USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan introduces another irresistible O'Neil brother who's more tempting than dessert and twice as sinful!
Fiery French chef Élise Philippe is having a seriously bad day. Not only have the grand opening plans for her beloved café fallen apart, but Sean O'Neil is back in town and looking more delectable than ever. Memories of the electrifying night they shared last summer leave Élise very tempted, but she knows all too well that eventually Sean will be leaving again.
Being back in Vermonteven temporarilyis surgeon Sean O'Neil's worst nightmare. Returning home to the Snow Crystal Resort means confronting the guilt he feels about rejecting his family's lifestyle years ago. But discovering that Élise is still in Vermont and still sets his blood racing is a very welcome distraction! Remembering last summer and how good they were together is going to make walking away more difficult than he could imagine .
|Product dimensions:||4.40(w) x 0.40(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes lively, sexy contemporary stories for Harlequin.
Romantic Times has described her as 'a magician with words' and nominated her books for their Reviewer's Choice Awards and their 'Top Pick' slot. In 2012 Sarah received the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America. She lives near London with her family. Find out more at www.sararahmorgan.co
Read an Excerpt
"Phone call lor you, Dr. O'Neil. She says it's an emergency."
Sean rolled his shoulders to ease the tension, his mind still in the operating room.
His patient was a promising soccer player. He'd torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, a common enough injury that had ended plenty of sports careers. Sean was determined it wasn't going to end this one. The procedure had gone well, although surgery was only the beginning. What followed would be a lengthy rehabilitation that would require dedication and determination from all involved.
Still thinking about how to manage expectations, he took the phone from the nurse. "Sean O'Neil."
"Sean? Where the hell were you last night?"
Braced for a different conversation, Sean frowned with irritation. "Veronica? You shouldn't be calling me here. I was told this was an emergency."
"It is an emergency!" Her voice rose along with her temper. "Next time you invite me to dinner, have the decency to show up."
A nurse came out of the operating room and handed him a form.
"Veronica, I'm sorry." He tucked the phone between his cheek and his shoulder and gestured for a pen. "I was called back to the hospital. A colleague had problems with a patient. I was operating."
"And you couldn't have called me? I waited in that restaurant for an hour. An hour, Sean! A man tried to pick me up."
Sean signed the form. "Was he nice?"
"Do not joke about it. It was the most embarrassing hour of my life. Don't ever, ever do that to me again."
He handed the form back to the nurse with a brief smile. "You'd rather I left a patient to bleed to death?"
"I'd rather you honored your commitments."
"I'm a surgeon. My first commitment is to my patients."
"So what you're saying is that if you had to choose between me and work, you'd pick work?"
"Yes." The fact that she'd asked that question showed how little she knew him. "That is what I'm saying."
"Damn you, Sean. I hate you." But there was a wobble in her voice. "Tell me honestly, is it just me or is it all women?"
"It's me. I'm bad at relationships, you know that. Right now my focus is my career."
"One of these days you're going to wake up alone in that fancy apartment of yours and regret all the time you spent working."
He decided not to point out that he woke up alone through choice. He never invited women back to his apartment. He was barely ever there himself. "My work is important to me. You knew that when you met me."
"No, important is being dedicated to what you do but still having a personal life. What work is to you, Sean O'Neil, is an obsession. You are single-minded and focused to the exclusion of everything else. That might make you a brilliant doctor but it makes you a lousy date. And here's a news flashbeing charming and good in bed doesn't stop you being a selfish, workaholic bastard."
"Sean?" Another nurse appeared at his elbow, her pink cheeks and awkward demeanor suggesting she'd overheard that last sentence. "The team coach is waiting outside for news along with the boy's parents. Will you talk to them?"
"Are you even listening to me?" Veronica's voice came down the phone, shrill and irritated. "Are you having another conversation while you're talking to me?"
Sean closed his eyes. "I've just come out of the operating room." He rubbed his fingers over his forehead. "I need to speak to the relatives."
"They can wait five minutes!"
"They're worried. If that was your kid in recovery, you'd want to know what was going on. I have to go. Goodbye, Veronica. I really am sorry about last night."
"No, wait! Don't go!" Her voice was urgent. "I love you, Sean. I really love you. