More often than not, I find myself lamenting the writing style of authors in the historical romance genre. Either the language is too simple or too modern, the setting and descriptions not appropriate, or the protagonists too insipid and their stories too predictable. In Summer is for Lovers, Ms. McQuiston is pitch perfect. This is a story to be read slowly, the better to appreciate the effort the author obviously took in writing it. It's also set in my favorite season and location for love stories; summertime and near a body of water.
Summer is for Lovers is set in Brighton, England. Caroline Tolbertson and David Cameron first meet when Caroline is twelve. An avid and accomplished swimmer, familar with a stretch of hidden beach and its dangerous peccadillos, Caroline saves David, a young man in the military, from what appears to be a drowning brought on by excess drink. For the next eleven years, David is all Caroline can think about, becoming her fantasy whenever she thinks of love. The townspeople of Brighton and the summer set down from London every year, however, see her in a not all together flattering light. Her height, her lean swimmer's build and her family's lack of money all contribute to her self-doubt. That is until David Cameron comes back into her life.
David fights a ghost of his past, and holds Caroline and her wish to turn fantasy into reality at bay. But he can keep the battle up for only so long. He is the only one who sees Caroline for what she really is. And in trying to get the rest of their circle to see it also, he inadvertently puts her in a position of leaving him behind. He cannot have her, yet he doesn't want anyone else to have her either.
The culmination comes in an exciting swim race that sees our protagonists work together for a common goal. David, meanwhile, realizes that his past is something he is not entirely at fault for and begins to forgive himself. Caroline learns that propriety, love, self-worth and following one's own desires are not mutually exclusive.
This is an extremely well-written, absolutely lovely tale of two hearts who fight a strong battle against the tide to be together. Filled with secondary characters (one of whom gets her own sequel) worthy of the main story, Summer is for Lovers is an historical romance that gets a highly recommend from me. Excellent!!