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A Summer Affair    by Elin Hilderbrand order for
Summer Affair
by Elin Hilderbrand
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

Young and in love, recent graduate Claire Danner envisioned a carefree, fun-filled life for herself. But now, twelve years after marrying a man who swept her off her feet, she comes to realize reality is not at all like she'd dreamed. A dull marriage, four kids, and the mere memory of what used to be a promising career fill her days with never-ending chores and tedious routine. Her rare girls' nights out give her something to look forward to, but when her friend Daphne has a tragic car accident on her way home, Claire's life is turned upside down.

Claire believes that Daphne's husband Lockhart blames her for his wife's accident, and she'd do anything to make it up to him. So when Lockhart asks her to co-chair a charity gala and create a new piece of art for the auction, she reluctantly agrees. Soon, she's spending a lot more time with Lockhart than is appropriate, and the two begin a hot-and-heavy summer affair. As Claire struggles with feelings of guilt, complications surrounding the gala spin out of control, and Claire's ex-boyfriend, who is now a famous rock star, makes an appearance to muddle Claire's life even further.

A Summer Affair is the perfect cure for the summertime blues. It's light, breezy, fun, and quirky enough to keep you turning pages whether you're roasting on the sand, or longing for warm, carefree days. Although Claire's motivation is a little hard to believe (after all, would a woman who has everything really risk it for a brief romp out of misplaced guilt and inappropriate lust?) the story is still engaging enough, and the complications intriguing enough, to help the reader overlook significant characterization flaws.

If you're looking to escape to summertime in Nantucket through a scandal-filled, almost voyeuristic novel, you'll love A Summer Affair.

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