Cover Image: Long Past Summer

Long Past Summer

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Member Reviews

Okay first of all, THAT GORGEOUS COVER THO! I really, truly thought this book was soooo good. This book covers a lot of topics, some heavier and than other but it does it in just the right way. This story is complex, interesting and beautifully told. 

Thank you Harlequin Trade Publishing for my gifted copy. This book was published 8/2 and I recommend it.
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I was really excited to read this book, but unfortunately I have put it down more than once. I'm finding the pacing slow and having difficulty connecting with the characters. After skimming some of the pages, it does not seem like the pacing improves nor do I find some of the characters likeable. DNF.

Thank you to Net Galley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for the ARC!.
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this books presents an interesting scenario which you don't often see, so I liked that a lot. The characters are written well and I think this book will do good!
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This book is about second chances. If you like that trope, you’ll enjoy this one. It flips back and forth between past and present, and it’s well done. Perfect read before summer ends. This is my first book from this author and I like her writing style so I’m definitely grabbing more books from her.
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Long Past Summer is a second chance romance, but for me, it's also a lessons learned and the past coming back to bite you story. The main characters are primarily Mikaela and Cam, but Julie is in there too, and all three of them are a bit of a mess, especially when it comes to the decisions they've made Bad decisions or not, the further I got into the book, the more Cam and Mikaela made sense to me. Yes, that means they had to grow on me, but I think that was more a me thing than anything else and nothing to do with the author's writing. The book is well written, and I like Kirwan's writing style. I'll be interested to see how she grows in her craft with future books.
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the setup…
Mikaela Marchand has always had a plan for her life and set her sights for New York following graduation. But that summer after her high school graduation in hometown Harmon, Georgia certainly impacted that journey when she met college student Cameron (Cam) Murphy who was home for the break and working at the Sheriff’s Office. That’s where they met following a foolish high school prank Mikaela and best friend Julie performed in front of the entire school. What first appeared to be a moment in passing between the three of them turned out to be more defining than they’d ever imagined. 

the heart of the story…
Mikaela has always been the levelheaded one in her friendship with Julie so that high school prank wasn’t so much her idea as it was her following behind Julie, the true dynamic of their friendship. That was a constant imbalance in their relationship so when the spark was between Cam and Mikaela instead of him and Julie who couldn’t imagine any boy not being interested in her, that became a secret wedge in that friendship though Mikaela kept the relationship secret. Move forward twenty years and she’s indeed in New York working at a prestigious law firm, highly successful and on the precipice of becoming a partner but her relationship with Cam and Julie fractured. The story transitions between past and present to slowly reveal what happened that summer and beyond to the present when Cam reappears in Mikaela’s professional life. I liked how the story was woven as I became more intrigued about the past as allusions about what happened in the past constantly teased in the present. I struggled with Mikaela and her lack of commitment to Cam, even though I often identified with her behavior. He, alternatively, was always steadfast in his love for her and I wondered why he stuck around. 

the narration…
I liked the narrator but believed she missed the mark completely on Cam and his southern accent. It was less than authentic and bugged me every time he had a voice. Her pacing was fine but unfortunately because he figured a lot in the story, that defined my experience with the performance. 

the bottom line…
First, I highly recommend you put some distance between the time you read the blurb and when you begin the book. It just reveals too much about where these people end up and I liked that it was slowly played out over the course of the book. Just don’t read it again. Even though I struggled with Mikaela and her behavior towards Cam and Julie, I found her realistic and identified with her conflicts. Her relationship with Julie was dysfunctional but they’d been friends since childhood and waking up to the reality doesn’t happen overnight. I also found Mikaela’s professional environment to be highly interesting and a true depiction of what happens in real life. But the love between Cam and Mikaela was the constant in the story that threads throughout and you can’t help rooting for them to find their way. It all provided for a highly engaging reading experience despite my issues with the narration. It’s a strong beginning for a debut author. 3.5 stars
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Mikaela Marchand (Mike) is working as a high powered attorney in New York, planning on making partner in the next little while. The shy, follower from small town Georgia has moved on, until her image with that of her ex-BFF end up on the massive billboard in Times Square. The picture is on the cover of a high-profile magazine and Julie, the ex-friend, is suing the magazine and the photographer for using her image without permission. The thing is, Mikaela is counsel for the magazine, so is involved in the case. The other thing is that the photographer is Julie's ex-husband and Mikaela's ex-boyfriend, Cameron Murphy. Now you know, this is going to be complicated.

