Friday, July 15, 2016

Summers Winter by Robin Johns Grant book review

Summer’s Winter
Robin Johns Grant

Jan 2014
Inspirational romantic fiction
Story Merchant Books
ISBN 978-0989715430

buy on US Amazon

2.99 eBook
12.9 paperback

When Jeanine finally connects with film star Jamie Newkirk, the object of her obsession, will it be a dream come true? Or will she be pulled into his family's nightmare of secrets, control, and death? 

At age ten, preacher's daughter Jeanine fell in love with young movie star Jamie Newkirk and the character he played--Danny Summer. Jeanine believed God Himself promised Jamie would be part of her life--that he would rescue her from boring rural Georgia. But eleven years later, she's graduating college and about to settle into the dreary nine-to-five life with no word from Jamie or God. 

And then Jamie bursts into her life in an amazing way. There are plans to resurrect the Summer series of books and movies, and Jeanine is right in the middle of it all. Jamie seems to be falling for her, just as she'd dreamed. And yet... 

She never expected all the dark undercurrents. Jamie is hiding out in Georgia following the suspicious death of his former girlfriend. And isn't it odd that he found his mother dead of a supposed suicide in that same house two years before, and that both women had the same strangely-shaped burn on their bodies? And who knew there would be so many sinister characters involved in Jamie's life, and in the Summer series? There's his young co-star, Charlie--the Summer author died in an unexplained fire at his house. And Jamie's stepfather, Elliott, and uncle Richard seem to be in a vicious competition for control of the Summer series and of Jamie's life. 

Jamie is obviously hiding things--about his family, about the deaths of his mother and girlfriend. The media and the public have declared him guilty. Jeanine longs to prove his innocence. Unless she can, Jamie's dark secrets may shatter her dreams, her faith--and her life.

My review
I love Grant’s way with words and her sense of story. It’s not breathless when it doesn’t need to be, and gradually sets up story in a way that’s a luscious down comforter and not a bumpy, worn blanket. Since reading Jordan's Shadow, I knew Summer's Winter would be just as good.

Young Adult fiction can cover a great deal of circumstances and settings, but the genre involves exploration of self, growth, and a lot angst getting there. Skillfully melding twists and romance, blurring the lines between bad guys and good, and identifying and taking responsibility for bad behavior without glorifying it, Grant has published a great story about a young lady with gifts on a sure path guided by the only One we can truly trust, and her obsession, a movie star from another continent portraying a beloved character in a series of motion pictures. While Jeanine may not truly believe that she’ll receive the longings of her heart, she has a firm foundation that the Giver of all good things has a plan for her.

Within the realm of believability, the movie star, Jamie, comes from a similar-enough background to feel guilt over actions he controls, as well as events that he cannot influence…or can he? It’s this sense of responsibility that bring Jamie and Jeanine together, yet keep them frustratingly apart.

Told in multiple points of view, Summer’s Winter is a story will keep readers of romantic young adult fiction turning pages. Set in contemporary America, the story has a genteel feel, despite the despair and drug use and less savory actions hinted at behind the scenes. The characters are rich and multi-layered, adding a satisfactory denseness to the beautiful settings and even the less than beautiful events. Star-crossed lovers? Sure, but emotionally satisfying and with just enough questions left over that make me drool for a sequel.

About the Author
Robin was named 2014 Author of the Year by the Georgia Association of College Stores, and Summer's Winter won a bronze medal in the Romance - Suspense category of the International Readers' Favorite Book Awards. Robin lives in Georgia.
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