Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, July 15, 2022

One Perfect Summer by Brenda Novak (Book Review)


Book Review

One Perfect Summer by Brenda Novak
Publisher: MIRA
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Format: Paperback - 479 pages
               Audiobook - 12 Hours 40 Minutes
               Kindle - 1928 KB
               Nook - 686 KB
ISBN: 978-0778309468
ASIN (Audiobook): B07XVPM1HM
ASIN (Kindle):  B07R71BG48
BNID: 978-1488055454
Genre: Women's Fiction

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book via NetGalley. I have also purchased a copy of the book from Harlequin Romance & Suspense Combo monthly book subscription. 

Book Description:

Some families we’re born into

Some we find for ourselves

When Serenity Alston swabbed her cheek for 23andMe, she joked about uncovering some dark ancestral scandal. The last thing she expected was to discover two half sisters she didn’t know existed. Suddenly, everything about her loving family is drawn into question. And meeting these newfound sisters might be the only way to get answers.

The women decide to dig into the mystery together at Serenity’s family cabin in Lake Tahoe. With Reagan navigating romantic politics at work and Lorelei staring down the collapse of her marriage, all three women are converging at a crossroads in their lives. Before the summer is over, they’ll have to confront the past and determine how to move forward when everything they previously thought to be true was a lie. But any future is easier to face with family by your side.

Book Excerpt:

My Book Review:

In One Perfect Summer, author Brenda Novak transports the reader to Lake Tahoe, California, to follow the summer of change for new-found half-sisters Serenity Alston, Reagan Sands, and Lorelei Cipriano.

Serenity Alston is a true-crime writer who took a 23andMe DNA test while doing some research for a book that she was writing. The test results surprised Serenity, it revealed that she has two half-sisters born within two years of each other. Serenity already had her life turned upside down when her ex-husband Sean was sentenced to prison for five years, so the DNA test results just added more stress to her life.

Reagan Sands is an only child and NYC ad executive, who was in love with her married boss Drew, who worked his way through her defenses, and they had a one-time sexual encounter in the office, which led her to stress out about being able to continue working at the ad agency after the indiscretion. 

Lorelei Cipriano is a married stay-at-home mom of four year old daughter, Lucy. Lorelei had a rough childhood being shuffled around in foster care in Florida. Lorelei is having martial issues with her husband Mark after finding out that he cheated on her with her best friend, Francine. Mark wants to work through their marital issues, but Lorelei wants to escape from her issues for a bit, before deciding what she wants to do with her marriage.

Serenity, Reagan, and Lorelei plan to meet up at Serenity's family cabin in Lake Tahoe, and figure out the mystery of how they are related. The newly discovered half-sisters are all at a crossroads in their lives, and the summer spent together in Lake Tahoe will take them on a journey that will give them a chance to bond, help them make choices and decisions in their private lives, re-discover themselves, and learn the meaning of love, friendship, family, and moving forward with their lives.

In One Perfect Summer, author Brenda Novak easily captivates her readers' attention with this beautifully written tale through a seamless and flowing storyline, and characters who draw you into their lives with a strong emotional pull, along with their complexities, flaws, fears, heartaches, heartbreaks, and longheld secrets.

One Perfect Summer is a wonderful story that engages the reader to follow along as this summer of change will bring plenty of drama, emotions, and trials and tribulations for Serenity, Reagan, and Lorelei. Throughout the summer, the half-sisters bond is strengthened as they discover that life is full of humor, heartache, and unexpected second chance at love. As you follow the sisters' journey of figuring out the mystery behind their sisterhood, and dealing with their individual private issues, each of them will rediscover themselves, and you will feel the full gamut of emotions along with them. 

The reader will be kept engaged as this heartwarming story unfolds. With a cast of interesting characters, One Perfect Summer is a compelling story about love, friendship, family, and second chances in life. 


About The Author

It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s bestselling author career.

“I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then that I decided that I needed to do something from home.”

However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake. In fact, Brenda swears she didn’t have a creative bone in her body. In school, math and science were her best subjects, and when it came time to pick a major in college, she chose business.

Abandoning her academic scholarship to Brigham Young University at the age of 20 in order to get married and start a family, Brenda dabbled in commercial real estate, then became a loan officer.

“When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book,” Brenda admits. “I learned how to write by reading what others have written. The best advice for any would-be author: read, read, read….”

Brenda sold her first book, and the rest is history. Now a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, she continues to publish two or three novels a year, in a variety of genres.

Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children—three girls and two boys. Now that they are empty-nesters, she spends her free time babysitting her two grandchildren.

When she’s not with her family or writing, Brenda is usually raising money for diabetes research. To date, she's raised almost $2.6 million. Her youngest son, Thad, has diabetes, and Brenda is determined to help him and others like him. She also enjoys traveling, watching sporting events and biking--she rides an amazing 20 miles every day!

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