Title: One S’more Summer
Author: Beth Merlin
Series: The Campfire Series #1
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: May 30th, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
If you love Sophie Kinsella and Emily Giffin, you’ll love this heartwarming debut from a fresh voice in contemporary chick-lit that offers a lighthearted and fun take on friendship, love, and how to recover from past mistakes.
For twenty long years, Gigi Goldstein has been pining away for her best friend’s guy. She knows it’s wrong and it has to stop, but she hasn’t been able to let go ever since they all met on the bus to summer camp back when they were 7 years old. The same week that her best friends finally announce their wedding date, Gigi loses her high-profile design job. With all of her dreams unravelling, she runs to the last place she remembers being happy.
Taking the Head Counselor position at Camp Chinooka, Gigi hopes to reclaim the joy she felt as a camper, but the job isn’t all campfire songs and toasting marshmallows. Gigi’s girls are determined to make her look bad in front of the boys’ Head Counselor—the sexy but infuriating Perry—and every scrap of the campground is laced with memories.
When Gigi finally realizes she can’t escape the present by returning to her past, she’s forced to reexamine her life and find the true meaning of love. But will she be able to mend fences and forgive herself before she loses her one real shot at happiness?
My rating: 4.5 stars
This was an extremely sweet story, perfect for a summer read! I’ll admit, I am a HUGE fan of S’mores, and I love all things that are s’mores flavored. In fact, I am still quite miffed with Dairy Queen for discontinuing their s’more flavored Blizzard treats, especially after that extremely catchy commercial the summer they brought them out. Anyway, even though I’ve never been to a summer camp myself, I enjoy stories about them because I like the look into what they might have been like for me.
At first I was unsure if I would enjoy this book, because it seemed as if the main character, Gigi, might have cheated with her best friend’s boyfriend. But really, that’s not exactly what happened. Gigi and Joshua, and her best friend Alicia, they had all been best friends since their summers at Camp Chinooka. While Gigi had always had a crush on Joshua, it just turned out that Joshua and Alicia were the ones that got together. That was a part that I could somewhat identify with, knowing friends who have ended up with guys that I might have thought were perfect for me, although none in ever such a situation, or that I’d ever gotten together with in any way. And really, I don’t feel like Joshua was very fair to Gigi, and he didn’t really give her a chance to move on. And so her decision to get away for the summer to work at the summer camp was totally justified.
And then there was Perry. The hot British camp counselor. It went from a hate type of relationship, the two of them seeing only the irritating bits of each other at first, and the passion from that turning into more, a friendship and definitely more with their attraction to each other. All of their misunderstandings/fights were very realistic to me. They didn’t seem to be anything blown way out of proportion or too much like other stories where it’s like they need something to have the conflict. And I feel like because of this, the way the end of the story went, with the final conflicts having to do with friendship issues, and no silly last minute, “I’m still not sure about this relationship” issues, well, I loved that the story ended that way.
I’m excited to see this is a series, as I’m looking forward to seeing where Perry and Gigi’s story might go next. Although the little blurb about what is happening, and that it is 4 years in the future are scaring me a bit for what is going to happen. Now, to wait till December for that one? How do I get to be a beta reader for this author so I can read it earlier? 🙂
Like I said, a fun summer read, with romance, but no real sex scenes, for those who prefer a more clean, yet realistic, romantic read.
Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School. She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, rom-coms, her daughter Hadley, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.