Summer Romance

the must-read love story that will steal your heart this year

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Pub Date Jul 04 2024 | Archive Date Jul 06 2024

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'Summer Romance brims with heart, wit, and longing — the signature ingredients of my favourite beach reads. Anything Annabel writes, I’m reading it' - Carley Fortune

Benefits of a summer romance: it’s always fun, always brief, and no one gets their heart broken.

There aren’t enough labeled glass containers to contain the mess that is Ali Morris’s life. Her mum died two years ago, then her husband left, and she hasn’t worn pants with a zipper in longer than she cares to remember. She’s a professional organiser whose pantry is a disgrace.

No one is more surprised than Ali when the first time she takes off her wedding ring and puts on pants with hardware—overalls count, right?—she meets someone. Or rather, her dog claims a man for her in the same way he claimed his favourite of her three children: by peeing on him. Ethan smiles at Ali like her pants are just right—like he likes what he sees. The last thing Ali needs is to make her life messier, but there’s no harm in a little Summer Romance. Is there?

The heart-tugging and hilarious new book from the bestselling author of Same Time Next Summer and Nora Goes Off Script.

'Annabel Monaghan has joined my shortlist of instant autobuy authors. Her writing is packed full of chemistry and warmth and I could not put this book down' Paige Toon

'Summer Romance brims with heart, wit, and longing — the signature ingredients of my favourite beach reads. Anything Annabel writes, I’m reading it' - Carley Fortune

Benefits of a summer romance: it’s...

Advance Praise

Annabel Monaghan knows how to write romance, how to sweep you up and make you feel as though you, the reader, are falling in love. This is what romance books are all about. Ali is such a relatable protagonist and Ethan a perfect book boyfriend. I devoured it. Annabel has another hit on her hands. - Sophie Cousens, author of Just Haven’t Met You Yet

A warm, funny, and bingeable five-star read. - Abby Jimenez

'Such a charming read' Curtis Sittenfeld

'Pure summer sunshine' Beth O'Leary

'Everything I want in a summer romance' Carley Fortune

Annabel Monaghan knows how to write romance, how to sweep you up and make you feel as though you, the reader, are falling in love. This is what romance books are all about. Ali is such a relatable...

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ISBN 9781035910984
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Featured Reviews

Title: Summer Romance by Annabel Monaghan
Release Date: July, 4th, 2024


"Summer Romance" by Annabel Monaghan is a heartfelt and beautifully written tale of life, love, and loss.

Ali Morris, a professional organizer grappling with the messiness of her own life, unexpectedly finds herself drawn to Ethan after a chance encounter involving her dog. Despite her reservations, Ali embarks on a summer romance with Ethan, finding comfort and support in their budding relationship.

Monaghan expertly crafts the dynamic between Ali and Ethan, portraying them as a perfect partnership who bring out the best in each other.

Their journey together is both heartwarming and poignant, touching on themes of grief, love, and resilience. The book weaves together humour, relationships, and moments of raw emotion, captivating readers from start to finish.

While the story may tug at your heartstrings, it also leaves you with a sense of hope and optimism. Though I wished for an epilogue to glimpse into Ali and Ethan's future, I found the book incredibly satisfying and well-written overall.

"Summer Romance" is a must-read for romcom lovers seeking a story that feels authentic and relatable, with moments that will make you swoon, gasp, smile, and cry.

Thank you to The Publisher Aria & Aries | Aria, The Author Annabel Monaghan & NetGalley for an advanced reader copy (ARC) in exchange for my honest review.

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Thank to #NetGalley for an #ARC of #SummerRomance.

Synopsis: Ali Morris's life is a mess, with her mother's death, a divorce, and a chaotic pantry. Surprisingly, when she decides to take off her wedding ring and wear proper pants, her dog introduces her to Ethan. Despite her reservations, Ali considers a summer romance.

Rating: ☆☆☆.5

Getting another book by Annabel Monaghan was exciting, especially after how much I loved Nora Goes Off Script last year—I rated it five stars. I admire how Annabel creates romances for women who've given up on love. In this story, I appreciated the protagonist's journey as she dealt with loss and moved forward with the support of friends like Frannie and Ethan. Although I didn't sense a strong bond between the main couple, I still found the book delightful and quick-paced, and I'd definitely suggest it to others.

