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Sisters of Summer's End

Sisters of Summer's End, June 2019
Summer Resort #2
by Lori Foster

HQN
384 pages
ISBN: 1335468323
EAN: 9781335468321
Kindle: B07J2M4C8F
Trade Size / e-Book
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"Romance and sisterhood fill these pages"

Fresh Fiction Review

Sisters of Summer's End
Lori Foster

Reviewed by Annetta Sweetko
Posted June 5, 2019

Romance | Women's Fiction Contemporary

Joy Lee works at Cooper's Charm, having been abandoned by an ex and her wealthy parents. She has devoted herself to her son's upbringing, but now she is just starting to find time for a friendship that makes them SISTERS AT SUMMER'S END. Having just begun to open up to Maris Kennedy, the amazing manager of Summer's End, the camp store/cafe of the resort, Joy finds herself ready to open up to the new owner of the local drive-in.

Royce Nakirk is the new owner and just learning his way around the friendly neighbors is intrigued by the woman everyone is pushing him toward, and thus begins his indoctrination into a world of friends — misunderstandings and understandings.

SISTERS OF SUMMER'S END is an amazingly poignant story of not only sisterhood without the blood ties but love that is meant to be. Author Lori Foster takes her readers back to the lakeside resort that so many of us would love to visit, Cooper's Charm, and gives us another chance to visit favorites. I had loved Maris and Daron from book one and wanted to get to know them better and hope for a little romance to bloom from all of Daron's hard work, as we do when we get introduced to Joy and Royce. Her story saddened me, but it was also a very uplifting tale of strength and determination for her growth into the woman she is now. I thought it amazing how as both women began to open up to each other the advice she would give to Joy made Maris see that she too can afford to love and that love had been hounding her for a long time.

I was intrigued watching Joy deal with her parents and the inheritance she could receive from her grandmother, that however, was the misunderstanding that led to Royce becoming distant. He thought she would go back to that lifestyle and so he stepped away knowing, or at least, thinking, it is for the best. Has anyone heard the word communication before? Thankfully his new friends are more than willing to help him see his error and all is well.

SISTERS OF SUMMER'S END will have you smiling, teary-eyed, laughing, angry, frustrated, and in love, all rolled into one amazing read. I must give fans a word of warning - when you pick up SISTERS OF SUMMER'S END - be prepared for a book that will not let you put it down!

Learn more about Sisters of Summer's End

SUMMARY

As the summer ends, friendship begins…

When single mom Joy Lee abandoned her old life to take a job at a lakeside resort, she found something that her family’s wealth and influence could never buy: peace of mind. Not easy to come by for the once-burned divorcée who keeps everyone at a distance. But when her new friend, Maris, dares her to take a chance with the drive-in’s charismatic new owner, everything changes for Joy and her young son.

A difficult childhood has left Maris Kennedy with definite priorities. Her job running Summer’s End, the camp store and café, comes first. Always. Nothing could ever make her risk that hard-won security—especially not her free-spirited colleague. But the more she encourages Joy to open herself up to new experiences, the more Maris begins to wonder what she, too, might be missing.

Learning how to trust will bring Joy and Maris together. And soon they form a friendship that leaves them as close as sisters—and open to love where they least expect it…in Summer’s End.

Excerpt

After dropping her son off at school, Joy Lee returned to Cooper’s Charm, the RV resort where she worked and lived. It was backtracking since she had an appointment near the school later this morning, but it wouldn’t do to show up a half hour early.

Actually, nothing in the small town of Woodbine, Ohio was too far away. In fifteen minutes she could drive to the school, the park, the grocery…or visit the new owner of the drive-in, who she’d be meeting today.

Hopefully Mr. Nakirk would continue to work with her. As the recreation director of the park, she and the past owner had put together various events with a lot of success. Hallow¬een was coming up and she didn’t want to have to completely restructure a tried and true camper favorite.

Coming through the grand entry of the resort, Joy couldn’t help but admire the beauty of it. She’d been seeing the same gorgeous scenery for six years now, yet it never failed to soothe her.

She’d found peace here, a kind of peace she hadn’t known existed. Now she couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

Large trees, currently wearing their fall colors, lined the property and served to add privacy to the costlier campsites.

A wooden walk bridge divided a pond from the large lake. Wooden cabins were scattered about, with plenty of lots for RVs and level, grassy areas for campers who preferred a tent. Even the playgrounds were well maintained, colorful and at¬tractive.

Deciding a cup of coffee wouldn’t hurt, Joy headed for Summer’s End, the camp store. Maris Kennedy, a woman close to her own age, always had coffee ready. She also worked nonstop and treated everyone like a friend.

When Joy came into the camp store, Maris was busy wip¬ing down the tops of the dining booths. She glanced up and said, “Hey.”

In so many ways, Joy admired Maris. For one thing, the woman never seemed to tire. She opened early, kept it open late, and rarely slowed down throughout the day. During the busiest season, Maris employed part time help, but she han¬dled the bulk of the responsibility herself.

