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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • Tremendously Good

    Marlow Madsen's US senator father in Washington DC, John "Tiller" Madsen dies so Marlow, a divorce lawyer jets off from California to Teach Island, a small place of seven square miles off the coast of Florida where she spent the summers growing up, to help her mother, Eileen settle the family estate. She takes two friends, Aida Trahan and Claire Fernandez along with her. All three women, Marlow, Aida and Claire, who are all in their mid-thirties, use the opportunity to reflect on their lives and decide on their futures. Brenda Novak's characters have a pleasing degree of complexity and the story is narrated from multiple points of view. I especially like the parts involving Marlow and her realisation of the Chief of Police, Walker Cantwell's place in her life, the eldest son of Rosemary, Eileen's housekeeper who always had a crush on Marlow. But might it be a happy ending? Is it sensible to go back to the way things once were or to simply start afresh? A great family drama about friendship, guilt and forgiveness with a flavour of mystery. I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Harlequin Trade Publishing, MIRA via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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  • A Summer of Healing, Friends, and Secrets

    Summer on the Island by Brenda Novak is an amazing and heartwarming tale of three women, Marlow, Aida, and Claire, in need of time to heal, reflect, forgive, and start anew while they spend a refreshing beachfront summer at Marlow’s family home, Seaclusion. Marlow is tired of being a divorce attorney; the endless broken marriages and unhappy families have nearly jaded her to the idea of marriage and family as a whole. She closes her LA practice for the summer and heads to the island of Teach, wanting to spend time with her ailing mother since the recent death of her father, a US Senator, has left her floundering. She also brings her friends Aida and Claire along. Aida has recently endured an unpleasant divorced; Claire has unfortunately lost her home and studio to wildfires. The best friends find the peace, but within it are troubles, doubts and romance. In addition, while helping to settle her father’s estate, Marlow learns a shocking and devastating secret involving him; one that could tarnish his character and reputation. With so many questions and a mystery to solve, Marlow finds time for an exciting yet unexpected relationship with her old frenemy Walker; making for a beautiful love story. The lesson and focus of forgiveness being necessary before love can grow is crucial to this story, for all the characters. Ms. Novak did an amazing job with the family drama, secrets, mystery, romance and the beautiful summer setting making the story come to life. She wrote a story that reaches the soul; the soul of her characters as well the soul of her readers. This wonderful and amazing story was emotional, moving, filled with wonderful dialogue, and endearing characters that is must read. I highly recommend Summer on the Island to other readers. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

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  • Summer Beach Read

    Summer on the Island by Brenda Novak Three women head to a small Florida island for the summer. Friends that came together through a divorce with one the lawyer, one the cheated upon wife and the third the woman that the husband was cheating with. The summer will have them all dealing with emotions, healing, and growing as they fact their unknown futures. What I liked: * Marlow: divorce lawyer, only child, mother has MS, father recently deceased, wealthy, intelligent, debating what she wants for her future * Walker: police chief, brother, son, all around nice guy, had a crush on Marlow most of his life, housekeeper’s son * Reese: Walker’s brother, tennis pro, has a bit surprise coming toward the end of the book * Aida: beautiful, ex-Hollywood wannabe, divorced and trying to figure out what she wants to do with the rest of her life * Claire: yoga instructor, the other woman in Aida’s marriage, trying to figure out what to do with her future * Rosemary: housekeeper, mother of Walker and Reese, has a big secrets she hope will never come out, considering getting back with her ex-husband * Eileen: Marlow’s mother, wealthy, has MS, a bit of a snobist (maybe?), has a big shock toward the end of the book, deals with it well…eventually * Teach Island: gorgeous small and wonderful place to set the story * The relationship that develops between Marlow and Walker What I didn’t like: * Dutton: ex-husband, philanderer, liar, troublemaker, * The secret that came out and hurt so many Did I enjoy this book? Yes Would I read more books by this author? Yes Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin-Mira for the ARC – This is my honest review. 4-5 STARS

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  • Thoroughly enjoyed it!

    So many different personalities within the story! Enjoyed the dynamics of all the different characters. Brenda Novak hasn't disappointed me yet!

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  • An emotional tale!

    Summer on the Island by Brenda Novak has Marlow Madsen along with two of her friends spending the summer on Teach Island at her family summer home, Seaclusion. Aria is recently divorced and is looking for a fresh start. She found out her husband had been cheating on her. Claire lost her home to California forest fires and her yoga studio to the pandemic. She has also broken up with her boyfriend who happened to be Aria’s ex-husband. Marlow lost her father a month ago. She has been feeling overwhelmed by the negativity of her family law practice due to the number of contentious divorces. Marlow has yet to tell her mother, but she has sold her condo in Los Angeles and closed her law practice. Eileen, Marlow’s mother, has multiple sclerosis which has taken a sharp decline since the death of her husband. She has been relying on her housekeeper, Rosemary for extra assistance. While on the island, Marlow learns a devastating secret about her father. Marlow will need the support of her friends as well as that of her new love interest to get through this challenging time. Summer on the Island takes us to the tropical Teach Island off the coast of Florida. I enjoyed the beautiful descriptions of this tropical locale. I thought the book contained good writing with steady pacing. The characters were realistic and relatable. Summer on the Island is an emotional story. It contains some scary and heart wrenching situations. There is family drama, romance, a touch of mystery, and secrets. Families and friendships will be tested. I could have done with less repetition. Certain details get repeated throughout the book. I also felt that that the epilogue was incomplete. I want to let you know that the story does contain foul language and intimate situations. You need to tuck Summer on the Island in your beach bag as it is a great book to read at the beach or while lounging by the pool. Summer on the Island is an emotional story about female friendships, surprising secrets, a second chance romance, a family calamity, a scary storm, fresh start at the sea, helpful healing, and offering forgiveness.

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