Review: Secrets of a Lost Summer by Carla Neggers

Posted January 29, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 4 Comments

Beneath the surface lie the greatest treasures

A wave of hope carries Olivia Frost back to her small New England hometown nestled in the beautiful Swift River Valley. She’s transforming a historic home into an idyllic getaway. Picturesque and perfect, if only the
absentee owner will fix up the eyesore next door.…

Dylan McCaffrey’s ramshackle house is an inheritance he never counted on. It also holds the key to a generations old lost treasure he can’t resist…any more than he can resist his new neighbor. Against this breathtaking landscape, Dylan and Olivia pursue long-buried secrets and discover a mystery wrapped in a love story…past and present.

Olivia Frost is a graphics designer when a so called friend steals her biggest client. This forces Olivia to take a good look at her life and what she really wants out of it and she decides to quit her full time job in order to start a business in her home town. A while back she had purchased a house and property and she planned on making it a destination/event location in Knights Bridge, MA. Her nearest neighbor is unknown to her except that the person has old appliances and crap in their yard and she wants it gone as any clients she may have have to pass that house in order to get to hers. Olivia finds out the owner and sends him a letter. She believes that the owner is Duncan McCaffrey but the real owner is Dylan McCaffrey – who had no idea he even owned the property.

Dylan McCaffrey is an ex-NHL player who now runs a software business with his lifetime friend Noah. Dylan is shocked when he gets Olivia’s note and then finds out that his lawyer knew about the property the whole time. Dylan looks up Olivia on the internet and finds pictures of her getting awards for graphic design. So what is she doing in Knights Bridge? Dylan likes what he sees of Olivia and he does own the house now so he goes out as much to meet Olivia as he does to find out what he deceased adventurer/treasure hunter father was doing buying a house in the small town of Knights Bridge.

Dylan and Olivia hit it off immediately but there are many, many secrets flying around the town for such a small place. Olivia hides from her family and from Dylan the reasons she left Boston and in doing so makes herself an island. She’s not the only one in her family who is hiding their anxiety. Her mother plans trips that she’ll never take and her sister has a horrible claustrophobia that goes not only from her home but also to her town. She has wanderlust and her boyfriend/almost fiancé worries that she’ll find him wanting because he has no desire to leave his hometown.

Then there’s Grace Webster. Grace is the woman in her nineties that Dylan’s father bought the home from. Grace now lives in an assisted living home with Olivia’s grandmother but she’s hiding something. She’s actually written a book that she won’t anyone read until after her death. Everyone who knows about it wants to know what’s in the book but won’t upset Grace to get the info.

Dylan and Olivia end up working together to find out exactly why Duncan McCaffrey was in Knights Bridge and in the course of that find that they are two people who, even though they have their own issues, are perfect for each other.

This book was a definite surprise for me. I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading and got right into the story. I found myself wanting to find out about the past and how it effected the present just as much as Dylan and Olivia. There were parts of the book that were excerpts from Grace’s book and told us some of her life and gave us clues as to what was happening in the now. I love having history enlighten the present – it should do it more in life but that doesn’t always happen.

The relationships in the book were a little…strained. First there’s Dylan and Olivia. Though they hit it off immediately I kind of felt like whenever Olivia was talking to Dylan, in the first part of the book, she was interrogating him. Maybe she was to a point but it was so very blunt it threw me. In the second part of the book she had softened up and was seeing life from a different perspective so I think that helped.

Then there was Olivia’s family who were all very close but all shared some sort of anxiety issues. While this was realistic and at time entertaining, it just seemed to take something away from the book, at least for me it did.

The history of the Quabbin Reservoir was so incredibly interesting. The body of water that feeds drinking water into the Boston area and how it came to be was both intriguing and incredibly sad. While I read Grace Webster’s thoughts and feelings about having her home and the areas she loved destroyed to make way for the reservoir had me in tears a couple of times and I loved the emotion that was wrought because of the story.

Overall this was a very good book that had me turning page after page. It was a great adventure as well as love story and I definitely recommend it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Carla Neggers
Mira Books

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4 responses to “Review: Secrets of a Lost Summer by Carla Neggers

  1. Hey Tracy 🙂 I'm glad this book was a surprise for you 🙂 I'm just wondering, you'd consider this book as romance right? I used to read Carla Neggers, but she had a shift of writing in my opinion where the romance really took the back-seat. This seems more a comeback to her original style, so I wanted to have your opinion 🙂

  2. Tracy, great review. I've read one book by Carla Neggers and remember enjoying it. That was a couple of years ago, but I also remember that it was more of a suspense. This book sounds good — a combination fiction/romance with a bit suspense in there? I did like Negger's writing.

  3. Nath – There is a definite romance in this book but I really wouldn't call it the focus of the story. Did it play a big part? Yes. But there were definitely other elements that played just as big of a role. My romantic heart was satisfied – I guess that's all I can say. lol

    Hilcia – You nailed it on the head. Fiction/Romance with a bit of suspense. I think you'd like it. 🙂

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