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Ali Morris isn't coping well after the death of her beloved mother and the collapse of her marriage, showering, washing her hair, trousers with a zip, emptying the dishwasher etc are all beyond her most days. The irony is that she is a professional organiser (like those two women who scream a lot on that TV show).

Then whilst walking her dog in the park he introduces her to this gorgeous guy, by peeing on his foot! Nevertheless he seems interested in Ali and asks her on a date, which seems to be going swimmingly, until he suddenly becomes a bit 'off' and seems to lose interest.

Despite the unhappy ending to their date, Ali is bubbling over with new feelings. Until she discovers that her date, Ethan, is none other than her best friend's irritating little brother Scooter. Scooter lives a three hour drive away and is very clear that he never wants to return to his home town, his parents still think he's unreliable and his big sister thinks he's a loser whereas he has created a new life for himself upstate where he is a valued member of the community. Ali can't leave town, all her memories are here and she needs to be close to her ex-husband for when he deigns to take their three children (if he isn't busy doing something else).

But with those clear parameters set, there's no harm in a summer romance is there? The trouble is, Ethan makes himself indispensable to Ali and when the summer ends will she be able to let him go?

I love Annabel Monaghan, I love her heroines and they truly deserve the wonderful heroes she gives them and this was no different. Loved it, loved it, loved it.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Aria for allowing me access to an ARC of Summer Romance by Annabel Monaghan.

As usual, Monaghan's writing is gentle, conscientious, and immersive. The town of Beechwood is charming, made vivid by Monaghan's skilled descriptions of the diner, the spinster sister houses, the creek at the bottom of Ali's home. I am in love with this town, and I want to move there!

As ever, Monaghan's love interests are charming, and incredibly kind. Ethan is immensely loveable. He listens, he cares, and he adores Ali. He loves dogs, he cares for his community, he's intelligent, and responsible. He's delicious!

I'm always up for a coastal romance, with idyllic locations, and a gentle story. Monaghan consistently delivers an elevated version of this, and Summer Romance lands on top. This elevated summer romance is sure to warm hearts! Time for a reread...

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Ali Morris was once happily married with a family surrounding her. Now, her mother has passed over 2 years ago and her husband marriage is over. The one day she decides to get dressed properly and takes off her wedding ring, she runs into an admirer at the local park, in rather embarrassing circumstances. Slowly, things in her life begins to change but is a Summer Romance what Ali needs? Or will it just lead to heartbreak?

Like any fabulous romance, this one was full of hope and joy and while there were plenty of setbacks, this was just so fun and delightful! I cried, sad and happy tears and flew through this one in a day. Highly recommend. 4.5* This author has become a firm favourite.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for this wonderful novel. It was a gifted copy, in exchange for my honest review.

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I read Annabel’s second novel last year and loved it. It’s called Same Time Next Summer and it swept me up in its setting and characters. I decided to give Nora Goes Off Script a try - Annabel’s first book and I didn’t finish it. I already had Summer Romance in my Netgalley queue and I was so hoping I’d love it when I started it. Turns out third one’s a charm! I loved this one so much I even set my alarm to get up before work to finish it!

The story is about newly-ish single mother Ali. She’s at a bit of a standstill in her life after the death of her mother and the subsequent death of her marriage that followed. Going into divorce proceedings she finds herself in need of a lawyer and turns to her best friend’s brother. Who just so happens to have turned up for the summer looking and acting nothing like his former goofy troublesome teenager self.

The story really focuses on the relationship between Ali and Ethan (Scooter) and Ali’s relationship with herself as a mother and a woman. It challenges her to reflect on everything she does and helps her to live more purposefully for herself and her family. Ethan is the perfect antidote to Ali’s ex and at points his impact was very comical. It was also profound though and one particular quote I loved was this -

“His ability to meet people where they are and just hold the space for them to step into their best selves without any expectation of what that might be.”

It just totally summed Ethan up, it’s described as his superpower and I couldn’t agree more. I think he’s got to be up there now as one of my favourite boon boyfriends. I already can’t wait to reread this one and think I probably will before the end of the summer.

