Return to the beloved small town of Eternity Springs in the newest installment of Emily March’s New York Times bestselling series with A Stardance Summer.
Sometimes the end of one road
Brick Callahan enjoys every minute of chaos at his campground, Stardance Ranch, especially after the Tornado Alleycats arrive for an extended summer stay. The members of the all-female glamorous camping club are primarily seniorsactive and adventurous, friendly and fun. But when he discovers Liliana Howe frolicking with the glamping grannies in a late night skinny-dipping session, he fears he's in for a summer of trouble. Because his best friend's kid sister has grown up to be drop-dead gorgeous.
. . .is the start of another
Betrayed by those she trusted, Lili decides she's put her career first for too long. She sells her practical sedan, buys a travel trailer, and heads to Eternity Springs for a summer of rest, relaxation, and reassessment as the newest member of the Alleycats. The last person she expects to find running an RV resort is her high school crush. Their undeniable mutual attraction is a reminder that life is full of surprises. But when the past comes calling, will their summer romance stand the test of time?
About the Author
Emily March is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series. Publishers Weekly calls March a "master of delightful banter," and her heartwarming, emotionally charged stories have been named to Best of the Year lists by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Romance Writers of America. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.
Read an Excerpt
A Stardance Summer
By Emily March
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2017 Emily March
All rights reserved.
TWENTY YEARS LATER
I won't cry. I absolutely, positively will not cry.
Liliana Howe silently repeated the mantra as she rang the doorbell of her parents' home in Norman, Oklahoma. She still had a key to the house, but her arms were full with two large white paper bags of her father's favorite Tex-Mex from the taqueria over by Oklahoma University.
Brian and Stephanie Howe met at home for lunch every day, but it was rare for Lili to join them. She usually worked through lunch. But then, today was not a usual day, was it?
Her father answered the door. His gray eyes rounded in surprise. "Lili? Did we forget a lunch date?"
"No, Dad. I was in the neighborhood. Thought I'd surprise you with lunch from Miguelito's."
"Well, that's nice." He opened the screen door. "Come on in. Let me help you with those bags."
He led her through the house back toward the kitchen. "That smells wonderful. This is a real treat, Liliana. Your mother doesn't let me have Mexican too often."
"It's been too long since I've seen you guys."
They walked into the kitchen to find her mother seated at the table staring intently at her computer. Typical Stephanie Howe. Always working. Without looking up, she said, "Stevenson has the best rating, but —"
"Look who's here, honey," Lili's father interrupted.
Stephanie Howe finally glanced up, her thoughts obviously somewhere else, because she gazed at Lili as if she didn't recognize her. Lili waved her fingers. "Surprise."
"Oh." Stephanie gave her head a little shake. "Lili. Hello. Did we forget a lunch date?"
Inwardly, Lili sighed. "No. I was in the mood for Mexican and I thought of Dad."
"It's not good for his cholesterol."
"No, but once in a blue moon won't hurt him. Dr. Derek told me that himself."
She unloaded the bags, setting tacos, cheese enchiladas, refried beans, guacamole, and tortilla chips in the center of the table. Her mother brought plates and silverware from the cabinet. "Nevertheless, it's nice to see you. It's been too long. How are you, Lili? Have you recovered from tax season?"
"It's definitely behind me," she replied with a wry twist of her lips.
They all filled their plates. Not anxious to spill her own beans, Lili took an extra spoonful of refried and asked, "So, what do you hear from Derek?"
Her parents spent quite a bit of time talking about their renowned heart surgeon son. Nerves caused Lili to make a pig of herself on chips and guacamole, and she didn't miss her mother's judgmental frown.
Finally, after extolling Derek's most recent peer recognition award, her father asked Lili what was new with her work and the moment was at hand.
She sipped her water, wished it were a beer, and summarized the sequence of events that had led her to this crisis point. Then she waited for them to react.
And she waited.
Her parents shared one of those long, hard-to-read looks that made Lili's stomach do a bit of a sick flip. Her father cleared his throat. "It's an incredible tale."
Her mother nodded. "Unbelievable."
Lili sucked salt off her bottom lip. She hadn't expected them to jump to their feet and vow to make the villains pay, but she'd thought they'd be angry on her behalf. Not ... reserved.
Deep within her, despair kindled to life. They were her parents. She was counting on them. Nevertheless, she pressed ahead, calmly and logically laying out the approach she wanted to take and the assistance she needed from her mother and father.
Again, her parents shared one of those inscrutable looks. Lili's heart began to pound.
"I don't know, Liliana," her father said, rubbing the back of his neck. "It would be hard to fight them. They're powerful people. I hate to say it because it's not the way this country was supposed to work, but if a Normal Joe tries to go up against powerful people, most often he loses.
"I don't want to see you get involved with making a charge against the police. That could turn nasty real fast. This cop ... you said you think your bosses might have threatened him, too? He might be in an even tougher position than you."
