Cover Image: One Perfect Summer

One Perfect Summer

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Member Reviews

I just adore Brenda Novak. She truly has some of the best palate cleanser books on the market. And this one has great characters and a great story. Perfect for a trip or a beach read! Totally entertaining and enjoyable

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Book Spotlight Posted on September 9, 2023:

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Love Brenda Novak's books and her writing and this one did not disappoint. Would definitely recommend. Wonderful read.

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I want to thank Netgalley, the author and the publisher for giving me a chance to read this book

It felt a little rushed near the end an left me a little unsatisfied...It was a good book but just felt like the author needed to hurry an make a deadline

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In One Perfect Summer, author Brenda Novak transports the reader to Lake Tahoe, California, to follow the summer of change for new-found half-sisters Serenity Alston, Reagan Sands, and Lorelei Cipriano.

Serenity Alston is a true-crime writer who took a 23andMe DNA test while doing some research for a book that she was writing. The test results surprised Serenity, it revealed that she has two half-sisters born within two years of each other. Serenity already had her life turned upside down when her ex-husband Sean was sentenced to prison for five years, so the DNA test results just added more stress to her life.

Reagan Sands is an only child and NYC ad executive, who was in love with her married boss Drew, who worked his way through her defenses, and they had a one-time sexual encounter in the office, which led her to stress out about being able to continue working at the ad agency after the indiscretion.

Lorelei Cipriano is a married stay-at-home mom of four year old daughter, Lucy. Lorelei had a rough childhood being shuffled around in foster care in Florida. Lorelei is having martial issues with her husband Mark after finding out that he cheated on her with her best friend, Francine. Mark wants to work through their marital issues, but Lorelei wants to escape from her issues for a bit, before deciding what she wants to do with her marriage.

Serenity, Reagan, and Lorelei plan to meet up at Serenity's family cabin in Lake Tahoe, and figure out the mystery of how they are related. The newly discovered half-sisters are all at a crossroads in their lives, and the summer spent together in Lake Tahoe will take them on a journey that will give them a chance to bond, help them make choices and decisions in their private lives, re-discover themselves, and learn the meaning of love, friendship, family, and moving forward with their lives.

In One Perfect Summer, author Brenda Novak easily captivates her readers' attention with this beautifully written tale through a seamless and flowing storyline, and characters who draw you into their lives with a strong emotional pull, along with their complexities, flaws, fears, heartaches, heartbreaks, and longheld secrets.

One Perfect Summer is a wonderful story that engages the reader to follow along as this summer of change will bring plenty of drama, emotions, and trials and tribulations for Serenity, Reagan, and Lorelei. Throughout the summer, the half-sisters bond is strengthened as they discover that life is full of humor, heartache, and unexpected second chance at love. As you follow the sisters' journey of figuring out the mystery behind their sisterhood, and dealing with their individual private issues, each of them will rediscover themselves, and you will feel the full gamut of emotions along with them.

The reader will be kept engaged as this heartwarming story unfolds. With a cast of interesting characters, One Perfect Summer is a compelling story about love, friendship, family, and second chances in life.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book via NetGalley. I have also purchased a copy of the book from Harlequin Romance & Suspense Combo monthly book subscription.

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This was an interesting take on finding your results from a DNA kit, and I really enjoyed this. It is a quick read, I thought the pacing was good and just the right length. I liked each of the sisters' stories as well as how they each came together over the summer to bond and learn more about each other. They each had flaws but they used them to work through their differences and grow together so that by the end of the summer they knew not only more about each other but more about where they came from.

Thank you to NetGalley and MIRA Books for the digital copy to review.

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One Perfect Summer
Brenda Novak

While cleaning off my TBR shelf I came across this novel by fave Brenda Novak and do not know how I left this sitting on the shelf so long. It was FAB!!

Novak’s One Perfect Summer is a timely tale amidst this Ancestry and 23andME craze about decades old secrets, family dramas and three brave women at a crossroads willing to make sacrifices to learn the truth. From page one until the explosive end Novak keeps her readers engaged with non-stop dramatics a tense, touchy storyline and a flowing intriguing narrative. The entire cast of characters both friends and foes are spot-on but it’s the three sisters who are the absolute stars and stand-outs and the audience will love seeing these women learn to trust each other while becoming loving siblings. The backdrop of Lake Tahoe is beautiful and the May snowstorm at the beginning sets the stage for all the emotional storms to come during the telling of this turbulent tale. Fans of women’s fiction, strong female protagonists and this author will have a hard time putting this down.