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Sigh. A dreamy, summer romance. I absolutely love this authors writing style. It sucks you straight in and is just so clever and witty and realistic. Her characters are relatable and flawed and the breakdown of Ali’s marriage took my breath away with its simplicity and the fact the author didn’t use infidelity or some other trauma to end it. Sometimes it really is as simple as realising you’re no longer in love with the one you’re with. The sentence where Ali said her husband’s complaints were basically white noise in the background of her life was poetic and so, so realistic. As you can tell, I’m a huge fan of this author. I would class this as more women’s fiction than romance, and any romance does take place behind closed doors so if you’re looking for spice this is not the book for you. But read it anyway, because you’ll love it. Thanks Netgalley and the publisher for letting me read and review this.

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A lovely summer read that deals very carefully with some tricky topics. I enjoyed reading it and would read others by this author.

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Thank you, Aria & Aries and NetGalley for this digital arc in exchange for an honest opinion.

This was my first Annabel Monaghan book and I wasn't sure what to expect. It took some time for me to get into the story, probably because I'm in my early 20s and don't have a lot in common with a 38-year old single mom, but that wasn't the book's fault.
Still, I got into it after about 40% and liked how real and imperfect the fmc was. The book did a great job at showing that life doesn't end just because a marriage ended and that a divorce doesn't make a woman undesirable or weak. I loved Ali's character development, how she started taking control of her life and figured out what she wanted.
The meet-cute between her and Ethan was really funny and the side characters, especially Cliffy and Phyllis really entertained me.
Ethan was a good mmc and the way the two supported and understood each other was nicely written. However, I would've wished for a little more tension and angst.

All in all, I'd recommend this book to everyone who's looking for a closed-door summer romance book in a family and small-town environment.

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Annabel Monaghan consistently creates likable and relatable characters, and Summer Romance is no different. Ali’s organization and mess is almost like a separate character in the book, and it’s fun to see different characters go through their life belongings together with her. Ethan is the perfect combination of a skateboarding lawyer, and the relationship between Ethan and Ali crackles with chemistry. The ending felt a bit abrupt, because the book was so enjoyable.

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I was very kindly given the ARC of this book by Aria and NetGalley and I was so excited!

I’ve read Nora Goes Off Script and Same Time Next Summer so I knew I loved Annabel’s writing style and this book sounded right up my street. I wasn’t disappointed!

This book follows Ali, two years after the loss of her mother and one year after her husband left her. Her life is in disarray and she’s holding on by a thread. Then enters Ethan, who is in town temporarily and shows Ali what it’s like to be noticed. Maybe a summer romance is just what she needs?

Oh my word. I absolutely LOVED this book. I can honestly say that there wasn’t one thing I didn’t like. Ali was perfectly imperfect. She was a bit of a mess, she’d deprioritised herself and she has relinquished control of her own life. Her humour in this was brilliant, and her inner (and outer!) monologues made me laugh out loud.

Ethan was just… incredible. The way he was with Ali had me grinning like a fool. I was actively swooning every time he made an appearance.

This book felt perfect for me. I felt like I was engaging with it on a deeper level, like I was invested in Ali as a woman, as a mother and as someone who finds comfort in solving others problems above her own.

This book is out on 4th July. Please read it! It’s incredible.

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This was another bit from Annabel Monaghan. I liked the two leads, and the B-plot was great. She was a great main character and I really appreciated the romance and her finding her own identity.

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4.5 ⭐️ This book was something special. After reading Nora Goes off Script, I knew I wanted to read every book ever written by Annabel Monaghan!

Summer Romance was a beautifully introspective, romantic, and heartwarming read. From the ‘soft pants’ to her love for chocolate coated pretzels and the four boxes of cornstarch in her pantry, Ali is such a relatable main character (although I haven’t had the same life experiences, I still found myself relating to her in so many ways!).

I love how raw and honest Ali is with herself as she journeys through motherhood, family, friendship, divorce, grief, love, and life. It’s a beautiful story about trying new things, being courageous, and staying true to yourself, while having a whole lot of fun in the process!

I also really liked the author’s note, and thought Annabel was very authentic and vulnerable in sharing a piece of her own story with us.

