by Jenny Hale
Synopsis: Summer at Oyster Bay is the perfect, feel-good summer romance, about the importance of home and family, learning what love is, and living for the moment.
They say falling in love is easy. But what if you know it’ll break your heart?
For Emily Tate, returning to her charming childhood home Oyster Bay is like coming up for air after the fast pace of her city life. At the farm her grandfather built, surrounded by sister Rachel’s chatter, Gram’s buttermilk biscuits, and the soft, white sand, Emily is reminded of exactly who she is and what she holds most dear.
When Emily starts work at elegant Water’s Edge Inn, Charles Peterson, the handsome new owner, asks for her help. He wants to expand and needs Emily to teach him the local ways, so he can convince the planning commission. Emily vows to make him fall in love with her hometown, just the way it is.
At work, Charles is reserved and serious, yet once Emily has him kicking off his shoes in the sand and sailing across the glistening Chesapeake Bay, she sees another side to him, and their easy rapport feels like the start of something big.
But when it becomes clear Charles’s plans for the inn involve bulldozing Oyster Bay, Emily is heartbroken. Will she lose her home and Charles all at once, or can she save Oyster Bay, and give true love a chance?
My Review: Emily Tate has returned to Oyster Bay, her childhood home after three years of city living as well as turning down her boyfriend’s proposal. She realizes that she is a small town girl and wants to live where she grew up. She is back at home with her gran in the house her papa built, where she grew up after the tragic accident that killed both her parents. She has been hired by her friend as the events manager at the Water’s Edge Inn, Charles Peterson has recently purchased the Inn and has plans for a big expansion. He wants her to help him convince the planning board to allow the expansion. He also wants to get to know more about the community, the food, the customs and the people and he thinks Emily is just the person to do that. When Emily realized that his expansion plans include Oyster Bay, which would mean leveling her family home, she sets her sights on convincing him to leave her family home and property as is. The fact that he grew up a rich boy and his whole life was geared to making money, they could not be more different. Will she be able to convince him? Where will the feelings she has to Charles (Charlie) lead? Not only is she fighting to save Oyster Bay but she is dealing with her gran’s declining health and her sister and her brother-in-law a bit on the outs due to her wanting to go back to work. Should one person’s dreams be put on hold because someone else wants something different for them?
I love the characters in this book. They are fun, loving and very realistic. I wanted to join them on their family activities. When things looked down, I found myself hoping that Emily could figure out a way to solve the problem. It kept me reading to the end without wanting to stop. I loved the ending. It was amazing and has me wanting to read more from Jenny Hale. This was a great summer read and I recommend it to others who enjoy romance, family drama or just a smalltown story. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.