I had mixed feelings towards this book. The book is told in both the present and the past through flashbacks. I don't usually mind this style, but the flashbacks were so angsty, that I just wanted to skim through them. The present storyline is what I was interested in. Noué Kirwan does a great job showing us what women of colour deal with in the professional world, and how men can still get away with behaviour that would cause them to lose their job. The main competition for the partner position is a white man, who has made several errors of judgement, but is still being considered. When Mike is removed from the case due to conflict of interest, he is the one who replaces her, which causes her to see red. This book has young love, second chance romance, jealousy, vindictiveness, friendship, family, as well as finding what is important in life and fairness in the business world and the glass ceiling. As I said there were parts of this story that I really enjoyed and others that were just okay, but I recommend you pick this one up if the synopsis interests you to see for yourself.
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This was a moving story about first love, best friends, regrets and second chances perfect for fans of Every Summer After by Carley Fortune (aka, THE book of the summer). I loved that this book features Mikaela, a strong Black woman chasing after her dreams of making junior partner in her NYC law firm who has to reconsider what she truly wants when forced to work with her ex and contemplate a second chance at their love. Told in flashbacks to the summer they fell in love and the present day, this was a tad longer than I thought it needed to be but still good on audio narrated by Nicola Lambo. Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early digital copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Looking for a sizzling read before the summer ends? Look no further. 𝐋𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐏𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐒𝐮𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐫 is an impressive debut from Noué Kirwan. 

Mikaela is about to head off to NYU and fulfill her dreams of becoming a lawyer. But she has the summer, the sweet Georgia summer. She spends much of her fleeting time with her older boyfriend Cam Murphy, a boy she's afraid to tell her best friend Julie she’s dating. When summer ends Mikaela knows it will be too hard to keep up with Cam - the distance, the distraction. 

Twenty years later and Mikaela has achieved her dream. She is a Black woman lawyer in a prominent New York law firm. But she is shocked when her client brings in Cam Murphy, a photographer. Cam and Mikaela have not seen each other in over 20 years. Now the memories come rushing back.

Cam is being sued by his ex-wife, Julie. Yes, that Julie. Mikaela’s best friend from her youth. All over a photograph Cam took of Julie and Mikaela in their youth. This puts Mikaela in a precarious situation. She needs to win this case for a promotion, but she knows she will be sitting across the table from Julie and working closely with Cam. This could go very badly.

The story flips back and forth between past and present. The dynamics between these childhood friends are so well done; it's messy but passionate. Julie is just toxic if you ask me, but I love Mikaela, although there was undoubtedly some lack of communication between her and Cam. 

Such a great second-chance love story that will have you wishing for the steamy summer days to never end.

Thank you @hqnbooks and @harpercollins for a gifted ebook.
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Mikaela Marchand finds herself dealing with a difficult lawsuit that involves her former best friend and this brings about many upsetting memories. To complicate matters, as the defense lawyer for a magazine that Julie is suing, Mikaela find herself working side-by-side with a photographer, someone that was previously the love of her life. But that’s not the complication. The complication is that he is Julie’s ex-husband, Cameron Murphy. 

Despite a painful history, with 20 years having passed, it is more than clear that Cam and Mikaela still have feelings for one another. However, jealousy has entered into the picture, so chances of that first love turning into a true second chance romance seems very unlikely. 

In this first person POV readers get to understand Mikaela on several layers. This no doubt plays to our author’s personal experiences in life.  In fact, it is these layers that develop a strong story, especially with the other characters that play a role. As the story unfolds, one thing is made clear. The powerful chemistry between Cam and Mikaela is undeniable. 

With even pacing and crisp dialogue, this character driven story was truly compelling.  Then when you factor in that it is a debut, that makes it all that more impressive. Also, the fact that we have a BIPOC character, one that imbues strength, and a powerful love story, are all factors that work well together to make this a fabulous read. I definitely look forward to whatever else Noué Kirwan has in store in the future. 