True Crime Writer Serenity Alston, NYC Ad Exec Reagan Sands and Florida stay-at-home-mom Lorelei Cipriano are strangers with nothing in common until they each get a close relative notification after taking a DNA test, they are in fact half-sisters who up until now never knew the existence of the others.
Lorelei was excited when her husband Mark gave her a DNA test, being a product of the Foster Care System she always wondered where she came from and the only thing she knows about her past is that she was found wandering alone on a busy Orlando street when she was two. She is so happy to be meeting her new sisters right now because she needs an escape from her own family drama after just learning that her husband not only cheated on her with her best friend but got her pregnant.

Reagan may have just made the costliest mistake of her life. Being raised by a successful single mom she’s always had the competitive gene and she’s worked her toosh off at her agency and was this close to making partner when she implodes her own life by giving into temptation and has sex with her married boss, at work, on his desk. So, this trip to Lake Tahoe is just the excuse she needs to escape from her own life.

Serenity had just gone through her own tragedy helping put her ex-husband in prison, so hoping to get her writing MOJO back took a DNA test for research purposes and got the shock of her life. After all she was raised by loving parents and has three siblings so how could she possibly have not one but two sisters she never knew she had? Needing to learn more about them she invites them to her family’s Lake Tahoe family vacation home for a week with the intention of getting to know each other and hoping to at least start unraveling the mystery of their origins.

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After a DNA test three women find that they are sisters and have come to meet eachother for a short while. While each one is from different backgrounds and on very important crossroads of their lives they are trying to figure out how they are connected.

Sounded like a good summer book to me so finally picked this book out. I will admit that I was having a bit of a hard time separating the three but once I got the hang of it this book was smooth sailing. I mean each of the sisters are so different once you get to know them. It was interesting seeing how they meshed together. I mean these women are virtually strangers and I really liked seeing how they helped eachother. One wanted to know more about her family, the other managed to sleep with her boss and dealing with the aftermath of choices that needs to be made and the third has to figure out what's next after finding out her husband cheated on her with her bestfriend. After all that is said and done, I loved the immense amount of support these women had for eachother. The summer was going to end and each would have to go home and face what's waiting but until then I loved how they spoke with eachother and helped be there. This was such a great book I really enjoyed it.

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I loved the modern premise of this story, three women finding out that they were half sisters by a dna site and it was a well written interesting book book, but at the same time easy reading and compelling

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I thought the premise of this book was interesting, finding family, in this case half-sisters, from a DNA test. The relationships between the sisters was fascinating, as secrets are revealed and the definition of family is determined. 4 stars.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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I am sorry for not reviewing fully but I don’t have the time to read this at the moment. I believe that it wouldn't benefit you as a publisher or your book if I only skimmed it and wrote a rushed review. Again, I am sorry for not fully reviewing!

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For a summer read I felt this one really fit the bill. It was more than just a light fluffy read, but still had a lot of those elements that factor in to a summer or beach read. I thought the interactions between the three half sisters were really interesting, especially the fact that they didn't immediately get along or bond. There were a couple elements that felt like they were left as loose ends, almost as if they were forgotten, which was a little frustrating. Each sister had her own struggles and personal issues that they were bringing to the table, which definitely factored in - which lent to the growth that each sister had throughout the story. The writing style flowed easily and made it a pretty quick paced read. Still, even though there were some things that I had some issues with it was a really enjoyable read.

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What would you do if you found out you have two sisters you never knew about? One Perfect Summer is about how three siblings decide to get together, learn more about each other and solve the mystery of their pasts. The story is told from each sister's POV - one was raised in a loving family, one raised by a single parent and the other was raised in foster homes. I loved how the book intertwined the mystery, love and family and finally acceptance all throughout the story. A great read that I devoured quickly!
Thanks to Brenda Novak, Harlequin and NetGalley for the ARC.

