A slick city boy with a mission. A free-spirited country girl with a cause. Fireworks are guaranteed...
Upstanding principal Jay Atherton dreads the next four weeks. As punishment for crossing his bosses, he's been lumped with the inglorious task of assessing Acacia Haven's tiny school with its, dare he say, 'hippie' curriculum. With the lowest test scores in the state, it's no wonder shutting it down is practically a forgone conclusion. But then he crosses paths with a spitfire who knocks him for six - pity he's already public enemy number one...
Teacher Summer O'Reilly loves her small town nestled along the beautiful coast. Returning was the best decision she ever made. The intentional living community of Serenity is thriving, and the children are its future. No way will she allow a jumped-up suit - no matter how good-looking - to close the school her precious students need.
For Rayne O'Reilly, Acacia Haven has always been serene on the surface, but there's a dark secret she's kept from everyone for decades, including her daughter, Summer. But after reviving old friendships and reconnecting with the past, will she finally have the courage to tear down the walls that have kept her trapped?
As punishment for his outspoken views on Education Jy is sent to the seaside town of Acacia Haven to assess whether the small school should remain open.
After her initial apprehension Summer, a teacher at the school, finds Jy easy-going and very good looking. What harm could a fling do, he is only in Acacia Haven for four weeks?
Rayne’s life has been filled with llies and secrets and fifteen years after her husband walked out on her and Summer she can’t stop the lies because that would mean facing her past.
Summer of Serenity is a story about small-town closeness and the lack of resources for these communities. Just outside Acacia Haven is the small community of Serenity, not a hippy commune but an intentional community of like minded people that believe in sustainability. Through the teenagers of the local school we see how this community believes in work ethics and learning through helping out around the community rather than attaining a University admission ranking. A work and life balance is fostered in the children of the community and they can still grow up to lead a fulfilling and purposeful life.
Small towns are often portrayed as everyone knowing everyone else’s business and Acacia haven was no different. However, Nicola Marsh shows us that even in the closest of communities there are still secrets behind closed doors.
I enjoyed the different generational romances, how the different age groups handled situations differently and the reasons behind why the characters were closed off to love but all culminated in each of them bottling up their emotions, stopping them from moving forward with their lives.
Nicola Marsh was able to portray the lingering effects of domestic abuse without an abundance of graphic detail.
Summer of Serenity is a heart-warming story with plenty of ups and downs for the characters to negotiate but still leaving the reader guaranteed a happy ending.
This review was first published at Beauty & Lace and you can read it HERE along with other member's reviews.
My rating 4 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
About the author
USA Today bestselling and multi-award winning author Nicola Marsh writes page-turning fiction to keep you up all night.
She has published seventy-seven books and sold over eight million copies worldwide. She currently writes rural romance for Harper Collins Australia's Mira imprint, emotional domestic suspense for Hachette UK's Bookouture and contemporary romance for Penguin Random House USA's Berkley imprint.
She's a Romantic Book of the Year and National Readers' Choice Award Winner.
Challenges Entered: Australian Women Writers Challenge AWW2021