The book had four stories so I have a brief review of each one. They follow the same order as in the book. In addition to the beach and summer theme common to the stories, three of the four also have exes who are stalkers, abusive or both. That is not my idea of a little light summer reading and I had to readjust my expectations while reading.
JUNE'S LACE by Cathy Lamb
A light sweet frothy confection, complete with eccentric family members.The ex in this one is emotionally and verbally abusive. It's a sweet love story, and I liked that June was honest about her relationship with her ex with her new guy; both she and Reece had some careful balancing to do before they could be together completely.
SECOND CHANCE SWEETHEARTS by Holly Chamberlin
I just could not get into this one. It's over 90 pages and I read 30 before giving up. I couldn't relate to Thea (though I do like that name) and the author was taking too long to get things moving. Plus, I felt like she was giving us information in dribs and drabs; instead of an info dump, it was an info drought. The story was too short for that technique to be effective. I moved on to the next story and when I finished the book, I went back to this one and tried again, and gave up again. Although it didn't work for me, you may enjoy it. Before I gave trying to read it, I got the impression that Thea's ex was abusive but since I didn't finish it, I could be completely wrong.
CAROLINA SUMMER by Rosalind Noonan
Again, a story where the author, albeit a different one, took too long to tell us why the lead female, Jane, was running and hiding. No abusive ex this time, but a stalker. This one gave a more realistic portrayal of small town living, including the inevitable gossip that happens. I liked Jane though towards the end of the story when she thinks someone may be in her apartment, she goes all stupid. I also wondered how she was able to hold on to her job while she was down South (I can't say more without spoiling the story). Still, it was a good story and I enjoyed it.
THE BRASS RING by Lisa Jackson
This is a reprint, though I only knew that from reading the author's note at the end of the anthology. I liked the premise; I don't know how realistic it is, but it's a thought provoking one. It brings up questions of personality, character, innate traits vs. learned traits, the malleability of a person's emotional make up, and so on. Parker has difficulty believing that Shawna could still love him as he's no longer the man she fell in love with. He believes, and I agreed, that Shawna that she doesn't properly appreciate that he's a different man; she still sees the Parker who existed before his accident and not the man he's become. There's also a secondary plot line that I thought was unnecessary; the basic premise provided more than enough dramatic and romantic tension. Still, I liked Shawna, I liked her brother and I liked both of the Parkers, though the second one is a harsher man.
Overall, a good anthology; it's not quite as light as the title and cover imply it has some good stories.
I received this book from Meryl Moss Media for review.