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

Please enjoy my YouTube video review - https://youtu.be/3UlDMyFrDUM
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Mikaela, Cam, and Julie have a backstory which comes roaring into Mikaela's adult life as an attorney in New York when Julie sues Cam over a photo of them he sold to a magazine.  Mikaela's worked hard- really hard- to succeed in a world where she feels microagression and doubt every day and this case, this tough case, might be the thing that makes or breaks her.  She was taken with Cam as a teen and now, even though she's involved with someone else (not a fan of him btw), Cam still has a way that pulls at her.  It moves back and forth to tell the story of the trio as high school seniors and 20 years later.  This is, however, as much about Mikaela being true to herself and dealing with her colleagues and bosses, as it is about the drama of the romance(s).  Thanks to the publisher for the ARC.  A nice debut that deftly mixes social commentary and second chances.
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It's a complex story that mixes past, present, love and friendship. The characters are not always likeable but they're well developed.
The author did a good job and delivers a gripping and well plotted story.
Recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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Kirwan takes readers on a very long love story journey. It’s really a distorted love triangle between Cameron, Julie, and Mikaela. Juliet wants Cameron, who loves Mikaela, who is Julie’s best friend. There are several,heavy, intense scenes in the book which lest me wanting to shake both Mikaela and Cameron. I couldn’t warm to Cameron. I thought he was easily manipulated and too quick to blame Mikaela for everything.
I didn’t understand a lot of Mikaela’s decisions or her lack of self confidence, in love at least.
Julie was just a snake.
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Long Past Summer is the debut novel from Noué Kirwan about a second chance romance. Mikaela and Cameron first meet in an interesting way. They become friends and then have a relationship during the summer before college when she is 18 and he is 21. They have to hide the relationship from her best friend, Julie, because Julie is also interested in Cameron and in constant need of attention. 

The story is told in Mikaela’s POV with flashbacks to what happened with Cameron that first summer and thereafter. There are also peeks into Cameron’s subsequent relationship with Julie after Mikaela breaks up with him at the end of that first summer. As Mikaela is a lawyer, she is forced to revisit it all when she helps with a lawsuit between Cameron and Julie.

Read this if you love: 
A second chance romance
BIPOC FMC 
Interracial romances

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for this eARC.
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Really enjoyed this novel. The characters were well fleshed out and the love story felt organic. The middle did begin to drag a little going towards the end, making ,e not invested in the two main character's relationship.
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DNF at 47%. At this point in the book I was not invested. I did not feel connected to the characters and I felt like not much had happened. I wanted to like it but I didn't. The writing was well done but the story was not there for me.
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⚜️My Summary
Thank you @harlequinbooks and @netgalley for sending me this amazing read! My first read by Noué Kirwan but this will not be my last. The beautiful, resilient, and timeless love story of Cameron & Mikaela. This book started out slow but took off towards the middle which made it hard to put down. I highly recommendthis book! It's been a while since I've read a good novel that was more than just a rom come. The story in the book was well written. A must read!

⚜️Likes/Dislikes

📚The character development. 

📚Dislikes- Juliette

⚜️Can everyone read this book?

📚Absolutely! A must read.

⚜️Would I recommend?

📚A must read!!! I highly recommend! 

Just Read Stars 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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While a bit of a slow start, this book has strong themes of “it was always you” and second chance romances. Mikaela had to reconcile her past relationship with Cam and her friendship with Julie, which was done through shifting perspectives of past and present. When returning to the past, sometimes time had gone by since the previous past chapter, and it took me a minute to discern what was happening, and what everyone’s relationships were in that moment. Additionally, I did feel there was a little too much push and pull between Mike and Cam toward the end. That said, there was excellent depiction of an ambitious, career-driven Black woman and the struggles many face working in a predominately white man’s indistry. I also appreciated how Mikaela had to better understand her parent’s marriage in order to understand what love and commitment entail.
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Title: Long Past Summer     
Author:   Noué Kirwan
Genre:   Romance
Rating:  3.0 out of 5

Mikaela Marchand is living the polished life she always planned for: a successful New York lawyer, with a promotion in her sights and a devoted boyfriend by her side. She’s come a long way from the meek teen she was growing up in small town Georgia, but the memory of her adolescence isn’t far—in fact, it’s splashed across a massive billboard in Times Square. An old photograph of Mikaela and her former best friend, Julie, has landed on the cover of a high-profile fashion magazine advertised all over the city. And when Julie files a lawsuit, Mikaela is caught in the middle as defense lawyer for the magazine.
 
Not only will she have to face Julie for the first time in years, Mikaela’s forced to work closely with the photographer in question: the former love of her life--and Julie’s ex-husband--Cameron Murphy. Mikaela needs to win the case to get her promotion--and as a junior partner, she has no margin for error. But unresolved feelings still exist between Cam and Mikaela, and jealousy always made Julie play dirty… 

Solid writing from a debut author, I just didn’t really care for the characters. Mikaela was totally self-absorbed and so focused on other people’s perceptions of her that she forgot to be human—and forgot other people have feelings, too (like her doctor boyfriend). Cameron really wasn’t any better, and for me, these two came off as uncommunicative, needy, and co-dependent. Despite the quality of the writing, the characters themselves made this a lackluster read for me. 

Noué Kirwan is from New York. Long Past Summer is her debut novel.

(Galley courtesy of Harlequin in exchange for an honest review.)

(Blog post live 8/1.)
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I was drawn to the cover and title but ultimately did not finish the book. Thank you for the arc in exchange for an honest review.
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