Brooklyn Summer

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 24 Feb 2020

Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed exploring New York City through the eyes of the main characters. Kellan and Ashleigh had amazing chemistry, their conversations flowed naturally, their relationship was very well paced and the sex scenes very well written. I related to and genuinely liked both leads. The supporting characters were also very well developed (I particularly liked the scenes with Liam). Overall it was an engaging book. My only gripe is that the drama in the end and the whole Dara storyline felt unnecessary.
Was this review helpful?
This is a lovely romance with all the right elements to make it sweet, a little different but still heart-warming. Ashleigh is a planner and she’s planned her summer around seeing the sights of New York that locals tend to forget to go and see. She’d like to be spontaneous but then she’d have to plan that too. Kellan is from Colorado but pet-sitting for her aunt in Brooklyn and wanting to see a bit of New York while she’s there. She also wants to look up someone from her past. Ashleigh and Kellan meet through a mutual good friend and it seems obvious that they should do New York together.

Although they’re both mid to late thirties, they both seemed a little younger even though Ashleigh has learnt to cope with the ending of her 17-year marriage and Kellan has retired from the army. I didn’t mind it but occasionally their ages caught me by surprise. I liked Kellan’s portrayal particularly because her gender identity comes across as more fluid and not as a stereotypical butch lesbian woman. I liked the nuance created and that she was just a person without a big issue around presentation.

I quite liked that I didn’t always get Ashleigh’s point of view because she didn’t always know herself. Characters that can’t be put in boxes appeal to me. It’s a light read with loads of interesting dialogue, a little bit of angst and lots of steamy chemistry.

Book received from Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Kellan Dwyer arrives to New York City (NYC) to cat sit for her aunt for the summer. She reconnects with an old Army friend, Liam,  who introduces her to Ashleigh McAllister. Ash is a math high school teacher off for the summer and coming off a bad marriage that ended in divorce. Her ex is now dating a man and living right alongside Ash in Brooklyn. Trying to overcome this, Ash decides to become a tourist in her own city. Liam is busy with his bar so decides to ask Ash to take Kellan out on the tours. The two mains pair up for almost daily outings that quickly turn into more. With Kellan in town for just the summer and Ash still trying to recover her shattered confidence, they are only up for a summer fling. Can this turn into true love?

I enjoyed this one. It was a pretty straightforward romance that will please fans across the board. Of course, my romantic heart was happy with Kellan and Ash. The dialog flow was great and easy between the two mains. NYC served as a nice backdrop to the budding romance as well, but without taking over the story like some settings do.

While Ash’s inner struggles were well discussed and explored, it was Kellan’s story that felt somewhat lacking even though the story was not just told from a single main’s POV. There is this mysterious close friend from the Army and clearly there was a fallout between them that partially brought Kellen to NYC a decade later. The result is some angst that seemed to come more from miscommunication than anything else. I’m usually not bothered by this, but maybe I need more misunderstanding to fuel the angst than what was said between the mains here.

Overall though, this was a solid read and will have me reading Ms Cummings’ previous novels (already own!). 4.25 stars

ARC generously provided to me by BSB via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own 

I liked this one. Liked that it was focused on the MCs. I found this to be cute and sweet. A good read :)
Was this review helpful?
Cummings unintentionally summed up her own book in a single line. “Perfect and sweet and unbelievably sexy.” 
I loved everything about this book. Every single thing.
The setting was wonderful. Ashleigh and Kellan spend the summer touring all the attractions New York has to offer.
The characters were all amazing and interesting, none more so than Ash and Kellan. Their friends and family were all amazingly fleshed out and likable.
The plot was wonderful and perfectly paced. There was a very natural flow to the story.
Ashleigh and Kellan grew organically into friends and confidants as their overwhelming attraction built and built until neither could resist. The romance was passionate and loving as they both try to deny the undeniable feelings of love growing between them. The sex scenes were both sweet and highly erotic.
The dialogue was excellent. I loved not only how they talked but the level of communication between them, other than one very major time. They click on a fundamental level and it shows in each of their interactions.
I loved the ease with which the story and characters flowed, from the harmony to the conflict I was invested and enthralled. I completely fell in love with this book.
Was this review helpful?
I read this one within one day. I was totally into the main characters and their excursion.
I followed their outings and now I want to revisit NY again. Both characters are lovely. Both have some past drama, yet I think Kellan is more down to earth, believe in me, kind of person.
Ash had a bit of bad experience and I totally feel for her. Sometimes, no matter how much we try, things just do not work. I loved their chemistry and way they communicated. I still think Kellan is the perfect person to be around though. 
I have nothing bad to say about this book, because it was awesome!
Was this review helpful?
I liked this light and breezy summer romance. It’s a love story times two when you include the sights and sounds of NYC. Ashleigh the math teacher decides to use her summer holidays to explore her city hoping her best friend Liam will join her in the adventure. Liam suggests his old army buddy Kellen in his place as she is in the city babysitting her Aunt’s kitty.

