Saturday, August 12, 2023

SUMMER IN THE SPOTLIGHT by Liz Johnson, Reviewed by Rebecca and Paula

"You're never going to say anything that anyone wants to hear."

A rather harsh declaration, wouldn't you say? . . . especially from a father to his son; life-changing in fact for a much younger version of Levi Ross, who barely speaks to anyone even as an adult. All that silence transformed into conversation (albeit pretty simple) one stormy night following an onslaught of hurricane force winds hitting Prince Edward Island, damaging the regional high school where Levi oversaw the facilities and essentially leveling the community's beloved Victoria Playhouse. And that mattered because . . . ?

Kelsey Ahern has just learned that her position as the high school drama teacher was blown away with the storm. Equally as heartbreaking was the news that the island's local playhouse was going to close its doors due to lack of capital for a complete rebuild. Hatching a plan to raise the necessary funds, Kelsey teams with the man who was her literal "shelter from the storm" (that's another story, but you can read it for yourself) and discovers that there's far more to Levi Ross than his loss for words.

Levi and Kelsey were exceptionally easy to love, however the details of their story begged a bit more scripting so to speak. Sweet cozy scenes and fabulous one-liner reminders that "love isn't love because it's earned. Love is love because it's a choice" . . . and . . . "you can do hard things for someone you love . . ." earned my applause, but like most of us, I didn't want this "summer in the spotlight" to end.
* I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I also purchased a copy. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 3.5 stars

I loved returning to Prince Edward Island and the ongoing saga of the Ross family. In this book, we discover the romance between Levi Ross and Kelsey Ahern. Levi is a unique hero. He does not speak much but gets his jobs done and gets his message across. In this story, we find out why he is so reluctant to speak. Kelsey is a high school drama teacher and she has grand dreams when a bad storm damages the Victoria Theater. She plans to produce a benefit play to pay for repairs so the theater can re open,. It is vital to the local economy of the small town. The program is not without difficulties but lots of people pitch in, especially Levi.

The plot was interesting and the characters relatable. The hero is the strong, silent type and the heroine is very determined. Kelsey has a heart for the community. The faith thread is slight but solid and comes out in the actions of the characters.

This can be read as a stand-alone but reading the whole series in order will enrich your reading experience.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Revell Reads review program. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* 5 stars and a slight but solid faith thread. 

BackCover Blurb:
A hurricane may have destroyed her livelihood on Prince Edward Island, but she's determined to save her community

Kelsey Ahern has performed at the Victoria Playhouse on Prince Edward Island every summer since she was seven. But when a hurricane destroys the building, it's not just her memories that are in jeopardy. Her future as a teacher and drama coach are too. She teams up with Levi Ross, the facilities director at the high school, to produce a benefit show to raise money to rebuild the theater. He has a reputation for being able to fix anything, and Kelsey is sure there's more to the quiet man than meets the eye.

For his part, Levi has admired Kelsey for years, but he can't seem to find the words to tell her. When a popular weatherman arrives in town to cover the aftermath of the hurricane and takes an interest in Kelsey and her show, Levi realizes that the time has come to speak up--or lose the heart of the woman he longs for.

Join New York Times bestselling author Liz Johnson for a season of rebuilding, restoration, and romance with this final book in the Prince Edward Island Shores series.

Revell Publishing, August, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook



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