"But he lied, Dad! He falsified records."
"But you have no proof of that, do you?"
"Just my word." Isn't that enough, Dad? At least for you?
"Maybe you should let things lie for a while. Give it some time. See how things work out. I think it's simply too soon to call the governor and ask for a personal favor."
That, Lili knew, was a no. A no and a verbal punch to the gut. After her father's heroic efforts during Central Oklahoma's most recent tornado outbreak, hadn't the governor given Brian Howe her direct phone number and instructions to call if he ever needed help with anything? Lili could think of only one reason why he denied her request, and it made her want to toss her guaco.
"Maybe later on when everything settles down we can look at the situation again."
He didn't believe her. He didn't believe in her. Neither did her mother. Lili's heart twisted. She knew her parents. They wouldn't come right out and say it, but she saw the significant looks they'd exchanged. Noticed the way they wouldn't meet her eyes.
They believed she'd been driving drunk last night and the DUI was legit. They did not believe that she'd been set up.
They thought she'd lied.
Hurt like nothing she'd ever known washed through her. Lili had never been a liar. Even as a child she'd been frightfully honest. Hadn't that been her way of attempting to gain favor with her parents? Her brilliant older brother spun stories that had fooled her equally brilliant parents, but eagle-eyed little sister often knew the truth. And tattled. But always with the truth.
Yet now, they doubted her? They believed her so irresponsible that she would climb behind the wheel of a car after she'd been drinking, thus risking her life, the lives of others, and her license to practice her profession?
Good grief, did they think she'd embezzled money from senior citizens, too?
Lili swallowed hard. Inside, her heart was bleeding. I will not cry. I will not cry. She couldn't believe this. What was she going to do now?
The only thing she was certain of was that she needed to leave. Immediately. Before she lost her enchiladas all over her mother's Italian tile.
But Lili couldn't make herself stand up. Her knees were too weak.
"I think your father is right." Stephanie Howe reached over and patted Lili's hand. "You know, dear, maybe this is for the best. You haven't been happy in your work for some time now."
"You never liked accounting," her father added helpfully. "Perhaps it's best that you look on this event as an opportunity."
An opportunity? For what? Prison? Hysterical laughter bubbled up inside her, but Lili swallowed it down.
Lili's mother rose from the table and removed a glass pitcher of iced tea from the refrigerator. She topped off her husband's glass and changed the subject.
Lili didn't really care about the plans for their next-door neighbor's upcoming retirement party. Nor did she give a fig about OU football recruiting rumors. She spent the rest of the meal in a distracted fog.
Finally, having cleaned his plate — twice — Brian Howe set down his fork, wiped his mouth with a napkin, then checked his watch. "I've gotta run. I have a one o'clock conference call."
Standing, he leaned over and pressed a kiss against Lili's hair. "It was nice to see you, sweetheart. Don't be such a stranger."
Minutes later, he walked out the door and Stephanie was preparing to follow. "I hate to rush you, Lili, but I have office hours before my two o'clock lecture."
Stephanie Howe taught advanced mathematics at OU.
"That's okay, Mom. Why don't you go on? I'll stay and load the dishwasher."
"Thank you. You'll lock up when you're done?"
Her mother ducked into the master bedroom and returned a few moments later with her hair and teeth brushed and wearing new lipstick. On the way out the door, she paused. "Lili, things happen for a reason, and often, we don't know what that reason is. Sometimes you simply need to give it a little time."
She gave a little finger wave, then exited the house. Lili stood in the center of her parents' kitchen, her arms hanging limply at her sides. She heard her mother's car start, then back out of the driveway. Lili was alone. Alone and ... lost.
Her parents didn't believe her. Why not? What had she ever done to earn this lack of faith?
Nothing. She might not have been the smartest Howe sibling, but she'd made it a point to be the one who never screwed up. Derek the Favorite couldn't say that. The time her brother had come within a phone call of getting an MIP, he'd deserved one. He and his trouble-magnet best friend had celebrated the no-hitter Mark had thrown in the regionals of the state baseball tournament by buying a fifth of bourbon with fake IDs and drinking themselves silly in a public park. Neither had gone near a car, but still.
Derek's good luck was that their father's administrative assistant's husband was the chief of police. Dad had called the chief on Derek's behalf and worked out a deal. Derek would pay the required fine and do the required community service, but it wouldn't go on his record. Gotta protect the college applications, you know.
He'd called for Derek.
He won't go near the phone for me.
Pressure filled Lili's chest. It reminded her of that achy feeling she got when reading a novel where the protagonist discovers that her loved one has betrayed her. At that point in a book, Lili invariably skipped ahead to read the ending.
Lili needed happy endings. Satisfying endings didn't work for her. She wanted happy-ever-after.
