Summer Lovin' (Costas Sisters Series #2)

( 29 )

Overview

Zoe's a security specialist and a Costas through and through. Her eccentric, rather dubious family runs an Atlantic City spa that's just this side of legit. So Zoe isn't inclined to trust handsome, charming Ryan Baldwin when he shows up claiming to be related to Sam, the girl the Costas family is about to adopt. But Ryan is Sam's uncle and one of the famously rich and snooty Boston Baldwins.

Ryan's search for his sister Faith has led him to news of her death, and to a niece he's...

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Overview

Zoe's a security specialist and a Costas through and through. Her eccentric, rather dubious family runs an Atlantic City spa that's just this side of legit. So Zoe isn't inclined to trust handsome, charming Ryan Baldwin when he shows up claiming to be related to Sam, the girl the Costas family is about to adopt. But Ryan is Sam's uncle and one of the famously rich and snooty Boston Baldwins.

Ryan's search for his sister Faith has led him to news of her death, and to a niece he's never met. But someone else has also tracked Sam down — someone who never wanted the child to be found. Ryan is determined to protect Sam and find out what really happened to his sister. And Zoe "Whatever-It-Takes" Costas is just the woman to help him do it…

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Phillips's latest cheerful romance (Hot Number; The Bachelor) relates the opposites-attract sizzle between a sexy, Greek Jersey girl and a buttoned-down Boston lawyer who come together over the fate of a teenage girl. Zoe Costas lives happily with her big, vibrant family, including her 14-year-old foster sister, Sam, in Ocean Isle, N.J., and runs a security firm in Atlantic City. She's about to turn 30, but she's not pining for a man. That is, until Sam's long-lost (and very handsome) uncle Ryan Baldwin appears, just as Zoe's parents are about to finalize the girl's adoption. Sparks fly at cross purposes: Zoe's family adores Sam, but Ryan hopes to restore his niece to the Baldwins, having just discovered her existence. (Sam's deceased mother ran away from home as a teenager.) Zoe's firm investigates the Baldwin family, and she discovers that Sam's keepsake from her mother, an innocuous set of keys, will unlock the mystery of her mother's last days as well as a family secret. Despite conflicting hopes for Sam-on top of a stark culture clash-Zoe and Ryan team up for Sam's best interests, and, of course, for their own inevitable passion. Phillips's light touch assures a happy ending to this diverting beach read. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373771103
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 8/1/2006
  • Series: Costas Sisters Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 775,429
  • Product dimensions: 4.21 (w) x 6.62 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Carly Phillips started her writing career with Harlequin temptation in 1999 with Brazen and she's never strayed far from home! Carly has since published sixteen books and hit the New York Times bestseller list with her famous "Reading with Ripa" pick, The Bachelor -- the first romance ever chosen for a nationally televised book club -- and its sequels, The Playboy and The Heartbreaker. Carly lives in Purchase, New York, with her husband, two daughters and a frisky soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, who acts like their third child. When she's not spending time with her family, Carly is busy writing, promoting and playing online! To learn more about this quickly rising star of romance, you can visit Carly on the Web at www.carlyphillips.com

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Read an Excerpt

THE COSTASES' BACKYARD was packed with people all circling the capuchin monkey, who was performing on a makeshift stage set up on the green grass. Though a party would always draw a crowd, these folks had been excited to see Spank, a monkey with a fondness for mooning anyone in sight. Zoe Costas stood with her twin sister, Ari, and watched the capuchin perform in honor of their foster sister Sam's fourteenth birthday.

Sam missed the monkey since Spank had been forced to move out of the Costas family home after they discovered that owning a pet monkey violated the law. Since Sam had lost too many people and things in her young life, they still tried to maintain her strong bond with the animal, whom she loved dearly. Zoe kept in touch with the trainer who'd taken the monkey, and she made sure Spank was present on special occasions like today.

Zoe glanced at her foster sister and smiled. They were celebrating Sam's first anniversary as part of the family and Zoe was glad the teenager would get to experience a spirited celebration surrounded by people who cared about her. The young girl had come to Zoe's parents through Quinn Donovan, Ari's husband. They'd taken the young girl in and now Zoe's parents were on the road to adoption.

But Sam had been in foster care for six years, unwanted for too long and so distrustful she acted out and tested the family in every way possible. Only lately had she begun to trust and settle into the crazy Costas clan.

Someone in the audience whistled and Spank dropped her pants, then the monkey smacked her bottom with both of her hands.

Ari groaned and covered her eyes.

