A Taste of Summer is a standalone parallel novel in the Mathews Family series by Beverly Preston. This book does not need to be read in order, but the characters are connected. This is my first Beverly Preston book, but I didn't have any problems understanding the story. There was a lot that I really liked about this one, and I am curious to go back and read about the previous couples after seeing them in this book. I will say that I did have some issues here though, but for the most part this was an enjoyable book.
Carrie Ann Lowell is focused on her her work and continuing to raise money for a cause that is close to her heart. But when the love of her life suddenly reenters the picture, she knows her life is about to change. Ryan Summer was everything to her, and they were planning their future together until he broke her heart. Now everyone knows him as the superstar actor that he has become. But Ryan has never been able to forget Carrie Ann, and no one has ever come close to making him feel like she did. Ryan is more determined that ever to get a second chance with Carrie Ann, but can she let him back in after everything that happened?
I really liked Ryan. He was so persistent with Carrie Ann, and I love that he never gave up on her. He tried so many times to get her to see what she meant to him and that he wanted a life with her, and yet she pushed him away so many times. I admired him for his patience though, and I could really see how much he cared for her. Carrie Ann frustrated me a lot here, and I think that she was part of what kept me from absolutely loving this book. She was beyond stubborn, and she refused to own up to her feelings with anyone even though she would acknowledge them to herself. She had never been able to forget Summer either, and yet she refused to even let him really explain everything that had happened. The connection and chemistry that they had was clear though, and I think that is a lot of what irritated me so much with Carrie. How could she try to deny what was so obvious?
The biggest issue that I had though was the subplot in which someone was targeting Carrie Ann. They were out to hurt her, and yet the whole thing was a bit random to me. It was underdeveloped and didn't make much sense beyond sparking some of the reconnection between Carrie Ann and Summer (which they were already well on their way without any of this happening). I felt like it went nowhere and it was never fully explained, leaving the reader with a lot of loose ends that were never tied up. I did really like Summer and Carrie Ann together though, and once she finally gave in to her feelings I really loved the relationship between them. I wish that things hadn't been drug out so much, but it was good to see them finally back where they belonged. I liked the secondary characters a lot here, and I am looking forward to reading their stories in the future. I think that if you are already a fan of Beverly Preston's that you will enjoy this book. If you are new to her like I was and like second chance romances, this might be one you want to check out.
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