Title: A Summer to Remember by Marilyn Pappano
Tallgrass Series Book Six
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
FIRST LOVE NEVER FADES . . .
It’s been a long time since widow Fia Thomas felt the spark of physical attraction. But from the moment she meets Elliot Ross one stormy night, she yearns for a fresh start, for him to make her feel whole and well again. With his broad shoulders and a warm smile crinkling his dark eyes, he could finally offer her the solace she’s been seeking. And she’s willing to give him anything in return . . . except a promise that could break his heart.
Now that Elliot is out of the Army, he’s looking for a place to call home. Tallgrass was just a stop to stretch his legs, yet one look at Fia halts him in his tracks. In her sweet, sassy company, he finds the soul mate he never thought he’d have. But Fia is holding something back-something that keeps her from making any plans. Elliot’s new mission: gain Fia’s trust…and convince her that summer’s end can mean a new beginning.
A Summer to Remember is an incredibly heartwarming addition to Marilyn Pappano’s warm and inviting Tallgrass series. In this outing (which can be read as standalone), ex-Army sniper Elliot Ross is looking for a place to set down roots when he stops in Tallgrass, OK where he meets war widow Fia Thomas his first night in town. Both are immediately drawn to one another and their attraction proves to be too strong to ignore. While Elliot is beginning to dream of a future with Fia, she cannot help but wonder how her unresolved health issues will impact their relationship.
Once upon a time, Fia was a wild, fearless risk-taker who left her dysfunctional family behind as soon as she could. She unexpectedly found love with Scott but she completely embraced their life together. Heartbroken over his loss, she still desperately misses him but she finds a great deal of comfort through her close circle of friends. With her health continuing to deteriorate, the doctors are no closer to diagnosing her illness than when she first began experiencing symptoms. Now Fia has met Elliot, she feels like her old self again and she is content to enjoy their relationship for however long it lasts. By the time she realizes their romance is more than just a temporary fling, Fia cannot bring herself to tell him about her health problems but it is only a matter of time before he finds out the truth.
Despite his rather nomadic life since leaving the Army, Elliot is happy, well-adjusted and content to continue looking for a place that feels like home. He is close to his family and he cherishes his memories of life on their West Texas ranch. Stumbling onto the perfect job almost immediately, Elliot begins settling into his new life in Tallgrass soon after his arrival. Although he has not really had a serious relationship in the past, he genuinely likes women and he always treats his lady friends with respect. Elliot immediately realizes his feelings for Fia run deep and he is very eager to spend time with her although he senses that she is holding something from him.
The relationship between Elliot and Fia is delightfully light-hearted and mostly conflict free despite Fia’s health problems. Both have upbeat, sunny personalities that perfectly complement one another. Elliot is undaunted by Fia’s discussions about Scott and she loves listening to his stories about his family. There is plenty of sexual tension between them, but they take the time to get to know each other before acting on their mutual desire. Although they fall in love rather quickly, their feelings are believable since there is a genuine connection between them.
A secondary story arc features Fia’s friend and fellow Margarita Club member, Marti Levin. Also long widowed, her well-ordered life is shaken up when her fourteen year old niece Cadence moves in with her temporarily. Through her niece’s love of horses, Marti finds herself spending time with local cowboy Dillon Smith. While she does not know much about Dillon, Marti is quite drawn to the somber man who has somewhat of a mysterious past. The two are definitely attracted to one another, but the future of their relationship is left up in the air and hopefully, Marilyn Pappano plans to feature these two in a future novel in the Tallgrass series.
A Summer to Remember is another heartfelt and engaging installment in this delightful series that features a close-knit and loving group of friends who have suffered terrible loss. Newcomer Elliot is the ideal match for Fia and watching them fall in love is an absolute joy. Marilyn Pappano has once again written a realistic yet touching romance that old and new fans are going to love.