Zoe chuckled. "You lived with Spank last year. I would have thought you were way past being mortified," she said, unable to hold back a grin.

Ari shrugged. "What can I say? Spank always takes me by surprise."

"That's because you still expect everyone around you to be sane and calm." Zoe waved a finger in front of her twin's face. "It's your shrink training," she said.

"You say that like expecting normalcy is a crime."

Zoe laughed. "Shame, shame, Ariana. You ought to know better than to expect the ordinary from anyone named Costas."

"Frankly, accepting the family's unique qualities has done wonders to help my own sanity."

After a period of estrangement, they could finally talk and joke about Ari's saner tendencies. Her twin had always been the straitlaced sister, the one who felt she didn't fit into their eccentric family. As a result she'd moved to Vermont, far from the Jersey Shore, and kept her distance from the Costas clan, Zoe included. But it was Zoe's recent so-called disappearance that had brought Ari home to stay. Zoe welcomed the chance to renew the closeness they'd shared as young children.

Suddenly Ari nudged her sister in the ribs and pointed toward Spank, who was spitting into the crowd.

Zoe cringed. "Like I said, ordinary and the name Costas do not go hand in hand."

"Would it do any good to remind you that Spank the monkey is not a relative?" Ari ran a hand through the long, black hair she'd grown back after trying a bob a few months back. Now the twins looked even more alike again, something Zoe loved, since she felt it helped strengthen their bond.

"Look, Ari, the family may no longer perform their Atlantic City Boardwalk Addams Family Act, but Dad is still as bald as Uncle Fester, Mom still wiggles her hips like Morticia, and Aunt Dee swears that Great-Aunt Deliria was engaged to a chimp, which means Spank could very well be a long-lost relative."

Ari sighed. "Spank's a capuchin not a chimp."

"And your last name once was Costas. Nothing is as it seems," Zoe said, laughing.

"She's got a point," their mother, Elena, said, joining her daughters just as Spank's first act ended.

"Hi, Mom," Ari said.

"Hi," Zoe echoed.

"My beautiful girls." Elena enveloped them in a hug, made more suffocating by the long, flowing sleeves of the kimonos she favored now that she'd packed away her Morticia Addams black dresses.

Zoe supposed the outfits had something to do with owning a spa and working as a licensed masseuse. But she wasn't certain what that connection was any more than she knew why her mother had decided to wear her geisha-girl outfit to Sam's birthday party. And darned if she'd ask. Nobody could stop Elena's wacky ways and, in truth, nobody tried. In their small hometown of Ocean Isle, New Jersey, everyone expected the Costas family to act, well, odd. Zoe had long since stopped trying to figure out their eccentric mother. She'd rather just love her instead.

"I've come up with the perfect name for your new business," Elena said to Zoe.

After years of working for the Secret Service, protecting government officials visiting New Jersey, she'd begun to chafe under the tight rules and regulations. No surprise there since she was a Costas and liked to do things her own way. Her new business would give her the opportunity to do just that. She and her partners would be protecting visiting stars and dignitaries on their trips to Atlantic City's casinos.

"I heard that." Quinn, Ari's ex-cop husband, came up beside his wife and pulled her against his side.

"What wacky idea have you got this time?" he asked his mother-in-law.

Elena raised her arms, as though on stage. "Safe Sex — protection is our business," she said, punctuating each word with her hands. "So what do you think?" her mother asked, smiling proudly at her idea.

Quinn blinked. His hazel eyes focused on Elena as if she were insane, although he knew better. He'd married Ari knowing full well the family was merely eccentric.

Connor Brennan, who Zoe hadn't realized had joined them, choked on his cola. Connor was Quinn's best friend. They'd grown up in the same foster-care system and had worked together as detectives for the police department. As partners with Zoe in the new venture, both Connor and Quinn had a vested interest in the business Elena wanted to name.

Zoe knew better than to dignify her mother's idea with a response or she'd start expanding on it and before Zoe knew it, a Safe Sex sign would be hanging over their new office space and the cops would arrive to shut them down.

"Mom, don't you have more important things to do? Like corralling Sam's friends for cake?" She pointed to the group of teenage girls gathered in the yard.

"Good idea. I'll get the kids," Ari said, escaping while she had the chance.

Elena patted Zoe's cheek. "Okay, I can see you aren't ready to talk business. Later, then. But you should think about registering the name before somebody else takes it."

"Like who? A porn shop?" Zoe asked, raising an eyebrow.

