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Review: Once Upon A Summertime by Melody Carlson

by Melody Carlson

Anna Gordon hates her job. She’s always wanted to manage a hotel, but the Value Lodge isn’t what she had always dreamed of, with its less than clean appearance and shabby employees. She tries to remind herself to be thankful for the job, especially seeing as her grandmother reminds her that some people aren’t lucky enough to have found jobs after college. Even so, Anna finds herself at the end of her rope at the Value Lodge. When she runs into her friend Marley who is in town from New York City, the two begin to catch up. Seeing how unhappy Anna is, Marley tells her friend about a new boutique hotel that is opening in the Big Apple. With high hopes, Anna sends in her resume, and just in time, too. After losing her job at the Value Lodge, Anna heads to New York City in the hopes that she will be hired at the Rothsberg. Despite the fact that she doesn’t get the job she had hoped for, Anna is happy to be managing housekeeping in the beautiful hotel. And she finds herself falling for the man who got the job she applied for. Anna grew up with Sean O’Neil, and as the two become reacquainted, the sparks fly. Yet policies set in place by the hotel’s uptight owners may put an end to their dreams.

In the beginning, this book reminded me a lot of Melody Carlson’s Dear Daphne series. Only the plot is reversed. Instead of leaving the hustle and bustle of NYC to live in the small she grew up in like Daphne did, Anna is tired of the small town of Springville and longs for a different life in New York. While Anna and Daphne almost have similar personalities, this book is different enough from the Dear Daphne series to make it feel like a whole other world. Contemporary romance isn’t my favorite genre. I read it from time to time, but it certainly it isn’t a genre I love. I’m a longtime fan of Melody Carlson’s, and when I saw the Kindle edition of this book for a pretty low price, I decided to download it. It was a nice lighthearted read. Anna was a little bit uptight to me, but she was mostly a likeable character. Sean was a good balance for her. What I like is that it wasn’t solely focused on the romance. Anna’s life as she moved to New York played a huge role in the book, as well.

While this wasn’t one of my favorite Melody Carlson novels, I still found it to be a nice, light read. If you’re a fan of Christian contemporary romance, I would recommend this novel to you.

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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