Monday, July 11, 2022

Review - Summer on Blackberry Beach

Title:   Summer on Blackberry Beach
Author:  Belle Calhoune
Series:  Mistletoe, Maine #2
Publisher:  Forever
Genre:   Romance
Format:  Audiobook ARC
Narrators:  Mela Lee, Trey Hall
No. of Pages:   368 
Date of Publication:   June 28, 2022
My Rating:   4 Stars


A faux summer fling seemed like the perfect solution . . .  until they start falling in love for real.
Teacher Stella Marshall’s summer break has just began, but the gossip is already sizzling: Luke Keegan’s back in town! Stella’s high school crush is all grown up and smolderingly sexy. She might even consider a fling with the former Navy SEAL, if she hadn’t already sworn off all romantic entanglements. But there isn’t a single thing she can do to stop the rumor mill whispering about her and Luke being together—unless . . .

A showmance! Luke never thought he’d propose a fake relationship, but it’s the only way to stop the runaway speculation about their love lives. Pretending to date a woman as stunning as Stella is easy. Not actually falling for her is the hard part. Luke isn’t sure he deserves a hometown happy ending, when members of his SEAL team never made it back at all. But there’s real attraction buzzing between him and Stella . . . and he knows she feels it too. Could their faux summer romance lead to true love?


Which is more dangerous, love or the battlefield? This is what former Navy SEAL Luke Keegan is forced to determine when he realizes that his “showmance” with Stella, a grade school teacher, really get him into deep water. Not only is he falling deep and fast, but Stella cannot deny the fact that she had a crush on him years ago. Perhaps she never lost that crashed. Perhaps faking a relationship in order to quiet the gossipers is not faking it at all. 

Not only are Luke and Stella working with their emotions, they both examine past relationships and failures. More than that, Luke is coping with nightmares due to PTSD and survivor’s guilt. Them, there is the fact that Stella’s baggage from a previous bad relationship is very weighing on her. They must navigate the things that are bringing them down in order to find a way to trust their hearts and find a future together.  

I loved Tess, Stella’s youngest sister, ten going on thirty. I loved her in book one of this series, No Ordinary Christmas, which was Lucy’s story, the middle sister. Another great supporting character was Miles, Luke’s nephew and one of Stella’s students. Teaching was Stella’s dream job and Miles was one of her favorite students. I really enjoyed the strong bonds between Miles and both Stella and Luke.  

This delightful read contained some powerful emotional moments, and made this book a wonderful summer read. The fact that I was able to listen to this book by excellent narrators made a very good story that much better. 

Many thanks to Forever and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy my YouTube video review - 


Belle Calhoune lives in Connecticut with her college sweetheart husband and two daughters. After a thirteen year career as a Federal Investigator, she chose to pursue a writing career. An avid lover of romance novels since she was a teen, she enjoys writing love stories and reading them. She loves spending summers in beautiful Cape Cod and traveling to new places. A dog lover, she has a mini poodle and a chocolate lab. More than anything, she believes in happily ever afters. 

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