A Summer in Europe

Marilyn Brant, Author
Marilyn Brant. Kensington, $15 trade paper (342p) ISBN 978-0-7582-6151-9
Reviewed on: 10/03/2011
Release date: 12/01/2011
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Gwendolyn Reese prides herself on being cautious and reliable. She expects to marry Richard, her dependable boyfriend, and is disappointed when he doesn’t propose on her 30th birthday. But then Gwen’s aunt Bea surprises her with a monthlong European trip with Bea’s “S&M” club (sudoku and mah-jongg), and Gwen, reluctant at first, soon realizes how hard it will be to stick to her conventional routines abroad. She’s pushed even further out of her comfort zone when she meets the charismatic English brothers “Thoreau” and “Emerson” Edwards. Emerson introduces her to the pleasures of the continent, from gelato to music in the streets, while they do their best to keep their budding romance under control; Gwen still has a boyfriend in Richard (whose stuffiness pales in comparison to Emerson’s delight in the sensual). But Richard has a grand gesture up his sleeve—surprising Gwen in London at the end of her trip—and it throws her into turmoil. The trip has changed her, making her question what she wants out of life. Brant’s newest (after Double Dipping) is a retread of classic themes, but distinguishes itself with a charismatic leading man and very funny supporting cast, especially the wonderful elderly characters with their resonant message about living life to the fullest. (Dec.)
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