About the Book
Book: Sweet Summer
Author: Christina Sinisi
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance
Release date: July 6, 2021
Shelby Marano is the youngest of three sisters and was always Daddy’s baby girl–until her father was murdered. Ever since, she’s been running from anyone or anything that could truly hurt her. Instead, she seeks calculated thrills that leave her exhilarated, but when she’s caught outside during a summer storm, she quickly realizes not all adventures are within her control.
Tyler Burgess offers her both refuge from the rain and a safe place to land. Time spent with Tyler proves him to be much more than just a nerd in a history museum, but what she finds out about him is a deal breaker for her. As Shelby’s perfect little world is threatened by family health issues and an unknown stalker, she learns the hard lesson that no one can hide from the dangers of life. Can Shelby let her sisters, Tyler, and even more importantly, God, show her in one Sweet Summer, that love is worth taking the risk?
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While romance is not usually my go-to genre, this book intrigued me. And I’m glad I read it, because I did actually enjoy it. There was quite a bit that I liked about it. However, it’s still not my favorite.
I loved Tyler. He was sweet and kind and pretty much everything a girl could want in a man. He puts his entire life on hold to take care of his aging parents. Not only that, but he is a such a Godly young man and is willing to do anything for Shelby.
I liked Shelby, but she wasn’t my favorite character. She was care-free, go-go-go, and adventurous. She is still processing her father’s death as well as still dealing with a past relationship. While I know she is going through a lot, I felt she didn’t treat Tyler all that well.
I also felt that there was a lot left unresolved and I wish the author would have touched on certain things more. However, there were still some aspects of the book I thoroughly enjoyed. As I said before, I liked Tyler’s character and learning about his family. I liked seeing Shelby and her family dynamic as it grew and blossomed. I also liked the small plotline with Shelby and her niece.
Overall, if you are someone who is looking for a light romance, something not too heavy but still enjoyable, I would recommend this novel.
I had received a copy of the book as part of the Celebrate Lit Blogging Team and was required to give an honest review.
About the Author
A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, Christina Sinisi writes stories about families, both the broken and blessed. Her works include a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest and the American Title IV Contest in which she appeared in the top ten in the Romantic Times magazine. Her published books include The Christmas Confusion and Sweet Summer, the first two books in the Summer Creek Series, as well as the Christmas On Ocracoke and the upcoming Why They Call it Falling. By day, she’s a psychology professor and lives in the Lowcountry of South Carolina with my husband, two grown children and Hemingway cat, Chessie.
More from Christina
In Sweet Summer, Tyler and Shelby play tourist in their hometown city (or at least, the city next to their small hometown of Summer Cree), Charleston, South Carolina. While Charleston has been labeled as one of the top tourist destinations in the world, the city and its surroundings hang on to some of the South’s special charm.
I am not a native Charlestonian, but am native to the South. I grew up in the mountains of Virginia where my family traces its roots back into the 1700s and a family farm. While there are many similarities between Fincastle, Virginia and Summer Creek, South Carolina (a mixture of real life towns Summerville and Goose Creek), there are also differences.
My husband and I moved here in pursuit of a job when my son turned one and he’s about to turn 28 so we have become very attached to the city. Since then, we’ve loved trying all the restaurants we can afford (or if our jobs are paying, can’t afford) in Charleston. The food is fantastic. The beaches are beautiful and the history is awe-inspiring.
One dish that we didn’t have in the mountains where I grew up is shrimp and grits. Makes sense, given that we only visited the beach one time during my childhood. There were creeks and lakes with their catfish and trout, but no shrimp.
You can buy shrimp at the farmer’s market and on the side of the road here in Charleston. I love the former and don’t trust the latter. Still, I pursue shrimp and grits around the LowCountry and up to Pawley’s Island. I don’t think I can share the real restaurant’s name here, but my favorites come from a restaurant on Pawley’s (just south of Myrtle Beach) and one on the Isle of Palms (next to Sullivan’s Island where Fort Moultrie is located next to Charleston). For legal reasons, I had to change the name in my book, but there’s only one little restaurant on a side road of the Isle of Palms with six different ways of preparing shrimp and grits.
My recipe comes from a completely different source…adapted from various recipes, including one of those Junior League cookbooks that raise money for charity. I love those books because of the homey, personal feel—and hope you enjoy the dish! *And the book!
Shrimp and Grits:
2 cups heavy cream
¼ lb. butter (1 stick)
2 cups water
1 cup grits
Salt and white pepper to taste
Heat cream and water to boil. Add butter, salt, and pepper. Slowly add grits and reduce heat. Cook 20 minutes, stirring every once in a while. OPTION: Add sharp cheddar cheese or crumbled bleu cheese and stir in to melt after the grits are cooked.
Note: If grits aren’t the right consistency after twenty minutes, continue to cook. I have tried this with varying amounts of liquid. The key is to be patient and stir to prevent lumps.
Take your choice: Blackened or Gumbo style.
2 lb. shrimp
Canned or fresh shoepeg corn
Saute shrimp and onion in butter. As you stir, sprinkle with desired amount of seasoning, depending on how much heat you prefer. Stir in corn at end to just heat. Spoon on top of grits.
OR Gumbo style:
Let’s be real. You can’t beat Zatarain’s gumbo mix.
2 lb. shrimp
Rope of Andouille sausage
Red bell pepper, diced
Onion, diced or sliced
Saute all ingredients to cook. Follow gumbo mix directions for sauce. Serve on top of grits.
By the way, no one said any of this was healthy! Live a little!
That’s part of the point of Sweet Summer. Even during life’s hardships, we need to find the little joys. God bless!
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 5
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 5
For Him and My Family, November 6
Texas Book-aholic, November 7
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 8
Inklings and notions, November 9
deb’s Book Review, November 10
Locks, Hooks and Books, November 11
Through the Fire blogs, November 12
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 13
Rebecca Tews, November 14
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 15
Remembrancy, November 16
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 17
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 18
Pause for Tales, November 18
To celebrate her tour, Christina is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.