Member Reviews

Tennis and second chance romances in the form of a retelling of Persuasion, two of the things that bring me joy. What more can I ask for?

There is no shortage of nostalgic second chance romances with Summer in the title and I’m here for all of them. This may be for fans of Every Summer After (by Carley Fortune) and Same Time Next Summer (by Annabel Monaghan).

While this book had its charms (literally and figuratively) and did not disappoint, this did not blow me away either, just enough liking for me to finish. The antics and the drama toward the ending made this one suffer a bit for me as well.

I loved the writing and would probably still be on the lookout for Bailey’s next books as this is her debut. However, I guess having read a bunch of books with these similar themes, I don’t think this stood out.

Thank you to Alcove Press, NetGalley and the author for my early copy. All opinions are honest and my own.

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Summer After Summer is loosely based on Jane Austen's Persuasion, but there are many plot points that make it stand out, too. For example, it is a contemporary story, and the characters' personalities aren't always similar to Austen's characters. I found it to be an engaging story overall. The main character, Olivia, is returning to her family home after being away for quite some time, but it's easy to understand her avoidance when you meet her family. Olivia is obviously the one that everyone expects to see stand up and take care of things, including, this time, helping to clean out the family house before her father moves out. Olivia's sisters are too caught up in their own lives to help her much, and you begin to suspect that this is their usual behavior. On top of that, Olivia's marriage is falling apart, and this summer seems to be more of an escape from that than a happy family reunion.

One thing Olivia can't escape, however, are the memories of her first love with Fred, the boy she met as a teen, who marked each of her summers with love and sorrow. Things between her and Fred never really got off the ground, as events in both of their lives always got in the way of their relationship blooming. So, of course, the reader will find it as no big surprise when Fred shows up this summer, too, in this case, as the home buyer. Why would he want to buy her family home, and is their any chance for them this time? These are the questions Olivia has, but, as a reader, I felt like I already knew the answers.

Whether you've read Persuasion or not, it's not difficult to figure out the answer to these questions. I felt like the story line was a bit predictable, and I didn't really find myself rooting for Olivia and Fred as much as I had wanted to. Over and over, I felt like the sabotaged their own relationship, and it just made me more frustrated than I felt like I needed to be. I did enjoy the writing for the most part, but I wanted to be more invested in their relationship than I was.

Thank you, NetGalley and Alcove Press for the opportunity to preview this title.

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Persuasion re-telling!! what more can you ask for? Young love, summer, beach house setting. I found the pacing a bit slow but otherwise enjoyed it!

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Thank you to Netgalley for the advance copy.

I am always a sucker for a book set at the beach/coastal community. This one is set in the Hamptons.
Olivia has returned back to her family home in the Hamptons to help pack it up for its pending sale.
Coming home has brought up a lot of memories of growing up and her first love, Fred. The chapters go back and forth between summers and current time detailing their relationship.
Although this had the makings of a great story, it fell short. After a while, I was hoping for them not to get together.
It was fine to pass the time.

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ʙ ᴏ ᴏ ᴋ • ʀ ᴇ ᴠ ɪ ᴇ ᴡ

📖 Summer After Summer
✍🏻 @laurenbaileyauthor
⭐️ 4.5
🫶🏻 ARC #41 of 2024
📚 95/100

🄿 🅄 🄱 • 🄳 🄰 🅃 🄴: May 7th, 2024

First off I want to say thank you to @netgalley, @laurenbaileyauthor, @alcovepress and @dreamscape_media for this ebook/audio ARC.

I really enjoyed this book! It gave me Mary Kay Andrews vibes.

♥️ fated mates / second chances
🏠 small town
✨ young love
🕰️ duel timeline
😰 drama, mystery and some thrill
🏖️ beach vibes
☀️ summer scenes
💸 wealth

I’ll say it again….it had it all! I LOOVVEEEE a book that has family drama, romance/love and even some mystery and a twist. Like romance is romance. Thrillers are thrillers. BUT when you throw it all into one, 🤌🏻

So happy I got this book! And definitely recommend

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Thank you to Netgalley and Alcove Press for the ARC!

Summer After Summer is a retelling of Persuasion by Jane Austen. I wasn’t aware of that when beginning the book, nor have I ever read Persuasion, so I went in without any real expectations.

