Sunday, April 7, 2024

JUST FOR THE SUMMER By Melody Carlson, Reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

(A Fun Swapped Roles Contemporary Clean Romance Novel)

"If you lived in a different place and had a different job, couldn't you have a different life?" (from the back cover)

That is exactly the question Melody Carlson explores in her latest novel. I've often daydreamed of how my life would be different if I would have made different choices or possibly switched lives with someone else. How would it turn out for me, good or bad?

Ginny Masters and Jacqueline Potter get just that opportunity to switch jobs and experience things they would never have been able to do if they didn't sign up on the job swap website. They find out exactly how their lives change and whether what they wanted was really what they needed. 

Initially this was a great quick read that drew me in and had me rooting for the characters. Everything went seemingly well at the beginning and then life happened for these two, where the rubber meets the road if you will. It just went downhill from there. I've read many novels by Carlson and was happily looking forward to this one. Unfortunately it fell flat for so many reasons. I did not care for the amount of casual drinking mentioned, the harsh treatment, selfish nature and lies Jacqueline told to advance herself, and the total lack of a spiritual faith thread. For a Christian publisher and author I was surprised in how little time God occupied the pages. Sure, I love being entertained by a good story and great characters but I really love a strong faith thread... and much more than prayers for things to work out for selfish reasons.

This just didn't work for me. The ending was rushed, unrealistic and really didn't feel complete to me. Which is sad really because the story had so much potential to show character growth and have a much more natural faith thread. Unfortunately, I would not personally recommend this book to Christian fiction readers for reasons already stated.
*I received a complimentary copy from Revell and was not obligated to leave a favorable review. All opinions expressed here are my own. *

BackCover Blurb:
Ginny Masters manages a popular boutique hotel in Seattle and manages it with aplomb. But the daily challenges and irritations of a fast-paced job and a demanding boss are starting to get to her. Jacqueline Potter manages her grandfather's fishing lodge in Idaho because it was the only job she could find after graduating with her hospitality degree. She's grateful for the work but longs for a more sophisticated and cosmopolitan life she's just not going to find in this backwoods town.

The solution to both their problems seems obvious. Just for the summer, they'll swap jobs and lifestyles. But they never anticipated swapping love interests . . .

In this fabulous new twist on an age-old fable, award-winning and bestselling author Melody Carlson introduces you to two career-focused women who are about to discover that there's more to finding happiness than just switching up the scenery. 

Revell Publishing, March, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:

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