Series in Review #5: Summerhill
I love London. I mean, there’s an actualy chance I like the British Isles as a whole just a little bit too much. But still, I love London in particular. So, as you can imagine, when I realized that one of my favourite chicklit authors had an entire series set right there? I was quite happy. When I saw it was about sisters? Well… I read the entire series, didn’t I? A series in review for Summerhill!
The Summerhill-series consists of a total of 7 books, all of which are centered around one of the Summerhill sisters. The late patriarch of the Summerhill-family has died. In the arms of his mistress. Doing so, he left behind one wife, 6 legitimate daughters and one daughter with his mistress. All of them have been marked by his disappointment at never getting an heir.
Well, you know, that and his general “not being a good human”-ness.
Either way, each sister (and the mother!) finds them struggling – and through that, growing closer. There’s seven books, which means each sister gets one book dediated to her (love)life:
- Rosalind Summerhill (Say You Will)
- Is: a dress designer
- Has just: moved back from America, where she’s left her best friend, Bijoux, from the Laurel Heights-series
- Needs to: find the will of her father, because otherwise her mother might lose everything
- Falls in love with: Nick Long – secretly the step brother to Summer Welles, Rosalind’s father’s love child
- Also features: Em, the families assistant (?) in a love triangle with the guy she thinks she likes, and the guy that’s good for her
- Portia Summerhill (Lost in Love)
- Is: currently nothing
- Has just: lost her father, whom she was closest to out of all of the sisters
- Needs to: get back the tiara that was stored in a second house that she saw herself living in, but her father sold just before he died
- Falls in love with: Jackson Waite, the very guy who bought said house and all its contents
- Also features: Meredith, Jackson’s PA and ex-fiancé and the guy she’s liked forever
- Imogen (Gigi) Summerhill (Let’s Misbehave)
- Is: an actress
- Has just: gotten involved in a scandal thanks to a sleazy ex-boyfriend leaking some racy photos and video
- Needs to: be taken seriously as an actress and not do anything to risk her reputation
- Falls in love with: Merrick (Ricky) Graham, ex-rocker bad boy of politicis who basically equals “risk to ones reputation” and in deserate need of the conservatives support to pass a bill
- Also features: Holly, sent by Gigi’s management to “help” her but secretly asked to leak juicy data – oh, and in love with her kid’s headteacher
- Titania Summerhill (Stay the Night)
- Is: a photographer
- Has just: been blacklisted from selling her pictures to most magazines by a (powerful) friend with benefit whom she’s decided she doesn’t want to date
- Needs to: get a big scoop in the form of a photo essay on one of the most reclusive football stars in Britain
- Falls in love with: Ian MacNiven, one of the most reclusive football stars in Britain – or at least, so he is since a near-fatal accident that could just end his career
- Also features: Niamh, bartender at the bar where the Summerhill sisters have been meeting up on a weekly basis – that same bar is being sold and Niamh would quite like to own it, even though she used to be a great violinist and her brother would much prefer she went back to that. Oh, and, of course, despite her really liking the guy who’s her competition for buying the bar
- Summer Welles (Once Upon a Dream)
- Is: an attorney
- Has just: gotten accepted into the group of sisters that she never expected to be part of – after all, she’s the lovechild of the mistress their father died with
- Needs to: find true love – or, at least: confront the guy she’s “loved” for ages… If only she hadn’t kissed the wrong guy on that masked ball?
- Falls in love with: Jon Smtih: wrong guy, and as it happens: currently investigating the very man Summer has decided is her “perfect man” – sends his employee to San Francisco in what is the “Wrapped in You”-book from the Laurel Heights-series!
- Also features: Jacqueline Summerhill, also known as: matriarch to the sisters Summerhill and recently reconnected (albeit, not by his free will) with an old flame as well as an old passion
- Viola Summerhill (How Sweet It Is)
- Is: a soon-to-be ex-stay-at-home-mom
- Has just: gotten a divorce (the ugly kind)
- Needs to: reinvent herself, not through love, as her sisters have advised, but by going back to an old passion: art
- Falls in love with: Finn, a supposed one night stand-turned potential art gallery selling point-turned love interest
- Also features: Chloe, daughter to Viola and struggling, in her own way, with the divorce, her dad’s smooth transition to a new relation and her mom changing drastically
- Beatrice Summerhill (Give a Little)
- Is: a high class business woman who isn’t scared of taking risks
- Has just: been indirectly challenged by a competitor
- Needs to: get in with an Italian car company before her competitor can
- Falls in love with: Luca Fiorelli, best friend to Rosalind’s Nick; Italian Stallion racecar driver; “past” repeated one night stand; and the one guy who can give her an in with said Italian car company. Oh – and he’s been chasing her since book one
- Also features: Rowdy, best friend to Titania’s man Ian and fast in love with one of the best friends of Viola’s Finn./li>
As was the case for Laurel Heights, the basis of just about each of these books? Insta-love. That’s something you know and take into account when you read her books. That being said, Kate Perry manages to write the follow-up of insta-love remarkably well.
One of the thing I really like is the way Perry manages to incorporate the various characters and sisters in different books. Regardless of whether they’re the MC in a particular Summerhill-novel? You’ll get to follow along as each sister grows, their relationships are (further) established, …
Maybe my favourite thing about the entire series? These 7 sisters do not start out close. As a matter of fact, one of them has never interacted with the others, two others are basically taking refuge out of country. In the course of seven books, you see these women work across their differences and consistently put each other first. The relationship with their mother and “maid” (that one needs many more “”””” because let’s face it, she’s basically part of the family)… These are the things I live for 🙂
The rating: 3.75/5
I got annoyed from time to time at how quickly these people fell in love. Like, one sister went from “this is my father’s funeral” to “I’m kissing an almost stranger” in approximately 5 minutes or less. But honestly? That insta-love is literally the most negative thing I can say about the Summerhill-series. Sure, it’s been a little while since completing the series, but that’s the most negative thing I can remember about the entire thing. The romance, the relations between the sisters and their respective partners? I’ve got nothing negative for any of that! So if you want some nice and fluffy romance? Consider the Summerhill-series!