Summer Storm by Joan Wolf

Summer Storm by Joan Wolf
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Chris was a struggling actor and Mary a struggling scholar, but their marriage was a perfect, passionate union—until the glitter of Hollywood and a dazzling starlet stole Chris away. At the time when she needed him most, he betrayed and failed her, and she swore never to see him again. Chris became a world-famous actor, and Mary a respected professor, and only in the darkness of the movie theater did she allow herself to think of him. Then, in the flash and glare of reporters’ cameras, they met again, and the smoldering love reignited. They had never officially divorced. Had he come back to reestablish their marriage…or end it irrevocably?

I chose to read this book because the synopsis sounded original, and I felt like reading a contemporary romance instead of a historical. I was looking for a fast, satisfying read and Summer Storm qualified. This was the perfect short story for me since I was able to read it in a couple of hours. It provided the necessary escape from reality that I was craving.

I’m not sure if this book was so awesome that I buzzed through it so fast, making it seem like a short story, or it truly was a short story, I didn’t have page numbers to refer to. I reached the end in record time (for me). Like I said, the synopsis sounded original, and it definitely was. I can honestly say that I have never read a plot similar to Summer Storm in my lifetime. I’m not going to analyze the story too closely, but I enjoyed the clever plot, and it was a fun read. The downside is that I wasn’t convinced of the reality of the storyline.

I consider the hero, Chris, to be a complicated character in his own way as well as the heroine, Mary. They were relatable in their complexity, and I enjoyed their romance story even though there were elements that didn’t gel for me. In other words, neither Chris nor Mary possessed the characteristics of a hero or heroine that I specifically prefer. Why do I feel that way? Without giving any spoilers, it has to do with what the synopsis says, “At the time when she needed him most, he betrayed and failed her,”. I couldn’t see myself making the same choices Mary did, yet the author eased the reader through that moral conflict, and I was able to see Mary’s decision through her eyes and heart. I’m still not sure I agree or forgive Chris for his actions in that plot thread but the fact that I kept reading speaks for itself.

The writing style pulled me through from beginning to end. There was a consistent progression leading me to their happily ever after and I was very grateful for that smooth sailing through the story. I was very pleased when I did reach the end because there weren’t any loose threads.

I recommend this book for its contemporary originality. My loyalty to Joan Wolf has me conflicted. Summer Storm is unlike any other book I’ve read by her but then again, that’s one of the author’s storytelling strengths. For that reason, I can suggest a reader give this story a try.

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