Ash is reluctant to date much less fall in love again after so many years with her now divorced wife. I liked how the vulnerable “what if it was me, not her” self esteem issues keep Ashleigh wary of the feelings she has for Kellan.

Kell is everything a femme could want in a soft butch. She’s kind, generous to a fault and quick to make the most of flirting opportunities with Ash. She makes her feel special. She is almost too perfect, the gentlewoman filled with kindness even when Ashleigh throws up blocks in their relationship.

While there is insta-attraction, I found this to be a slow burn romance. When they did acknowledge their attraction the sex scenes were varied and hot. I liked how adventurous Ashleigh became when she grew more comfortable with Kellen. The inevitable bumps along the road to happiness happen and you want to slap some sense into certain characters but overall, a pleasure to read.

Nicely done.

ARC received with thanks from publisher via NetGalley for review.
Was this review helpful?
Ahhh...romance in New York. Ashleigh McAllister, awesome teacher, awesome person, but struggles with letting go of her relationship breakup. Kellan Dwyer, out of the military, spending time apartment and cat sitting while her aunt is away on business. When they meet, there is a sizzle which is difficult to ignore. As they spend time together checking out the sites of New York, getting to know each other, they came face- to -face with how much they enjoy spending time together. However, both Kellan and Ashleigh have issues to deal with that cannot and should not be ignored. The will they or will they not, was a little much at times but due to their personalities (both good people) I was interested to see how issues would be resolved.
Was this review helpful?
I am one of those people that judges a book by its cover (cover & title first), first impressions matter. And this one is perfect, the cover fits the title perfectly and after reading the book, the story as well. For me it’s mostly the colours that make it perfect.

Ok, on to the content. Ashleigh has been in a total funk since her divorce, she has decided to be a tourist in her own city over the summer break. Her longterm friend Liam just retired from the army and opened a bar near her parents’ house, where she has been living. She wants Liam to join her on her touristy summer. Liam’s army buddy Kellan is in Brooklyn for the summer oh house sit for her aunt and Liam does some introductions so the two ladies will have each other for sight seeing. Ash is really in a funky place where she is sort of hung up on her ex, but not in love with her still, more carrying around guild for the end of the relationship. This stand sin the way of having fun, at least that is until Kellan swoops in and is herself. They see the sights, talk a lot en tease each other a great deal. Their interactions are great and you feel something building. There are some amazingly weird twists in this book, I found them a little far fetched, especially when they were both sharing all these details of their lives but this one thing was not mentioned until a surprise reveal. This surprise and the way the story developed afterwards was a tiny let down for me, that’s why I give it 4 stars instead of 5. I think it could be resolved in a different way, but I guess all is well that ends well.
Was this review helpful?
This was one of my favorites from Maggie Cummings. I have been in a reader's slump and this pulled me out. Love the romance it's just warms you just enough on a cold winter night.
Was this review helpful?
Ashleigh McAllister is a year removed from amicable divorce from her wife of a dozen years, and plans  to use her summer vacation to explore Brooklyn, where she lives - and where she constantly runs into her ex and her ex's boyfriend, much to her annoyance. Kellan Dwyer is housesitting for her aunt (and watching over her aunt's cat) for the summer, wants to see what Brooklyn has to offer, but also wants to meet up with her old Army buddy Liam and her old friend Dara, for reasons not given - just a mysterious indication that they haven't spoken in a long time.