Quinn shook his head and laughed. He'd always enjoyed his in-laws much more than any man should. "I think I'll go help Ari gather the troops."

"Not yet." Elena waved an arm in the air, her long sleeve blowing in the summer breeze. "I have one more game for the girls to play before we sing 'Happy Birthday' and open presents," Elena said.

Connor adjusted his sunglasses on the bridge of his nose. "What game is that?"

"You'll be sorry you asked," Quinn promised his friend.

Zoe nodded.

Undeterred, Elena pulled out a red cut-out heart from one of her kimono pockets. "Since they're too old for Pin the Tail on the Donkey, they're going to Pin the Heart on Orlando Bloom," she said, pronouncing heart on so quickly the phrase sounded like hard-on.

This time Connor spit out his drink. "Pin the what on whom?"

Thankfully, his fiancée, Maria, came up behind him and pulled him away, rescuing the poor man from any more of Elena's antics.

"They're happy," Zoe said of the couple.

Quinn nodded. "Connor was a goner the first time he laid eyes on Maria working as a cocktail waitress at the casino. I was just amazed he so easily accepted that she had a kid."

Foster care and their rough upbringing had scarred both Connor and Quinn, Zoe thought sadly. But they had each come around in the end, accepting that the future could be much better, if only they gave it a chance. "The things people do for love," she said lightly. More lightly than she actually felt.

After all, she really wouldn't know what love would do to a person. She'd never fallen hard for any man. After growing up witnessing the intensity of her parents' relationship, their love and their fights, most of the time she was glad Cupid had passed her by. Experience showed her that her mother often caved in to make her father happy, and Zoe couldn't imagine sacrificing her independence for any man. As for a family of her own, Zoe wasn't holding her breath, because without love, there would be no family, no babies. It wasn't something she gave much thought to, perhaps because her immediate family took up so much of her time and energy. She was never alone unless she wanted to be.

"You'll see for yourself one day," Quinn said, an amused smirk on his face. "In the meantime, why don't we meet tomorrow morning at the new office and discuss business there?" he suggested.

"Sounds like a good plan." Better they talk when there were no prying eyes or ears and nobody to offer their well-meaning, off-the-wall suggestions on how to run the new venture.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Candy

    A fun escape.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2012

    Recommend-much fun.

    A great quick read. Great fun.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2005

    Disappointment

    I picked up Phillips book expecting her usual charm and wit to jump off the page, however, I was let down by her latest, 'Summer Lovin'.' It seemed as though it was a completely different author, and I enjoyed her other titles much more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2005

    Delightful Summer Loving

    Carly Phillips has written a charming follow-up to Under The Boardwalk in Summer Loving. It continues the wickedly delightful tale of the Costas family.__________ Zoe Costas ex Fed Agent is changing the direction of her life. She has opened a new business with her new brother in law Quinn and his former police office Connor. Zoe has reconnected with her family and especially with her twin Ari. She cares deeply for her family and the newest addition, foster sister Sam. The Costas are in the final stages to adopt Sam. A surprise in the form of Ryan Baldwin changes everything. _________ Lawyer Ryan Baldwin has been searching for his deceased sisters Faith¿s child for years. He finds her thriving at the wild and fun loving Costas. Ryan and Zoe agree to hold off on telling the family until things are more settled. One major problem with that plan is that Zoe and Ryan are attracted to each other. __________ Ryan always toed the line with his strict upper class family, but his sister Faith could never find her place at home. Zoe makes him loosen up and look at his life in a whole new light. Zoe is a free spirit but afraid to let her self go and fall in love. When the truth from the night Faith ran away comes to light they both will need the strength from each other to deal with the fall out. __________ Carly Phillips brings the Costas family to life. It¿s a delicious story filled with love, family and hotter then hot passion. Its another keeper.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2005

