Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Review: "Summertime" by Christina Cole

Happy Tuesday, book babes!

AuggieTalk is happily kicking off the Review Only tour for Christina Cole's "Summertime" romance novel!

As a "hard to please" Romance novel reader, I was actually quite impressed with this one. You probably will be too. Enjoy!

Title: Summertime
Author: Christina Cole
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Release Date: Aug 2013
Edition/Format Available In: eBook & Print


SUMMERTIME is the story of Linn Sparks, a young woman who wanted more than rural Kansas could offer. A talented singer, she craved fame, fortune, glamour and excitement. She found it all as a star of the stage at the Crown Theater in San Francisco.
It’s also the story of Ed Ferguson. For him, life was far less complicated. All he wanted was Linnie Mae, but she’d left him standing alone at the altar seven years before when she ran off to pursue her dreams.

Now, it’s 1914. War is breaking out in Europe, and Linn Sparks has come home to Brookfield, Kansas. She plans to stay only a few days – just long enough to help negotiate the sale of her parents’ farm.
At first, it seems that nothing has changed in the quiet little country town, but Linn soon learns otherwise.  She’s surprised to find that Ed is now spending a lot of time with Polly Washburn. An even greater surprise comes when she meets six-year-old Thaddeus, Ed’s son. But perhaps the greatest surprise is that the town of Brookfield is now building a theater to honor Miss Tabitha Ann Collier, the spinster music teacher who helped Linn make her dreams come true.

Now that she’s come back, surely she’ll be offered the lead in the theater’s first production — a musical penned by Tabitha Ann herself. But staying in Brookfield means facing a lot of unpleasant realities.  Between her strained relationship with a father who never wanted her, a mother whose grasp on sanity is slipping away, and the feelings she still has for Ed, Linn is overwhelmed by emotions.

She must also find a way to deal with Polly, the woman who was once her closest friend but who now has her eyes on Ed.  And how can she handle Quentin Loonsfoot, the obnoxious son of the man her father  crippled in a hunting accident years before? Quentin is determined to make her feel guilty — and to make her pay for her father’s mistake.  Most painful of all, she must accept the truth about Ed and his relationship with Rachel Johnson, the woman who gave him a son.

Ed has a lot to deal with as well. He still loves Linnie Mae, but he knows she won’t stay. How can he spend the summer being near her and not get his heart broken again?

It’s a hot summer in Brookfield…a summer of hopes and dreams, a summer of passion. Could it also be a summer of forgiveness?

Book Links

Christina Cole fell in love with words at a very young age. She’ll always be grateful to her grandfather and his patience as he taught her the joys of reading. Throughout her childhood she loved telling tales. She begged and pleaded for her mother to type them, but soon -- with her grandfather’s guidance -- learned to type for herself on his old Underwood.

Things have changed now. Her grandfather is gone, and so is the old typewriter, but Christina’s love for story-telling has remained strong. She now does her typing on a computer in a cozy little writing room filled with books, treasures, and a much-cherished photograph of her grandfather.

She is married, lives in the midwest, loves history, hates winter, and is happily at work on her next historical romance, “Keeping Faith” -- Book 2 of “The Sunset Series”.

Author Links


She tightened her hold on the reins once more, then jerked back—hard—when she caught sight of a man approaching, headed, no doubt, for Ledbetter's Corner Cafe.

Hat in hand, he moved with slow, easy strides, his pace gentle, yet purposeful. The movements marked him as a man very much in control of himself—and the world around him.

Her heartbeat quickened. Whenever she made a list of reasons why she didn’t want to come back to Brookfield, Ed Ferguson was always number one.

She should drive on, she knew, but Ed Ferguson was the sort of man who made women stop and take notice. It was a natural reaction, as instinctive as petting a hound dog when it wagged its tail, or stroking a kitten’s ears when it curled up in your lap and purred.

Her heart pounded. Sometimes when she stepped on stage, she felt flutters, but this was a thousand times more powerful…and a thousand times more dangerous.

She could lose herself too easily to this man.

Fighting to regain her composure, Linn drew in a long, deep breath, just as she'd learned to do early in her career. She let the breath out slowly and dared to look.

