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Secrets of the Lost Summer (Swift River Valley Novels) Hardcover – Large Print, February 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Swift River Valley Novels
  • Hardcover: 477 pages
  • Publisher: Thorndike Press; Lrg edition (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1410446263
  • ISBN-13: 978-1410446268
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,379,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* After Boston designer Olivia Frost befriends and graciously mentors Marilyn Bryson, teaching her the ropes and introducing her to important customers, Marilyn pulls an All about Eve move and steals Olivia’s clients. Devastated by the betrayal, Olivia returns to her small hometown of Knights Bridge and decides to open a bed-and-breakfast. Although Olivia’s place is neat and clean, the cottage next door is in disrepair, and the overgrown yard is filled with trash and discarded appliances. Dylan didn’t know his treasure-hunter father left him anything until, out of the blue, some woman writes to him, telling him to clean up his property. Little does he realize that the trash-covered path will lead to the love of his life. Neggers’ lush descriptions of a New England winter turning to spring serve as a lovely metaphor for Olivia and Dylan’s growing romance. This heartwarming tale is full of fascinating secondary characters and enhanced by plot threads involving the long-term effects of a flooded valley, a search for stolen jewels, and long-ago passion. --Shelley Mosley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Neggers captures readers' attention with her usual flair and brilliance and gives us a romance, a mystery and a lesson in history. She also presents breathtaking views of a real New England past and present, characters who stay with us long after we close the book and more than the one romance. Her story will engage readers all the way through." -RT Book Reviews, Top Pick, (4.5 stars)

"After Boston designer Olivia Frost befriends and graciously mentors Marilyn Bryson, teaching her the ropes and introducing her to important customers, Marilyn pulls an All About Eve move, and steals Olivia's clients. Devastated by the betrayal, Olivia returns to her small hometown of Knights Bridge, and decides to open a bed and breakfast. Although Olivia's place is neat and clean, the cottage next-door is in disrepair, and the overgrown yard is filled with trash and discarded appliances. Dylan didn't know his treasure-hunter father left him anything until, out of the blue, some woman writes to him, telling him to clean up his property. Little does he realize that the trash-covered path will lead to the love of his life. Neggers' lush descriptions of a New England winter turning to spring serve as a lovely metaphor for Olivia and Dylan's growing romance. This heartwarming tale is full of fascinating secondary characters, and enhanced by plot threads involving the long-term effects of a flooded valley, a search for stolen jewels, and long-ago passion." - Booklist, Starred Review

"Bestseller Neggers (The Whisper) spins a tale of stolen jewels, long-lost love, and other secrets in this engaging contemporary romance. Olivia Frost has returned to Knights Bridge, Mass., to turn a historic home into a getaway destination. A neighboring house is in disarray, so Olivia writes to the owner, Dylan McCaffrey, asking him to clean it up. Dylan has no idea his late father left him the property until he gets Olivia's note. Curious, he travels to Knights Bridge, where he and Olivia hit it off. Soon they are digging into the past, trying to find out why Dylan's father bought the house and what secrets its previous owner might have had. Lovely descriptions of the countryside add plenty of New England charm, but the romance between Olivia and Dylan is overshadowed by the more interesting flashbacks, secrets, and experiences of a secondary character." -Publishers Weekly