This book has a whole lot of heart and I can’t wait to read more of Annabel Monaghan’s books in the future!

Read if you like:
☀️ homemade cookies for breakfast
☀️ eggs as a love language
☀️ love after divorce
☀️ getting unstuck & finding yourself
☀️ small town setting
☀️ loveable characters (and lots of them!)
☀️ summer read
☀️ closed door romance

I’m so thankful to have received an early copy of this book prior to its release on June 4. Huge thank you to NetGalley, Putnam Books and Annabel Monaghan for the advanced copy!

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I loved Annabel Monaghan's previous books and I had high expectations for this latest release and I'm so happy to say that it did not disappoint in the slightest. This latest book follows single mum Ali as she begins to move on from the death of her mother and separation from her husband. She meets Ethan who is back home temporarily visiting family despite never feeling accepted in his home town. I absolutely loved the development of the relationship between Ali and Ethan. It was realistic and comforting and really developed to show them both as the best versions of themselves. To me this is a perfect romance book and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a sweet, realistic romance to read.

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Ah, if there was ever an author that can be relied on for a good summer romance book, then it's Annabel Monaghan. I absolutely loved Nora Goes Off Script and eagerly followed it up with Same Time Next Summer, so I had high hopes for Summer Romance. Whilst it's pretty predictable, and the stakes don't seem to really get raised very high, I thoroughly enjoyed it and will continue to read everything the author writes in future.

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Thank you for the E-Arc! this was my first book by Annabel and what can I say I really enjoyed it! The FMC is a woman in her mid-late 30's and is struggling following the death of her mother and from being separated from her husband. I've not read many books with a FMC in her 30's struggling following a divorce so I really enjoyed this perspective a lot. Ethan was like a breath of fresh air into Ali's life and he also brought her back to life. the only thing that slightly bothered make about this book was the overuse of the word carbonated when describing how Ali felt about/around Ethan. I will definitely read more by Annabel.

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summer romance by annabel monaghan

my first read by annabel and i absolutely loved it!!

summer romance was such a light, fun and heartwarming romance which i devoured in two days!!🤭
when i wasn’t reading i was thinking about the book and what might happen next - i haven’t had that in a LONG time!!

* meet cute
* best friends brother
* small town romance
* closed door romance
* found family
* summer love

i really enjoyed ali’s character, she was so honest with herself and was even able to be witty as she struggled through her divorce, recent grief and motherhood whilst in her mid 30s - i think she made such a relatable character that you don’t find very often in romances💫

the fact her love language was eggs is just🫶🏼

perhaps a summer romance was just what she needed…maybe even more than she realised?☀️

ethan was her love interest, just temporarily visiting family in town but as they met (meet cute or what?!) he was just a breath of fresh air, and literally brought ali back to life again🥹

their chemistry through the pages was amazing to read, the way they absolutely adored each other just made me smile🥰

the ending was just what i needed to have closure on this book - if it ended the way i thought it was going to as i got to the last few chapters, i might have cried - no, i would have cried😭🥹

the feelings i got from this book:
am i about to start skateboarding? maybe…👀
do i crave eggs and chocolate covered pretzels? yes - but not at the same time🍫

all i can say is i’ll definitely be looking to buy her other books to read!!🤭

thank you to netgalley, aria and annabel for an early copy of summer romance!!🫶🏼

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Ali is getting divorced, and she's slowly realising that her ex Pete wasn't a great husband. She's still stumbling through life a little on autopilot after the death of her mother 2 years ago and keeping up with three kids, dealing with Pete being a jerk and working on her home organisation business is all she can manage. Her friend Frannie is constantly encouraging her to get out of her sweats and into "hard pants". Set in coastal Connecticut in a small seaside town, I felt that I was there with Ali paddling kayaks with her kids in the sound and admiring the view to Long Island.

When love-interest Ethan appears in Ali's life at the dog park one day - a lovely man who is her friend's brother and who apparently has been crushing on her since high school but she never noticed - things start to change. Ali feels lighter for the first time in a long time and though it sounds a bit like "the love of a good man will fix her" I can assure you that Monaghan is a better writer than this. Ali has to fight her way free of a lot of grief and old preconceptions, emotional baggage and self-doubt to see her a future life where she can be happy again.

