Thursday, June 11, 2020

Book Review: The Summer Deal (Wildstone #5) by Jill Shalvis

The Summer Deal
Wildstone #5
By: Jill Shalvis
Release Date: June 2, 2020
Publisher: William Morrow
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Source: eARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review
Book Summary:

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes a friends-to-frenemies-to-sisters story… And then add in a love story (okay, two love stories). Shake. Stir. Read on a lazy summer day at the beach. 

Brynn Turner desperately wishes she had it together, but her personal life is like a ping-pong match that’s left her scared and hurt after so many attempts to get it right. In search of a place to lick her wounds and get a fresh start, she heads back home to Wildstone. 

And then there’s Kinsey Davis, who after battling serious health issues her entire twenty-nine years of life, is tired of hoping for . . . well, anything. She's fierce, tough, and pretty much the opposite of Brynn except for one thing: they're half-sisters. Kinsey is keeping this bombshell, and a few others as well. Long time frenemies from summer camp, there’s no way she’s going to tell Brynn they’re related. 

But then Brynn runs into Kinsey's lifelong best friend, Eli, renewing a childhood crush. He’s still easy-going and funny and sexy as hell. When he gets her to agree to a summer-time deal to trust him to do right by her, no matter what, she never dreams it’ll result in finding a piece of herself she didn’t even know was missing. She could have a sister, love, and a future―if she can only learn to let go of the past. 

As the long days of summer wind down, the three of them must discover if forgiveness is enough to grasp the unconditional love that’s right in front of them.

My Thoughts:

The Summer Deal was such a great read!  Jill Shalvis is a master storyteller, and every time I read a story of hers, I'm reminded of why I love her books so much.  Her characters are real, relatable, and likable!

We get the stories of Brynn Turner and Kinsey Davis.  The story toggles between the past (in diary entries,) and the present, in which we learn these two attended the same summer camp every year, and did not get along.  

Brynn leaves Long Beach for Wildstone when things go south with her boyfriend.  She needs a new start, and to have the support and love of her nurturing mothers, Olive and Raina.  However, she doesn't want to live with them, and prefers to have her own space.  Unfortunately, rent in Wildstone is too high for this substitute kindergarten school teacher.  So when Eli,  (her adolescent crush,) offers her a room for rent at a reasonable price in his home, she accepts.  What she doesn't realize is that Eli had a huge crush on her too, and is excited to have her back in Wildstone.  Bryn becomes upset when she learns that Kinsey is one of his roommates, and even though she decides she's going to back out of the arrangement, they convince her to stay.  

Eli and Kinsey have been best friends since they were young, and bonded over having families that abandoned them.  Eli wants to bring Brynn and Kinsey together, because he knows an important secret.  So Eli, his fun-loving half-brother Max, Brynn, and Kinsey all end up becoming roommates.

Kinsey is very sick.  She has Kidney Disease, and unfortunately transplant rejection has been a problem for her. She has a friends with benefits arrangement with Deck, a single father and nurse at the dialysis center.  Kinsey insists on keeping everyone she cares about at arms length, because she has resigned herself to death, and doesn't want to hurt anyone.  

The Summer Deal was a fantastic read!  I loved getting to know sweet, sensitive, quirky Brynn.  Kinsey was a character with many layers,  At times she could appear cold, but she had suffered so much since a young age, and we realize she is trying to protect herself, as much as she's trying to protect those around her.   Eli and Deck were both wonderful love interests that had me swooning!  They were patient, kind, caring, and compassionate.  They had their work cut out for them with Brynn, (who had major trust issues,) and Kinsey. 

I loved so much about this story!  I loved how realistic the main characters were.  Jill Shalvis brought them to life, and they felt so real to me, that they could have walked right off of the page.  They were flawed, like any person is, but had so many great qualities to them as well.  Brynn's mothers and Kindergartner’s charmed me, made me smile, and laugh.  My heart broke for the individual hurt and pain they all suffered along their unique journeys.  I was rooting the whole way through for Brynn and Kinsey to make peace with one another, and get close.  I was holding my breath hoping that Brynn and Kinsey would take a chance on love, and was ecstatic when Ms. Shalvis delivered the perfect ending!

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About the Author:

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website,, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.


  1. Oh wow, this does sound heartwarming and I love the descriptions of each of the main characters. Wonderful review, Lindy!

  2. I am so happy that you enjoyed this one so much here. I just adore it when an author writes such relatable characters and Jill Shalvis does great work with that.

  3. I've yet to read anything by Shalvis (her back list is rather intimidating!) but I'm intrigued by all the great reviews I've been seeing for this one. I love it when an author can create characters that feel so real and are so layered and complex. Kinsey's situation is a heart breaker (the way she has resigned herself to her fate) and the love interests sound so swoony! I'm glad this was such a hit for you!

    1. Thanks Tanya! The great things about Shalvis' books is that they can be read as standalones, even if they are a part of a series :)

  4. Oh yes I always enjoy this author. Her stories are sweet!

  5. Those kids were an adorable touch. It's those little touches that make Shalvis' books special for me

    1. Oh yes, I love those extra little heartfelt touches ;)

  6. Oh i'm so wanting this series thanks for this fantastic review

  7. I've seen good reactions for this one, and I've enjoyed Jill Shalvis in the past. Sounds like more than just a fluffy romance with some more serious issues at play. I like a good balance and it looks like it was achieved here. Wonderful review, Lindy! :)

    1. Yes, it was the perfect balance! Thanks Rachel :)

  8. That sounds great. I need to read more books from this author.

  9. Sounds like a good read, thanks for your review.


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