After leaving her husband, Olivia makes her way back to the Hamptons for the sale of her family home. Once there she crosses paths with Fred, her first summer romance.
The story is told in alternating timelines so that we learn about Olivia and Fred’s relationship over the last 20 years. (They encounter each other every five years.) The beginning was very slow for me. I found myself really not wanting to pick it up as I really didn’t care about the main character and the family dynamic was very strange to me. The pace picked up about halfway through the book and I found myself reading the rest quickly. The second half of the book and especially the ending is what leads me to give it an overall 3 star rating.

I think some of the things I was confused about had to do with the author keeping the story aligned with Persuasion. If you are a fan of that novel and contemporary retellings, then you will probably like this book a bit more than I did. Overall, it was a cute, summer read.

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Summer after Summer is like a modern-day retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion, and even though I haven't read the original, I found this book pretty good! It's got that sweet and cute vibe of a classic story but set in today's world. The family dynamics were interesting, even if some characters got on my nerves. I liked the author's writing style, and although I gave this book 3 stars, I’m looking forward to her next books!

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Olivia comes back to the Hamptons to help her family pack up their family home, only to find her old ex, Fred, is the one who has now bought the property.

This second chance romance was quite a sweet read. I enjoyed the dual timelines of then and now so we could see the buildup of Olivia and Fred's relationship and what went wrong. The chemistry between the main characters was evident throughout and I couldn't help rooting for them to hurry up and make it official! I enjoyed listening to the audiobook (the narration was excellent!) as I read along and loved listening to all the tennis talk!

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In a contemporary Persuasion retelling, Olivia returns to her family home in the Hamptons after her marriage spirals out of control and her father needs help cleaning out the house after its sale. What she isn't expecting is that her "right guy, always the wrong time" lost love, Fred is the buyer.

I enjoyed this one! There were so many things that really pulled me in!

The setting: I loved the setting of the Hamptons. You really got sucked into the lifestyle with the beach and the club. Along with that, you get to travel around the world in the past chapters, following Olivia to tennis matches. All are well drawn out.

The past and present timelines. The book spans many many years, following Olivia and Fred as they meet up every five years. You start to anticipate them coming together and knowing the heartbreak is coming for them to separate.

The retelling of it all: Austen retellings are always my favorite because her characters and plots are honestly timeless. I thought Bailey did a great job getting the heart of the original tale, delving into the rich and poor status and what it takes to get to the higher status in order to get what you want.

All in all, this was a well-laid out romance with a timeless story.

Thank you to the author and publisher for the gifted copy.

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I actually enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. A second chance romance set in the summer in the Hamptons. The setting was perfect for starting off your summer TBR! The complicated family dynamic kept me engaged as well as the love triangle Olivia finds herself in. The past has left a lot unresolved in this one with the catalyst being the death of Olivia’s mom. I really enjoyed the growth of all of the relationships in this book.

I did find the miscommunication in this one a bit annoying at times. Also it felt the dialogue between characters was sometimes simple and short. I will say the ending and how the story unfolded in the last few chapters made up for those small flaws. I definitely recommend this as a great summer read!

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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance copy. This retelling of Persuasion has all the elements of a popular beach read for summer of 2024: an idyllic beach setting, summer lovers who can’t seem to get it together, family drama, a con attempt, etc. However, it was a touch too long, several of the characters were irritating, and I could see the twist at the end with the awful soon-to-be ex-husband coming for at least half of the book. I think cutting at least 50 pages would have made this a more enjoyable read.

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This book just didn’t do it for me. It was too messy for my liking. The pacing changed constantly, there were too many plot holes and a few times I noticed that the wrong names were used in the wrong setting.
The ages confused me as well. The main character is supposed to be 35 for most of the book, but throughout the entire book she acted like she was 14 or 15. A lot of the other characters acted too much like teenagers when they were supposed to be adults as well.

The love interests was messy as well and the further you got into the book, the more toxic it seemed. The characters just didn’t fit that well together and their love didn’t make any sense to me.

I did however like the summer setting and the bonding between the sisters.

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In this modern take on "Persuasion," we follow the story of Olivia and Fred, who fall in love as teenagers in the Hamptons. Life has other plans for both of them, and they lead separate existences, building their careers and lives with other people, but falling back into old patterns any time they're in the same city. When Olivia returns to her family home to clean it out, she has to revisit her past to be able to fully move on in her present.