Once she knew the book was a safe read, the emotional grief she experienced eased. Then she invariably read the rest of the book backward. She was weird that way.
She'd never expected to be the wronged character in a real-life novel. Not with her parents cast as the betrayers, anyway. She wished she could skip to the end of this story. Maybe then she'd discover that her parents had believed her and believed in her all along and they had a really good reason for doing what they'd just done.
Yeah. Right. And I'll win the next season of Who's Got Talent because of my spreadsheet expertise.
Ordinarily, pity parties were not Liliana's style. Today as she picked up her father's plate from the table, she had a star-studded gala going on.
Mom and Dad didn't believe her.
She took two steps toward the sink, then abruptly stopped. She dropped the plate.
Actually, she threw the plate. With both hands. Hard.
It smashed against the floor, shattering into dozens of pieces. Next she threw his glass and her mother's plate and her own plate and glass. And Liliana realized she was panting as if she'd run five miles. Tears pooled in her eyes, but she blinked them away.
Then, because she was Liliana, she got a broom and dustpan and cleaned up her mess.
About the time her mother would be pulling into the faculty parking lot at OU, Lili exited the house and locked the door behind her. Then she removed her parents' house key from her key ring and dropped it through the mail slot in their front door.
As she walked down the sidewalk toward the slate-gray sedan she'd parked at the curb, the soon-to-be-retired neighbor drove into his driveway. They exchanged waves and Lili extended a trembling hand toward her car door. "I absolutely, positively won't cry."
Maintaining her composure, she slid into the driver's seat and calmly buckled the safety belt. She started her engine, shifted into drive, and slowly pulled away from her childhood home. She wouldn't cry. She wouldn't curse. She wouldn't break any more dishes or squeal her tires in a fit of temper.
Lili wasn't reckless. She didn't act rashly and seldom lost control of her temper or emotions. She was logical and deliberate and controlled.
And honest. Totally honest.
Just the way a good accountant should be.
The faintest of sobs escaped her at the thought.
She'd broken her mother's Fiesta. And yes, she had goosed the gas on her practical sedan, though not enough to squeal the tires. She wasn't certain that her engine even had enough power to do it.
Her landlady's voice echoed through her mind. I think this car's get-up-and-go got up and went before it ever left the showroom floor.
"I bought it used," Lili had defended.
Patsy Schaffer clicked her tongue and shook her head. "Oh, honey. Of course you did."
Buying this car had been a good decision, Lili told herself now. A practical purchase. Cars lost value the moment they were driven off the lot. The last thing she needed was a big car payment.
Especially since as of today, she didn't have a job.
She sucked in a shuddering breath. What am I going to do?
That's what she needed to do. That's what she'd come to her parents' house to do. To gather her resources. To prepare for war. This injustice could not be allowed to stand!
So fine. She'd go into battle by herself. Work from the bottom up instead of the top down. She could do it. She was a grown-up. She didn't need her parents to fight her battles. She was accustomed to doing things alone, wasn't she?
She'd go back to the office. Today. Now. What could it hurt? They couldn't fire her again. She'd demand to speak to Fred Ormsby, the other founding partner. She'd outline her case and demand that the situation be investigated by an independent party. Then she'd go to the police and do the same thing with them.
She could do this. She was strong.
She was scared.
By the time she pulled onto I-35 headed north to her office building in downtown Oklahoma City, she'd lost the battle to hold back tears. Soon she'd soaked four tissues and was on to drowning her fifth.
Then, just as she signaled her intention to take the upcoming exit, a motorcycle screamed by, passing on the right. Only by the grace of God did she avoid hitting him.
In that instant, the blaze of Lili's temper evaporated her fears. If she'd had another dinner plate, she'd have thrown it at the fool. She was furious that the rider had endangered himself by riding recklessly without a helmet. She was incensed at her former friend and mentor in the firm and at his criminal connections in the police department who were able to create false DUI charges out of nothing.
And her parents ... Lili swallowed hard. Her parents. For them, she had no words.
Downtown, she found a parking spot two blocks from her building, so she took it. She grabbed a fresh tissue, flipped down the visor mirror, and wiped away mascara tracks. She blew her nose, put on fresh lipstick, and pinched some color into her wan cheeks.
Drawing two calming, bracing breaths, she stepped outside and prepared to go to war.
Lili marched up the street. You can do this. You can do this. Right is on your side. Justice will prevail.
She was halfway to her building's front door when the problem occurred to her. They'd taken away her credentials. She wouldn't be allowed upstairs.
They'd taken her credentials. They'd taken her reputation. They'd taken her license. A great yawning sense of despair opened up inside her. I'm powerless.
The door to her building opened and her former mentor and the firm's other founding partner stepped outside. Okay. Okay. Her luck was turning. Here was an opportunity. Approaching them on a public street wouldn't be her first choice, but the fact that they'd come out of the building right at this particular moment was a sign, was it not?
