ARC Review: The Girl from Summer Hill by Jude Deveraux

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ARC Review: The Girl from Summer Hill by Jude Deveraux
The Girl from Summer Hill

3 Stars


Book Info

Released: May 3rd 2016
Series: Summer Hill #1
Pages: 384
 

“THE GIRL FROM SUMMER HILL is a sweet romance that has all the markings of what I love to read in a small town story.”
~ Under the Covers

I can’t say I’ve read much of Jude Deveraux new books and the premise for this one was very interesting.  Especially since the hero makes his first appearance on the heroine’s back porch, completely naked and making use of her outdoor shower.  Add to that the fact that the heroine is a chef and I was kind of in love with it.

When I started this book and up to about 25% I absolutely loved it!  It quickly lost some of the steam, though, and I don’t mean that in a sexual way.  The way I was riveted to the story and characters at the beginning lost some of the shiny spark as the story progressed and I don’t think I ever recovered that.

THE GIRL FROM SUMMER HILL is a sweet romance that has all the markings of what I love to read in a small town story.  And it left me interested in the town, but I think it was lacking in intensity somewhere.  Maybe it was just too sweet?  It could’ve been the hero.  *gasp*  Tate is a big time Hollywood actor coming to Summer Hill because he bought back his old family home and he ends up getting roped into playing Mr. Darcy at a local show.  And falling for the fiery girl living on his property and playing Elizabeth Bennett.  I was expecting him to have a certain degree of alphaness that never quite got there and maybe that’s my struggle.  Tate and Casey are cute together and would’ve otherwise been a couple I fall for.  But like I said, can’t quite put my finger on what it was that didn’t keep that spark going for me.

There is a mention of my favorite book of hers in this book, which made me giddy and hopeful that it would get picked up to be a movie someday!  If you haven’t read A KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR, you must.

Jude Deveraux is, as always, a great author.  The way she tells her stories is usually compelling, and I think that was the saving grace of this book.  Even though the story is quite sweet and maybe at times plain, the writing is what kept me interested in reading.  However, with all that, I’m not sure if this is a series I’ll continue.

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About Jude Deveraux

Jude Gilliam was born September 20, 1947 in Fairdale, Kentucky. She has a large extended family and is the elder sister of four brothers. She attended Murray State University and received a degree in Art. In 1967, Jude married and took her husband's surname of White, but four years later they divorced. For years, she worked as 5th-grade teacher.

She began writing in 1976, and published her first book, The Enchanted Land (1977) under the name Jude Deveraux. Following the publication of her first novel, she resigned her teaching position. Now, she is the author of 31 New York Times bestsellers.

Jude won readers' hearts with the epic Velvet series, which revolves around the lives of the Montgomery family's irresistible men. Jude's early books are set largely in 15th- and 16th-century England; in them her fierce, impassioned protagonists find themselves in the midst of blood feuds and wars. Her heroines are equally scrappy -- medieval Scarlett O'Haras who often have a low regard for the men who eventually win them over. They're fighters, certainly, but they're also beauties who are preoccupied with survival and family preservation.

Jude has also stepped outside her milieu, with mixed results. Her James River trilogy (River Lady, Lost Lady, and Counterfeit Lady) is set mostly in post-Revolution America; the popular, softer-edged Twin of Fire/Twin of Ice moves to 19th-century Colorado and introduces another hunky-man clan, the Taggerts.

Deveraux manages to evoke a strong and convincing atmosphere for each of her books, but her dialogue and characters are as familiar as a modern-day soap opera's. "Historicals seem to be all I'm capable of," Jude once said in an interview, referring to a now out-of-print attempt at contemporary fiction, 1982's Casa Grande. "I don't want to write family sagas or occult books, and I have no intention of again trying to ruin the contemporary market." Still, Jude did later attempt modern-day romances, such as the lighthearted High Tide (her first murder caper), the contemporary female friendship story The Summerhouse, and the time-traveling Knight in Shining Armor. In fact, with 2002's The Mulberry Tree, Deveraux seems to be getting more comfortable setting stories in the present, which is a good thing, since the fans she won with her historical books are eager to follow her into the future.

Jude married Claude Montassir, with whom she had a son, Sam Alexander Montassir, in 1997. They eventually divorced. On Oct. 6th, 2005, Sam died at the age of eight in a motorcycle accident.

Jude has lived in several countries and all over the United States. She currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina and has an additional home in the medieval city of Badolato, Italy.

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Chris Alexander

I’ve felt the same for quite a few of her recent books. Maybe I’m more into grittier books lately. One thing you can count on Deveraux delivering is quirky characters. I do have a love for a lot of her earlier works. I think I swing back to her books when I need something sweet.

Sophia Rose

Oh yes, this one was hilarious with the outdoor shower and the peacock. I was glad to read it.

Amy R

Thanks for the review.

Elizabeth

I’ve only read her historicals…maybe I’ll try this when I need something sweet

Timitra

That’s unfortunate that the only saving grace was the writing…thanks for the review Francesca