He'd been handsome at eighteen. Now the boy she'd once loved had become a man, and Linn’s gaze raked shamelessly over his lean, hard body. Her next breath caught in her throat. Her hands yearned to reach out, to touch the strong, square jaw, and to run her fingers through his thick, dark hair as she'd done so many times before.

From where she sat high atop the driver's bench, Linn could not see Ed's eyes clearly, but she knew their pure, gray color. His eyes had always soothed her, had somehow possessed power enough to make her believe that everything in her world would be all right, so long as she could be with him, so long as he loved her.

She lowered her gaze, suddenly ashamed of the reckless, unabashed way she stared at him.
"Hello, Ed," she said, when he drew near enough to hear. Thank goodness for her years of vocal training! Nothing in her tone belied her nervousness. But her hands trembled as she pushed a stray auburn curl away from her cheek.

Ed stopped mid-stride. He looked up, and his slate-colored eyes grew wide. "Well, I'll be go to hell," he said in a quiet voice.


This is a charming Romance novel complete with a storyline that's actually entertaining. There are some slow moments, but nothing that compelled me to really put the book down. In fact, I could understand Linnie's personality quite well, considering that I'm a hopeless dreamer myself. What's refreshing about our main character, however, is that she went out and actually took her dreams by the horns. By herself.   

She even left love behind to do it. 

Linnie left Ed standing at the alter years ago to pursue her dreams of becoming a stage star. And she did! Her love of the sparkle and excitement of the stage was stronger than her love (at the time) for a man in her small hometown. 

Now she's back, supposedly for a short time, and face to face with Ed who she never quite stopped loving. 

Linnie is only planning on staying in her hometown for a little while, a short visit, but Ed is drawing her in and the town has decided to construct their own theater, meaning Linnie may just have no excuse to leave. 

I was actually surprised by my enjoyment of the setting. I am not a fan of old-west/mid-west settings, but it was something a bit different and the book was well enough written that the scenery was rich and well featured. Nothing felt too flat and dusty and...boring. Thankfully! So if you're looking at this book and suspecting it won't be for you because of this, go ahead and take a chance on it. It'll surprise you. 

Linnie's a stubborn girl who knows what she wants, at least she's almost sure. She's also a bit of a snot. I had to say it. I felt bad for Ed on more than one occasion, but I can understand the dynamic of their relationship because I get Linnie's fear of giving up SOMETHING she loves for SOMEONE she loves. 

There were some unexpected turns in this work and some deeper plots and story lines that went beyond what Linnie and Ed had together (but were still connected). This made for an enjoyable read. 

It's a story of rediscovering yourself in the most unexpected places, of rediscovering love you thought was lost, returning to your roots, and of never letting go of who you are but learning to embrace all of the new things you can be.


Until Next Blog,

Read On! 


  1. Thanks for your review of Summertime. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Linnie was a difficult character to write in many ways. She's strong, yet she's vulnerable. I enjoyed telling her story and sharing the town of Brookfield with readers.

  2. Thank you Auggie for reviewing this book. It sounds wonderful. Always nice to learn about new books from great authors!

    1. Thank you, Tami. I'm glad you stopped by. It means a lot to me.

  3. Hi Christina! Glad to see Summertime pulling in another good review. It`s a great read!

  4. Thanks so much. I'm glad you enjoyed Summertime, and I'm very glad you stopped by today. :)

  5. Great review

    Christina Lovely cover!

    1. Dawne Dominique has done all my covers. The "Summertime" cover is one of my favorites. She's very talented. It always amazes me how she takes the jumble of ideas in my head and gets the into the perfect cover.

  6. sounds like a great book, I'll have to check it out.

    1. Thanks, Liza. It's kind of you to drop by. :)

  7. Hi, Christina and Auggies Talk! I would escape from western Kansas in a heartbeat. Handsome grew up there. Lots of feed lots, wheat... But incredible thunderstorms.

    Congratulations on the book, sweetie!

  8. Linnie Mae felt the same way...she thought California would mean happiness, but sometimes we've just gotta come back home again to figure out who we really are. Thanks for dropping by, Vicki. :)