Lady Jane Cummings is the perfect member of the ton, and she is sick of it. She is tired of being the perfect daughter, and perfect sister. But much has changed this past year. Her mother dies, leaving Jane devastated. To add to the drama, her father is showing signs of dementia, and her brother Jason, has been gone for a year, gallivanting with his friends and ignoring his duties at home. When he finally does make his way home, he finds Jane at wit's end. They don't want their father to be put on display as disabled in front of the ton, so Jason demands Jane take their father to their cottage house in Reston, a quaint lake district. Jane, who is sick of Jason not helping his part, uses a bit of blackmail, and the entire family, all quite ill tempered make their way to Reston.
Since Jane and her family spent time there when she was young, the entire town comes to visit, all gossipy, reminding her of the time she ran naked through town at the age of five, and all very loud. Of course, Jason doesn't stick around to help and Jane is all by herself again. Jason goes out and gets drunk, and local resident Byrne Worth takes pity, or at least his servant takes pity on him, and Jason sleeps off his stupor on Byrne's couch.
Feeling obliged to thank Byrne, Jane takes a basket to his house - only to find him naked, swimming in the pond. Jane had met Byrne the previous year, when his brother Marcus and her friend Phillippa got into some exciting adventures. Byrne was injured his leg serving the country, and now walks with a cane.
Byrne has kept the entire town at a distance, being very impolite and rude. With this demeanor, he has also been accused by many as the highwayman who has been striking frequently through the town. Jane doesn't believe Byrne would stoop to such a level, and as the summer progresses, they find they have much in common, and become friends. Jane finds her visits to Byrne's house to be filled with happiness, a place where she can forget all the drama waiting for her back home. He comes to mean a great deal to her, and suddenly, the visit to the lake does not seem like such a bad idea at all.
The Summer of You is a charming story of two people who on the outside are miles apart, yet they find they have a surprising amount in common. At first Byrne becomes her escape from her brother, father and overbearing town. But soon, she comes to think of him often, and feels joy (a feeling that has long left her) when she makes the walk to his house. Kate Noble writes very romantic books. They are not smut filled - rather she makes simple kisses, and longing looks and you can't help but smile as they fall in love. Both of these characters make an appearance in her previous book Revealed, and they both have to go on quite a journey to be happy enough for a relationship. Jane starting out the ton snob, and Byrne, the injured - both his leg and his pride. She breaks him out of his shell, and gives him a reason to leave his house and become part of the town. He gives her stability, and someone to lean on - she is no longer alone.
Although their is the mystery surrounding the highwayman, this is more of just a story of a summer at the lake. Her brother Jason learns the hard way that his time to become a man has come. We also get a side story with Victoria, Jane's childhood friend and the town doctor. I actually wish we had gotten less of Jason and more with just Byrne and Jane, but really it is hard for me to find anything disappointing in this book.
Kate Noble writes absolutely adorable books. There is something about the way she writes that draws me in and I find it utterly romantic. Although there is an action filled end, the love story is a quiet one - subtle in its telling. The Summer of You is absolutely a favorite I have read this year and I hope it finds its way to you.