    A SIZZLING VOICE PERFORMANCE

    Put this at the top of your list for a 'best for the beach listen' or 'while away the long vacation drive.' It's one more romantic romp by Carly Phillips, author of 'Hot Number' and 'The Bachelor.' Phillips is a pundit of passion and she never stints, especially when opposites attract as they do in 'Summer Lovin'.' Zoe Costas's family may be far removed from mainline, but they make up for it in foibles and lots of love. Included in this happy New Jersey circle is Sam, a 14-year-old whom they're adopting. Slight snag when Sam's hither to now unknown uncle appears. He's Ryan Baldwin - tall, handsome and a very rich Bostonian. Seems his sister ran away as a teenager, and he has just now learned of Sam's existence. He doesn't want her to be a Costas but wants to return her to the well-to-do Baldwin clan. A security specialist, Zoe has eyes and she can see that Ryan's a hunk, but she can also see that someone else is trying to keep Sam away from the Baldwin's. In fact, that mysterious person or persons never wanted Sam to be found at all. Romance soon runs riot after Zoe and Ryan meet. But everything isn't all hearts and flowers as Ryan has recently discovered that his sister is dead, and he has vowed to find out the reason for her untimely end and protect Sam. Of course, he can't do this alone - Zoe to the rescue and into his arms. Voice performer Bernadette Quigley gives a lush, highly entertaining reading. She's especially effective when their mutual attraction finds Zoe and Ryan in a steamy scene or three. - Gail Cooke

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2005

    Summer Lovin'

    The Costas family is a wacky, yet warm conglomeration of individuals who are more than ready to open their arms to Sam, an orphaned foster child. However, their plan runs into a snag when a long lost uncle, Ryan Baldwin, shows up laying claim to her. Yet, his protectiveness and love for the girl are impressive. Therefore, he is allowed to take Sam back to his family home, with Zoe Costas riding shotgun. Sam hardly fits in with the uptight Baldwins. She barges into their world like Tarzan entering the regal Greystoke estate. While this little reunion is going on, Ryan wants to find out what happened to Sam's mother, his sister, Faith. Zoe, as a security specialist, is up for the job. What they uncover will shake Ryan's world more than Sam rattles his family. What he finds with Zoe will turn his world upside down or is it right side up? .......................... *** Fast paced, funny, and sweet are all words that aptly fit this novel. The Costas are thoroughly charming, in an off-beat way. Be prepared to smile as you dive into this warm hearted humorous read. ***

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2005

    Great Book!!

    I loved this book! I waited a while for this book since reading 'Under the Boardwalk' and it was definately worth the wait! Zoe and Ryan's romance is so sweet and steamy. All of the other characters (i.e. their families) are quite a cast of people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2005

    Hot

    Zoe¿s family is trying to adopt teenager Sam since her mother died from a gun shot meant for her drug dealer boyfriend. What they don¿t know is Sam¿s family is looking for her. Her Uncle Ryan has been trying to track his sister down and just recently found out that his sister is dead and her boyfriend is serving life in prison. So he is on his way to adopt Sam. Showing up at Zoe¿s families house in the middle of Sam¿s birthday party they assume right away that he is the social worker. He goes along with it to get a feel to see how everything is going for Sam. Right from the start he and Zoe are attracted to each other like sparks and a flame. The little charade of his doesn¿t last very long though because the real social worker calls and Zoe finds out it isn¿t him. The chemistry between the two jumps from the pages from page one. The action will have you flipping the pages and the sex is HOT! Carly Phillips has written a winner. You will be so hooked you will be wishing this book never ended. You fall in love with all the characters and did I mention HOT? The characters will have you laughing out loud and you will need some ice water handy. I LOVED this book and I know romance readers will consider this book a real treat! Congratulations Carly Phillips you have written a winner! Romantic, action packed, and hot- absolutely everything a reader could want!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    amusing class warfare tale of manners

    Boston Brahmin attorney Ryan Baldwin is pleased his search for his sister is over after years of trying to find Faith, a teen runaway. However he is sad that he is too late as she died in a drug shootout. He plans to bring home his fourteen years old niece Samantha who he assumes is unhappy after years in the foster care system. --- To his astonishment he arrives at her Atlantic City home only to find Sam adjusted and very happy living with the Costas family. The parents and sisters shower Sam with love and proper discipline though they are a zany bunch with Zack the monkey as a friend and a pet pig as a birthday gift for his niece. The worst jolt is his attraction to big sister Zoe she to her astonishment feels the same way. Both knows a relationship between the free spirit and the stuffed shirt cannot survive very long, but they share a common goal keeping Sam safe from someone who wants the teen permanently missing. --- The return of the crazy kooky Costas crew provides the audience with an amusing class warfare tale of manners. The story line focuses on Ryan¿s reactions to the wild bunch as he starts off so tight a nickel could not slide out of his butt, but time with Zoe and Sam grease his brain so that he turns somewhat zany. Though a late suspense adds tension, that subplot feels out of place in this comedic look at upper class Boston meets hustler Atlantic City UNDER THE BOARDWALK. --- Harriet Klausner

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    Posted February 1, 2011

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    Posted May 26, 2012

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    Posted May 12, 2011

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