Book: Her Summer With The Marine
Series: The Donovan Brothers #1
Author: Susan Meier
Page Count: 266
Published: Entangled: Bliss, March 10, 2014
Their competition has never been so irresistible
The last person Ellie McDermott wanted to run into after returning to her hometown is Finn Donovan, her high school nemesis and the guy she crossed the line from enemies to lovers with one night years ago. Now ex-military, tattooed, and still sexy as hell, Finn is a complication Ellie doesn’t need—she needs to concentrate on saving her family business.
Finn’s entire life, Ellie was there, going head-to-head with him in every class, bee, and test. So it’s no surprise she’d show up just as he was about to take over her father’s struggling business. It is a surprise, though, that his attraction to her is even more explosive than it had been. Acting on their attraction is one thing, but Finn has to turn a profit to save his own family, and nothing—not even love—will get in his way.
I don’t know where I’ve heard it, I’m not even sure of the complete story, but I remember one day, decades ago when I was in high school, about a guy talking about his dead girlfriend with whom he’d been rivals at school. I remember him telling they competed in about every single subject, always comparing their grades after they were announced to see who got the higher score, trying to beat each other in tests and exams. And then some day this rivalry turning into a challenging love. I don’t remember what happened to her, or if the guy even said it, but I remember him mentioning her dying, and how much he missed her and their competition. It put a lump in my throat back then and somehow I kept it at the back of my mind to this day, but reading this book it brought that small tidbit back. It still puts a lump in my throat, and if it was real, I dedicate this reading experience to that guy and his girlfriend.
I love bickering love stories. I might’ve said this a few times before, but let me say it again. They’re my absolute favorite along with friends-to-lovers plot. So naturally I fell in love with this story. Maybe because it reminded me of that memory, maybe because it was about one my favorite story lines, but I did. I did love this book. Of course the reasons are not solely these two, the fact that the characters were so likable and relatable, and the painful personal backstories and struggles of both the hero and the heroine, the situations that anyone can find themselves in real life any minute, they all add to the book’s appeal. I was so immersed in the story and the characters that I couldn’t even find the time to post updates about my reading progress. After every necessary break I took-a girl’s gotta eat after all- I came rushing back to Finn and Ellie. As individuals, they were strong, tough as nails characters that I’d be more than happy to get to know, and as a couple they were sweet and sexy. I loved Ellie’s solitary persona who secretly-and yet unknowingly- longed for companionship, and Finn’s skepticism towards love, marriage and commitment, and how, when he needed to take a step back and view things in a new light, he was able to step up and do it. As much as he was afraid of true, deep emotion, he wasn’t a coward when it came to accepting things. And anyway, Ellie was there to keep him on his toes, to show him the right way. All throughout the book, they had such a good balance, of love, of friendship, of rivalry, that I couldn’t help but be a tiny bit envious.
Although the title of the book includes the word ‘marine’, there wasn’t much that tied this story to the military background and memories. Except for the mention of Finn’s signing up for the military and him having spent time in Afghanistan, the main plot doesn’t revolve around that part of his past. This was more a story of emotional and physical struggles and how two people who’ve seen the worst of some things can come together and find solace in each other. Finn and Ellie tried hard to push each other by way of competing, but what they really tried was to push forward so they could leave some of the ugliness behind. And in that regard, only the two could understand each other. I loved that bond, it made their love so much more real.
This is a lovely story about forgetting and forgiving, about second chances and starting over, about two people who can heal each other and be happy. It was emotional, sweet, and definitely worth the time it kept me away from eating the bar of chocolate I had stashed away.
Ps. I had to devour it after reading this book. A whole block of milky heaven, because it was that kind of story. Thanks to the author for writing it, and thanks to whoever came up with milk chocolate.
I’m adding five big spoonfuls of this sweet story into my hodgepodge. I wonder if I can snatch one of those Donovan Brothers? No? Darn, I need more chocolate!
The Donovan Brothers series by Susan Meier:
- Her Summer With The Marine
- Title Unknown*
*I will update this post once the title of the second book is announced.