July 10, 2017

The Last Summer by Brandy Bruce {Review, Book Tour & Giveaway!}

It is my greatest pleasure to present to you the most perfect read for this sultry summer we're having. This pairs well with country music, an iced fizzy beverage of choice—mine and the heroine's fave being Diet Dr. Pepper—and a lazy afternoon or two in which to devour the entire book cover to cover.
Don't forget to enter the giveaway and read the excerpt to get a little teaser of the story after my review!

ABOUT THE BOOK:
For twenty-something Sara Witherspoon and her group of friends, a perfect Southern summer includes lake-house getaways, wedding planning, outdoor concerts, and a dash of romance. But for these seven friends who love each other like family, this year, summer rolls in with changes for everyone.

Sara's longtime crush, Luke, has been her best friend for as long as she has been a part of the group. When Luke begins seriously dating another of their friends, Sara's forced to deal with her hurt and jealousy, while outwardly try to support them both.

While Sara comes to terms with her own heart and her friends' relationships, an unexpected handsome pilot from North Carolina and an old flame are thrown into the mix. Knowing her heart suddenly becomes much more complicated.

But as time unfolds and friendships begin to unravel, Sara and the others are presented with the reality of what a season of change does to old friendships and new love interests.
Does growing older mean growing apart?

MY REVIEW:

Never have I ever—or rarely—related to a modern day heroine so much. With a friend group reminiscent of classic twenty-something sitcoms, realistic growing pains and season changes, Ms. Bruce has crafted an impeccable tale. One that is indeed part coming of age, but more than anything—finding out that God's will is the sweetest place to be.
The characters will feel as if they're your friends too—that's how vivid the author wrote them into Sara's story—and oh, the Texas. Much as I hate heat, after reading this story I want to visit there now to see all the spots from The Last Summer.
Ah, the romance. As with the best romances—the heroine and hero(es) will have you tearing out your hair at times. Conflict may flare in your heart as you borderline speed read (I'm guilty) to see who Sara ends up with—and every handsome gentleman in the book is worth rooting for. And this is helped by the unique chemistry Sara has with each of them that the crafty author poured into these guys.
This book reached Favorite status quickly for me because of all this and more. To sum up, Sara Witherspoon reached through the pages to grab my arm, get my attention and say, "Hey, I get it. Watch what God can do in spite of us."
And this, my friends, is a mark of a truly great and timeless story.

EXCERPT:
From CHAPTER TWO:

I unzipped my bag to make sure I had everything I needed for two nights at Lake Shore Woods. Addison’s parents had owned the house since she’d been in high school. During college, I suppose, Addison and the others used to go up there for weekends. But with demanding work schedules and
the busyness of life, our group had made going to the lake house a bi-annual trip during the last three years.
We’d go out once during the summer and take Addison’s parents’ boat out on the water and ski. We’d eat at the worn table on the back deck, overlooking the south shore of the gorgeous lake, nestled by tall pine trees and a few houses, and catch up on life. The sound of rippling water and rustling tree leaves in our ears.
Sam liked to drag out Addison’s dad’s cornhole set from the garage and make us all play. After dark, we’d make s’mores. Debra never seemed able to toast a marshmallow without it catching fire. Jason would heroically swap her charcoaled marshmallows for his bubbly brown ones. The guys would fish during the day and sometimes at night, usually depending on whether they’d caught enough to brag about. The girls would lay out and sip sweet tea. At even a hint of pink on her skin, Lily would flip out and put on her swimsuit cover-up. And always, at the end of a full day on the water, I loved the shine in Luke’s eyes against his golden skin.
We’d talk and laugh, and every minute always seemed to feel like the perfection of a Southern summer weekend. And we’d go up once more during either winter or early spring. We’d play board games and pop big batches of popcorn. Luke and Sam and Jason would throw a football back and forth. Addison usually lit the fire pit, and we’d sit around, watching the flames. Sometimes we’d sing or play twenty questions. Lily would make her homemade cider, and we’d drink mugs of it while talking about anything and everything.
I loved summer best. The warmth, the beauty of the surrounding woods, the glorious feeling of escape, the ease that seemed to accompany summer in Texas.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Brandy Bruce is a mother, a wife, a book editor, an author, and someone who seriously loves dessert. Originally from Texas, she now makes her home in Colorado with her husband and three children. She’s the author of Looks Like Love, The Romano Family Collection, and The Last Summer.



-->






GIVEAWAY / TOUR INFO:

Tour Schedule:
July 6 - Melony Teague
July 7 -
Reading Is My SuperPower (review)
-->
July 10 - Northern Belle

As part of the The Last Summer blog tour, Brandy Bruce is giving away this great SUMMER PRIZE PACK to one winner! (US addresses only) Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway