THE SUMMER DEAL – Jill Shalvis
William Morrow
ISBN: 978-0-06-289791-6
June 2020
Contemporary Fiction

Wildstone, California – Present Day

Brynn Turner grew up in Wildstone but left it as the bad memories of being bullied were too hard to bear. Unfortunately, bad luck in the form of her now ex-boyfriend ripping her off and leaving her nearly destitute has her moving back home. Her two moms open their arms to her, though Brynn would rather find a job to support herself and move into her own place. A panic attack leads to Brynn ending up the hospital emergency room. While she's awaiting the doctor's verdict, she goes in search of chocolate—and finds herself face to face with a guy from her past. While she was growing up, her moms would send her every year to summer camp. Brynn hated it—except for the nice boy named Eli Thomas. Brynn had a secret crush on him. Eli has grown into a fine man. It's too bad that he used to hang out with her nemesis, Kinsey Davis.

Kinsey wishes she could live a normal life, but having your kidneys fail and one transplant not work, then life is like a bowl of sour cherries. This has made Kinsey acerbic towards others, including Brynn, who she saw as a mousy, timid girl. At the age of fifteen, she discovered something that shocked her—Brynn is her half-sister via a sperm donation by their father, who is now out of the picture. Brynn doesn't know it and Kinsey doesn't want her to get close to her, so she is stunned when Eli rents one of the rooms in the house he owns to Brynn. Since Kinsey is entrenched there, how will the two former adversaries get along? Kinsey needs a new kidney. Will she ask Brynn to find out if they are a match?

Brynn and Kinsey are polar opposites in how they approach life. Brynn has pretty much crawled through life being bullied, while Kinsey isn't afraid to push someone. The two people who can deal with Kinsey are Eli—her best friend since childhood, and Deck—her on and off again lover. When Brynn and Kinsey come face-to-face in THE SUMMER DEAL after all these years, Brynn's first response is to flee, while Kinsey's is to be as obnoxious as she can possibly be. After an acrimonious start, they finally agree to cohabit and soon learn the other isn't as bad as they thought. They even forge—gasp—a friendship. Hanging over their heads in this tale is the knowledge that they are half-sisters and that Brynn might be a match as a kidney donor for Kinsey.

As with most books written by Jill Shalvis, there is plenty of humor tinged throughout the pages of THE SUMMER DEAL. She can write female characters that have self-depreciative personalities. Who of us hasn't dealt with insecurities as to whether we're doing the right thing? Eli and Brynn explore the attraction that has been there between them since they met in summer camp. Given her past history with men, will they be able to find love? Kinsey sees Deck as a friend with benefits type, yet readers suspect the woman with a hard heart actually has a soft one toward Deck.

THE SUMMER DEAL is one of those books that make the perfect summer beach read. It's filled with emotion, friendship, and love. Will Brynn and Kinsey end up being the sisters they both wanted? Find out in THE SUMMER DEAL.

Patti Fischer