Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Review: Once Upon a Summertime

Once Upon a Summertime
By Melody Carlson
Follow Your Heart, #1
Revell, 2015


She's looking for her big break. She never imagined it would depend on a blast from her past.

Managing the Value Lodge in her hometown was not what Anna Gordon had in mind when she set out in the hospitality industry. But it's a safe choice for a young woman starting out her career.

Then, out of the blue, she gets the opportunity of a lifetime: a chance to reinvent herself and reinvigorate her career by moving to New York City. She applies for a management position at a stylish new hotel, The Rothsberg. But the city is full of surprises--not the least of which is discovering that Sean O'Neil, a once-upon-a-time crush, has applied for the very same position.

This sweetly romantic tale of dreams come true takes you through the storied streets of New York City--and into the depths of the human heart.

My thoughts

Once Upon a Summertime is a fun story that anyone looking for a light, clean romance should enjoy. It's well written by the popular Melody Carlson, and having visited NYC in the past, I enjoyed recalling the sights and sounds of this incredible city through the eyes of Anna and Sean. Melody included some interesting historical detail that made the New York setting almost feel like a major character.

Sean and Anna both work in the hospitality industry - and they are not only good at what they do, but they enjoy it. I confess to being a fan of Travel Channel's Hotel Impossible, where I've learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes when it comes to management and working with a staff. Melody did a great job with this aspect of the story and I felt for Anna when in a situation where she didn't have the support of motel owners. I also appreciated how good Anna was with her grandmother.

The main negatives were that the story just didn't have as much depth as I would have liked, and while the ending was sweet, it felt extremely rushed, leaving me wanting more. I also didn't feel that there was much spiritual depth. Once Upon a Summertime just felt like a clean romance, written from a biblical worldview.

Once Upon a Summertime is still a good read overall, and I do think that anyone looking for a fun, light romance would enjoy this story with its summertime feel, especially those interested in New York. Book #2 in this series features one of Anna's roommates and will release in the summer of 2016.


Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books from Revell, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington's, which is being considered for a TV movie. She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, Double Take, the Life at Kingston High series, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. She is the winner of a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon.

Connect with Melody online at

Thank you to Revell for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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