As it turns out, Ashleigh also knows Liam, and has known him since childhood. Liam's just renovated a pub that's been in his family for a few generations, and it is at the pub that Kellan and Ashleigh meet, with Liam suggesting Ashleigh show Kellan around Brooklyn, since he's very busy with the reopening. They agree, and so begins the tour of the city. 

At least they didn't meet cute. I'll buy the use of a friend of a friend once in a book, but there are two in this, one early, one late. The first one made a lot more sense.

That the two would fall for one another is a given, but their internal monologues about each other start off right then and there, and after awhile, that starts crowding out everything else. We also get a pronoun discussion when the doorman at Kellan's aunt's place calls her "Mister", which seemed kind of odd. Eventually, Ashleigh takes Kellan to meet the family, and also asks her to be her plus-one to her friend Shauna's wedding.

Spoilers from here

Spoilers from here

I'm trying not to be too hard on the book here, because I know the genre and it ticks all the boxes on what one might expect: femme meets butch through mutual friend, they immediately begin having very intense thoughts about one another, they run into at least one of their exes, and eventually sleep together, with some fairly heavy sex scenes thrown in, and there's the requisite thing that drives the lovers apart before they reconcile and live happily ever after.

I think what bugged me was the Dara subplot - the thing that drives the lovers apart portion. This is also the late friend of a friend mentioned previously, at about the 80% mark on my Fire. Dara happens to be friend with one of Ashleigh's friends (Shauna), is at Shauna's wedding - and has a kid who looks just like Kellan.

Now, throughout the book, in between descriptions of places and what each one is thinking about doing to the other, Kellan hems and haws about telling Ashleigh (and thus, the reader) about Dara. This doesn't make much sense to me, as they have been spilling their guts to one another up to this point. Ashleigh's response to seeing the kid is just overly dramatic and really just very odd. Instead of listening to Kellan's explanation, she runs off and ignores her. Now, part of this is on Kellan, because I can't fathom why on earth this would be so difficult to tell Ashleigh about given the other things they've talked about, especially since the explanation is rather mundane: Dara needed an egg donor, and Kellan, being her friend, donated. That's it. They weren't married or even partnered, and there's no obligation on Kellan related to the kid. I did, though, find it funny that Dara's last name is Torres - I've no idea if the author is a fan of the real Dara Torres or not, but that might be a little jarring note to people who know the name, bouncing them out of the story for a moment.

Eventually, Ashleigh gets over herself, and they all live happily ever after.


Overall, the writing is good, the two main characters are fleshed out fairly well, and the actual sex scenes are decent. It's a light summer kind of read for fans of the genre.

Three and a half stars out of five.

Thanks to NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for the advance copy.
Was this review helpful?
This is a feel good book!  I really liked the main characters, Ashleigh and Kellan.  They met through a mutual friend of theirs.  Ashleigh is on summer break from her teaching job and Kellan is taking care of her aunt's cat and apartment.  They decided to check out all that New York has to offer.  They both realize that there are more than friend feelings between them, but Kellan is only there for a short time.   What happens shocks both of them.
Would recommend.
I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
2.5 Stars. The book is about Ashleigh McAllister, a math teacher who has the summer off. She is recently divorced from her wife who left her for a man. Ashleigh has the whole summer planned to make the most of her summer in NYC, Her friend, Liam, who had just come back from the military introduced her to his military friend, Kellen Dwyer who is house sitting her her aunt in an apartment in Brooklyn, Liam thinks its a good idea for Ash to show Kellen around NYC all summer, since she already had plans to do all these activities. 

I really wanted to like this book. I liked the premise of the plot, two characters falling in love throughout the summer. I did not really enjoy this book tho.I felt like a lot of the drama between Ash and Kellen was very immature for both the characters being in their late 30s. The main drama of the book mostly just annoyed me and I just wanted it to end as it was an over reaction to something she shouldn't have reacted so strongly about. The drama in the book really turned me off from this boo.k, as I  enjoying it in the beginning. I do not recommend this novel.
Was this review helpful?
This has been an average romance, nothing special, and if it had not been for the inevitable drama situation almost at the end, typical and seemingly necessary, to my regret, I would definitely have rated it higher. And besides, I think that one of the protagonists, Kellan, gives much more to push forward the relationship than the other protagonist, Ashleigh. 

