The Sweetest Summer

Susan Donovan, Author
Susan Donovan. Signet Select, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-0-451-41929-3
Reviewed on: 06/30/2014
Release date: 08/05/2014
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4915-3711-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4692-8011-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4692-8013-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-4692-8014-1
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Donovan (Sea of Love) opens this ostensible romance with a most unromantic prologue of obscenity-laced, macho dialogue among adolescent boys. The most profane and contemptuous of the lot grows up to be 32-year-old Clancy Flynn, a divorcé and a coward. Oh, and the chief of police, because this is a romantic thriller, with a child in peril, a slimy federal politician, and more than a few laws broken—many of them by the heroine, Evelyn McGuinness, who crosses state lines to abduct her orphaned niece. Once past the decidedly off-putting entr’acte, Donovan lays down a plot that entertains, but it’s staffed by characters who clearly exist to fill a genre slot or set up a few gags. The obvious puppet strings prevent strong reader identification with the story’s imbroglios, situational or emotional. The success of the story hinges on flashbacks to 14-year-old Clancy falling in love with Evie the first time, and the awkward, raw underage sexuality will make some readers squirm and others sigh. (Aug.)
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