Author: Jenn McKinlay
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 480
Date of Publication: May 16, 2023
My Rating: 4 Stars
When a woman who'd rather do anything than read meets a swoon-worthy bookworm, sparks fly, making for one hot-summer fling in New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay's new rom-com.
For Samantha Gale, a summer on Martha's Vineyard at her family's tiny cottage was supposed to be about resurrecting her career as a chef, until she's tasked with chaperoning her half-brother, Tyler. The teenage brainiac is spending his summer at the local library in a robotics competition, and there's no place Sam, who's dyslexic, likes less than the library. And because the universe hates her, the library's interim director turns out to be the hot-reader guy whose book she accidentally destroyed on the ferry ride to the island.
Bennett Reynolds is on a quest to find his father, whose identity he's never known. He's taken the temporary job on the island to research the summer his mother spent there when she got pregnant with him. Ben tells himself he isn't interested in a relationship right now. Yet as soon as Sam knocks his book into the ocean, he can't stop thinking about her.
An irresistible attraction blossoms when Ben inspires Sam to create the cookbook she's always dreamed about and she jumps all in on helping him find his father, and soon they realize their summer fling may heat up into a happily ever after.
Samantha Gale is between jobs - actually, after being passed up for a promotion in her job as a professional chef, she quit - she agrees to look after her teenaged stepbrother Tyler while her father and stepmother travel. Things begin a bit rocky for Sam and Tyler as she was already a teenager when he was born and she did her own thing. One of her responsibilities is to shuttle Tyler back and forth to robotics camp which is being held at the library.
When she meets the head librarian named Ben, she does a double take. She just met him on the ferry as she was heading to Martha’s Vineyard and she was gobsmacked. He was pure beauty, but not the man for her. How did she know that? When they were on the ferry, he was reading a book. Considering that Sam is dyslexic, so therefore does not enjoy reading in any way whatsoever, after talking to him for a few moments on the ferry, she was certain that no matter how good looking he is, he would not want to have anything to do with her.
Despite this obvious difference between Sam and Ben, sparks fly and their attraction is undeniable. However, Sam has a lot of baggage, and a lot of that has to do with her neurodiversity. Past relationships have taught her that being with someone that is book smart is not in the cards for her. However, Ben has other ideas and the more time they spend together, the more it seems that this new relationship just might work. Meanwhile, as a chef, Sam knows that she’s soon must find a job, so once her time on the Vineyard is over, she needs to get on with her life.
What a wonderful read. I loved the relationships in this book. Most notably, Sam and Tyler, half siblings who learned how much they really cared about one another. Then I loved Sam and Ben, and how the two of them grew in their relationship and how empathetic he was towards her and how he found ways to work around her being dyslexic. Lastly, I also enjoyed the fact that Sam truly loved her stepmother, and even though she is very close to her own mother, her stepmother is someone that she adored. So while this book was indeed a romance, these relationships in this book really pulled this book together.
Many thanks to Berkley and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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