I was determined to write a really great review of this one, because I just loved it so much, but alas, I've waited a couple weeks and now have forgotten a ton of detail. The short version though, is that I loved it and highly recommend it.
Suddenly Last Summer is the second book in the series that began with Sleigh Bells in the Snow, which I read and really enjoyed at Christmas. This one picks up at the end of spring/ beginning of summer as Snow Crystal Resort is gearing up for the summer season. Here's the blurb:
Fiery French chef Élise Philippe is having a seriously bad day. Not only have the grand opening plans for her beloved café fallen apart, but Sean O'Neil is back in town and looking more delectable than ever. Memories of the electrifying night they shared last summer leave Élise very tempted, but she knows all too well that eventually Sean will be leaving…again.
Being back in Vermont—even temporarily—is surgeon Sean O'Neil's worst nightmare. Returning home to the Snow Crystal Resort means confronting the guilt he feels about rejecting his family's lifestyle years ago. But discovering that Élise is still in Vermont and still sets his blood racing is a very welcome distraction! Remembering last summer and how good they were together is going to make walking away more difficult than he could imagine….
And my thoughts in more detail:
Sean and Elise have a history of one really great night together. They both walk away from it completely satisfied, and with the understanding that neither one of them is interested in a relationship. This suits them both just fine- until Sean comes back home for the summer and after spending time together realizes that he's wrong about why Elise does not want a relationship and at the same time that mayyyyybe he is interested in something more after all. I really loved Sean. He's not perfect. He's arrogant and sexy and fully committed to his job and full of guilt over a fight with his grandfather. He desperately wants to be a part of his family while at the same time does not at all want to live at Snow Crystal. He's not someone you'd want to fall in love with at the beginning, but by the end you want him all for your own. Possibly his best quality is that he's entirely honest- he's upfront that his job is his life and he really means it when he says he's not good relationship material until he realizes he wants one, and even then he doesn't try to deny it.
Elise is also highly lovable. She's adopted the O'Neil family as her own and when she says family is the most important thing, she means it. She's dedicated to Jackson (From Sleigh Bells) and is not shy about professing her love and affection for her adopted family. If anything, perhaps she goes a bit too far towards unbelievable in this, but not so far as to make me crazy. She maintains her character all the way to the end and is a terrific match for Sean.
The plot itself is fairly similar to the first book- Snow Crystal is in trouble \ and all the family rallies to help. Unlike Sleigh Bells, this one takes place over several weeks (months?) time and the realization of their true feelings is more realistic. I absolutely freaking LOVED the moment Sean realizes the truth, and scene where all is revealed. It's not Pride and Prejudice good, but it's one of the best I've read in a very long time. I love that Sean doesn't make a big turn around to suddenly giving up his fancy career, which would not have been at all realistic. I am already anxious to read Tyler's story and since this one doesn't even come out until June 24th (I read it in March!) I have a very long wait to go. I have added Sarah Morgan to my list of auto-read authors and highly recommend you pick up the series.