Prather’s Pick: A new romance novel
“The Summer Deal,” written by Jill Shalvis, is a romance novel and this week’s Prather’s Pick. Shalvis is a “New York Times” bestselling author with more than thirty novels to her credit. This week’s novel is published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers (2020).
Starting with Chapter 3, each chapter of this week’s novel begins with a summer camp journal entry, written by either Brynn or Kinsey. The entries begin when the girls were nine years old, progressing to age seventeen. Kinsey writes “Dear Journal” while Brynn writes “Dear Moms.” Kinsey writes about her friend Eli who is also at summer camp.
Brynn, Kinsey, and Eli are the leading characters in the novel’s plot that revolves around a secret (or perhaps secrets). The journal entries help the reader understand what happened when the three were younger, but they are adults now and they all struggle with issues, including trust and the inability to let others “in.” Brynn and Kinsey do not like one another. Eli and Kinsey have a brother-sister relationship.
As the novel begins, Brynn Turner is on her way from Long Beach, where she has been living, to Wildstone, her childhood home. It has been six months since she has been home for a visit, but now she is coming off a gone-bad relationship with Ashton, who has left her broke.
Brynn’s moms are Raine and Olive, women in their fifties, with very different personalities, but they have one thing in common—they love Brynn. The moms are a little pushy in figuring out what happened to bring Brynn home, and they upset their daughter so much that she finds herself in the throes of a panic attack. Raine and Olive think Brynn is having a heart attack so they call an ambulance to take her to the hospital.
Twenty-nine-year-old Kinsey is already at the hospital. She has experienced health issues all of her life, including time spent at summer camp, and age fifteen she received a new kidney. Now her body is slowly rejecting the kidney. A new kidney has been found, and Kinsey is waiting for surgery. Eli is waiting at the hospital with Kinsey.
Brynn is released from the hospital. She stops by the hospital vending machine for some chocolate, and that’s when she meets up with Eli. She has not seen him since she was fifteen. At first she pretends not to know him. Eli knows that, despite their dislike for one another, Kinsey needs to get together with Brynn so when he finds out that Brynn plans to stay in Wildstone, he offers her a place to live. (Eli has a big house with rooms for rent. Kinsey rents one of them.) Eli has a motive in his offer. He knows that Kinsey desperately needs Brynn.
So Kinsey and Brynn finally meet up at Eli’s house where Max, his brother, and a big lab puppy named Mini also live. There’s a lot going on in this novel.
I purchased the paperback book for about $16.99.
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