THE SWEETEST SUMMER - Susan Donovan
A Bayberry Island Novel, Book 2
Bayberry Island, Massachusetts - Present Day
it's time for the annual Mermaid Festival, and Police Chief Clancy Flynn is ready for the craziness. Without a doubt the festival is the biggest tourist weekend for the island, but Clancy doesn't believe in the Mermaid's power, even though his mother is the leader of the Mermaid Society. Clancy greets the visitors and polices the events, but does his best to steer clear of some of the insanity. It is while he's greeting the ferry that he sees the beautiful and somewhat familiar woman, and something urges him share more than his usual “welcome to the island” with her.
On the run, Evelyn MacGuinness is doing her best to stay under the radar on her visit to Bayberry Island. Just months after her sister's death, Congressman Richard Wahlman arrived to claim Evie's four-year-old niece, Christina, as his daughter. Evie promised her sister to protect Christina from her father, but somehow Wahlman managed to gain custody, and Evie isn't about to give her up. Bayberry Island during the Mermaid Festival seemed like the ideal place to hide while her friend finds the proof that Wahlman rigged the custody hearing, but Evie hadn't counted on Clancy Flynn. On her only other visit to the island, a fourteen year old Evelyn fell in love with Clancy and believed it to be mutual until he never responded to her letter. That he is now the Chief of Police as well as the one person on the island who can identify her makes what could be a longed-for reunion into the thing that sends her to jail.
At fourteen, Clancy and Evie fell in love, and in THE SWEETEST SUMMER, they could rekindle that romance – if there wasn't a nation-wide manhunt going on for Evie. She'll do whatever it takes to protect her niece, including dressing her up as a boy pirate and hiding out on an outlandish island. She never forgot her first love, but when Clancy didn't write her back, Evie eventually convinced herself that their relationship had been nothing more than a vacation romance. Likewise, Clancy gave up on hearing from the girl he'd given his heart to when a letter never arrived, and he did his best to put that summer from his mind. It's been eighteen years since they first met, but fate – and possibly the Mermaid – are about to bring them back together.
Readers are first introduced to Bayberry Island and the Mermaid Festival in SEA OF LOVE, the story featuring Clancy's sister Rowan. Their ancestor claimed to have been saved by a mermaid, and he later found and married her, eventually erecting a statue in her honor in the town's square. Now the island pays homage to the Mermaid with the annual festival that is the backdrop for the series. Unlike the first book, THE SWEETEST SUMMER is more focused on Evie and Clancy as well as Christina, and the festival takes a backseat to the romance. A captivating love story, you won't want to miss THE SWEETEST SUMMER.