One Southern Summer
by Heidi McCahan
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Pub Date 27 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 27 Jul 2023
HARLEQUIN - Romance (U.S. & Canada), Love Inspired Trade
It’s her second chance summer…if she’s ready for it—in this warm and utterly irresistible Southern small-town novel.
When Avery Lansing Crawford left her hometown of Camellia, Alabama, she was the darling of the town. A beauty queen. Now she’s come back a disgraced and divorced mom who’s lost almost everything—her home, her husband, even her design TV show—all while the public watched. And if the humiliation wasn’t bad enough, Avery and her two small children are moving in with her mama…just in time to give everyone in Camellia something to talk about.
And oh, they’re talkin’. Especially when Avery reignites her old friendship with Cole Whitaker, who’s offered Avery the opportunity to do something real: a redesign project that would help survivors of human trafficking. It could kick-start both her career and her confidence—not to mention give her a chance to spend more time with Cole.
With three generations of strong Southern women around the family dinner table, coming home to Camellia could be the perfect fresh start. Even if Avery is the topic of salacious gossip over sweet tea and her grandmother won’t stop interfering in her love life. But the bonds of family and the promise of second chances just might lead to a future that looks nothing like she expected.
A modern-day Hope Floats for fans of Susan Mallery, Kristy Woodson Harvey and Lauren K. Denton. Devastated by her husband’s salacious affair, popular lifestyle blogger Avery Crawford is forced to pack up her young children and move back home to Camellia, Alabama to start over.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Heidi Blankenship writes inspirational romance novels under the pen name Heidi McCahan. She is a 2019 Booksellers’ Best Award finalist and a 2019 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award finalist. She is also a member of ACFW, RWA and My Book Therapy. Heidi lives in North Carolina with her husband, Steve, and their three boys.
“In pitch-perfect prose, Heidi McCahan effortlessly captures what it means to be a modern woman in all its complexities in her heartwarming new page turner. A story of reinvention, second chances, and finding love that truly conquers all, One Southern Summer is an absolute must read by a standout voice. Fans of Susan Mallery and Debbie Macomber will devour this captivating novel.” —Kristy Woodson Harvey, New York Times Bestselling author of Under the Southern Sky
“A touching, tender story about hope, second chances and new beginnings.” –RaeAnne Thayne, New York Times bestselling author
“Second-chance romance steeped in southern sweetness…what’s not to love? In this heartwarming story set in the fictional town of Camellia, Alabama, Heidi McCahan’s characters prove it’s never too late to reclaim your true self and build the happy-ever-after you deserve. The end result? A sentimental escape that leaves readers smiling.” --Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Perennials
“One Southern Summer is true southern women’s fiction, complete with sweet tea and gossip.” –Lee Tobin McClain, New York Times bestselling author
“In One Southern Summer, Heidi McCahan pens an engaging story about family ties and starting over when life takes an unexpected turn. Realistic characters, poignant moments, and a romance that celebrates second chances will leave you as satisfied as a glass of sweet tea!” –Kathryn Springer
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 79 members
This book was sent to me electronically by Netgalley for review. Thanks to the publisher and author. Avery’s life has combusted. She lost her husband and their business. With a toddler and a new baby in tow, she goes home to family. Gossip starts. Gossip at its worst. Enter an old friend. More gossip. This talented and gifted author has written a cannot put down novel. Family and friends…love and romance…bitterness. Enjoy this quick read.
What a wonderful book by Heidi McCahan! I’ll admit when I first started this book I was turned off by what happened with Avery’s husband and thought that this was going to be terrible and fixate on that, but NO! I loved Maribelle’s character along with her friends. A true southern meddler! Props to the author for not putting any bad language in the book! Wonderfully written and I’ll definitely read another by the author. Thanks to Netgalley for the advanced copy
Heidi McCahan's One Southern Summer is proof that you can go home again, just not as the same person who left. When Avery's personal life falls apart along with the artfully crafted social media persona she has created, she reluctantly seeks the safe haven of a family who only wants the best for her and her small children. With the unsolicited help of a meddling grandma, Avery reunites with Cole McAlister, the high school love she left behind, only to realize that they both have to deal with their own guilt and insecurities before they are free to love one another. Realistic characters who face the same insecurities we all deal with make this a must read.
