This guest review by Sal of Daring Summer is made possible by a review copy provided at no charge.
Great and emotion-packed story just like I love to read. Kim is in an unhappy marriage. Her husband, Ben is psychologically abusive and manipulative. Kim is contemplating divorcing her husband when everything changes. One day when Ben is trying to scare her by driving too fast on the highway, he gets into a life-changing car accident that leaves him paralyzed from the waist down. Now that her husband is trapped in a wheelchair for life, Kim decides to try to give their marriage another chance. She feels that if she can just do everything right, if she can be the perfect wife and give him everything he wants despite his poisonous personality, then the guilt she feels for his accident will be assuaged.
She takes on this role but doesn’t anticipate meeting a handsome stranger on the beach by her house. Derek is everything her husband is not—he’s kind, attentive, exciting and he cares about her thoughts and feelings in a way that, she realizes, Ben never has. Kim and Derek begin a relationship as stormy as the Long Island sea, keeping their passions a secret, their love remains only for them to share.
Everything about this book was right up my alley. From the coastal setting to the tense, provocative writing style, this was everything that I look for in a romantic suspense novel and I enjoyed it immensely. Kim and Derek’s relationship was romantic and exciting; the author team really made me sympathize with Kim and Derek and root for their love to win out in the end. There is nothing quite like a forbidden romance to break my heart and make me keep turning every page to see what happens next. I fully intend to read more from this author dual in the future and can’t wait to see what they have in store next!
About the Book:
- Title: Daring Summer
- Author: Elyse Douglas
- Print and ebook: 285 pages
- Publisher: Broadback
A hot summer beach—
A marriage gone wrong—
Daring eyes and daring love, betrayed by a secret passion.
Kim feels trapped in a loveless marriage to a jealous, wealthy older man. He blames her for crippling him in an auto accident that he himself caused. Kim strives to make the marriage work, despite her husband’s blame, verbal abuse, and bitterness. When she meets a wickedly handsome man on the beach, she fights not to want him, not to want a new life and not to fall in love.
But Derek is seductive and irresistible—a former soldier who has recently come to town to start a landscaping business. Kim falls hard for him, as he does to her. Although Kim wants a divorce, her husband finds out about their affair and devises a plot to destroy them both. They must struggle to survive a web of lies, deceit and dangerous passion.
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Daring Summer Excerpt:
It was almost seven o’clock when Kim gathered up her towel and packed her beach bag. When she heard a barking dog, she turned sharply toward the sound, seeing the Labrador galloping through the water, kicking up spray, lunging and seizing the stick between his teeth. He whirled and raced off toward his owner, who was slowly working his way across the sand toward her.
She stiffened, staring at him somberly, the late sun on his broad naked shoulders, his hair wet and raked back from his forehead. Afraid he might pick up her vibes, she got up and swung the strap of her beach bag over her shoulder. Tucking her head, she started across the sand toward the path, feeling his eyes on her back. And then she heard him call to her.
“Leaving so soon?”
She stopped and turned, nervous now, pulling a loose strand of hair from her eyes, her mouth twitching as he approached. A late evening breeze stirred across them and then fell back to stillness.
Her pulse quickened.
He stopped within ten feet of her. “Did you get that dog yet?”
She shook her head, pretending casualness, taken by his chiseled jaw and day-old shadow of beard. Taken by his tanned handsomeness. “No…”
His dog rushed over to him, tongue swinging, dark eyes focused lustily on the stick the man was holding. The dog nudged the man’s hand with his nose.
Kim looked at the dog and then at the man. “What’s your dog’s name?”
“Colin. That’s an unusual name for a dog.”
“He was named after a buddy of mine in Afghanistan. Colin Bates. He was a Royal Marine from just outside London. He was killed.”
Kim stared, seeing sorrow, seeing speculative appraisal. The impact of him was astonishing. He stood a good six inches taller than Kim, who was 5’ 9” in bare feet. She noticed the scar again, and he followed her eyes.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “You were there? Afghanistan?”
Derek shrugged. “Yeah. Three tours.”
Kim let that settle in. She turned her attention back to the dog. “Are you going to throw the stick?” she asked.
The man smiled, cocked his arm and flung the stick far toward the sea.
Their eyes met, his curious and cautious. Hers probing but nervous.
“Do you have time for a walk?” he asked.
“No, I don’t.”
“Meeting someone?” he asked.
“Something else to do?”
“Don’t like dogs?”
“Don’t like me?”
Kim glanced away, forcing a laugh. “No.”
“Do you ever say ‘Yes’?”
The tension left her face. She smiled. “Yes.”
“Can I take that ‘yes’ to mean you’ll go for a walk with me? An innocent walk, with a man and his dog? Yes?”
Kim felt a little weak in the knees. The guy had a raw sexuality that was unsettling and thrilling.
He seemed to pulse with it. Her cheeks flushed. Did he notice?
“Okay… a short walk,” Kim said.
She dropped her beach bag and towel to the sand and they started off, silent for a time, each besieged with palpable attraction.
Derek was entranced by the sound of her smoky alto voice. It had a breathless intimacy to it as if she were about to reveal some racy secret.
Derek indicated toward her beach house. “That yours?”
“I live there. It’s my husband’s.”
He looked at her. “So it’s not yours? Not yours and his?”
Her face told him nothing, and Kim didn’t offer more.
About the Author: Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the married writing team Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse grew up near the sea, roaming the beaches, reading and writing stories and poetry, receiving a master’s degree in English Literature. She has enjoyed careers as an English teacher, an actress and a speech-language pathologist.
Douglas has worked as a graphic designer, a corporate manager and an equities trader. He attended the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and played the piano professionally for many years.
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A complimentary copy of Daring Summer was received in exchange for an honest review.