The Girl from Summer Hill - Summer Hill series, book 1

Author: Jude Deveraux

Publisher: Ballantine

Release Date: May 3, 2016

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5


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After a breakup with her jealous boyfriend, Chef Casey Raddick, fed up with men, leaves behind her demanding boss at a famous restaurant in D.C. for the peace and quiet to be found at the Tattwell plantation in Summerhill, Virginia where she can decide what she wants to do with the rest of her life. She spends the winter helping her friend Kit, who rented her a cottage on the plantation, turn Ms. Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice, into a play. With the auditions about to start for the play, she has agreed to do the cooking for the cast. Preparing for the opening day, she is just having her morning cup of tea when she is startled by the sight of a gorgeous naked man on the porch of her cottage.

Hollywood heartthrob Tate Landers, the owner of Tattwell plantation, has no idea that the guest cottage on his land has been rented out. So when he spots Casey watching him shower, he believes she is a reporter and is ready to toss her out of her house. But Casey is not aware that Tate is the owner, and although other woman may consider him a leading man, she is less than impressed by his performance and lets him know it, ready to call the police on him until Kit lets her know that he is not the owner of the plantation and that Tate is.

When Casey reluctantly ends up with the part of Elizabeth opposite Tate as Mr. Darcy, the sparks fly. But as they interact both on and off the stage, the chemistry between them even sets off electrical tremors whenever they touch. Before long, Casey begins to see him as a down-to-earth man, one she enjoys spending time with. Things are just turning heated between the two when Tate's handsome ex-brother-in-love, Devlin Haines, who plays the part of Wickham, relays some disturbing tales about Tate and does it with such sincerity that Casey becomes confused and begins to wonder who is telling the truth. Is Tate being honest about his feelings for Casey, or will he leave her behind as soon as the play is over?

An intriguing story, THE GIRL FROM SUMMER HILL, the first book in author Jude Deveraux's SUMMERHILL series, is a fun,  contemporary romance in this modern day adaptation of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. The lines between the action on the stage and real life blur as those playing the part carry the performances off-stage. The chemistry between Tate and Casey is hot and I enjoyed their interaction, but I also would love to have explored the other pairings in this story in more detail; Jack and Gizzy as well as Kit and Olivia. I truly detested Devlin and could not wait for him to get what he deserved while I could not get enough of little Emmie. This book contains many humorous scenes, but one of my favorites is the peacock scene with Tate. It is absolutely hilarious and I could not help picturing it in my head as I read it. The similarities between the characters in Pride and Prejudice and the actors in the play only make the story more interesting. THE GIRL FROM SUMMER HILL is a delightful beginning to a promising new series and I can't wait to read the next installment. Already a big fan of Ms. Deveraux's work, I was delighted to receive this one. Containing a bit of the past and the present, it is sure to be savored by fans of both historical and contemporary romance!

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Dottie

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