Published March 10th 2014 by Entangled: Bliss – Add it on Goodreads
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.
I really expected this to be a sexy, fun read, and it was. What I did not expect was for it to touch such a personal chord with me. Ellie has to come home because her father and only parent has Alzheimer's. Ouch, because I am the primary caregiver to my father and only parent who is suffering in the late stages of this disease. So, yeah, this hits waaaaaay close to home.
That made Her Summer with the Marine a very, very poignant read that brought quite a few tears to my eyes. For this reason, I think I was much, much more critical of Finn, even though he was handling his own painful issues. I thought Ellie handled herself with great dignity and aplomb, while still hanging on to a life outside her father's illness. Trust me, in this situation, a woman NEEDS fun and frivolity more than ever.
Finn was a nice guy, but he had perpetrated a horrible, horrible faux pas in his and Ellie's teenage past. Understandably, teenage boys are more often than not, more hormones than gray matter. That does not excuse a cavalier attitude, nor the lack of apology in the present time. Especially when trying to engender fond feelings. For SHAME, Finn, for shame.
But, back to my initial impression, at the heart of the book, this is still a feel good story. Despite my close personal connection, I did smile more than I cried and I also had a couple of LOL moments. The chemistry between Finn and Ellie was tangible and smoking. I am anticipating Cade and Devon's stories and hope to see more of the Dinner Belles, and maybe Ellie's boss, Nicole. I think she could maybe benefit from a brief stint in Harmony Hills. This town seems to have a way of healing it's residents. So taking everything into consideration, especially the intense emotional response that I had to this story. I am compelled to give Her Summer with the Marine my highest recommendation. Job well done Ms. Meier, brava.
A one-time legal secretary and director of a charitable foundation, Susan Meier found her own personal ‘bliss’ when she became a full-time novelist. She’s visited ski lodges and candy factories for “research” and works in her pajamas.
But the real joy of her job is creating stories about women for women. In her sixty published novels, she’s tackled issues like infertility, losing a child and becoming widowed. Her favorite stories are those that inspire laughter through tears.
Susan lives in western Pennsylvania with her own hero, their son and two fabulous felines, Sophia Maria Lolita Conchita Chiquita Banana and Fluffy.