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An interesting story

One Prefect Summer is about three women learning they are sisters through use of a DNA service. Once they decide to meet in person they decide to find out how they all have the same father. Each woman's life has been different but at this moment they are each struggling with different problems. One Perfect Summer follows along as these women come to terms with their new reality. There is a very small amount of romance. This is a women's fiction story. I was left feeling like there were a few things left unfinished. So I'm not sure if there will be another story but it felt like there should be. Fans of women's fiction will love One Perfect Summer. If you are a fan of Brenda Novak you'll also want to grab this one. Just know that this is not a romance. There is very very little romance but the story is easy to read.

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In the interest of research for the true crime books she writes, Serenity takes a DNA test. Imagine her surprise when she's then put in contact with TWO women who have also taken the test and find they're all half sisters of each other!

After chatting online for a bit, the sisters decide to meet, and hopefully figure out the details of how they're related. Serenity was raised in a happy family with three other siblings, and her parents are still together, so who isn't telling the truth about her parentage? Lorelei was found wandering the streets of Orlando and grew up in foster homes - is her birth mother the one who abandoned her and never returned to claim her, or is there more to her story? Reagan was raised by a single mother and told her father died when she was two-years-old. Where's the link that will connect the sisters biologically?

The sisters each arrive at Serenity's family cabin in Lake Tahoe with their own troubles. Their parentage may be the least of their concerns this summer, but they are committed to the idea of being sisters, and being there for each other.

Each of the sisters was so unique and still likable. This book was so engaging and had the reader pulling for a happy ending for all of the sisters. They each made progress toward a happy ending, and they all even seem to be getting a bit of romance - yay! I'd give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It's a perfect summer read, although their problems could be less than pleasant for some to read about. It's fiction, and they're characters ;) Enjoy!

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The premise of One Perfect Summer by Brenda Novak is based in the trend toward commercial DNA testing. What I appreciate about the book is the independence and strength of the women as they navigate the challenges of their lives. What I also appreciate is the sisterhood, even though it is too easily achieved. That kind of a support system, if any individual is able to find it, deserves celebration no matter how it is achieved.

Read my complete review at

Reviewed for NetGalley.

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This is not my first Brenda Novak review; over the winter, I read and reviewed 'Christmas in Silver Springs', which was quite charming and engaging and this is no different. Novak has a knack for traversing the way our lives change and ebb and flow, ravel and unravel and how we navigate it all.

Serenity had to be one of my favorite characters I've ever read; a true crime writer whose Netflix queue has to look similar to mine, she felt like a friend to me, someone who would never get sick of re-watching 'True Detective' and who would understand me because we're wired similarly. It makes you want the best for her; and when she discovers sisters she has never known and they begin traversing life's landscape together, 'One Perfect Summer' becomes a heart-achingly sweet story that is hard to put down.

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The premise for this book is creative and current. One of the protagonists, Serenity, takes a commercial DNA test as part of a new book she is writing and discovers 2 sisters that she didn't know anything about before this. They exchange emails prior to meeting as a group for a week stay at one of the sister's vacation house. Immediately there is drama. From the weather conspiring against them to each having issues that seem to conflict with one of the other sisters, and it is ongoing from there.
I really enjoyed the idea behind this book and some of the aspects of the characters, I honestly didn't really care about them as much as I wanted to. Each is flawed in her own way and that added to the mystery of who they are as individuals and how they came to be without knowing each other. None of their parents who raised each has ever let on the background to explain the story of their birth.
This is a fun read with some newer ideas.
Thank you for the early copy to review.
#OnePerfectSummer #Netgalley #HarlequinMira

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One perfect summer was a perfect way to start mine! Great story line, I read this in a sitting! Brenda Novak never disappoints! A must read any day!!

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MIRA and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of One Perfect Summer. I voluntarily chose to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

Little did Serenity Alston know that a cheek swab would change her whole life. She invites the two surprise half sisters to her family cabin in Lake Tahoe, determined to uncover the mystery of their pasts. Will Lorelei, Reagan, and Serenity be able to set aside their present troubles and focus on the truth?

Dysfunctional is the word that I would use to describe the characters in this book. Each has their own drama, which takes away from the story as a whole. The premise of finding family where you least expect it is lost under the weight of the subplots. The ultimate reveal was nothing earthshaking and left me with nothing more than happiness that the book was at its ending. For these reasons, I would be hesitant to recommend One Perfect Summer to other readers.

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