I love Brenda Novak’s writing style and When Summer Comes definitely did not disappoint in the least. The third in the Whiskey Creek series, this story is about Callie Vanetta and her struggle with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. She was diagnosed a few months earlier and has kept it a secret from her family and friends until she can come to terms with everything. She decides to take the summer off from her photography business and spend time at her grandparents old farm before her parents sell it.
Levi McCloud arrives on her doorstep late one night, in bad shape after being attacked by two pitbulls down the road when his motorcycle broke down. Her neighbor, a former veterinarian, stitches him up and Levi tries to leave but is in no condition to move on. Callie’s kind nature gets the best of her and they end up working out a deal: he helps her get the farm ready for sale and she provides meals and a place to stay. Levi’s transient nature causes her friends and local townspeople to worry about her safety but she knows underneath the tough facade he has a good heart. The more time they spend together the more they feel drawn to one another and realize that they may be in for more heartache than they bargained for when they go their separate ways.
Both Callie and Levi’s stories are heart wrenching on their own, but when these two people are brought together, the author shows that goodness and love can happen in the darkest moments. Callie was dealt a terrible blow with her health and Levi had a troubled upbringing and a tough time overseas in Afghanistan, but they are both trying to deal with their situations as best they can. Their strength and sense of loyalty is commendable and something that isn’t always seen in contemporary romance novels. I love the way their relationship evolved slowly as they learned more about each other…it didn’t feel rushed or contrived. I will definitely keep Brenda Novak on my TBR list and will be visiting Whiskey Creek again. Soon.
Book Info: Publisher: Harlequin MIRA (January 29, 2013)
One day, Callie Vanetta receives devastating news…
She needs a liver transplant. But her doctors warn that, in her case, the chances of finding a compatible donor aren’t good.
Determined to spend whatever time she has left on her own terms, she keeps the diagnosis to herself and moves out to her late grandparents’ farm. She’s always wanted to live there. But the farm hasn’t been worked in years and she begins to fear she can’t manage it, that she’ll have to return to town.
One night, a stranger comes knocking at her door…
He’s an attractive and mysterious drifter by the name of Levi McCloud, and he offers to trade work for a few nights’ shelter. Callie figures she doesn’t have anything to lose. He needs a place to stay until he can fix his motorcycle; she needs an extra pair of hands. The arrangement seems ideal until what was supposed to be temporary starts to look more and more permanent. Then she realizes she does have something to lose—her heart. And, although he doesn’t yet know it, Levi stands to lose even more.