Need A Book For Vacation?

Once Upon A Summertime by Melody Carlson follows the story of Anna, a manager at an inexpensive motel who dreams of working in a bigger hotel.  After some tension with her current employers and a run-in with an old friend, Anna ends up with a  chance to work at a boutique hotel - in New York!  She leaves everything she already knows and heads to the Big Apple, and is surprised when she finds herself working at the same hotel as an old high school classmate.  As sparks fly, Anna and Sean struggle with the hotel’s “no employee relationships” policy.  How will they work it out?

I started this book, and I did not want to put it down!  Anna’s character was likable, and the development of the romance was sweet.  What I really appreciated about this book was how the author wove in the character’s family relationships dynamics, friendship dynamics, and work dynamics into an interesting story.  The interactions and stresses that Anna had to go through weren’t over the top or outrageous - all her struggles were very believable.

I really enjoyed this book!  The only thing I didn’t like about it was that I felt the the storyline was wrapped up too quickly in the end - it literally goes from having nothing resolved to everything figured it out within one chapter.  I felt like the book could have had ten more chapters to really focus on resolving and developing more of the problems and relationships, and even with that many more chapters the book wouldn’t have felt too long.  As it is, the end felt very haphazard and hurried to me.  I liked the way it ended, but I think it would have gotten a solid five stars from me if it wasn’t so rushed.

Regardless, I loved the storyline and imagery in this book, and it made me want to visit New York!  I think Once Upon A Summertime would be a great pool or vacation read - fun, and just the right amount of drama.  Definitely check it out!

Note: I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.
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