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Monday, May 11, 2009:
"One Reckless Summer" by Toni Blake (2009)
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The perfect daughter. The perfect prom queen. The perfect wife. Jenny Tolliver’s been the good girl all her life, and it’s gotten her nowhere. Now that her marriage has been busted up by her cheating ex, she’s decided it’s time to regroup and rediscover herself. This summer she’s headed back to her hometown of Destiny, Ohio, to the very lakeshore cottage where she grew up, to figure out what life holds in store for her next.

She never dreamed the answer would be Mick Brody, Destiny’s #1 hellraiser. He comes from the wrong side of the tracks (or in his case, the lake), and he’s landed in hot water more times than he can count. He’s exactly the kind of guy Jenny’s always kept her distance from … but soon the good girl and the bad boy are caught in a raw heat that’s out of control. Too bad Mick’s got a secret that threatens to tear them apart and ruin Jenny’s perfectly, passionately reckless summer …

(Note: same review to be posted @ RNTV on May 19th)

This is book #1 in a new series by Toni Blake, and fans are sure to be pleased in her latest release, "One Reckless Summer". Toni excels at telling stories about everyday women who decide to break out of their protective little shells and take a chance on passion, and ultimately, love.

When Jenny Tolliver discovers her husband is cheating on her, she begins to question the way she's been living her life. Always the good girl, doing what's expected, Jenny realizes that even the safest path can still lead to heartache. Taking the summer to re-evaluate her options, Jenny decides to leave the city and go home to Destiny, where she has family and friends. She's grateful to have her father and her best friend, Sue Ann, who are there when she needs a shoulder to lean on and to provide unconditional love. But even the comfort of small-town living can be a little stifling. The one thing she can turn to when she needs to be alone is her love of the stars. Magnificent, vast and awe-inspiring, Jenny's love of the night sky is her passion, and Destiny, with its grand skyline and lack of city lights, is the perfect place to indulge. Oh, but the view would be oh, so much better across the lake...

...where the old Brody cabin sits. Years ago, Jenny had been out tanning on her side of the lake when she encountered Mike Brody and his questionable companions out on their boat, and while she knows he's dangerous, she can't curb the little thrill his nearness gives her. But that doesn't mean she's ready to live on the edge. Even now, years later, the thought of Mick Brody can still make her nervous, and not just in a good way. But he's been long gone, so it couldn't hurt to row over to his side of the lake and get a better view of the stars, could it? After all, no one will know what she's up to, right?

But of course who happens to be there but Mick Brody himself, and he's not too pleased to find someone snooping over on his land, even if it is that pretty, good girl he was never able to forget. Mick has something to hide however, and he can't take the chance on anyone finding out what it is. Yet the sparks between him and Jenny are potent and won't be ignored, and with one touch, they both go up in flames. And what starts out as a scorching affair turns into something neither one of them can walk away from.

I thoroughly enjoyed "One Reckless Summer". It made me think of going barefoot, enjoying the feel of the sun on my face, and the blistering humidity that can make one feel a little, well, reckless. Jenny was someone who'd always taken the safe path, the right path, and when it ends badly, she suffers a huge blow to her self-esteem. Even being the prom queen and marrying the right guy doesn't mean your life is going to turn out perfect. Her marriage lacked passion. With Mick, she not only finds passion, but someone who cares for her just as she is. She can talk about her dreams, and the pain of losing her mother, and what it's like when everyone expects her to be good all the time. She can be cranky and sexy and funny with Mick and it's totally okay. He doesn't mind one bit.

In fact Mick thinks he must have done something right somewhere to end up with someone as amazing as Jenny. If it weren't for this one secret that threatens to tear them apart, he could maybe let himself imagine them having a future together. He never knew what that was like before, to have someone to come home to, but now realizes he wants to find out. But there might just be one too many obstacles and too much pain to get past.

These are two very likable characters who are drawn to each other by a strong attraction but discover that maybe there's more between them than just incredibly hot sex. Jenny is basically a nice person, a little too concerned with pleasing others, especially her father, yet she cannot deny her feelings for the bad boy of her fantasies. And Mick was exactly that, going down a path of bad choices that could have landed him in jail if he hadn't realized early that he was getting nowhere fast. And because of his past, he didn't let people get close to him. Jenny is the first person who Mick actually trusts enough to let in, someone he wants to get to know better. She soothes him, and makes him feel like someone actually cares about what happens to him. And what starts out as a scorching fling turns out to be so much more for both of them. It's unexpected and scary, but no less real.

"One Reckess Summer" celebrates the good girl that lives in most of us, who never really goes away but does let herself be just a little bad from time to time. And in doing so, sometimes she ends up finding real love.

Rating: ****1/2 out of *****


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14 Comments

  1. Toni Blake has always been a great author for me and this book looks like another winner for her.
    Great review! :D


  2. I didn't realize she had another book coming out this month. I loved her last book so now I'm really wanting this one too :)


  3. Toni Blake is an autobuy for me. I was never really one for contemporaries, but after I read Tempt Me Tonight I was hooked!

    Great Review! I'm looking forward to this one.


  4. Hi Stacy!

    Wonderful review. :) I have "tempt me tonight", sitting here in the stacks waiting to be read, thanks to Barbara's recommendation. I hope to get to it before the end of the year (yikes!).

    I will add "One Reckless Summer", to my list. :)

    Warm regards
    L


  5. Great review Stacy! I can’t wait to get my hands on this one :o) And I’m so excited that she’s writing a series this time. I just love her stories.


  6. I love all of Toni's book and can't wait to read her newest.


  7. This book is number one on my HAVE TO HAVE list. LOL. I LOVE everything Toni writes and can't wait to read this one.


  8. Oh I can't wait to read this one!!! Great review Stacy!


  9. Hey, great to see so many fans of Toni's work. This is a great start to a new series, and I cannot wait for the next one!


  10. I can't wait to read this book!


  11. Ohh I can't wait to get this one! What a great review, thanks Stacy.

    WendyK


  12. Thank you Stacy!

    Toni excels at telling stories about everyday women who decide to break out of their protective little shells and take a chance on passion, and ultimately, love.That got me to thinking...and then I realised, I have read a Toni Blake book before - In Your Wildest Dreams, which I really enjoyed. The book took a completely different path than I had expected...and dealt with some very interesting issues. I'll have to hunt down this latest book :)


  13. Great review girlie. I love Toni and her books. This is on my list to get in June.

    Can't wait to see you in June


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