The Last Summer by Brandy Bruce

3 our of 5 stars, thank you Brandy for sending me a copy of your book in exchange for an honest review!

This book was such a great summer read, coming in at just over 220 pages, I was able to finish this up while hanging out at the pool.  It was a really cute story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.  Romance, friendships, and Texas heat made this a quick easy read perfect for any contemporary romance fans!

Goodreads Synopsis:

For twenty-something Sara Witherspoon and her group of friends, a perfect Southern summer includes lake-house getaways, wedding planning, outdoor concerts, and a dash of romance. But for these seven friends who love each other like family, this year, summer rolls in with changes for everyone.

Sara’s longtime crush, Luke, has been her best friend for as long as she has been a part of the group. When Luke begins seriously dating another of their friends, Sara’s forced to deal with her hurt and jealousy, while outwardly try to support them both.

While Sara comes to terms with her own heart and her friends’ relationships, an unexpected handsome pilot from North Carolina and an old flame are thrown into the mix. Knowing her heart suddenly becomes much more complicated.

But as time unfolds and friendships begin to unravel, Sara and the others are presented with the reality of what a season of change does to old friendships and new love interests.

Does growing older mean growing apart?

My Experience:

The story was so fun!  I immediately loved the friendships within this book.  I often wished I had this kind of close group of friends, so being able to live vicariously through Sara and her friends was such a delight.  They all seemed so genuine but I think my favorite in the group was either Lily or Jason.  I automatically connected with the main character Sara.  We have all been there, crushing over someone who we don’t feel like when can say anything too in fear of ruining friendships.  Feeling jealousy when things don’t work out the way you would have hoped.  Just wanting to have that relationship that others around  you seem to be having.  What she was going through was really relatable and I loved being able to laugh and be sad with her because I knew exactly how she felt.  Not only that but I found her to be funny and strong, she’s a great role model and I don’t think I would have handled things with the strength she did back when scenarios like this were happening to me!  I loved the wedding going on during this book as well as I just recently got married and it brought back all the feels for me.

One thing I wasn’t overly fond of in this book was the religion.  This is literally just my personal preference and I know some will actually love this part of the book.  For me though, I am not really religious so I didn’t really like that it was such a big part of it.  I do not think this takes away from the story and it will definitely be a benefit for some, this is just my personal opinion.

Some things that I do think took away from the read though were the “insta-romance” type feelings I got.  I loved all the friends in this book except one.  Debra.  I could go on a tangent of why I didn’t like her.  But, when you are dating someone for 6 months and are already looking at engagement rings you need to slow down.  By eight months of dating she was complaining about “why does he want to slow down?” “why has he still not proposed after all this time?” I literally had to skim these parts of the book because it annoyed me so much.  “After all this time”, you’ve only been dating eight months! You shouldn’t have even been looking at rings yet! Now, I understand that as you get older and they were around 27 I believe, things move a bit quicker because you know more of what you want in a relationship.  Still, I thought this was absurd.

I also thought the use of “Texas, y’all” was unnecessary in the book.  The love for Texas was shown enough just by writing a story that takes place there.  Talking about landmarks, food, traditions, those things show the pride for the state enough.

Overall I am happy with how the story ended.  This may be a bit spoiler-y so I will try and be vague.  I do think the end was a bit insta-romance.  The big question didn’t really need to happen that soon especially after that break up.  Or more time into their new relationship could have occurred, three months in just seemed too soon.  However, I was really happy to have it end the way it did.  The whole book I was rooting for this particular couple to be together and I don’t think I would have enjoyed it had it ended any other way.

This was a cute, quick read perfect for summer and I was happy to be sucked into the friendships and Texas life of this story.  I highly recommend this for Christian contemporary romance fans out there as I think so many people will love this book!

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