She took one more step forward, then stopped abruptly. A third person had joined them. A third person smiled and laughed and flirted up at the two men old enough to be her father.
When Tiffany had followed Mark Christopher to the University of Hawaii, Lili had hoped Norman, Oklahoma, had seen the last of her. Instead, Tiffany had come home with an MBA and a "broken" heart quickly healed by a prominent banker. Now Tiffany was on the prowl again, and she'd started working at the firm late last year as a consultant. She knew everyone of consequence in town — maybe the entire state — and she'd quickly weaseled her way into visiting the corner offices. Often.
Lili watched the trio turn the other direction and stroll up the sidewalk, arm in arm, and she had no doubt that she was looking at Ormsby, Harbaugh, and Stole's newest partner.
The guacamole in Lili's stomach made a threatening rumble. "Oh yes," she murmured. "Talk about a sign."
She could possibly face the powers that be at the firm. She might even be able to hold her own while presenting her case to the cops. But Tiffany Lambeau? Forget about it.
Some parts of high school a girl simply couldn't leave behind.
Excerpted from A Stardance Summer by Emily March. Copyright © 2017 Emily March. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A great summer read
Eternity Springs has always managed to be just what someone needs at that moment: healing, growth, self-reinvention. And again, we have a heroine in need of a life-changing boost that will allow her to find her happiness. Lili hasn’t been the best – struggling in her family of overachievers and never feeling enough, she knows that it is time for her to get off the hamster wheel of other people’s expectations and find her own purpose. But those expectations and the implied or overt censure she gets from her family mean that making change will begin with a new place. Not quite ready to take that step, she joins an all-female camping club, hoping for some girl-power support and a chance to find a path. Brick is content in Eternity Springs: he’s adjusted his expectations to ‘fun only’ with women, not willing to allow himself to feel too much, or let them get too close. A bit of stuck is Brick – he’s got rules (lots of them) and expectations for himself – all meant to keep him from pain. But, reconnecting with Lili – even though she’s his best friend’s sister and thus out of bounds, is something that is too tempting to pass over. Even as much as he tries. Repeatedly. There was so much going on in this story: the push-pull between Lili and Brick, the repeated insets from couples from earlier stories, and the gradual growth of Lili as she finds her own purpose in life: not dependent on Brick. The fact that I had read a few of the earlier books helped in my understanding and recognition of the repeated comings and goings throughout the story, but there were times when it almost felt like filler – distracting from the connection that was building, but never quite felt complete. At points, I longed for Lili’s perspective especially as Brick was so hot and cold – and it must have been both frustrating and confusing. I know it was for me. What emerged is the connections: some lasting, others less so, that are in everyone’s lives; and the lessons that can be learned. Best read if you have familiarity with the series, as there are many characters that make a return appearance: this did give a sense of the town and it’s effects, but quickly became rather overwhelming as so many of these characters were just checking in and moving on, distracting from the couple-hood of Lili and Brick. Fans of the series will love these moments, and those who’ve read a few books (like me) will find an interest in reading some of their stories, while wishing that Brick and Lili had provided more of a connection that tugged at the heart. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
I absolutely loved this book. Although I was livid at Lili's parents (grr), I was so jealous of her decision to get the heck out of dodge and live for herself! Brick may have been a bit hard headed (see what I did there) but he has to figure out how he can be so attracted to Lili when she's his best friend's sister....also, I think all of us need a Celeste in our lives! A wonderful story, will read again and again!
"A Stardance Summer" (Eternity Springs Book 13) by Emily March is a fantastic read. I loved 'Brick' Mark and 'Lili' Liliana's story. This is a wonderful addition to the Eternity Springs series, packed with romance, passion, humor, close friends and family, entertaining characters, small-town life, and more. I can't wait to see what happens next in Eternity Springs. Highly recommend to all fans of romance, interesting and entertaining characters, close friends and family, small-towns, and series.
