Why do enjoy I Andrews' books so much? First off, I love her characters. This time, the lead is newspaper reporter Conley Hawkins. She's on her way to a new prestigious newspaper job when she finds out the deal has fallen through. She's got nowhere to go - but home to Silver Bay, Florida. And her family's struggling newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon. I liked Conley right away - she's smart, quick and curious. That curiosity will serve her well - she and and an old friend are walking home late one night when they come across a car wreck - and the victim is the local Congressman. But, the cause isn't cut and dried in Conely's opinion. She starts to investigate and not everyone is happy with this. Andrews herself worked as a reporter for many years. That insider knowledge and experience add much to this book. And Rowena's society columns for the paper are priceless.
The supporting cast of an Andrews' book always included a somewhat crotchety but lovable character. In this case its Conley's G'mama - family matriarch Lillian. I loved her feistiness and her sometimes not so subtle meddling. She has a sidekick in her companion Lillian. The friction between Conley and her sister Grayson is something that's been building over the years. They're both stubborn and carrying baggage. Can they see a way to mend fences? Again, another thing I love about Andrews' books - relationships and how they're depicted and handled. Believable. The supporting cast is just as well drawn.
And yes, romance is another facet that makes Andrews books such great summer reading. It's not overt, sappy or in your face. The attraction and slow build is well done and fits seamlessly into the plot.
That plot also includes a great mystery. Was the Congressman murdered? An accident? Who, what, where, when and why. The answers to those question kept me guessing until the last bit of the book.
The writing is engaging and the reader is easily drawn into the story. The setting has me wishing (and not for the first time!) again for a seaside cottage. Andrews descriptions of time and place had me inagining.
Sun, fun, family, romance, mystery and more populates the pages of Hello Summer. See for yourself - here's an excerpt of Hello Summer. Great escapist reading for me - taking a break from reading about what's going on in the world and heading to the beach through the pages of Hello Summer. Five stars.
|Credit: Bill Miles|