Review: The Summer House by Lauren K. Denton

Title: The Summer House by Lauren K. Denton
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Sometimes it takes losing everything to find yourself again.

Lily Bishop wakes up one morning to find a good-bye note and divorce papers from her husband on the kitchen counter. Having moved to Alabama for his job only weeks before, Lily is devastated, but a flyer at the grocery store for a hair stylist position in a local retirement community provides a refuge while she contemplates her next steps.

Rose Carrigan built the small retirement village of Safe Harbor years ago—just before her husband ran off with his assistant. Now she runs a tight ship, making sure the residents follow her strict rules. Rose keeps everyone at arm’s length, including her own family. But when Lily shows up asking for a job and a place to live, Rose’s cold exterior begins to thaw.

Lily and Rose form an unlikely friendship, and Lily’s salon soon becomes the place where residents share town gossip, as well as a few secrets. Lily soon finds herself drawn to Rose’s nephew, Rawlins—a single dad and shrimper who’s had some practice at starting over—and one of the residents may be carrying a torch for Rose as well.

Neither Lily nor Rose is where she expected to be, but the summer makes them both wonder if there’s more to life and love than what they’ve experienced so far. The Summer House weaves Lauren K. Denton’s inviting Southern charm around a woman’s journey to find herself.


The Summer House by Lauren K. Denton is a delightful novel which features a season of change and new beginnings.

Lily Bishop is absolutely stunned when her husband of over a year abruptly leaves her.  She is uncertain what she will next when, completely by chance, she finds a want ad for a hair stylist at a local active living community.  Lily secures an interview with part owner and manager Rose Carrigan who is a little standoffish.  Rose agrees to give Lily a chance to prove herself and an unexpected friendship blooms between the two women.  Will their summer prove to a much needed season of healing?

After Lily’s beloved mother passes away, she leaves their small town for Atlanta.  Her whirlwind romance with her soon to be ex-husband Worth leaves her little time to consider whether she is making the right decision.  Soon after their first anniversary, Lily and Worth move to Alabama where a few doubts begin to set in.  But Lily is determined to make her marriage work despite noticing that Worth seems to be struggling.

At first shocked when he leaves her along with signed divorce papers, Lily is unwavering as she makes the best of her new circumstances. As she settles into her new life at Safe Harbor Village, she hopes to create a warmly inviting setting for her new clients.  Pleased with her results, Lily begins making a real difference in the lives of her new friends. And she has also caught the eye of Rose’s nephew Rawlins Willett, a divorced dad who is devoted to his adorable little girl. Although they are just friends, both Lily and Rawlins are aware of their mutual attraction.

Rose is also at a crossroads. Her longtime ex-husband and silent partner in Safe Harbor Village shocks her with an unanticipated offer. Rose has deliberately held herself back from making friends with people in the community but Lily’s arrival sparks a surprising desire to make some changes in her life. Rose is suddenly more amenable to joining the women in their activities. And she is besieged with memories that led to her long standing estrangement with her brother. Even more startling, Rose is starting to view the ever cheerful Coach Beaumont in a different light. But is she ready to embrace the possibility of romance?

The Summer House is a captivating novel of friendship, starting over and healing.  The cast of characters is vibrantly developed with charming quirks and remarkable strengths. The storyline is multifaceted with plenty of depth and substance. Lily and Rose both undergo a great deal of growth but their changes are gradual and realistic.  Lauren K. Denton brings this marvelous novel to heartfelt conclusion. I adored this heartwarming novel and highly recommend it to fans of the genre.

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Filed under Contemporary, Rated B+, Review

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