to work living so far apart from each other. I like how the conflict was resolved. I liked that neither character had to totally give up everything for the other making the HEA more believable.
Shannon Stacey wow’d me with her witty, fun dialogue. It felt realistic, and light even though the characters were at odds at times. I was caught off guard and laughed out loud several times.
“You’re a Yankees fan.”
I kissed a Yankees fan.”
“Yup. Really well, too.”
It was too late for mouthwash, so he did the next best thing and wiped the back of his hand across his mouth. “Get off my dock.”
If you’re looking for a fun, light, sexy read, I recommend Slow Summer Kisses. If you’re adventurous enough to expose your ereader to the sand, this is a perfect beach read.
“I’m not going to sit here naked and watch baseball.”
“I’ll lend you one of my T-shirts.”
She laughed and tried to slide out from under him. “You think you’re pretty slick, but I’m on to you. You’re using sex and food to get me into a Red Sox shirt.”