A STARDANCE SUMMER I believe this book is number ten in the Eternity Springs Series. The book is a standalone book. It was a real treat to review this book and re-visit Eternity Springs again and the lovely characters that live there. Liliana Howe is on her way to being her CPA firm’s youngest partner when she is falsely accused of falsifying records. When she tells her parents she thought they would be supportive, but her Dad didn’t encourage her to fight the accusations, saying she would be one person against a giant company. She felt like they did not believe her. Shocked at her parents’ response, Liliana decides to leave Oklahoma and take the summer off from her life. She buys a travel trailer and joins her elderly land lady, Patsy’s, women only RVing group, the Tornado Alleycats. The group is camping for the whole summer at Stardance Ranch campgrounds in Eternity Springs, Colorado. Brick Callahan has been thrown aside by his longtime girlfriend for a man with more ‘money’. He left Oklahoma and now owns and runs the Stardance Ranch campgrounds, in Colorado. Burnt by love he is no longer looking for a committed relationship. Around Eternity Springs he is known as the three date guy. Three dates and he moves on to the next woman. The Tornado Alleycats celebrate their first night with skinny dipping in the lake. Brick shows up to tell them it’s past curfew. This is a very funny scene! He finds not only 40 or so older women, but his best friend’s younger sister, Liliana. Liliana is shocked when Brick turns up. He is her high school crush. Of course, being the younger sister of Brick’s best friend, she never stood a chance with him. There is definitely mutual attraction between Brick and Liliana. They both fight the growing attraction. There is not a lot of sex, but lots of sexual tension. So many interesting and funny things happen during Liliana’s stay at the camp. From fabulous tree house cabins, to learning to fly fish, to Liliana’s night out dancing with the Tornado Alleycats, there are lots of memorable moments. This story has a lot of emotion; it is a character driven story with both main characters having a lot of growth to do, and trust issues to resolve before they can reach their HEA. Liliana was hurt by her company and her parents, and Brick feeling he is undeserving of love, because of being tossed aside by his longtime girlfriend. They are two broken hearts that have to heal before they can love again. I was given a copy of this book by Romance Junkies, for my honest review.
This is the 13th book in the Eternity Springs Series, but I have not read any of the others and had no problem following and enjoying this story. Having said that, I will go back and read some of the others as the characters I met have some storylines that I would like to learn more about. Liliana (Lili) Howe who flees to Eternity Springs because she is upset and hurting from circustances at home. She joins the Tornado Alleycats, an older, all female camping group, run by her landlady, Patsy. This group wants to have a good time and Lili is the one that they want to be successful in her endeavours. Shortly after arriving at the camp, Lili catches a glimpse of someone she thinks is familiar. It turns out to be Brick Callahan whom she has known as the boy next door when she was growing up. At that time he was called Mark and was her brother's best friend. He was also the one that she loved from the time she was nine years old, but lost to someone his own age. As it turned out, she dumped him and married someone else. A hurt he has never gotten over. As we meet the characters in this book, I wanted to be there with them. The Tornado Alleycats were a hoot. From skinny dipping to all their fun activities (pole dancing anyone?) they were going to have a good time. Lili started out a scared rabbit who decided to let go in Colorado and could have gotten herself into a lot of trouble, but with all her guardian angels, nothing bad happened to her. Brick aka Mark, is a troubled character who tries to fight the feelings he has for Lili, of course he is really not sure what they mean. The rest of the family flit in and out of the story but are there enough to make you want to learn more about the Callahans and Eternity Springs. The story moved along at a good pace and left me with a great feeling when I finished. I read this one in a 24 hour period but I am still thinking about these characters. This is a romance but more than that. It is a story about finding your strengths and doing what you want out of life, not what others expect of you (i.e jobs, where to live, who to love). It is a story of family, loyalty and personal strength. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story with romance thrown in. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
Lili decides to go to Eternity Springs for the summer to get away from all that went down back at home. She joins the all female camping club called the Alleycats. Lili has spent all her life doing what others expect her to do, but now she’s had enough and she wants to do what makes her feel happy and alive. She wanted to spend a fun summer at the RV resort, but when she finds out who is running the RV resort, she’s more than surprised because it’s her high school crush Brick. Lili and Brick were teenagers back then, but now years later as adults there’s a mutual attraction. Is it now the right time for Lili and Brick to be happy and in love? It was my first book in the series and I really enjoyed reading it. I definitely want to read more from this author in the future. I liked how that there was a glimpse to the main characters teenage time and then how things progressed in the present. It was a sweet, feel-good novel – perfect for the summer time.
I love returning to Eternity Springs, especially with Celeste there to soothe and strengthen the soul - and I value her wisdom. Head glamper, Patsy, will capture your heart, too. After much deceit, Lili felt disgraced from family and those she worked with. With determination, grit, and tears, and without telling anyone where she was going, Lili left Oklahoma for a summer of glamping with the Tornado Alleycats in Eternity Springs, Colorado. As the youngest in the group, she is ready for some wild and crazy adventures, and to live it up for the summer. This is so unlike her! When she runs into Mark Christopher, a.k.a. Brick Callahan, who she knew and crushed on way back when, both are surprised and stunned to see each other. Delightful and meaningful, and yet with the edginess of waiting for something to go wrong, I am always captivated by this series. The people who live there will draw you in and have you wanting to know them and to live there yourself. The scenery is stunning!
I have loved this series from book one. I find all of Ms. March's books uplifting and I always have to finish them from the moment I have it in my hand. I'm a book reader and not an e-reader because I need to feel of the book in my hand and the anticipation as to what will take place once I turn the page. If you're looking for a well written book by and excellent author, purchase one of her books and enjoy! It's a shame I can only give 5 stars because to me, I'd give her books a rating of more stars than there are in the sky.