Stabbed in the back by an ambitious, underhanded colleague she'd befriended, award-winning graphic designer Olivia Frost takes a break from Boston and heads home to rural Knights Bridge to freelance and realize her dream of turning her recently purchased historic house into an upscale getaway destination. But the rundown property next door is a problem, and when Olivia's letter to the absentee owner brings sexy hockey star-turned-businessman Dylan McCaffrey to town instead of the elderly man she expects, her life, as well as Dylan's, takes a decidedly unpredictable turn. VERDICT A wealth of appealing, totally relatable characters (including well-matched protagonists), long-hidden secrets, and a lost treasure provide some delightful, heartfelt surprises in this cleverly plotted, well-researched, and beautifully described tale that rewards readers with an intriguing mystery as well as a deliciously satisfying romance. -Library Journal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I liked the characters in the story and how she brought the plot together.
Amazon Customer
In addition to some mystery, romance and love in all aspects is everywhere is this book.
ems
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and will read more of Carla Neggers' writings.
Joan E. Fogleman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Redfern on January 31, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Olivia Frost is still reeling from the knowledge that one of her close friends has stabbed her in the back professionally, when she decides to move to a historic home she owns in Knights Bridge, Mass, She plans to make the home into a B&B but her neighbor's dilapidated home is definitely detracting from the ambiance. She writes a letter to the absentee owner, letting him know she would be glad to clean up his property if he can't do so.
Dylan McCaffrey, gets Olivia's letter, chiding him for his maintenance of a home he didn't even know he owned. It turns out his treasure seeking father had bought the home and left it to him in his will. Dylan decides to go to Knights Bridge and see what this little old lady ( he thinks) is nattering on about.
The first meeting between Olivia and Dylan is not a rousing success but gradually they develop a friendship and then something more. There are a lot of things going on in this book. Olivia's mom has a phobia about leaving the house but is planning a big trip to California. Dylan has to figure out why his father bought this particular house. The previous owner, Grace, had lived in one of the towns that was deliberately flooded to create the Quabbin reservoir and now lives in a local senior community. Then, there is the story of long ago stolen gems that were never found.
I enjoyed this book and the way the romance took time to develop. The story of the Ashworth jewels and how Grace's family was destroyed by the reservoir being built add a great deal of interest to the story. Olivia's family story and Dylan's friends in California all contribute to the plot. A very enjoyable read all around!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer H on January 31, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Secrets of the Lost Summer is a cute romance book (with a little mystery and adventure mixed in) set in a picturesque small town of Knights Bridge, in the Quabbin Reservoir/Swift River Valley of Massachusetts. The book starts out with Olivia quitting her full-time job in Boston as a graphic designer and moving back "home" to Knights Bridge. She's decided to turn the 19th-century house she purchased in her hometown into The Farm at Carriage Hill - a place to have showers, meetings, teas, etc. The house next door (which used to belong to Grace, a 90-year old retired school teacher from Knights Bridge) is now owned by someone from out-of-town...and is an eyesore. Olivia writes a letter to the owner asking him to clean up his house.
When Dylan (who lives in San Diego) received the letter from Olivia about the house he owns in Knights Bridge, MA...he assumes someone got the wrong person. He doesn't own a house there...in fact...he never even heard of the town. But, after asking his lawyer, he found out that his father had purchased the house not long before he died suddenly. So, Dylan decides to take an "adventure" and went to Knights Bridge, partly to find out more about why his father (who was a treasure hunter) had purchased this house.
Olivia and Dylan will become friends, and will both help each other in finding out answers to the mystery surrounding Dylan's house. In the process, they'll also find out more about Grace (the house's former owner), and the history of the Quabbin Reservoir (which is a real place in Massachusetts.)
I thought overall this book was a good book. The "mystery" of the house was a tiny bit "far-fetched", I thought, but I did enjoy reading this book. I found it easy to read...and hard to put down! I rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an e-book edition of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By aaa on February 3, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a Neggers fan, but I have to say I was very disappointed in this book. I usually can't put one of her books down, but this one was very slow moving. The first half of the book was almost boring, and I kept waiting for it to get interesting. The last few chapters and the ending was not what I expected, so kudos for that, but it just took too darn long to get there...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Churn Dash on February 2, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
but there was something about it that was lacking. I think there was so little emotion and there were no surprises that it became mundane. Any time there could be conflict there were smiles and grins that defused the situation.
I found myself irritated with the sister and her (almost) fiancé. I would have liked to have seen the "friend" get her comeuppance.
Frankly, the book was boring and had no romance to it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Larry D. Thompson on March 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As near as I can tell, I'm the only male to have written a review on this really fine story. That's probably not a surprise since most red-blooded American males don't read romance novels. Count me in that group. I have never read one before. However, I always read and enjoy Carla Neggers's thrillers. So, I decided to try her "other" genre. I liked it. I enjoyed watching Olivia and Dylan as their romance started, stopped and started again. The history of the Quabbin reservoirwas a bonus. And while there were no dead bodies lying around, there was the mystery of the lost jewels which certainly helped carry a thriller reader like me along as the story developed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on March 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story is boring. I just could not get through the whole thing. There were many options other than those taken at the beginning. Lack of imagination ruined this story.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jonetta (Ejaygirl) on January 31, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Olivia Frost was a successful graphic designer working for a top design firm in Boston...until she was professionally betrayed by her best friend. Olivia decides to move back to her hometown of Knights Bridge and turn the period home she recently purchased into a destination travel location. Dylan McCafferty comes into the picture when she contacts him in San Diego, asking him to clean up his adjacent property, which has been vacant since purchase for over two years. He had no idea he owned the property.

Just about everyone in this story suffers from an inability to open up to anyone, including themselves, about their true feelings. From Olivia, to her sister, Jess, her parents...the list goes on. Olivia suffers a devastating betrayal by her supposed friend Marilyn, which makes her leave her job and pursue a different career. However, you never get a sense that Olivia is really hurt and she never expresses her feelings about it to anyone until the near the end of the story. Because no one in this story was ever opening up about their feelings, it was impossible to connect to anyone.

Layered into the story was a mystery as to why and how Dylan's house came to be purchased by his deceased father. While it was interesting, it became the central focus, eclipsing the relationship between Dylan and Olivia. There were so few romantic interludes between the two, I often forgot that they were supposed to be finding an emotional connection. Their physical relationship doesn't occur until nearly the end of the book. You would think that after that kind of buildup, much time would be devoted to their finally connecting...it was barely a page.

This is an interesting story but not a romantic one.
Read more ›
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More About the Author

Carla Neggers has been spinning stories ever since she climbed a tree with pad and pen at age eleven. Now she is the New York Times bestselling author of almost 70 novels, with millions of books sold in over 30 countries. Her popular Sharpe & Donovan romantic suspense series featuring FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan launched with Saint's Gate in 2011 and has been praised as "a breathtaking reading experience" (Providence Journal) and "gripping and suspenseful" (Nashua Telegraph). In 2012, her Swift River Valley series debuted with Secrets of the Lost Summer, which garnered a starred review from Booklist and a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews and shot onto the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists.

Growing up in rural Massachusetts with a Dutch father, a Southern mother and six brothers and sisters, Carla developed an eye for detail and a love of a good story. Her imagination, curiosity and sense of adventure are key to creating the complex relationships, fast-paced plots and deep sense of place in her books.

When she isn't writing, Carla loves to travel, hike, garden and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband, Joe, are frequent travelers to Ireland and divide their time between Boston and their hilltop home in Vermont, not far from Quechee Gorge.

For more information and to contact Carla, visit her Web site: www.CarlaNeggers.com and join the conversation at www.facebook.com/carlaneggers and www.twitter.com/carlaneggers.

Photo credit: Julie Ireland

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