Member Reviews

This is my first Nina Manning book but it definitely won't be my last! This is a fabulous story about Sylvie--now an actress--when her agent calls to offer her the lead in a film with handsome star Dexter. Worried because she had a breakdown on her last film, she realizes she must relive part of her past as this part will involve swimming in the sea which was her undoing early in her life. And so we travel to Corsica in 2008 to see her family--mother, father, two sisters--and the fateful night sister Franny disappeared. Past and present collide in this fascinating tale of childhood, mental instability, family ties, and the lengths people will go to when protecting their loved ones. I may have been holding my breath the entire way through but the ending is so satisfying that I may have shed a tear or two.
Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!

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When out of work actress Rey Levine is offered her dream acting role, she knows she has to make it work. But there’s a catch: the film calls for Rey to swim, something she hasn't done since her last fateful summer holiday fifteen years ago. The summer her sister disappeared…and everyone blamed Rey.

I thought this book was well written but I found it quite slow and plodding. I never really got to like any of the characters. Although it’s set around show business the people did seem very false and it became predictable. I had high hopes for this book having read a previous novel by this author but, sadly, it didn’t deliver.

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A gripping thriller that wasn’t draggy and showed us a good FMC story. Moderately paced this book had my attention throughout and I loved it.

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Her Last Summer is a gripping psychological thriller with a heartbreaking backstory. Rey is a successful actress, who should be happy that she has achieved her childhood ambition but who seems set on self destruction with some of the many questionable life choices she makes! When Rey is offered a great part starring opposite Dexter Rice, she is thrilled apart from one thing-she needs to swim in the sea something she hasn’t done since a family tragedy years before…

Rey isn’t an easy character to like due to her behaviour but once we find out more about what happened the year her youngest sister Franny went missing, I did start to understand more how the trauma of her childhood affected the woman she had become. The scenes set in the holiday home during the time Franny disappeared were the most interesting and emotional as the plot unraveled and I found myself dreading the outcome of the day Franny goes missing. When the past catches up with the present there were some unexpected shocks that led to a satisfactory conclusion and a greater understanding of all the characters involved.

Nina Manning isn’t a new author to me as I’ve read and enjoyed her books in the past. Her Last Summer is the ideal summer read for your sunlounger this year!

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Reads and Boldwood books the copy of Her Last Summer for my blog tour review.

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A well written novel following the story of Rey Levine, a former successful actress who’s been out of the limelight for a few years following a breakdown based on events from her past. She’s offered the job of a lifetime, the only problem is, it requires her to swim in open water, something she’s not done since that fateful summer holiday fifteen years ago. It’s a punchy gripping thriller set mainly in the present but with flashbacks to the past. I enjoyed it however though the ending could have been explored more so would rate this 3.5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley, Boldwood Books and the author for the chance to review.

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"Her Last Summer" by Nina Manning takes readers on an emotionally charged journey through trauma, guilt, and the quest for redemption. The novel follows Rey Levine, an out-of-work actress offered her dream role, but with a catch – she must confront her fear of swimming, a fear deeply rooted in a tragic event from her past.

Manning masterfully weaves together Rey's present-day struggles with her traumatic memories from fifteen years ago, when her sister disappeared during a summer holiday. The guilt and blame heaped upon Rey have shaped her life, leading to a downward spiral of alcohol and unhealthy relationships. Manning's exploration of Rey's psyche is both poignant and authentic, delving into the complexities of survivor's guilt and the haunting power of unresolved trauma.

The heart of the novel lies in Rey's journey to confront her demons, both figuratively and literally, as she reluctantly returns to the water for her role in the film. Manning expertly captures Rey's internal turmoil as she grapples with the painful memories that resurface with each stroke. The juxtaposition of past and present adds depth to Rey's character, allowing readers to empathize with her struggles while rooting for her to find healing and closure.

The tension escalates as Rey's quest for truth attracts opposition from someone determined to keep the past buried. Manning skillfully crafts a gripping narrative that keeps readers on the edge of their seats, eagerly turning pages to uncover the secrets lurking beneath the surface. The pacing is tight, with twists and turns that keep the suspense building until the final, shocking reveal.

"Her Last Summer" is not just a thriller; it's a profound exploration of grief, guilt, and the enduring power of the human spirit. Manning's prose is evocative and immersive, drawing readers into Rey's world with vivid descriptions and raw emotion. The novel's themes resonate long after the final page, prompting reflection on the nature of forgiveness and the possibility of redemption.