Emily March is know for get her feel good stories. This is the 13th book in her Eternity Springs series. If you are looking for a relaxing comfortable reading experience this is the book and series for you. This book is good as a stand alone but richer if you have read the series and the Callahan Brothers series.
'A Stardance Summer' BY Emily March is book 13 in the "Eternity Springs" Series. I have been jumping in and out of the series so for me this can easily be a standalone series. Just as the other books I have read this was a sweet romance that warmed your heart! I cannot recommend this book enough if you are looking for a sweet and easy read. "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
Please let us know how Patsy is......
A Stardance Summer By Emily March Eterniety Springs #13 Sweet romance set in a small town. Liliana Howe was set up for something that caused her to head off to Colorado for a break. At the resort she sees a man she had a crush on twenty years before. This is a cozy read with a bit of romance, some friendships made, some ups and downs and eventually a HEA ending. A somewhat predictable story but if you have read the other books in the series you will no doubt enjoy this one, too. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – this is my honest review. 3 Stars
Favorite Quotes: She’d never expected to be the wronged character in a real-life novel. She could possibly face the powers that be at the firm. She might even be able to hold her own while presenting her case to the cops. But Tiffany Lambeau? Forget about it. Some parts of high school a girl simply couldn’t leave behind. They made out like high school kids beneath the bleachers. At least, Lili guessed that this was what making out beneath the bleachers would have been like. She’d never had the experience. Sounds like what you need to do is retrace your steps until you find your wits. Obviously, you’ve lost them. Lili wasn’t the wallflower. A smile played upon her lips. Aloud, she observed, “I’m brazen.” My Review: This was my first visit to Eternity Springs; I know I am a bit behind in my travels as A Stardance Summer was the thirteenth book of the series. But I truly enjoyed my time at camp or glamp (glamorous camping). The storyline was entertaining, amusing, light, and easy to follow despite the large array of family and friends and a complicated family history, but then again, this is book #13 in the series so there was a lot to catch up on. I adored and relished all the secondary characters of the mature ladies of the Tornado Alleycats, even more than I enjoyed the primary protagonists. Most of these quirky characters were endearing and likable with relatable traits and concerns and were the type of colorful and fun-loving people I would like to know.
I find it funny that it's a mix with Goodreads reviewers about whether this is their first Eternity Springs book or if they are returning readers ... bet you can guess which I am :) Some new readers (like me) got a little lost with all of the returning couples and Brick's history with his dad & the Callahan family. There's a lot of them and it seems like they have quiet the colorful past - all of which probably have their own book that I should be reading. While it doesn't impact Brick & Lili's story all that much (outside of how Mark Christopher became Brick Callahan, which is given in pieces), there are times when the other couples would reference their past and I would think that it would probably have more impact if I knew what they were talking about. So ... as a new reader starting here wasn't perfect but it was still an enjoyable story. And now I'm ready to read about a dozen other books! Lili has always been the good girl who never quite measured up to her brother. When there is trouble at work, she takes the opportunity to step away from her life. While it kinda starts as running away, with time and a lot of caring people she starts to get some much needed clarity. And an ill-timed romance. Lili's journey over the summer brings a bit of a woman's fiction vibe to the book and I really enjoyed watching her come into her own. She's spent too much time falling into line that she needs this chance to discover who she wants to be. While I don't have ALL of Brick's history, you get enough to know that he had a (bad) woman do him wrong and so he's sworn off commitment. Typically once bitten twice shy, he isn't looking for anything serious and definitely not with his old friend's little sister. While it may have been done before, March still makes it enjoyable to watch Brick fall and fall hard and fight it every step of the way :) With a little (ok, a lot) of help from his family and friends, he finally gets his head on right and it's a great thing to see. I loved the supporting characters here. Lili's RV pals, especially Patsy, and local favorite Celeste help provide some much needed direction (or forceful encouragement when its needed) for both Lili and Brick. Reading the story you know that Celeste is a fixture in the Eternity Springs series and I'm sure she's just as fantastic about giving a good kick when someone deserves it :) March delivers a fabulous cast of characters who are willing to help a couple address their past so that they don't neglect their future. With fun, humor, and heart, it's a great addition to anyone's summer tote. *** I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s. ***