Ashleigh has just ended a marriage of twelve years and her ex-wife is now in a relationship with a man, a very happy one for what it seems. And Ashleigh, her ex and her boyfriend and the rest of the friends, all live in Brooklyn, so they are continually seeing each other. And Ashleigh doesn't get over the breakup, she's living with her parents and doesn't know how to date again. Kellan arrives in Brooklyn to take care of  her aunt's cat, and also her apartment, during the summer. Ashleigh and Kellan have a friend in common, Liam, who has just opened a bar where they meet for the first time and they decide that will spend the next two months of summer discovering the places in New York that the locals like Ashleigh don't frequent normally and Kellan will take the opportunity to visit, with Ashleigh as hes personal guide.

The discovery of the city and, at the same time, of the two women with each other, is an interesting premise. But the imbalance of attitude between the two women, with Ashleigh's negativity and Kellan's compliance, has ruined the result a little. And the misunderstanding, mistrust, whatever, in the end, was the last straw.

It is not, in any way, a bad reading, but it could have been much better.
Was this review helpful?
Having the pleasure of reading some other works by this author I can honestly say this one is the best.
    Kellan Dwyer has just retired from the Army after a number of years. She has got to travel around the world including some of the hot-spots where the USA is fighting  terrorists but she has been lucky in that she is coming home relatively intact. She decides  that working in Vail, Colorado with her family owned resort is perfect for her. When her aunt has to leave New York for her job she needs someone to look after her cat, Blue. Since Kellan just got home her aunt along with her mother think this will be a wonderful way to spend the summer, house sitting and hopefully get to see the city up close. It also helps that Kellan has two of her best friends living in NY which will enable  her to catch up with what is going on with them. Perfect.
    Ashleigh McAllister’s life is not where she thought it should be. She recently divorced her wife after 17 years together when her wife informs her she’s in love with someone else. Giving up her home to the ex means she has to move in with her family while she tries to adjust to being single again. She works as a teacher and is lucky enough to have the whole summer off. This summer she decides to take the time and actually visit all of the tourist venues because even though she lives in Brooklyn,  she has never taken the time to explore the very city she lived in.
    When she first meets Kellan at the bar her friend Liam owns it wasn’t exactly fireworks. Kellan certainly  isn’t her type but when their mutual friend Liam finds out Ashleigh’s plan for the summer he thinks it would also be perfect for Kellam. Ashleigh and Kellan might as well explore the city together. 
    Now they are spending time together, telling each other their life stories, trying to be honest with each other, becoming friends. Problem is Kellan hasn’t been as open and honest as Ash has been because there is one story she has yet to address. 
    As I said this is the best Ms Cummings book I’ve read. The writing has a more mature vibe, good dialogue, all in a nicely paced read.
Very, Very enjoyable read.
 ARC via NetGalley/ Bold Stroke Books
Was this review helpful?
This book was a little slow for me. Nothing much happened and then finally when there was a conflict they resolved it too quickly. Not enough angst for my personal taste. And for some reason it bothers me when people write about New York City who don’t seem to have ever lived here. As a long time New Yorker it just feels a bit cheesy at times, all the explanations about the neighborhood names and landscape and such.
Was this review helpful?
Ashleigh McAllister is going through a rough patch, her ex-wife left her for a man and now she seems to bump into them in their neighbourhood all the time. As Summer approaches she decides to spend it sightseeing in NYC by herself. That is until army vet Kellan Dwyer makes an appearance and joins her in her daily city tours. As time goes by, their attraction is undeniable and they decide to become friends with benefits. But that was a bad idea, wasn’t it?