In conclusion, "Her Last Summer" is a captivating and thought-provoking read that will linger in the minds of readers. Nina Manning's skillful storytelling and compelling characters make this novel a must-read for fans of psychological suspense and emotional drama.

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Ugh I hate to do this but I just cannot get into this story. DNF at 12%.

From almost the first page I failed to connect with the main character. I tried but the writing feels a bit choppy and, for a mystery, I am not feeling that pull to find out what happens. I would definitely try to read something else by this author, though.

Thank you to Netgalley, Boldwood Books, and the author for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Rey Levine has not worked for the past two years. Although once a successful actress, her life has been plagued with memories of that last summer fifteen years ago, and the night when her youngest sister Franny, went missing, never to be seen again. The family were staying with their aunt in Corsica, and Rey was blamed. A breakdown two years ago has seen her immersing herself in drink, drugs and a series of soon forgotten men. An unexpected call from her agent with news of a leading role in a new film gives her the opportunity to escape this self destructive cycle in her life. However, the role she has been offered means she needs to swim - and Rey has not been back in the water since that fateful night.
Events unfold in a dual timeline - detailing Rey's current life and the events of that last summer. Desperate to grab this opportunity to restart her career, she joins her local sports centre and begins the challenge of getting back into the water. But as news of her new film surfaces in the press, so do details of the events of that last summer, and the paparazzi begin to take an interest. Although this intrusion is a setback, Rey manages to pull herself together, and is determined to overcome any obstacles. With security in place to keep the press at bay, she heads to Scotland.

As the story began, it was clear Rey’s breakdown two years ago had totally blighted her life. Her behaviour, for which there were moments of regret, was both destructive and dangerous, but clearly a means of temporary escape. The film offer was a godsend, and a lifeline. She was prepared to work hard and not waste this opportunity, but the unexpected public reminder of the past, threw her for a moment. The question was, could she overcome this?

The story was well structured, with Rey’s current situation cleverly interwoven with events from fifteen years previously. The writer creates a vivid picture of that last summer, the events that took place and how they led to the finger of blame being pointed at Rey.

It’s a thought provoking and compelling read, one that is difficult to put down. Highly recommended.

I would like to thank Boldwood, the author and Netgalley for a copy of Her Last Summer in exchange for an honest review.

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I love this author but this particular book isn't my favorite. I just didn't feel anything for our protagonist. I absolutely love the premise of the story. I love the drama.
It was fun and creepy.

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Thanks to NetGalley and Boldwood Books for this Advanced Reader’s Copy of Her Last Summer by Nina Manning due to be published May 30, 2024.
Rey Levine, and out of work actress, is offered a wonderful film. There is one problem – Rey must swim. She has not done this since her little sister disappeared when Rey was sixteen and everyone blamed her. Will Rey be able to do the film, find out what really happened to her sister, and learn to trust again?
I didn’t know what to expect from this book and was pleasantly surprised. Her Last Summer alternates time periods from the present back to 2008 when Rey’s sister disappeared while they were at a family beach vacation. It totally kept my interest - when it was relating the 2008 story, I couldn’t wait to see what was happening to Rey in the present time; then I couldn’t wait to see what happened to her sister and if the mystery was solved.
I highly recommend this one, and I will be looking forward to reading more books from Nina Manning!
#NetGalley #NinaManning #BoldwoodBooks #HerLastSummer

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Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this book in return for an honest review. I found this book to be a slow burner for me. It took a while for me to get invested in the story but it definitely picked up about half way through and I am glad that I stuck with it. The story did delve a little deep into past trauma and abuse, adding some interesting character backgrounds. A decent thriller that I enjoyed and would recommend. 4 stars.

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This book was a huge let down for me. It started off pretty slow and not grabbing my attention. Once the flashbacks started, the book started to get more interesting. The present day chapters bored me but the flashbacks were intriguing. Around 2/3s through the book, it all starts coming together and getting intense and I finally started to enjoy the book. Then the story suddenly ends with so much left to be resolved. I was really looking forward to more from the ending but it was so abrupt and depressing.

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3.5 stars rounded up.

When out of work actress Rey Levine is offered her dream acting role, she knows she has to make it work. But there's a problem, the film call for Rey to swim, something she hasn't done since her last fateful summer holiday fifteen years ago. The summer her sister disappeared.... and everyone blamed Rey. Rey will do anything to block out the painful memories, but it means her current life is in free-fall - drink and men are her drugs of choice. With her first dip in the cool water, Rey thinks she has found the perfect escape. But as the water holds her, old memories float to the surface, forcing Rey to remember the terrible summer she'd rather forget.

