‘THE LAST SUMMER’: Friendship and Romance Collide on Sandy Beaches

September 11, 2017 Rissi JC 2 Comments

STORY: Silence 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.

The Last Summer, by Brandy Bruce | Book Review

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 did see 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.  

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‘THE LAST SUMMER’: Friendship and Romance Collide on Sandy Beaches. Review of the 2017 Bling Romance novel. Text © Rissi IJC

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 end that if not completely “whole” (because there is a lot of healing to come) 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, seems 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 who want to cling to a few more days of the hazy summer days. ♥


(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Author: Brandy Bruce
Publisher: Bling! Romance
Publication Date: 2017
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary
Source: Author Provided – thank you, Brandy!
Shop the Book: Bookshop.org | Goodreads

Sincere thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book. 

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • 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!

    • 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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