Ethan has his own hang-ups and has built a life as a lawyer away from his hometown. At home, he fights to be seen as his own man - someone quite different from his old "Scooter" nickname, his rebellious and unreliable reputation as a teen and the "never going to grow up" box that his family and others still place him in. I loved the way that family relationships are explored in this book, with the author showing us all different shapes and sizes and not shying away from slightly heavier emotional themes like what happens when parents get old, the overwhelming grief felt when people die and leave us, and how ultimately we can move forward with what they've taught us.

The book has a great sense of place and captures that feeling of your hometown being where your loved ones are whilst also being that suffocating place where everybody thinks they know you. Though this is definitely a romance with the love story being the focal point, the book skirts close to that sub-genre of contemporary fiction I reluctantly call "women's fiction" in that it's about finding yourself and your happiness etc. I didn't enjoy it any less because of this, and in fact am now a fan of Monghan's writing, and will be seeking out her backlist.

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Summer Romance is about a newly single mother of three who is dealing with the grief of losing her mother and parts of herself in the process. While I realy can't relate to Ali in any aspect since i am not married or divorced, don't have kids and don't have a deceased mother, Annabel's characters carry some sense of familiarity and reliabilty with them. I could feel and understand what her characters were going through, and i rooted for them from the start. Ali's journey of self discovery and self love was the most beautiful thing to witness.

I adored Ali's personal story and internal growth but also her journey of dating again after a failed marriage, it was so fun. Never was it cringe or uncomfortable. Ethan and the freaking man that he is 😮‍💨🧎🏻‍♀️🧎🏻‍♀️ Her and Ethan made me so giddy! They were so sweet and adorbale together. He is so caring and kind and supportive and truly met Ali where she was at!

I cannot wait to have the phyiscal copy and read it again and annotate it! This is the perfect summer romance! The small coastal town setting with the flowers and books made for the perfect overall story. I adore this book and its emphasis on relationship and loving with no fears.

Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group for the advance reader copy.

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This was such a perfect book for the summer! It was so sweet and addictive I couldn’t stop reading. This book has a beautiful setting and really relatable characters, I had the best time reading it. Along with the romance between Ali and Ethan, this book also shows grief, self discovery and motherhood. Loved every second of it.

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4 stars

Another win by Annabel Monaghan. This book was so sweet and emotional and heartwarming.
The discussion of grief and feelings lost after a divorce but also feeling lost because you don't know where you are in life and you're in your 30s and society tells you you should know by now who you are and what you should be doing BUT realizing its not a competition and everyone's time is different and thats okay... it was amazing.
Also, the fact that it's not too late to start over?! Fantastic!
I love Annabel Monaghan books because they always left me thinking about my own life, like in a positive way.
The romance was super sweet, and the main characters and side characters were amazing.
Overall, it was a fantastic read.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Well this was lovely. I really enjoyed Nora Goes off Script but didn’t love Monaghan’s last novel the same way. This however was a lovely return to what I wanted. It’s pretty low stakes and low conflict between the romantic leads, but there is plenty of stuff to work through for the heroine to get her happy ending. And I was rooting for her the whole time. My only real complaint is that I wanted something bad to happen to Ali’s ex husband for being so horrid and dismissive of her. But she’s definitely the winner in the end - and she does it herself too. Delightful.

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I am a massive Annabelle Monaghan fan and Summer Romance did not disappoint. Ali is about to start divorce proceedings with her husband after they separated on the year anniversary of her mum’s death. They have three kids together and whilst she is a professional organiser in her job, she is struggling in her own personal life. If anyone deserves a hot man in her life….enter Ethan in the dog park. I loved this so much - the setting, the friendships, the family dynamics and, of course, the ridiculous chemistry between Ali and Ethan - and it all feels so authentic. 5 🌟

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I really enjoyed this book. I absolutely loved Annabel Monaghan's first book 'Nora goes off script' and recommend it all the time to library customers, her second novel, 'Same time next summer' whilst good, didn't quite match up to her first and this, her third book comes somewhere between the two in my ranking of them!