Maris apparently preferred it that way.

Another admirable thing? Maris always managed to look fantastic with her dark blonde hair in a high ponytail and a shirt at least a size too large over her jeans.

Unfair, but Maris was so incredibly nice, and she took such great care of all the employees, Joy forgave her the perfection. “Good morning.”

“Is it?” Maris turned her gaze to the window. “Ah, sun¬shine. Better than rain and clouds, right? Coffee?”

Joy hated to pull her away from her task. “Yes, but I could —”

“I’ll get it.” Toting her little carrier of cleaning supplies, Maris headed to the kitchen. Joy heard her wash her hands, and then a moment later she reappeared with two cups. “I just made a fresh pot.”

Of course she had. Smiling, Joy shook her head.

The café in Summer’s End offered a menu of sandwiches, soups, and daily specials. Positioned on the walls behind the seating area, packed shelves held basic grocery necessities and emergency items, as well as things like pool floats, sunscreen and fishing tackle. Campers didn’t have to leave the park once they arrived, and if they didn’t want to make use of the grills, Maris always had something to eat.

Joy took a sip of the coffee, fixed just the way she liked it, and sighed.

Instead of moving on to another chore, Maris stood there with her own coffee. “I’m wondering something.”

“Oh?” She and Maris were friendly; Maris was too nice for anyone not to be friendly with her. But Joy wouldn’t say they were close.

Sadly, it had become Joy’s habit to keep some measure of distance from everyone.

“How the hell do you always look so put together?”

Surprised by the question, Joy looked down at her cotton skirt and button up sweater. “It’s a casual skirt.” At least five years old, like the majority of her wardrobe. She’d updated only a few pieces since moving to the park.

“Yeah, but everything you wear looks like it came from a fashion magazine. Always, no matter what, you’re styled head to toe. There are days I can barely get my hair into a ponytail, and yet you never have a wrinkle.”

Feeling suddenly self conscious, as well as amused by the irony, Joy laughed.

“Why’s that funny?” Maris asked, looking genuinely cu¬rious.

It wasn’t like Maris to linger, so Joy hastily explained, “I was literally just thinking how great you always look. Espe¬cially your ponytail! No matter what’s going on, you… glow.”

“Me?” Maris snorted. “Glow?”

Even more embarrassed and feeling completely out of her element, Joy explained, “You don’t need makeup or anything. You always look fresh, even when you’ve been working all day. There’s an energy about you.” A wholesomeness that few other women could pull off. It was probably attitude as much as appearance that was responsible for that vibe. Maris per¬sonified friendliness, but she owned the space around her in a way Joy could never manage. “Believe me, the natural look works for you.”

When Maris laughed, it made her even prettier, but before Joy could say so, she asked, “So what are you up to today?”

Hmmm. Had Maris just deflected? Maybe she was as un¬comfortable with compliments as Joy. “Meeting the new owner of the drive-in.”

“That’s right. I heard it changed hands.”

“Very recently,” Joy confirmed.

“Heard the new guy was a gorgeous hunk, too.”

“You…what?” Joy sputtered. A gorgeous hunk? Definitely not what she’d hoped for, although it absolutely wouldn’t matter. A man’s appeal meant nothing to her—and good thing, since the guys at the park were all very handsome in varying ways. “Who told you that?”

“I’m like a bartender, you know?” Maris bobbed her eye¬brows. “Everyone talks to me. You should try it sometime.”

Generally the small town shared everything about everything. If a squirrel dropped a nut, someone announced it and the gossip spread like wildfire-though Joy was usually the last to hear it since she didn’t cultivate those close relationships. Maybe she should chat with Maris more, if for no other rea¬son than to keep up on current affairs in Woodbine. “I don’t know about the hunk part since I haven’t met him yet, but it’s not an issue. My only interest is—”

“In recreation for the park, I know.” Maris rolled her eyes in a playful way. “But there are all kinds of recreation, and I’m thinking you should try the kind that involves a man.”

A nervous laugh trickled out. Since when was Maris Ken¬nedy interested in her lack of a love life? Joy’s next thought was whether or not the lack was that obvious.

Did she seem…lonely? Or, oh God, needy?

No, Maris more than anyone else at the park understood that a woman didn’t need a man to complete her. Joy’s life was already full, thank you very much.

To keep things friendly, Joy said with a smile, “Jack gets all my free time. I don’t even know when I’d fit in a date.” Just to clarify, she added, “Not that anyone is asking.”

“Hello,” Maris said. “You realize you have a big old blink¬ing not available sign on you, right? Guys would ask”-she pinched the air—”if you’d give them just a teeny tiny bit of encouragement.”

“But I don’t want to encourage anyone. I mean, not for that reason.”

“Why not? Jack’s in school now, so don’t tell me you can’t eek out an hour or two.”

“Hmm. Well, I guess technically I could…” Joy sat at the counter, and finished with, “but I won’t.”


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