Here's your summary:
What happens when a seasonal fling turns into the love of a lifetime?
Lizzie Howard's life has always been adrenaline-charged. Top of her class at Harvard Med and now a gifted trauma doctor, Lizzie's medical career has always come before rest, relaxation, and especially romance. But when one careless mistake brings her future to a screeching halt, Lizzie's only chance at reviving it is to temporarily take over a friend's practice in Jewell Cove.
The sleepy Maine coast, a world away from the bustling emergency room Lizzie knows and loves, leaves her feeling more lost than ever--until she meets widowed doctor Joshua Collins, and her heart starts beating a little bit faster...
Summer on Lovers' Island is the fourth book in the Jewell Cove series and I'll admit it took me a few minutes to remember who the other characters were - which town is this? Lucky Harbor? No? By the third chapter or so I had a firm grasp on where I was again, and it wasn't an issue. It probably isn't really an issue to anyone, I just like to know my landmarks. It's true that it would be helpful to read The House on Blackberry Hill first to hear the other side of Josh's back story, but this one fills in it well enough.
Josh and Lizzie are both trying hard to live up to what they think everyone else expects of them. Lizzie believes that the world thinks she has to be amazing, because her dad was and she's struggling with giving that image up. Josh feels like he has to be the town golden boy and present the world with the facade that he mourns his wife, when really he is ready to move on. He struggles with not feeling good enough for love, even as the whole world loves him. They attempt a reasonable summer fling but quickly come to realize that their rules aren't working.
Was the romance itself believable? If you could believe, as I did, that Josh and Lizzie really see each other clearly, then it was completely acceptable that they would fall in love. It happens over the course of a summer, which is much more realistic than some romances. There's a scene near the end where a misunderstanding causes Josh and Lizzie to have a fight, and unlike some big misunderstandings, the emotion and the confusion are heartbreakingly real. I didn't feel like rolling my eyes and calling them idiots at all.
Jewell Cove is your typical small town, in a small town contemporary romance. Everyone knows everyone, there are two places to eat, and if you want to go on a date you have to leave town or everyone knows. Everyone is related somehow. This is a true comfort read to me, and the longer I'm in Jewell Cove the more I like it. (I especially appreciate that while everyone knows everyone and it's constantly considered a small town there isn't a special forces training camp and a special burn unit hospital and a all-star football team and if you know this town you may also read small town contemp romances.) I'm really not sure who Alward can write about next, but I am certain I'll be reading it.