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Irene Hannon’s That Certain Summer


Karen and Val are family–yet they’re anything but close. Karen has carried the burden of responsibility for her aging mother ever since her gorgeous sister left town years ago to pursue a career in theater. But Val had darker reasons for leaving town–as well as a secret to keep–and coming home has never been an option . . . until their mother suffers a stroke.

Reunited in their hometown, Karen and Val must grapple with their past mistakes, their relationship with each other, and their issues with a mother who is far from ideal. When a physical therapist raising his daughter alone and a handsome but hurting musician enter the picture, the summer takes on a whole new dimension. As their lives intersect and entwine, can each learn how to forgive, how to let go, and how to move on? And strengthened by the healing power of faith, might they also find the courage to love?

With her trademark compelling characters and heartwarming hope, fan favorite Irene Hannon offers her readers an inspiring true-to-life tale of complex family relationships, transgressions revealed and forgiven, and the complicated process of finding love.


This novel is different from Irene Hannon’s usual fare, but still just as good. In this novel, you have two separate stories, Karen and Val. They each have a bit of a burden that is weighing them down, but watching them get free from those burdens was a joy to read. Val, is the beautiful sister who has a secret that’s been hunting her for years. I liked Val. She was kind and generous and though she had a secret, straightforward. I especially liked her interactions with David. This is one romance that was both slow and exciting. And I liked the end of her tale, when she realized that God loved her unconditionally and that He died for all of our sins. Her story was beautiful. I also liked Karen. Her changes were more overt than Val’s but no less important. However, I would say that her romance with Scott felt a bit forced to me. Though she changed over the course of the novel, she always read to me as older and more dignified than a youthful Scott. And this could have worked if they had addressed those issues. That said, I never found Karen’s story boring. Also, I liked watching the sisters get to know each other again. There was no drama or back-stabbing, but just honest to goodness relationship. I found this to be beautifully done. This novel is different than Irene Hannon’s mysteries, but I think it is equally as enjoyable and page-turning. 

Romantic Scale (1-10):

Val’s story:7

Karen’s story:5

**I received this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in any way.**

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