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Summer with the CEO*

Good Beach Read

Journalist Aria is hoping to land a big story so she can impress her boss enough to fill the vacant slot for senior reporter. She might be in luck when she finds out that a developer has bought land on her a small island and plans to make a complex including shops and a motel. Her first piece about it questions how such a place will affect their small-town life. Eli sees it as a hit piece and heads there for damage control.

This story felt like several in one. First, there’s an arc about Aria’s career, and there’s also one for the development deal. Of course, romance is here, too, and that gets further complicated by an unintended pregnancy. All of these lines have complications, actually. Arya has a troubled work history that makes her reticent interact with Eli personally even though they have chemistry; Eli doesn’t have the best social graces. The town does have legitimate concerns about what the development deal will mean. Family issues exist on the sides, both as backstory and in the current storyline.

Despite all the issues and complications, Aria and Eli are both decent people. I didn’t like how the hero and heroine spent so much time at odds through most of the book, even though they did have a solid basis for attraction and a good relationship. Sometimes it seemed like they shot themselves in the foot. I definitely at times felt that if they just simply talked to each other, they could get beyond so much of what was troubling them; it’s a little frustrating at times, and I think the author did draw some of this out too much as it did start to feel repetitious.

That said, I actually did enjoy the book. I like to Aria and Eli as a couple, and I enjoyed seeing their interactions with friends, colleagues, and family. The author writes with humor, and the dialogue feels authentic. I particularly enjoyed Aria’s relationships with her girlfriends and Eli’s sister.