Monday, July 16, 2018

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: The Last Summer by Brandy Bruce

The Last Summer
By Brandy Bruce
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, 2017


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 thoughts

The Last Summer is different from anything I’ve ever read – delightfully unique and fresh. In one word, it’s a story about friendship; seemingly cute and lighthearted, but soon revealing a hidden depth and complexity. It’s real, honest, and down to earth, and will hit home for anyone who has ever experienced unrequited love. I loved it so much and give high marks for the enjoyment factor alone.

It was in college that I first experienced the forming of close friendships, with strong bonds that have lasted to this day, and The Last Summer takes me back to those years. Brandy Bruce has penned a thoroughly engaging story and I love her conversational writing style. There’s lots of local Texas color, and as a southerner, I enjoyed that so much!

The Last Summer is about the joy of friendship, fellowship, humor, romance, tears, and most important of all, shared faith. These seven young people, mid-twenties or so, experience life together and care about each other. I was pulled in from the first page and became a silent member of the group.

The story is told through Sara’s voice and I adored her. My heart sank along with hers upon discovering that her best friend, who she wanted to be much more, was dating someone else in the group. If there was ever a character that I wanted to shake some sense into, it was Luke. Another close friend, Jason, stood out to me and I’d love to see his story developed.

“We all make choices that hurt us sometimes. We’re a
broken people, honey. That’s why the story of
redemption reaches us at our core.”
– Sara’s mother

I loved how spiritual themes were gently woven throughout, touching me with their message of hope. In its realism, this story reflects life – some relationships will be strengthened, others strained; not everyone will be happy, some hurt is unavoidable. But through it all, the value of friendship shines, even in the tough times. And we clearly see a God who specializes in fixing the broken. No one is perfect, and that’s why grace is such a beautiful thing.

One of my favorite takeaways is the reminder of Psalm 113:3, expressed in a worship song that we sing frequently … From the rising of the sun ‘til the sun goes down, let the name of the Lord be praised. When everything feels hopeless, praise the Lord. And when the healing comes, praise the Lord.

You’ll enjoy Brandy’s Pinterest board for The Last Summer, so be sure to check it out!


I received a copy of this book through Singing Librarian Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


Brandy Bruce is a mom, a wife, a book editor, an author, and someone who really loves dessert. She’s the author of the award-winning novel The Last SummerLooks Like Love, and The Romano Family Collection. 

Brandy, her husband, and their children make their home in Colorado.




Giveaway package includes the following: summer swag (beach towel, flip flops, sunglasses, bookmark, and candy) & winner’s choice of a print or e-copy of the book.

To enter, click on the image above or the link below …

Giveaway open to US residents only and ends 11:59pm MT on July 21st. Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.


Tour Schedule

July 16-Jorie Loves A Story | Joy of Reading  | amandainpa
July 17- Paulette’s Papers  | The Power of Words
July 18-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic | Pause for Tales | Among the Reads
July 19-Book by Book | Edits and Reviews by Leslie | The Green Mockingbird
July 20-Heidi Reads… | Reading Is My SuperPower | Why Not? Because I Said So!
July 21-Remembrancy | Katie’s Clean Book Collection

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