What a delightful afternoon I’ve had relaxing with a winsome contemporary novel, Summer’s Love, put out by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. The author is listed as Stu Summers. I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve just read a “Jessica Fletcher” novel. There are a few a hints as to the real author, but I’ll let your investigate that if you choose.
Stu, as the hero of this book, is a novelist who has reached rock star popularity. Yet, he can’t write at all. He’s outstanding at marketing himself, though. (I know there’s a lesson in gullibility in there somewhere.) His novels have all been ghost-penned by a middle-aged, church secretary. But as her tastes have strayed from contemporary romance to Amish zombies in pioneer days being kidnapped by Martians, he has to find another supplier for his novels. Enter Kate Winston. The beautiful woman appears, sobbing on his boat dock like she’d been sent to solve his problems. He romances her and writes every detail into chapters of his newest book. One he is determined to pen himself.
But Kate has ulterior motives of her own. She’s bent on earning a trip to Nassau from her company by being the top seller and her latest home party sale of stun guns will get her to that position. Except that all of the customers begin discussing the new Stu Summers book. In a crazy lapse, she promises each an autographed copy. She travels to his hometown under a misunderstood notion of an invitation with the intention of finagling his signature in the 14 books for her customers, even if she has to beguile him to sign them.
Does any relationship that begins with such manipulation and deceit have chance at all?
Manipulative or not, these characters are fun and quirky. Sometimes unlikable, they grew on me as they allowed their true selves to overcome the images they tried to hard to keep.
Kate’s biggest issue, with trust, seems insurmountable. She’s always ready to believe the worst. After all, she does sell stun guns for a living. Is it any wonder that she tends to keep men at bay? Stu’s weakness is his ambition and pride. Unwilling to do the work to become a great author on his own, he just wants the accolades from someone else’s work.
The growth potential for both of these characters at the beginning of the book is phenomenal and the author, whomever he or she is, does a great job at putting the characters through just enough stress and heat to force them to grow. However, despite the similarities to Cinderella, this couple has way too many issues to live happily ever after.
Nevertheless, this is a fun read. I laughed more than once and shed tears near the end (though that won’t surprise any of you who stop by regularly). Though there were a few typo/grammar errors, I can highly recommend this book to those who are looking for a short, clean read and lovers of romantic comedy.
By the way, I received this book free from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas for signing up on their email list at the link HERE. I have no way of knowing if the promotion is still going on, though.
Your Turn: What has been your experience with ghost-written books?