I have always enjoyed Irene Hannon’s suspense novels. When I learned she had written a
That Certain Summer is about two sisters who couldn’t be more opposite in personality, outlook on life, and the directions they took as adults. Karen Butler had married and never left their small Missouri hometown, while her sister, Val Montgomery, had moved to Chicago to seek a career in theatre.
The story opens with newly divorced Karen struggling to raise her teenage daughter mostly on her own since her ex seems to float in and out of their lives. Never married, Val teaches drama in a Chicago area high school and seems to have everything going right for her (in her sister’s eyes at least).
The one thing they have in common is their aging mother who has just suffered a stroke and is in the midst of rehab. Cranky before the stroke, Mom is now more crotchety than ever and testing the patience of Karen. As much as she and her sister don’t always get along, Karen cannot wait for Val to take over some of the weight of caring for their invalid mother. Val’s summer break from her teaching duties can’t come any too soon.
What Karen doesn’t know is that Val is bringing home more baggage than then kind you put in a suitcase. She has a secret from her past that she hopes to resolve by coming back to where it all happened.
What is unexpected for both women, are the two good-looking guys that enter their lives that summer or the women's admissions that their mother isn’t the only one who needs healing.
I really enjoyed this story and how Hannon deepens her characters as the story develops and the sisters start peeling back onion-like layers to get to the nub of what has caused misunderstandings between them over the years. I hope to see more multi-layered romances from Irene Hannon. She is certainly an author I’ll be looking for in this genre!
I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher for purpose of review. The opinions expressed here are my own and no one else’s.
About the Author:
Since then, she has written more than 40 romance and romantic suspense novels. Her books have been honored with two RITA awards—the “Oscar” of romantic fiction—and she is a six-time finalist for that prestigious honor. Her books have also won a Daphne du Maurier award, a Carol award, a HOLT Medallion, a National Readers’ Choice Award, a Retailers Choice Award and two Reviewers’ Choice awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. One of her novels was also named by Booklist as one of the top 10 inspirational fiction books of 2011.
Irene, who holds a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in journalism, juggled two careers for many years until she gave up her executive corporate communications position with a Fortune 500 company to write full-time. She is happy to say she has no regrets!
In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening and singing. A trained vocalist, she has sung the leading role in numerous musicals, including “South Pacific,” “Brigadoon,” “Oklahoma” “The King and I” and “Anything Goes.” She is also a soloist at her church.