Source: Publisher and Audible Purchase
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About the book:
Join USA TODAY bestselling author Sheila Roberts for a seaside escape to the beaches of Moonlight Harbor
Celeste Jones has plans for a perfect summer with her boyfriend (and hopefully soon-to-be fiancé)—until he dumps her to be with the woman he’s had on the side for months. Heartbroken and furious, Celeste resolves to move on. When the going gets tough, the tough…okay, the not-so-tough go to the beach.
As soon as school lets out for the summer, she waves goodbye to her first-graders, packs up her bikini and heads for Moonlight Harbor, where she knows her big sister, Jenna, will receive her with open arms. Jenna could probably use some help at the Driftwood Inn, and Celeste is happy to do chores around the place in exchange for a relaxing summer escape. She just needs something—or someone—to distract her from her troubles.
Finding The One can be tricky, and Jenna is determined to make sure Celeste gets it right this time around. Not that Jenna’s an expert. She’s still trying to sort out her own love life. But if both sisters listen to their hearts, eventually they’re bound to discover that life—and love—is good at the beach.
Celeste has been burned her boyfriend, a man she thought would propose only to find he’s been cheating on her. In response, she ventures out to Moonlight Harbor, the seaside town her sister has settled into after purchasing an inn. Celeste, a teacher, takes the summer off to help at the inn while trying to figure out where she’s gone wrong in her love life. She had sparks and chemistry with her last beau, but that just ended in heartache so she decides to go for the safer bet, the town’s pastor, Paul. He’s good-looking and even if he doesn’t make her heart race, he’s a steady and sure bet, not someone likely to cheat on her. Not like Henry, the guest in cabin twelve, an annoying man, poking and prodding at every turn, but one that heats her up!
The Summer Retreat was an entertaining read, kind of a Hallmark movie type of romance, where lots of things go wrong and are a bit whacky. I quickly flipped (listened) through the pages, but this is one of those stories where I had mixed feelings. I felt bad for Celeste because she was duped by a cheating loser at the beginning, but I was also annoyed with her. She ignores her instincts that tell her she’s not a good match for the Pastor Paul but goes along with the “romance” because he’s the safe bet, a man who’ll never cheat. I don’t like reading a romance where the heroine is all tied up with one man while she’s meant to be with another. It was clear to me and should’ve been clear to Celeste that Pastor Paul wasn’t the guy for her, and yet the situation plays out for almost the entire book.
I was also irritated with her sister, Jenna, who kept pushing her toward Paul when Celeste didn’t seem all that hot on him. I have to say Jenna’s romantic situation is another frustration: a love triangle, that wasn’t resolved in this story. Maybe it will be in the next book?