Gemma Andrews doesn’t trust men.
She’s been left with a bitter taste in her mouth after her father left her mother while she was still pregnant, for another woman, and started a whole new perfect family. Gemma doesn’t feel like she belongs with her father’s family—with her family—and has done everything she can to push them all away.
One summer, her last summer stuck with these people, is about to change all of that.
Abe North, the hunky night guard she meets by chance, breaks down Gemma’s carefully built cinderblock walls, and shows her what she’s been missing out on. He helps her to reconnect with the brother and sister she has kept at a safe distance all these years. In the end, maybe, just maybe, Abe can show Gemma that all men aren’t bad and that he’ll be the one who’ll be there for her.
But is Gemma ready to accept love?
Or is she too broken?
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Gemma is about to turn 18 and is spending another summer at her father's beach house. Gemma has had a rough relationship with her father her whole life since he left her mother while pregnant and started another family. Most summers she ignores everyone and spends time alone reading on the beach. This summer she meets Abe who starts helping her see that opening herself up could bring her a lot of happiness.
Abe and Gemma's relationship is pretty predictable, and their language gets a bit hyperbolic at times. That said, it is great to see Gemma opening herself up not only to a relationship with Abe, but also relationships with her family. I loved seeing Kate and Gemma decide to give each other a chance and then watching their relationship grow. It was really touching to learn that her siblings really wanted to be close to her but didn't know how. Seeing Gemma attempt to move through her bitterness and hurt to a place where she could try and understand that she didn't have to be an outsider with her family. Even though Gemma had to experience a lot of ups and downs, watching her find herself and who she wanted to be was a very rewarding experience. Even with the cheese factor being pretty high, it was nice seeing Gemma and Abe come together and make each other happy. I was glad to get to know these characters and would spend more time with them in the future.
*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: June 10 2014
Photography & Cover Designer: Emily & Daniel
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Ten Fun Facts (It turned into 12 because I am just that fun.)
1. I was 6 weeks pregnant the day we adopted our son... and 10 weeks pregnant before I knew.
2. I can only watch my favorite movie, Life as a House, once a year because of how much it makes me ugly cry.
3. I have an unhealthy obsession with Emma Stone, thus my short run as a redhead.
4. I have a tattoo on my wrist that makes me feel like a rebel every time I see it.
5. My husband likes my books. This may seem silly to most but when your man loves to read a girly love story you wrote, it's pretty much awesome.
6. I've never broken a bone or sprained anything. (Knock on wood)
7. I do not listen to music when I write, it distracts me, however, songs always inspire scenes and even books. I also have to have music to edit or I will lose my mind.
8. My celebrity crush, and the only man I'm allowed to leave my husband for, is John Krasinski.
9. I hate, hate, hate beach vacations. They bore me to death. I love big cities with a lot to do. I'll be vising NYC for a week in September.
10. I tried grape hooka once and now if I smell grape leaves I gag and run.
11. I have a degree in accounting and don't use it AT ALL.
12. I hate bananas but love banana pudding and banana bread.
When they made it back to the group all eyes were on them and then just as quickly looking around inconspicuously. She looked up at Abe and rolled her eyes as he chuckled, “It’s nice to know they care,” he whispered. As they started to walk again his arm came in contact with hers and he straightened his finger to brush along her hand. She had to concentrate on her steps to keep from going down.
“Hey guys,” Emily yelled from the far side of the group, “we’re all going in, come on.”
Gemma watched as one after the other the perfect girls around her started ripping off their shirts and the males around gawked obviously. Suddenly shy, she lowered her hands from the hem of her shirt and looked out to the water, “you know, I’ve been trying to read for about a week now and haven’t had time because someone keeps sending me home. I think I’ll stay up here and take advantage of his distractions.”
Abe reached out and pulled her back to his front, resting his hand on her hip. “If that’s what you want,” he lowered his mouth to her ear and instantly goosebumps erupted everywhere, “but I can’t lie, it’s killing me not to see what you have under there.”
She turned her head in surprise, putting their mouths dangerously close, “Really?”
“You have no idea,” he made sure she was looking him in the eyes before continuing, “Sexiest girl out here is hiding on the beach. I’m not the only guy disappointed, I’m just the only one with a shot in hell to see more, later.” He smirked at her and then kissed her cheek. “See you soon.”
She finally let her legs do what they had been waiting to do since he brushed her hand, and fell to the sand. A shiver ran down her back. This was not her life. The sexy, confident, bachelor didn’t beg her for a chance. He didn’t fight for her. And yet, here she sat, completely turned on, watching him look back over his shoulder at her. Shaking her head to herself as she stood and found her bag and proceeded to pretend to read, trying not to make it obvious her eyes didn’t leave him for a second.
About the Author
Harper James currently lives in Louisiana. When she isn’t admiring her husband, the rock star, or playing with her baby boy and girl, the two cutest kids ever made, she can be found either reading or writing one of the many books she has floating around in her head. She has an unhealthy addiction to all things romance and will always fight for a happy ending.