Loved loved this book! Definitely couldn't put it down until I was finished!
I like how the author pulled me in from the moment I opened the book.
I thought Avery was a brave and beautiful soul who didn't deserve what she got. I found myself rooting for her and waiting to see if she'd pull herself together. I wasn't disappointed.
The kids are in my opinion what made the story. They made smile at their antics as children are supposed to do.
You will like this story of secrets and forgiveness. Avery must find her way back after her marriage breaks up. She returns to her home town with two kids and a broken heart. A pledge written on a napkin years ago changes her life.
Avery Crawford’s soaring career as a interior designer hosting a TV show with her husband Pax comes to a calamitous end when she discovers her husband has been unfaithful. Although Avery never planned to return home to Camellia, Alabama she now has no choice. With her two small children in tow, she moves in with her mother. She’s worlds away from her “perfectly curated, filtered lie of a life.” Her high school boyfriend Cole Whitaker is still in town, in charge of a non-profit for abused and victimized women. It seems natural that the two would meet but it takes engineering from a well meaning, interfering relative to make that happen. And that will lead to problems, both expected and unexpected.
One Southern Summer is a delightful read, full of romance, forgiveness, love and learning about yourself. I loved seeing Avery rediscover her talent and self assurance. Cole also becomes more confident as he makes plans to enlarge the center. Pour yourself a tall glass of sweet tea and enjoy! 5 stars.
Thank you to NetGalley, HARLEQUIN - Romance and Heidi McCahan for this ARC.
What a great story. While I can’t relate to everything Avery had to deal with, I can certainly empathize with her. I love how her family was there for her. Who wouldn’t want a Cole in their life? Speaking of Cole, what a wonderful thing he has done for the ladies who have been put through more than anyone should have to endure. This story is a lot about forgiveness and in realizing the potential we all have. It’s an awesome story line that I loved. I received this book from NetGalley, but my opinion is my own.
I really enjoyed One Southern Summer, and as a life-long southerner, I was delighted that McCahan really gets it right - the culture, the nuances, the language. This is a fun read for fans of sweet second-chance romance and humorous family dynamics. Maribelle and her friends are worth the price of admission alone. A lot of the story revolves around gossip, which feels true to life. Ultimately, the themes of self-discovery and forgiveness are handled beautifully, and I liked following along as Avery and Cole gain confidence in their life decisions.
Received complimentary e-galley from the publisher; all thoughts are my own.
Until the last page was turned, I was caught up in the life of Avery Lansing Crawford and her delightful, lovable, unpredictable, and often humorous family.
Avery and her husband Pax have a successful business, a TV show and in addition, Avery’s popularity as a social media influencer is expanding. Pax and Avery are hosting a gender reveal party to announce the gender of their second child. Their beautiful yard is full of people; drinks and appetizers are being passed by the catering staff Avery hired so everything would be perfect. There is a gigantic trunk in the middle of the yard filled with the appropriate color of balloons, indicating the gender of the new baby. The plan is for Pax and Avery to open the trunk together. The old cliché, “The best laid plans…” is very fitting about now. It is perfect for what happens next.
Fast forward a year later and Avery with her two young children, finds herself back in the small Alabama town she grew up in, living with her mother and stepfather. She needs to find a job, and her childhood best friend Cole, who runs a non-profit that rescues and rehabilitates women from human trafficking, can offer her a job because of a large donation the non-profit recently received. The house the rescued women live in is being enlarged to accommodate more residents. Avery specializes in decorating and Cole feels she will do an excellent job in designing and selecting items for the new addition. The unexpected large donation was given to Cole with a condition attached, that he fails to mention to Avery.
This book is the best combination of family dynamics, forgiveness, reinventing ourselves, second chances and provides many opportunities to pause while reading and simply laugh out loud! I loved this captivating, heartwarming story!
Thank you to NetGalley and Harliquin for the complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.