One Summer - Karen Robards A decent story that was bogged down by the suspense side plot, this book was about 100 pages too long. Although this book had a lovely romance that featured good-girl-falls-for-bad-boy and older-woman-younger-man, I just couldn't pull myself past a general indifference to anything else happening in the book that DIDN'T feature the smokin' hot hero, Johnny Harris. Rachel Grant, the heroine, reminded me of the heroine from Lightning That Lingers in that her sheltered good girl (and somewhat insipid) ways initially annoyed me, but she eventually won me over when she showed that she could let loose when her emotions and attraction for Johnny took center stage. Indeed, the way this romance unfolded reminded me very much of "Lightning That Lingers" from its insipid heroine to its persistent bad boy hero, and the romance itself (and attendant sexytimes, which are well done) was well worth reading.

I would have rated this higher, though, if the suspense part of the story hadn't been so cumbersome and distracting. I recognize what the author was trying to do here, but I honestly could have done without the POV from the villain and historical ghost story aspect. It just didn't hold my interest. Also, Johnny Harris himself deserves more stars. He's a tormented falsely-convicted ex-con bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks, and he quotes poetry, has a chip on his shoulder the size of Texas, and has always carried a torch for teacher (a.k.a. Ms. Grant). Seriously loved him. He was fascinating to watch and had me begging for more page time. The style of writing, though, with so much internal POV for the heroine, just didn't gel well for me. I found myself impatient for more dialogue and Johnny scenes.

So, basically, great job on the Johnny character and a very nice romance, but they'll need to bust out a big red editing pen before I'd think this book deserves more than 3 stars.