Author: Jill Sanders
Series: Wildflowers #3
For Hannah Rodgers, running an adult summer camp with her four best friends is the ideal distraction from her controlling family. She’s worked hard to become her own woman, but now her parents want to marry her off for business reasons. What is this, the Middle Ages? Hannah would much rather enjoy the sunny delights of camp and flirt with Owen Costa, the hunky help.
But Owen has his own scheme working behind those beautiful brown eyes: he and his brothers finagled camp jobs with the hope of tracking down their father, an eccentric billionaire prone to sudden disappearances. Though Owen was suspicious of the new camp owners at first, his relationship with Hannah deepens, and he gets waylaid from his mission.
But Owen’s troubles soon resurface, and duty calls him away just as Hannah shares a delicate secret, leaving her shattered. Can they get over their complicated lives long enough to enjoy the romance they both want?
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I know I promised myself to stop reading this saga after the nefarious second book. Buuuut the third one was there in NetGalley and I just had to pick it up. I mean, what could be the harm? It didn’t cost me a dime, so I should at least pick it with an opened mind. I’m glad my stubbonrness was short-lived, because the third part of the Wildflowers saga has been rather enjoyable. You never know, I guess…
We go back to our favourite camp for adults to meet Hannah better. She is one of the Wildflowers who has invested all her money and time to create a business. As it was hinted in the previous books, Owen is the Costa brother that makes her heart flutter. He is also very attracted to Hannah, but the issues with his father and the company are keeping him away. When some threats start pouring into his life that splash into hers, Owen must get closer to Hannah in order to protect her. Nothing is more romantic than running for your life…
If I need to use just one word to express how I feel about this book that word would be “surprsied“. The predecessor dind’t leave my opinion of this saga in a good place and I was afraid this third story was going to follow the same schema. You know, narrate the same story but from the point of view of another character. The story of the first book wasn’t that great to be enjoyable over and over again. I must admit I had my shields up when I picked Summer Secrets, ready to roll my eyes in front of the first symptom of an encore. And my eyes I rolled. The first chapter is just what I was afraid of and I whined a little bit reading it. So imagine my surprise when the following chapters discard the retelling and dare to start a brand new story. My interest was picked almost immediately.
Something I liked from the first book was the soft mystery. Something that, sadly, was barely used in the second book. But this time it comes back with a fierceness that has made me a believer again. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a nail biting thriller that keeps your heart beating hard until the last page. It is just a calm undercurrent where the story floats comfortable. A trick to make the romantic aspect of the book shine brigther. But a very welcoming trick. Yes, the author sometimes tries too hard to keep the mystery interesting. Her attempts to misdirect the reader are painfully obvious, making the culprit’s identity so clear that the fact the good guys didn’t realize about it sooner is just laughable. Dozens of smart and sexy people in that camp and neither of them was capable of putting two plus two together. At least it was a a fun pleasure to read how wrong their mental cogwheels were spinning.
The characters are more or less the same as in the previous books. From the two of them, Hannah would be the one I dislike more. I still like her, though; but she is a damsel in distress waaaay too often. That makes her look a bit dependant of Owen. I would also have loved to witness much more about the drama with her parents. It should have been treated more thoroughly for the ending we get. Owen is a character that is a tad better developed. At least I finished the book with a feeling that he had gone places emotionally. He is very hardworking and responsible in all the aspects of his life: job, love, friends, family… I truly admire the way he treats Hannah, gifting us with some scenes that are rather sweet and made me smile broadly. He read a book for her… no better indicator to spot a great guy.
So, kudos to the author for telling a new story when she could have gone the easy way again. I think this third story should be the model the rest of the books of this saga should look up to. It is not perfect, though. It still annoys me a great deal how young the characters are for their experience. Sometimes it doesn’t make any sense. Word of advice: ignore everytime the author mentions ages or any other temporal reference. If you keep track of them you will end with a messy timeline that could give you a migraine.
In the last review I had to skip the new English word due to the lack of prospects, but this time I have caught one to store in my internal drive.
demure: affectedly modest or prim; coy
According to some dictionaries, it is an adjective only applied to women… No idea why. I know there are plenty of men out there that can be as demure as any woman…