Author: Melody Carlson
Series: Follow Your Heart
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Reviewer: Jen Roman
Tia D’Amico has been cooking at her family’s Italian restaurant for years, but when she is invited to be a chef aboard her aunt Julie’s yacht in San Francisco, she jumps at the chance. Not only is this the opportunity to expand her culinary reputation, but she is bound to find new people, and possibly a love interest, there. She is shocked to find Leo, the boat captain who greets her, as the boy she met and had her first kiss with at sailing camp ten years before. She does her best to hide her lingering feelings about him, especially since he introduces her to his newly-engaged fiancee, Natalie. Natalie is a career-oriented lawyer who is not only smart and beautiful, but also nice, so she is very intimidating to Tia. Natalie doesn’t have a lot of female friends, though, so she hopes that she and Tia can be buddies. It’s not that Tia doesn’t want to be her friend, but she finds it difficult when she is trying to suppress her feelings for Leo. Also, somehow Tia always gets caught between Natalie and Leo in really uncomfortable situations. As the summer progresses and Leo and Tia work closer and closer together on the boat, things get complicated until there is bound to be a disaster.
Written in easy yet interesting language, All Summer Long offers readers a romantic escape to San Francisco without their ever leaving their homes. The scenery and landmarks are described with accuracy and care, and the language used to bring San Francisco to life immediately creates a scene in the reader’s mind. The characters are interesting and well-developed, and while the storyline is somewhat predictable, it is enchanting and fun. Foodies will enjoy the descriptions of Tia’s culinary masterpieces, and adventurers will love the descriptions of the boat and its voyages.
I enjoyed reading about Tia and her journey from a self-described simple girl to a chef upon a high-class dinner cruise boat, and about how she handles situations. She jumps into the boat remodel headfirst when her aunt has to be with her uncle during a health crisis, and she still manages to have fun and meet new people. She considers herself to be plain and simple, but she is much more complex than she believes. As she makes a few personal revelations and does some emotional maturing, she becomes a person who earns respect of her peers and her family.
All Summer Long is a fun, quick read that will leave readers enchanted with the magic of San Francisco, and they will quickly and easily appreciate the characters who make the story what it is. There is brief, mild profanity, but no sexual situations or violence. Older teens and adults should enjoy this book for its simple romance and fun setting.