Hot Summer Sands by Rachel Leigh
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Length: Short Story (136 pgs)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Fern
Chef Michelle Hutton flees her controlling mother in the UK for the sun and freedom of Greece, longing for a new beginning and maybe just a bit of Zante's local heat. Sexy, pro-bono lawyer Sam Clarke might just be the one to teach her to let go. He's sexy, capable, and totally in control. And too damn hard to resist.
Sam Clarke and his best friend had once been the baddest boys to hit the local party scene-- sex, booze, and more sex--until his friend is killed. Sam turned his back on the blatant sexuality of the island years ago, but can't resist Michelle's desire to bask in the sun and explore the need that grows between them.
Michelle Hutton has packed up her life and headed for Greece to start again. After arriving she decides to stop in the bar for a drink before collecting her bags and starting her new life, Michelle stumbles into Sam Clarke, lawyer, hunk and all around walking wet dream. They hit it off instantly and Sam offers Michelle a job with his sister’s restaurant. The attraction between them is electric and instant – and soon they find themselves growing ever more intimate on the Greek hot summer sands.
This begins as a fun and lighthearted book. It’s equally about breaking out of the molds your family tries to force you in, discovering yourself and how long lasting and erotic a supposedly brief summer fling can be. Frivolous and fun, it was a pleasure to read about Michelle casting off her proper English manners and embracing the inner vixen that had lingered within her for so long. Sam falling irrevocably in love practically at first sight was also a joy to read. But when Michelle lets her overbearing and slightly twisted mother ruin her happiness all the way from England the book takes a bit of an unhappy turn.
I was torn about this conflict in the plot. While part of me understood and accepted the issues Michelle needed to wrestle with, another part of me disliked how much power Michelle continued to give her mother. Even after acknowledging the fact her mother was a conniving, manipulative and unhappy woman Michelle continued to let the vindictive venom her mother spewed to almost ruin her relationship with Sam. After Michelle had gone to such lengths to leave her mother’s expectations behind and living for herself – extremely happily too – falling back into old habits and allowing her mother to cause her to doubt herself didn’t feel quite right to me.
The first half and endings were very enjoyable though, and the conflict did add some well-written angst into the novel. Overall I enjoyed the authors style and characters and the book was a good read.