This is one of the better modern Austen remakes that I've read in a while. It felt like a Carley Fortune novel, with sprinklings of "Carrie Soto Is Back" throughout, especially with all of the tennis references. I adored Fred and Olivia and was rooting for them the whole time. Olivia's ex, Wes, was a perfect villain, and I didn't see the twist at the end coming, but there was no way he was ever going to live up to Fred's charm bracelet. Most of the side characters are fleshed out, making me feel angry with Olivia's sisters for their lack of help, and I would love to read another story about Lucy and James' relationship.

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ARC REVIEW
Summer after Summer
By Lauren Bailey

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 (5 out of 5)

Publishing date: 5/7/24

I LOVED THIS BOOK!

I ADORE second chance love when it starts as young love. Coming of age love is my FAVORITE.   Olivia and Fred meet as  teens, and as the book progresses, we learn about their relationship history. I am very fond of book timeliness spanning  many years because it usually show growth and transformation. This one does that!

I loved the beachside, Hamptons setting. Summer romance is also a fave of mine, so this continued checking all my boxes! ✔️

This was a DEBUT novel?! So so good!

There was even a "twist" which was so unexpected, but it was done so well.

I definitely think you should give this one a chance- especially if you are a fan of the things I mentioned above.

@laurenbaileyauthor great book!!! You will be an "auto buy" going forward, so don't stop now 🙂

Thank you, @alcovepress and @netgalley

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I enjoyed this one! It’s based on Austen’s Persuasion which I am not super familiar with. I think that is was probably to my benefit because then I wasn’t anticipating everything that would happen. I have two qualms with the book, though. First the tortured love story - it honestly didn’t make much sense at all why Fred and Olivia couldn’t be together other than bad communication. Secondly while a family could be wealthy and not ‘do’ anything in Austen’s time, that same thing comes across unsympathetically in a modern setting. Bailey could have come up with a different reason why the dad was kind of out of it, or why there was a house needing to be sold. Other than that I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t particularly memorable.

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This book was great, it felt fresh and not like anything else I've read lately. It kept me intrigued all the way through, I didn't want to put it down.

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📖 ~ Summer After Summer
✍🏻 ~ Lauren Bailey
⭐~ 4/5
🌶️~ 2/5

I received an ARC, and anything shared in this review is solely my opinion!

I was immediately engrossed in Lauren's romance debut from the first chapter. 'Wow, this is giving me The Summer I Turned Pretty vibes,' was my first reaction upon seeing the cover. You get a summertime vibe from this book right away. When I started Summer After Summer, I recall having the best time ever!

Given Lauren's simple and straightforward writing style, I was immediately taken to the Hamptons. I devoured the story that Lauren wrote because I could see Olivia's emotions as I read the book. I was much more drawn to her as a character because of her point of view in the novel. Throughout the entire novel, I was able to identify with Olivia as a character and find parts of myself in her. Furthermore, book alternates between the present and the past to portray what Olivia and Fred experienced as teenagers and when they were younger. Additionally, I would say that as a reader, this gave me a better insight into their relationship and the way that Lauren Bailey made use of the second chance romance trope and Jane Austen's Persuasion story as the focal point of the plot, but by adding that modern twist, it was executed perfectly. 

Adding to that, I would say that Summer After Summer kept me on the edge of my seat, wanting to stay up at night to continue and see where the story was going to keep on developing. There were moments while reading where I felt for Olivia and Fred. It was an engaging story with well-written characters that any reader would actually feel for and relate to. There were a few moments in the story where the pacing was a bit slow; however, in my opinion, it was until the story kicked off.

Thank you, Lauren Bailey and Alcove Press, for this e-ARC! I really appreciated reading this debut book!

* This review shall be posted on my Bookstagram page a week before the release of Summer After Summer. It will also be posted and available on my Goodreads and Storygraph page on 3rd April, 2024!*

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The perfect summer read, I absolutely loved this storyline. It’s just what I needed to read while I was lounging back while my kids played. Each character has their own development and it flourished

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Equal parts hopeful and sad, this sweet romantic story takes place across decades in five year increments where friends turned lovers turned friends continue to encounter each other. This book is a wonderful look at the ways in which life can turn us on different paths based on seemingly mundane decisions.

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I wasn’t a huge fan of this one but it was a nice story about family and love. I’d recommend it to a friend. Thank you NetGalley for the gifted arc.

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