Once Upon A Summer is a collection of fairytale retelling novellas. Authors Toni Shiloh, Andrea Boyd, Jaycee Weaver, and Teresa Tysinger put a new twist on familiar stories.
My Review of A New Beginning
Acacia’s world tore apart when she realized that the woman who raised her had stolen her from her birth parents. Added to that, she had the notoriety of having Rapunzel-like hair.
Acacia’s tentative nature was totally believable given the upbringing she had had. I enjoyed watching her explore new things as she strove to figure out who she was between the two identities that she was in.
Drake also had his issues with his past but he was a steady presence tha gave Acacia the courage she needed to get through the trauma of deciding how much of a relationship she wanted with her new family.
This Rapunzel retelling was fun, quirky, and heartwarming. Acacia’s vulnerability was touching because you could empathize with how she must have felt being stuck between two families and two different worlds.
Drake struggled with a sense of inferiority especially in relation to Acacia’s family. I really loved how this was resolved (you’ll have to read the story to find out cause I’m not talking).
Acacia and Drake made a lovely couple, each pulling on the strength of the other. Readers will be reminded that God is always with them and can redeem the circumstances of their lives.
About A New Beginning by Andrea Boyd
Who is she? Acacia Martin raised by an impostor mom serving a prison sentence for her sins, or Jasmine Callahan abducted at birth from a family she’s yet to meet? Luckily, she has Drake to help her untangle the mess that is her life. Will he ensnare her heart in the process?
About Andrea Boyd
Each of Andrea Boyd’s series represents a different genre but all fall into the category of romance. All offer an element of her own brand of humor. And all are a tribute to God. Besides writing, she loves spending time with her family, quilting, going to car shows, and driving around in her 1968 Barracuda convertible.
Andrea lives with her husband, Tommy, and at least a couple of cats in York County, SC. You can visit her website @ www.andreaboyd11.com
An Ever After Summer by Toni Shiloh
When Bellamy Larson has to fly to France to take over the job after their new client sent several employees home in a tizzy, she expected to find a real beast. What she found instead was Jean-Luc, a man in so much pain he has forgotten how to relate to people.
I found it funny that Bell broke all of Jean-Luc’s rules which was exactly what he needed. She gave him a new perspective and I enjoyed seeing him blossom after spending time with her.
Jean-Luc had a lot of healing to do. His story reminds us that when we’re going through something painful we should draw closer to God instead of away from him. An Ever After Summer is a reminder that we need to be the hands of Christ because we may be the tool God uses to draw someone closer to Himself.
About An Ever After Summer by Toni Shiloh
The employees of In a Bind are terrified of Jean-Luc Thibodeaux, so Bellamy Larson hops on a plane to France to deal with the beastly client. Yet once she arrives, she’s convinced he merely needs a friend. Then her heart begins to want ever after, not just one summer.
About Toni Shiloh
Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and multi-published Christian contemporary romance author. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. Her novel, Grace Restored, was a 2019 Holt Medallion finalist and Risking Love is a 2020 Selah Award finalist.
A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and of the Virginia Chapter, Toni seeks to help readers find authors. She loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media. You can learn more about her writing at http://tonishiloh.com.
My Review of Gwen and The Three Dates
Gwen is always dreaming of a fairytale romance but is afraid to date. Some when her friend Maren creates a profile for her on a dating website she reluctantly agrees to three dates. But her best friend Ben is not happy about her dating since he’s been in love with her for twenty years.
This loose Goldilocks retelling encourages you to believe in true love (if you don’t already). I loved that none of the main characters had perfect features or bodies but were seen as beautiful by their partner.
Gwen and The Three Dates is a reminder that move just always look the way we expect it to and that God has a plan.
About Gwen and The Three Dates by Teresa Tysinger
Life isn’t a romantic movie, but Gwen Lochs is determined to find her leading man. When she joins a cheesy dating site, Gwen agrees to just three dates. Can Ben Smith watch his best friend and soulmate find someone else? A romantic comedy about searching for that just-right love.
About Teresa Tysinger
Teresa Tysinger is an author of Southern Contemporary Romance inspired by grace. She writes on the fringes of being a wife, mom, and full-time communications and public relations professional. She loves coffee, traveling, and prides herself in knowing and loving almost every genre of music.
Born in Hawaii, raised in Florida, and educated in North Carolina, she now resides in Texas with her husband, daughter, and dog. Teresa is a proud member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
My Review of Unkissable
The Princess and the Frog gets a new look in this fairytale retelling by Jaycee Weaver. When Charlotte Lavigne has a meltdown onscreen, her first thought to to run away and hide. Imagine her surprise when she bumps into former costar and first love Jaime Reyes.
I love the heart of this story. Jaime had every reason to refuse Charlotte’s request for help, but he didn’t. He showed the love of Christ to her even after she had broken his heart.
I liked Lottie. After she shed the Charlotte persona, she had a hard job figuring out what to do. Ms. Weaver did a great job of creating a community of believers who would speak life and health into Lottie while giving her the space to figure out who she wanted to be (and who she did not).
Readers will be reminded that every one is redeemable. God is able to take even the things we hate about ourselves and transform them. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we’re born again.
About Unkissable by Jaycee Weaver
Reality diva Charlotte Lavigne’s on-camera meltdown reminds former teen-TV prince Jaime Reyes exactly why he left Hollywood ten years ago. A chance encounter leads to a bargain that transforms them both . When it’s time to face her past, will their rediscovered love be strong enough to build a future together?
About Jaycee Weaver
Jaycee Weaver lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her amazing husband, three daughters, two crazy shih-tzus, and a dwarf rabbit. When she’s not writing, she’s probably in pursuit of her 90 million other hobbies or shuttling the kids around. Jaycee loves to read multiple genres, drink too much coffee, sing, take landscape and floral photos, sew, cook, bake, and craft nearly anything.
She considers herself a recovering perfectionist and occasional hot mess. She does her best to live her faith in action, being open, honest, and real; letting God be Lord over the good, the bad, and the ugly even when it’s hard.
Overall Thoughts on Once Upon A Summer
I enjoyed this collection of fairytale retellings. They each had likable characters, a sweet love story, and a new spin on an old classic. I liked that each story in the collection held a them that reminded you of an attribute of God.
This collection is definitely one you should add to your summer reading list. I received a copy of Once Upon A Summer from the authors; a positive review was not required. Purchase your copy of Once Upon A Summer.
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