Totally didn’t realize this was book 13 in a series. Having not read the previous twelve books, I didn’t feel too lost which bodes well for the book. The series follows the Callahan family as each of them finds love and this time around it’s Brick’s turn. A Stardance Summer includes a prologue that completely threw me for a loop. There’s a character mentioned named Mark Christopher and, having read enough romances to know the foreshadowing, I swore that would be the love interest. Then suddenly this Brick Callahan character appears and I’m flipping back and forth trying to figure it out. They’re the same person, for the record. The whole name thing is explained but if you’re confused when you start it, that’s what’s going on. Moving on… I’ve never read a romance set at a camp before. Like, the whole story revolves around it which led to several funny moments. First, the Tornado Alleycats. A bunch of older women who go camping together. I swear they must have all been inspired by Betty White because they were absolutely hilarious! From talking about “mommy porn” 50 Shades of Gray to deciding which is the hottest Lord of the Rings actor, and even the opening of skinny dipping in the lake, there’s never a dull moment. I especially loved their resilient leader, Patsy, who acts as a sort of grandmother/role model figure for Lili. I wasn’t sure how I felt about Lili at first. Her life’s a mess so she pulls a 360 and starts doing everything she’d never do and gets really reckless in the “maybe you need to tone it down a bit” way. But she’s caring and fierce and a fun leading lady in this romance. I love the themes of finding yourself that resonate from her as well as some of the other characters. But she’s stubborn. And Mark/Brick is stubborn. Like insanely so. First off, I did like Brick’s character. Mostly. He’s the best friend of Lili’s brother and often plays the overprotective “your brother would kill me if I didn’t watch out for you” role. But some of his decisions had me grinding my teeth because he was being too bull-headed. Most of the issues between these two come down to stubbornness from both characters, but especially Brick, and it started driving me nuts after a while because there was just no reason for it. He’s supposedly still getting over an ex but I never really saw that until closer to the end. All that aside, I liked that the romance wasn’t an instant lust-to-love. The ending was terribly cliche but the actual relationship between them was built up in a way that rang true for me. It’s not always nice or sweet but it’s real. With a strong writing style and enjoyable characters, I definitely can see myself reading more from March in the future, and I might even go back to read the rest of this series because some of the scenes with Brick’s family were confusing at times (makes sense now knowing that all of those relationships are fleshed out in previous books). A fun read, worked as a standalone as well as part of a series, and looking forward to more from March in the future!
Heartwarming and fun, this was my first Emily March book and it certainly will not be my last! There was so much to love in this book – a fierce heroine who is determined to find a new path in her life; a hero whose heart has been broken and still carries around some pretty deep scars; the Tornado Alleycats, a female RV group made up of mostly of older women who know how to have fun; the Callahan family, a tight knit, in your face kind of family who makes it their business to be in everyone’s business; and the entire quirky town of Eternity Springs. Lili and Mark, aka Brick, have history, namely the “best friend’s little sister” kind of history that makes Lili off limits for Mark. Of course, their attraction is off the charts so staying away from Lili is not as easy as it should be for Brick. Lili knows that Brick isn’t long term relationship material, and even though she’s been in love with him since she was 9 years old, she knows that a summer fling is all they can have and she’s willing to take that, even if that means a bit of heartache. I just loved Lili. She’s fierce, fun, and willing to put herself out there and try new things and discover what she wants from life. Mark was a bit frustrating at times, he was so intent on protecting his heart that he could be a bit callous in his treatment of Lili, and she definitely deserved much better from him at times. There was some awesome meddling taking place to get these two together, both from Patsy, the Tornados leader and Lili’s landlord, as well as Mark’s family – something I always love in these small town books! There were many moments that had me laughing out loud – there may have been some skinny dipping by the grannies and then the story about Lili and Patsy being arrested – and there were also some heartbreaking and emotional events that took place. And everything was woven together seamlessly to help tell Lili and Mark’s story. Fun and sweet with a bit of whimsy, A Stardance Summer was a wonderful read that had me smiling all the way through. I have fallen in love with Eternity Springs and can’t wait to go back and read all the books in this series – I loved getting to meet some of the other residents in town and know their stories will be just as fun and heartwarming! I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book I received from NetGalley.
“A Stardance Summer” is part of Emily March’s Eternity Springs miniseries and the first book of the series I have read. While I enjoyed Brick and Liliana’s road to romance, there were times when I felt like I walked into a movie when it was half over because of all the characters that I wasn’t familiar with. Saying that, “A Stardance Summer” is about Brick Callahan and Liliana Howe. After losing her job and faced with trumped up legal charges, Lili leaves Oklahoma for Colorado to meet up with her neighbor and friend, who is part of a group called Tornado Alleycats, to go camping. Once at the RV park – Stardance Ranch RV Resort – she runs into none other than her childhood crush and brother’s best friend, Mark Christopher, who now goes by the name Brick Callahan. Brick loves being in Colorado and being near his family – both his biological family and his adoptive family. He was burned by love and has a three-date rule, but being around Lili makes Brick think differently about this rule even when his brain tells him not to. Emily March gives the reader the needed, and expected, Happily Ever After though “A Stardance Summer” feels more like woman’s fiction with Lili’s journey to finding her true purpose and ultimately love. I wish there had been more scenes with Brick and Lili together! Overall, I did enjoy my first visit to Eternity Springs and plan to visit again.