I absolutely loved this romance, it shows how far Ms. Cummings has evolved as an author. In my opinion, even though I liked her previous novels, this book is so much better than the others. The backdrop of the story in the fantastic New York makes it more enjoyable, as a New Yorker herself, the author knows what she’s writing about and it shows. I lived in NY a long time ago and for me personally it was great to see the city through the eyes of the main characters, one of them a New Yorker.

The chemistry between the mains is very well done. In a romance sometimes it’s hard to convey the characters’ feelings from the start point of a no-strings relationship, but the author delivers the growing emotions perfectly. The sex scenes were varied and hot, which is a must in this type of trope. I found that Ms. Cummings managed really well the development of their relationship into something more meaningful.

I have to admit that while I was reading and seeing the direction the plot was taking, I was a bit apprehensive of how the author was going to handle the conflict between the characters because the issue has the potential of becoming a big melodrama. I was happy to see that Ms. Cummings handled it convincingly and realistically within the world she created. My only criticism is that some parts of the plot seemed to slow down and becoming tedious but fortunately they were scarce and short. Otherwise, it would have been an easy 5 stars for me.

Overall, a very good lesbian romance with the beautiful scenery of New York. 4.5 stars.

ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

See all my reviews at www.lezreviewbooks.com
Was this review helpful?
A cute summer romance novel. 

Ashleigh is looking to take the summer by the horns and finally set aside time to explore NYC - in a way that those who live there rarely do. Take in the tourist sites, the museums and forget about her lack of love life. As always happens when you write off love, in steps the girl of your dreams. Kellan is recently out of the army, and in NYC for the summer to house- and cat-sit for her Aunt. 

A mutual friend pushes the two to explore the city together, and as they spend more time together, the two fall deeply. However, Kellan has a secret that may tear the two apart and, besides, she's only there for the summer. Will the stars that brought them together for a summer be enough to build on, or will going for it be too much for Ashleigh to handle?

**I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
Was this review helpful?
This book was darling! I definitely wasn't expecting to love this book as much as I did. Based off the synopsis. I thought Ashleigh and Kellan would be much younger than their actual 37/38 years old, and this book would be a lot more youth drama and miscommunication. But no, this book was genuine, the two leading ladies mature, and sweet, and damn sexy. I loved every moment of it! 

Ashleigh is fresh out of a seventeen year relationship, where her ex-wife left her for a man. She'd feeling defeated and embarrassed, living at her parents house and bumping into her ex far too often in Brooklyn. As a teacher, she has the whole summer free, and she's determined to make it a summer to remember by visiting all the places in NYC she hasn't seen and to break out of her funk. When she meets Kellan, fresh out of the army with nothing to do except house sitting for her aunt, the two decide to tackle Ashleigh's list of places to visit together. Neither women are prepared for the mutual attraction they experience. But Kellan's set to go back to Colorado at the end of the summer, and Ashleigh's life is in Brooklyn. Does their love have a time limit, or will it be forever?

I love how Maggie Cummings really captured the magic of summer. You could feel the weather, the sun the heat, the freedom of nothing to do, the excitement of exploring a city like it's new. Plus, I've got a list a mile long now for the next time I visit New York City - the Ashleigh tour! Ashleigh and Kellan were incredible characters. They were both unique and strong and gorgeous inside and out. I loved their families and friends surrounding them, they were so loving and really created such a warm, feel good story. 

This is the perfect book to read in the summer, reminding you that possibilities are endless when it comes to adventures right outside your front door. And, this book is a perfect winter read, because it is such a cozy read, your heart will be so full and happy and content. 


I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Ah, this was cute. One major question though, where was my tour guide when I visited New York? I mean who wouldn’t want an adorable nerd with an itinerary to show them around the Big Apple. Plus they get to fall in love too. It’s a dream come true. I don’t think the secondary storyline was needed, although I know it was there to provide an obstacle to overcome, which added a bit of interest, it kind of detracted a bit from the main storyline. I would have preferred more focus on the places they visited, but I realise that may be boring for the US audience. For Brits, the New York travelogue is exotic and adds to the romance of the story. Well worth reading for the steamy scenes alone, let alone the friendship with their best pal. I remain unconvinced you should be friends with your ex though, way nicer to never see them again.
Was this review helpful?