It all started with a dare…
He was supposed to be a summer fling, but Duke King made me fall in love with him and I spent the most perfect summer by his side.
Then I met his wife—his pregnant wife.
And I had no other choice but to leave Castle Beach for good.
Ten years later, I’m back to sell my parents’ house and leave behind the memories of that perfect summer, once and for all.
But my plans for a quick visit are hindered by a sexy single dad.
I’m older and wiser, but so is he… and this time, he says he’s not going to let me go without a fight.
Customer ReviewsSee All
4.5 PERFECTLY SWOONY STARS!
PICTURE PERFECT SUMMER was just what the doctor ordered to help chase away my winter doldrums! This sweet and swoony second chance romance marks my first ever book by Marquita Valentine and it exceeded all my expectations!
I was swept off my feet by this third standalone book in the Kings of Castle Beach series!
At its core, this is a wondrous story of two star-crossed summer lovers who were torn apart by fate but get a rare and precious second chance at a new beginning. Yet before that can happen, they must reconcile the past and muster the courage to risk it all to forge a beautiful tomorrow!!
Marquita Valentine’s warm, breezy writing style was like a breath of fresh air! I was enchanted by her vibrant prose, her charming, emotional tone, her engaging, fleshed out characters, and her stellar story craftsmanship! And she sure knows how to concoct an endearing couple that hits you hard in the feels and melts your heart from page one. Duke King and True Prince have SPARKLING CHEMISTRY, and I thought Ms. Valentine did a marvelous job of showcasing the sweet and sexy buildup, the catastrophic breakdown, and then the LONG-AWAITED reunion!
As for the execution of the plotline, I thought it was a BRILLIANT decision on the author’s part to construct the love story into two parts (PAST AND PRESENT) so I got to fully invest in the romance from the very beginning! I savored each breath-stealing beat of Duke and True’s summer courtship in part one, which enabled me to not only fall head over heels right along with this adorable duo as they basked in the sun-dappled splendor of true love, but also had me suffering through the crushing headache when things went horribly awry.
Which meant that by the time we get to part two, when the book jumps ahead 10 years, I was already 100 percent emotionally invested in the outcome! And I ESPECIALLY love how in the second half we get to see an older but even more desirable Duke portrayed as not only a man on a mission to reclaim the girl who got away, but also as a fiercely devoted and utterly swoon worthy single dad to his beloved daughter, River.
Gah…as far as book boyfriends go, Duke is a TOTAL DREAMBOAT! Although he's far from perfect, this strong, stoic, SINFULLY SEXY man has a heart of pure gold and is so loyal and noble and self-sacrificing he gave me butterflies! Duke has faced unspeakable tragedies over the years and has done the responsible thing at the expense of his own happiness. But when he gets a second shot at love, you gotta admire a man who owns up to his shortcomings and GOES AFTER HIS GIRL WITH A GUSTO!
As for the heroine, I loved True too. I adored her sweet, quirky, outgoing personality, her zest for life, and her kind, compassionate nature. And while she did frustrate me at times with her skittish attitude and wishy-washy indecisiveness about the future--and I did not think she needed to make Duke work QUITE SO HARD to win her back--her true devotion toward Duke and little River was NEVER in question
Ultimately, through the course of this story, this couple’s enduring love is tested over and over again, but when all is said and done, the payoff is SWEET INDEED!
Every winsome small-town romance also needs a MEMORABLE cast of supporting characters and the King and Prince clans were fanfreakingtastic. There are multiple overlapping storylines that run throughout this series, and I was particularly moved by Laird and Ophelia’s tragically beautiful love story. The soul-deep connection between these childhood sweethearts just SLAYED MY HEART! And last but certainly not least, Duke’s adorably precocious daughter was cute as a button and so clever and charming that it’s no wonder that “baby duck” had her daddy wrapped around her little finger. I treasured River’s interactions with both Duke and True—and together this threesome made the perfect family!
PICTURE PERFECT SUMMER was a like a little slice of paradise and there is a jaw-dropping twist at the end that made me DESPERATE to read PICTURE PERFECT LOVE!
A good read
This read was a bit different for me than other books I’ve read. It took me a long time to get in to it.... like weeks. So I came back to read the blurb, and was reminded there was a 10 year later section. I skipped a bit of the book to that part, and was sucked in immediately. I don’t feel I missed much in the parts of the book I hadn’t read (I may go back and read that part eventually) but I honestly feel this book would’ve been so much better set in the 10 years later part, with flashbacks to certain times in the first half of the book. I felt so much more connected to True and Duke in the second part of the book. Their characters were awesome, and I loved how hard Duke was willing to fight for True. There were moments that completely gutted me, and have me dying to read the next book releasing in this series.
An overall good read, that I would recommend.
Marquita Valentine where have you been all my life?! I can’t believe this is the first book by her I’ve read! Picture Perfect Summer is everything you think it will be from the blurb times like a billion. This book wasn’t just a roller coaster, it’s one of those roller coasters you see in viral videos that makes you go “OMG where is that!?” and it’s in some beautiful exotic location with gorgeous beaches and so you start a whole list to try to take your dream vacation just to ride that roller coaster. Too much? Nope, seriously this book made my tummy do summersaults from happiness, sadness and happiness all over again and I never wanted to get off the ride!
Duke and True’s story starts off hilarious, adorable and sweet then grows into something so much bigger. Marquita’s wonderful writing brings these characters to life in a way that keeps that adorable sweetness and laughter while going deeper than you expect that is absolutely captivating.