The Last Summer by Brandy Bruce – Friendship and Romance Collide on Sandy Beaches

September 11, 2017
Author: Brandy Bruce
Publisher: Bling! Romance
Publication Date: 2017
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary 
Source: Author Provided – thank you, Brandy!
Amazon | Goodreads | WordPress
has become normal for Sara Witherspoon. She’s familiar with the dips and change
of its non-committal aptitude. Since her return to Texas, Sara’s group of
friends (seven, all of whom she met through church) has been Sara’s “safe
place.” As they’ve all changed and emerged in their chosen career fields,
they’ve remained tightly knit.
Their group begins to come apart at the seams when two of
their members begin to date one another. More specifically, life as Sara knows
it shifts when it’s Luke, the guy she’s been crushing on for years is the one
dating Deborah. As Sara watches the glow of Deborah’s
happiness from the sidelines, she gently pulls away just as the possibly of a fresh start – a new
love, begins to take shape.  
Books with calming summer vibes (and covers!) are exactly
the kind of reads I favor over the hazy and hot summer time. Over these past
few months, that’s precisely the sort of books I’ve been reading. The Last Summer among them. Though it’s
one I had seen around (on blogs or bookstagram prior to having the chance to
read it, I didn’t know much beyond the familiarity of its cover. As I began to
read the book, it’s this that was an advantage to reading this book.  
The concept of this novel is absolutely fabulous. It’s one
of the more unique stories I’ve read because of the friendship bonds it
tightly knits together. Everyone supports one another in good times and bad.
They stand by and up for one another, and it’s a unique group the reader enjoys
getting to know as we journey with these seven people. As it’s inclined to do,
an entanglement crops up that threatens to tear apart the solid friendships
many years together fosters.
A kind of “love triangle” (or maybe a love Quadrilogy? Or quartet?) develops about halfway through
the story. It’s an interesting quandary that sets itself apart from the norm
because of the unique circumstances. This relationship isn’t only about a
boy-meets-girl, this is about friendship;
the strengths and weaknesses of its complexities. This is where my endgame
opinion veers from the masses.
Anyone wishing for a happy-ever-after, or at the very least happiness,
will be pleased with the conclusion of The
Last Summer
. It has a nice ending that if not completely “whole” (because
there is a lot of healing yet to be done) is certainly in a happy place. That said, I will confess I wasn’t rooting overmuch
for the ultimate conclusion. Much as I’d like to say more and explain the “why”
of this, I cannot because of spoilers.
Don’t misunderstand, as I say, it’s not that the ending is bad (on the contrary), it’s just I’d set my heart on another
outcome… one that, from this girls viewpoint, seemed to be the healthier or
more satisfying conclusion. But again, I realize I’m in the minority, so don’t
let any ideas prevent you from picking this story up.
The Last Summer is about growing up, change and coming to terms with a new normal. It’s also the perfect summertime read. From the lake house outings to
the sizzling Texas heat, The Last Summer is
a perfect end-of-summer read for those wanting to cling to a few more days of
the hazy summer days. ♥
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

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? –

Sincere thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this


  • Courtney Clark

    September 11, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    This sounds like an interesting read! I won a paperback of this story recently…. now I'm more excited to read it! Friendship stories are the best. And, your comments about the ending have intrigued me. I'll be sure to let you know my thoughts whenever I do read it!

    1. Rissi

      September 22, 2017 at 8:08 pm

      It is interesting, Courtney. The friendship aspect is a strong premise and it keeps the story intriguing. I'd love to chat with you about this one when you read it (YAY for a giveaway win – best ever!) because I do have some thoughts on the end. :)

      (And yes, please do let me know!)

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