Lili Howe comes from a world of high expectations, and privilege, and even though that is how she has been raised, it's never really stuck to her, not something she wants to identify with. But for her parents sake she gave it a shot, got a job with a prestigious CPA Firm, and gave it her all, but somewhere along the line she lost her way, and lost her job to boot. So, now she is doing things her way for a change, she wants to reinvent herself, and thinks that the perfect way to do that is to join the Tornado Alleycats on their trip to Eternity Springs. Everything is falling right into place, that is until a certain sexy teenage crush wanders back into her world. The moment Brick Callahan discovers Lili amongst some skinny dipping elderly ladies, he can't help but admire the way his kid sisters best friend has grown into quite a beautiful woman... a very tempting woman! But just as the sparks start to fly between these two, someone from Brick's past comes back around with unexpected news, and now he is left with a tough choice... go with an old trusted love or something new and very exciting! I knew from the synopsis alone, that this was going to be a fun little read, and boy were my instincts spot on! This was my first read from this author, and after devouring this little literary gem, I can say with complete honesty that it won't be my last visit to this series! The story line totally drew me and had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through! The characters had sizzling chemistry and I loved the banter between them, they had me giggling throughout! If you like outdoorsy alpha males, and feisty female characters with indomitable spirit then this book is right up your alley!! Highly recommend this one, it's sure to leave you with a smile! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this title.
The magic of Eternity Springs is alive and well, working it's way through the hearts of Lili Howe and Brick Callahan. Lili is having a heck of a year. Facing false allegations and lies back home and feeling like her family is once again judging her she decides to join a group of older ladies on their vacation to Eternity Springs. What she never expected was to stumble across her childhood crush Brick Callahan. Well that wasn't his name then but after reuniting with his biological family that's what they call him. There's a definite attraction between them but Lili knows she needs to return to her real life and Brick doesn't do commitment. So that leaves them a beautiful summer at Stardance Ranch. Sounds simple enough but nothing's ever simple when the heart becomes involved. Another great story in this series and a book I highly recommend to everyone.
Liliana Howe was tired of being the good girl, the levelheaded one, the dependable employee. She was done with being a people pleaser, and that went for her parents as well. After working crazy hours, and giving up a social life for an accounting firm, her boss had the audacity to betray her in the worse possible way. But, the real stab came when she went to her parents for help, and they snubbed her. Liliana decided to remake herself and go on an adventure. She bought an RV and headed straight for Eternity Springs in Colorado, the Stardance Ranch to be exact. Liliana was joining the Tornado Alleycats. They may be older than her, but they knew how to truly live. And, that’s the type of people Liliana needed around her. The person she never expected to meet at the Ranch, however, was Brick Callahan, her childhood crush. And didn’t that just bring up all kinds of possibilities for a good girl wanting to go bad. Liliana wanted to definitely spread her wings and explore her new options. What Liliana learned at Stardance Ranch was that everyone has their past hurts and that she was not alone. People survive betrayal and heartache all the time. But to truly be happy and fully alive, Liliana would have to let go of her hurt and spread a little love wherever she went. And, if she was paying attention, she might even recognize an angel, a human angel, but an angel just the same. I thoroughly enjoyed this heartfelt tale about love, letting go and forgiveness. It’s a little gushy and unrealistic, but it’s truly an uplifting, and touching story. I loved it. Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.
This was a lovely story that is part of Ms March’s series, Eternity Springs. I had only read 3 other books in the series, so at times I was lost with all the names and references to characters in the previous books. That said, once I decided to not pay much attention to them ,I was able thoroughly enjoy the story. Eternity Springs is considered a place where healing occurs and frequently, after many obstacles are overcome, romance blossoms. This story is no different. Our main characters, Brick/Mark and Lili are at a crossroad in their life, each for a different reason. Lili has had a crush on Brick since she was 9 years old. Not only was she very young, but also the sister of his best friend. Aside from their story , we have Patsy, Lili’s landlady who encourages her to join the Tornado Alleycats and their RVs for a summer in a camp, now owned by Brick. Patsy too is at a turning point in her life. My very favorite secondary character is Celeste, who is truly the “angel” of Eternity Springs. It’s a not only a story about love , but also about how our past experiences mold us and at times hinder us from moving forward. That no matter what, we should stand by our principles and integrity. That family , even with the best of intentions, might make us feel less important and less valuable than another person. That life is a present and therefore should be treasured and be joyful for each day we have. And last but not least, that love does conquer all. I was gifted this book by Netgalley and the publisher. The opinions expressed are solely my own.
Eternity Springs is a place of healing. It gives hope and a fresh start to those who have lost their way. Having read a number of books from this series, I am blown away by the sense of nostalgic serenity, Ms. March conveys as she spins a tale that walks the line between hope and hopelessness. A quest of self - discovery and finding courage to start anew makes for a trek that is powerful and true.