ARC Review – The Summer Retreat by Sheila Roberts *Stephanie’s Review*


I am a sucker for small town contemporary romances. When I was approached about reviewing The Summer Retreat by Sheila Roberts I took the opportunity. A woman spurned by a lover taking retreat with her sister at the hotel she owns and operates in a small seaside town? Sign me up!

Celeste Jones heads towards her sister’s hotel The Driftwood Inn after she is spurned by her last man. Just like every other man in her life Celeste was sure he was The One. He wasn’t. Celeste swears off rushing into another relationship again. It’s time for her to slow down and really make sure before she commits to the next guy.

One of the things that I didn’t like about The Summer Retreat was, sadly, Celeste. Most of the time she was fun and enjoyable but I had a lot of issue with the constant focus of needing to be married and how insanely fast everything progressed. I feel like if Celeste had taken her vow to not rush into things seriously a lot of strife could have been avoided.

The other issue that I had is that I didn’t feel that the actual romance focus in this story had a lot of time or development. Most of the book was spent focusing on the other relationship. For me this was a pretty big issue. I like to see the couples in a romance work against and with each other to gain that happily ever after. That certainly happened here but it was a someone else issue and not something or themselves standing in their own way. I think that love triangles (and I hesitate to use that term here) have big risk but can have big pay off too. The reason for my hesitation is why it didn’t pay off here. It made me actually more annoyed with Celeste than anything else.

There was a lot that I did like in The Summer Retreat. I really liked the small town vibe. I loved the relationships that Celeste had with her family. I really enjoyed some of the banter between the characters. It definitely had some funny moments.

One thing that I promise myself when I read a book that I end up giving a 3 out of 5 is that I will give the author’s work another read. Sometimes the first book that I read by a new to me author doesn’t hit all my check boxes. Not every book is going to. So I’ll give another book by Sheila Roberts a shot to make sure it wasn’t just a fluke. A perfect example of this is The Cracked Spine by Paige Shelton. I didn’t love that book but I just pre-ordered the fourth book in the series. I’ll definitely be picking up the first book in the Moonlight Harbor series.

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