Monday, March 17, 2014

Review: Her Summer with the Marine by Susan Meier

Their competition has never been so irresistible

The last person Ellie McDermott wanted to run into after returning to her hometown is Finn Donovan, her high school nemesis and the guy she crossed the line from enemies to lovers with one night years ago. Now ex-military, tattooed, and still sexy as hell, Finn is a complication Ellie doesn’t need—she needs to concentrate on saving her family business.

Finn’s entire life, Ellie was there, going head-to-head with him in every class, bee, and test. So it’s no surprise she’d show up just as he was about to take over her father’s struggling business. It is a surprise, though, that his attraction to her is even more explosive than it had been. Acting on their attraction is one thing, but Finn has to turn a profit to save his own family, and nothing—not even love—will get in his way.

My thoughts:
This was a great story.  The characters are fantastic.  Ellie and Finn are both strong characters; smart, determined, dedicated, and driven.  Both have parents who need them, and that need is a driving force in their business decisions.  They are easy to invest in and I couldn't put the book down, wanting to know what would become of their professional and personal lives.  I found it intriguing that although the story was essentially about Ellie and Finn, the secondary characters and their lives brought a depth to the story that was vital.  Each of the characters was carefully created with a connection to either Finn or Ellie and was, at some point in the story, tantamount to their lives.  With the many faceted backgrounds ruling both Ellie and Finn, emotions run high throughout the book.  I caught myself laughing and crying along with them as they struggle to find their way through.
The world the author has built is realistic to a fault, with the small town atmosphere and the fact that everyone seems to know and want to be involved in everyone else's lives.  I grew up in a small town and so it easy for me to connect with the the emotions of all of the characters on some level.  I enjoyed the way Ellie and B.B. relationship grew and changed, I wasn't sure at the start if it could do so given the small town resentments that can easily rule a person even though they have grown up.  
The story is well written and nicely paced.  I was thrilled with the way the author brings the billboard advertising piece full circle.  The ending was as good as the beginning and I found myself hoping for more books about the characters I had become attached to during the read.
I am looking forward to another book from Susan Meier and can't wait to see whose story the next one will be.  

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