Sweet Kiss of Summer is an emotional rollercoaster, spinning around sexually charged bedroom scenes and plunging through gut-wrenching conflict. Nina's cheery disposition complements Mick's jaded outlook on life, and their continuous love-hate dance is entertaining to watch. The conflict is multi-faceted and each layer reveals more about the main couple and the secondary characters that play a vital role in the story. Though Nina and Mick's relationship takes center stage, the story also deals with the aftermath of war, both the effect it can have on those who return and the families who are left behind. Ms. Gunn's writing is powerful and captivating. It will have readers chuckling one minute, then holding back tears the next.

Nina Stokes is perfectly content working on her paintings and tending to her vegetable garden when a hardened, albeit handsome, soldier comes to town, clutching a letter from her deceased brother that says she must give her house to him. She may see the world through rose-tinted glasses, but Nina refuses to go down without a fight!

Although Mick Rivers feels like a jerk for taking the house from his fallen comrade's sister, it has become a matter of life or death. He didn't think it'd be a cakewalk, but he never imagined it would be this difficult — and that’s before he begins to fall in love with the artsy redhead. But will Nina love him back after she discovers the dark secrets he's been hiding? (Grand Central, Aug., 379 pp., $7.99)

*Web Exclusive Review*

Reviewed by: 
Spencer A. Freeman