Rey Levine and her family went on holiday, her five-year-old sister disappeared. Rey blames herself for her sister's disappearance. Rey is an out of work actress, she relies on men and alcohol to get her through her day. When she is offered an acting role where she has to swim in the sea, Rey is petrified. She hasn't been in the water for fifteen years.

This story has a dual timeline - fifteen years ago when Rey's sister disappeared, and the present day. A story of a fractured family trying to move on from their sister's disappearance. This is a bit of a slow burn, so I took half a star off my rating. Nina has researched how much trauma can rule your life.

Published 30th May.

I would like to thank #NetGalley #BoldwoodBooks and the author #NinaManning for my ARC of #HerLastSummer in exchange for an honest review.

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If you like atmospheric stories, this book is for you. The settings at the beach, at the local recreation center in Camden, England, and the film set in Scotland (and particularly the food) will evoke your senses.

Rey Levine is an out-of-work actress, living in the best place she can afford, drinking, doing drugs, and hopping into bed with random strangers. We find out that though she was a rising star, she's so traumatized by the fact that her sister disappeared when she was young...and the guilt she feels...that she is sabotaging her career. But when she's offered a chance at a come-back role, she must do everything in her power to fight the fear of swimming that she's formed.

It wasn't until Rey is on the set of her film that I started to really get into her character, through the eyes of her co-star and heartthrob Dexter Rice. Through his character, she starts to open up about her past. As I expected, Rey's big secret isn't a surprise, but the circumstances around it take the book in a whole other direction.

Thanks to NetGalley, Boldwood Books, and Rachel's Random Resources for an advance reader's copy.

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As someone who hasn’t read much from the crime/mystery/thriller trio in a while, I was really looking forward to this read. Unfortunately, everything about it fell flat for me. The characters, narration, dialogue and overall plotline felt underdeveloped. Often felt compelled to DNF, though I saw it through to the end in order to find out what happened—and barely noticed when something had been revealed, the secrets were that lacklustre.

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This was my first Nina manning book but I'm not sure I'll be reaching for any others. I didnt feel as though the book really lived up to its promises. Told from Reys point of view in a then/now timeline, she is famous actress, living in Camden, abusing drink/drugs/sex to hide from a past family trauma, However, when the big reveal.comes it's a bit of a damp squib. Her character seems to change quite drastically through the book so I felt like I didn't really know her. Overall, a bit of a let down

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I have read and loved most of Nina Manning's books. This one was not for me.

Rey Levin, an out of work actress jumps at the opportunity to star in a blockbuster film with a heartthrob actor but fails to realize it requires her swimming in the sea. Because of a tragic event that happened many years ago, she feels she will be unable to take on this role.

The book switches between past and present to give the reader the whole back story which I liked.

To me it felt like the end of the book fell a little flat leaving me with more questions that needed to be answered.

Thanks to Netgalley and Boldwood Books for an advanced copy of this book

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This is my sixth Nina Manning thriller, and it’s amazing just like the others.

Told in a dual timeline, Rey is battling between her past and her present. She’s an actress and has memories of Corsica and a summer she’ll never forget and not, precisely, for a good reason. The summer of 2008 was when her little sister Franny went missing.

Years later and it’s still not clear what happened to Franny.
Corsica and the UK were very well recreated.

I really liked Rey’s relationship with Jolie, and the family dynamic between the entire family as well as the differences between the three sisters (Rey, Scarlet and Franny).

Can Rey get back into the water and swimming again, or will her memories of Franny and that summer in Corsica be too overwhelming?

Her Last Summer is about families, good and bad memories, and trying to move on. It’s powerful and true-to-life.

Thanks to Nina Manning and Boldwood Books for ny eARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

5 stars

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Thanks to Boldwood Books and netgalley for this arc...... It took a while for me to get into it, I also thought the ending was flat. Unfortunately it wasn't for me..... But other people will love it I'm sure.. when Rey Levine is offered an acting role in the Highlands with heartthrob of the screen Dexter Rice, she doesn't realise it will involve her swimming in the sea...... Her sister franny disappeared 15 years ago on a family vacation to corsica and everyone blames rey, but why? When articles appear in the paper about her, who is giving them the information?? Does rey manage to overcome her fear?

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The book hooked me right from the first chapter. It introduces the mystery quite early which works for the book. It is told in two timelines and you see the impact of the disappearance in the past even today.

The book talks about loss, guilt and family. The trauma and the ways the character tries to escape it is written very well. This is my first book by the author and I'm definitely going to read more of her work.

Thank you Netgalley and Boldwood Books for this e-arc in exchange of my unbiased review.

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