"Romance and sisterhood fill these pages"
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
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,
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!
As the summer ends, friendship beginsâ€¦
When single mom Joy Lee abandoned her old life to take a
at a lakeside resort, she found something that her familyâ€™s
wealth and influence could never buy: peace of mind. Not
easy to come by for the once-burned divorcĂ©e who keeps
everyone at a distance. But when her new friend, Maris,
dares her to take a chance with the drive-inâ€™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 Summerâ€™s End, the camp store
cafĂ©, comes first. Always. Nothing could ever make her risk
that hard-won securityâ€”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.
soon they form a friendship that leaves them as close as
sistersâ€”and open to love where they least expect itâ€¦in
ExcerptAfter dropping her son off at school, Joy Lee returned to
Cooperâ€™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 wouldnâ€™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 groceryâ€¦or visit the new owner of the
drive-in, who sheâ€™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.
HallowÂ¬een was coming up and she didnâ€™t want to have to
completely restructure a tried and true camper favorite.
Coming through the grand entry of the resort, Joy couldnâ€™t
help but admire the beauty of it. Sheâ€™d been seeing the
same gorgeous scenery for six years now, yet it never
failed to soothe her.
Sheâ€™d found peace here, a kind of peace she hadnâ€™t known
existed. Now she couldnâ€™t imagine living anywhere else.
Large trees, currently wearing their fall colors, lined the
property and served to add privacy to the costlier
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
Deciding a cup of coffee wouldnâ€™t hurt, Joy headed for
Summerâ€™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 wipÂ¬ing
down the tops of the dining booths. She glanced up and
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
hanÂ¬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. â€śGood morning.â€ť
â€śIs it?â€ť Maris turned her gaze to the window. â€śAh,
sunÂ¬shine. Better than rain and clouds, right? Coffee?â€ť
Joy hated to pull her away from her task. â€śYes, but I could
â€śIâ€™ll get it.â€ť 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. â€śI just made a fresh pot.â€ť
Of course she had. Smiling, Joy shook her head.
The cafĂ© in Summerâ€™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 didnâ€™t
have to leave the park once they arrived, and if they
didnâ€™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. â€śIâ€™m wondering something.â€ť
â€śOh?â€ť She and Maris were friendly; Maris was too nice for
anyone not to be friendly with her. But Joy wouldnâ€™t say
they were close.
Sadly, it had become Joyâ€™s habit to keep some measure of
distance from everyone.
â€śHow the hell do you always look so put together?â€ť
Surprised by the question, Joy looked down at her cotton
skirt and button up sweater. â€śItâ€™s a casual skirt.â€ť At
least five years old, like the majority of her wardrobe.
Sheâ€™d updated only a few pieces since moving to the park.
â€śYeah, but everything you wear looks like it came from a
fashion magazine. Always, no matter what, youâ€™re styled
head to toe. There are days I can barely get my hair into a
ponytail, and yet you never have a wrinkle.â€ť
Feeling suddenly self conscious, as well as amused by the
irony, Joy laughed.
â€śWhyâ€™s that funny?â€ť Maris asked, looking genuinely
It wasnâ€™t like Maris to linger, so Joy hastily explained,
â€śI was literally just thinking how great you always look.
EspeÂ¬cially your ponytail! No matter whatâ€™s going on, youâ€¦
â€śMe?â€ť Maris snorted. â€śGlow?â€ť
Even more embarrassed and feeling completely out of her
element, Joy explained, â€śYou donâ€™t need makeup or anything.
You always look fresh, even when youâ€™ve been working all
day. Thereâ€™s an energy about you.â€ť A wholesomeness that few
other women could pull off. It was probably attitude as
much as appearance that was responsible for that vibe.
Maris perÂ¬sonified friendliness, but she owned the space
around her in a way Joy could never manage. â€śBelieve me,
the natural look works for you.â€ť
When Maris laughed, it made her even prettier, but before
Joy could say so, she asked, â€śSo what are you up to today?â€ť
Hmmm. Had Maris just deflected? Maybe she was as
unÂ¬comfortable with compliments as Joy. â€śMeeting the new
owner of the drive-in.â€ť
â€śThatâ€™s right. I heard it changed hands.â€ť
â€śVery recently,â€ť Joy confirmed.
â€śHeard the new guy was a gorgeous hunk, too.â€ť
â€śYouâ€¦what?â€ť Joy sputtered. A gorgeous hunk? Definitely not
what sheâ€™d hoped for, although it absolutely wouldnâ€™t
matter. A manâ€™s appeal meant nothing to herâ€”and good thing,
since the guys at the park were all very handsome in
varying ways. â€śWho told you that?â€ť
â€śIâ€™m like a bartender, you know?â€ť Maris bobbed her
eyeÂ¬brows. â€śEveryone talks to me. You should try it
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 didnâ€™t cultivate
those close relationships. Maybe she should chat with Maris
more, if for no other reaÂ¬son than to keep up on current
affairs in Woodbine. â€śI donâ€™t know about the hunk part
since I havenâ€™t met him yet, but itâ€™s not an issue. My only
â€śIn recreation for the park, I know.â€ť Maris rolled her eyes
in a playful way. â€śBut there are all kinds of recreation,
and Iâ€™m thinking you should try the kind that involves a
A nervous laugh trickled out. Since when was Maris KenÂ¬nedy
interested in her lack of a love life? Joyâ€™s next thought
was whether or not the lack was that obvious.
Did she seemâ€¦lonely? Or, oh God, needy?
No, Maris more than anyone else at the park understood that
a woman didnâ€™t need a man to complete her. Joyâ€™s life was
already full, thank you very much.
To keep things friendly, Joy said with a smile, â€śJack gets
all my free time. I donâ€™t even know when Iâ€™d fit in a
date.â€ť Just to clarify, she added, â€śNot that anyone is
â€śHello,â€ť Maris said. â€śYou realize you have a big old
blinkÂ¬ing not available sign on you, right? Guys would
askâ€ť-she pinched the airâ€”â€ťif youâ€™d give them just a teeny
tiny bit of encouragement.â€ť
â€śBut I donâ€™t want to encourage anyone. I mean, not for that
â€śWhy not? Jackâ€™s in school now, so donâ€™t tell me you canâ€™t
eek out an hour or two.â€ť
â€śHmm. Well, I guess technically I couldâ€¦â€ť Joy sat at the
counter, and finished with, â€śbut I wonâ€™t.â€ť
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