Recently separated and soon to be divorced the main character Ali is also still grieving the loss of her much loved mother. With two children to look after and a struggling business, life is pretty tough for Ali who seems to have become stuck in her own life, unable to make decisions or wear anything but 'soft clothing'. Enter, Ethan, the handsome man at the dog park who might be just the person to get Ali back into 'hard' clothes and start living her life again, but is there something complicating this new romance? Of course! Will it end well? Of course!

This was a heart warming, fun read but with depth of character in both the main and side characters. Yes, a bit predictable but that's what you read this sort of book for!

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So fun and cute - the perfect summer story. I honestly loved it from start to finish.

Though a large portion of the book is focused on Ali and Ethan's romance, it also revolves a lot around Ali's journey of self discovery. Ali, whose loss of her beloved mother is still raw, is navigating her way through her marriage falling apart, only to realise that maybe she wasn't happy all along.

By chance, she encounters Ethan 'Scooter' whilst they're both out walking their dogs, and they soon form a strong connection. Not wanting to get her heart broken again, Ali decides she needs to let off some steam and embrace a fun summer romance - and her relationship with Ethan takes off.

However, she soon realises she's fallen harder than she could have ever imagined. However, with Ethan having a life in a different state four hours away, will this summer romance break her heart all over again?

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This was such a sweet and fun summer romance! It is my first of the authors and I will definitely be returning. I really enjoyed the characters and the premise, I was completely rooting for our lead female the whole through and was satisfied with the ending.

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Ali is trying to find herself again after her mothers passing and her divorce, and then comes along Ethan Their relationship was so heart warming and I loved their banter and the way he took care of her. I cried through the last few chapters, which showed me how much I had grown to love this book and all its characters.
Perfect for fans of Emily Henry!

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Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Ares for the ARC

Is this the book of the summer? It surely is one of them! A really entertaining book I devoured in a few hours. Perfect to read on vacation

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I loved reading this. Annabel always produces the cutest romance books.I think this book is intended for an older audience than me, I don’t relate to the stuff that Ali is going through but still enjoying nonetheless.

Ali and Ethan’s meet cute made me laugh. Ferris is a good wingman haha!

There are obviously obstacles that get in the way of them being together in the long run and I honestly thought this book might not have had a happy ending. Other than this, it didn’t really have much of a plot but I didn’t mind this as the character development was perfect.

This book is a perfect summer romcom. It is so easy to read and you get completely lost in the book.

Thank you to NetGalley and Head of Zeus for this ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Summer Romance by Annabel Monaghan
Release Date: 4 July 2024
Rating: 4/5

Benefits of a summer romance: it’s always fun, always brief, and no one gets their heart broken.

Ali Morris’s life is a mess. Two years after her mother’s death, her husband left, and she hasn’t worn anything with a zipper in ages. Despite being a professional organiser, her pantry is a disaster.

When Ali finally takes off her wedding ring and dons overalls, she unexpectedly meets someone new. Her dog introduces her to Ethan in an unusual way—by peeing on him, just like he did with her favourite child. Ethan smiles at her as if her overalls are perfect, and Ali finds herself intrigued. Though she’s wary of adding more complications to her life, she wonders if a little summer romance could be just what she needs.

I was buzzed when I saw another book by Annabel Monaghan being released, especially after adoring "Nora Goes Off Script" last year. Annabel's knack for crafting romances for women who've lost faith in love impresses me.

In this tale, I admired the protagonist's evolution as she navigated grief, aided by friends like Frannie and Ethan.

Though I didn't feel a profound connection between the main couple, the book's charm and brisk pace made it a delightful read. Monaghan expertly portrays Ali and Ethan as an ideal partnership, highlighting how they bring out the best in each other. Their journey is a touching blend of warmth and sorrow, exploring themes such as grief, love, and resilience, keeping readers engaged throughout.

"Summer Romance" is a must-read for romantic comedy fans who enjoy authentic, relatable stories filled with emotional highs and lows.

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Aria & Aries, and the author, Annabel Monaghan, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

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Annabel Monaghan is quickly cementing herself as one of my favourite romance authors. This book was a gorgeous romantic read with great character depth and scenes that had me both near tears and squealing and kicking my feet. It is more than just a summer romance, it is a summer of healing and change. You could say this book has left me feeling carbonated. I can't wait for her next release!

(4.5 stars)

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