The Summer I Saved You
by Elizabeth O'Roark
Book 2 in The Summer Series
I came to the lake to be left alone, to lick my wounds. I wasn’t counting on neighbors and I especially wasn’t counting on her.
Lucie was a little kid the last time I was here. Now she’s grown—and God, did she ever grow up—with two little kids of her own.
She’s everywhere I look, no matter how hard I try to avoid her. I’d forgotten all the things I used to want, used to dream about. She’s reminding me…and making me want every last one of them again.
From the moment I first saw Caleb when I was six, I knew he belonged to me. And I knew I’d have to save him—because how else does the girl nobody wants win over the boy beloved by all?
Nothing about his life or mine has gone to plan. He’s isolated and miserable. I’ve got a vindictive ex and more problems than I can count.
But what hasn’t changed is this: it still feels like he’s mine.
And I still think I may need to save him.
Emotional/Mental abuse (not by MC's), divorce
Before I begin, I would like to thank Valentine PR and Elizabeth O'Roark for sending me an arc of The Summer I Saved You in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I don't think I've read an Elizabeth O'Roark book that I haven't loved yet. The Summer I Saved You was no different. It's not as emotionally devastating as the first book - The Summer We Fell - but it still has that angsty, slightly painful, but fulfilling journey to a happily ever after. It sets itself apart from the first book in the series in terms of the story and characters, but it still has that beautiful Elizabeth O'Roark flavor to the story, and connects to it in a beautiful way.
I loved this book.
The story was wonderful. It felt incredibly down to earth and realistic. From Lucie's difficult separation and divorce, to being a single mother and starting over from scratch with two humans relying on her, to Caleb's overall arc in regards to his business and his own ex. Neither of their lives are perfect, but when they are together, the connection, the chemistry ... it really highlights the romance in this story, and how it improves their lives in different ways.
Lucie's difficult separation and divorce, and the difficulties of being a single mother that has no work experience is a story I hear often. Women feeling trapped in unhappy marriages for the sake of their children having a good home and a father around is more common then one likes to think. Elizabeth didn't sugarcoat the difficulty Lucie's character had with this transition, which makes Lucie an incredibly likeable, and relatable character. Even if you have never found yourself in the situation Lucie finds herself in, you know someone who has. You know someone who has been through a difficult divorce. If you are a mother, you can relate to Lucie when it comes to the intense love she has for her children, and how badly she wants to protect them. You can relate to her exhaustion, and how there are moments, or even days, where you just want a break.
Elizabeth O'Roark - a mother herself - didn't hold back that being a parent is hard.
It's nice when you have a partner to do it with. To lean on when you need help, or a moment to yourself.
I loved Lucie, not only for feeling like a real person, but because despite everything coming down on her, she doesn't give up. Even when she wants to. And no matter what, her children come first.
I also loved Caleb. Definitely a grump, and compared to the memories Lucie has of him when they were children, you assume - and rightly so - that he hasn't had it easy.
Honestly, the whole story kind of felt like this homage to being a child, thinking that when you grow up, life will be amazing. It very rarely turns out that way. Things happen. Death. Heartbreak. Financial difficulties. Many things. But if you find the right person, and you share the weight of the world with them, life can be amazing.
The Summer series is continuing to be an emotionally intense ride. After reading the teaser for the next book, I can't wait to jump in and continue it.
Coming soon after publication!
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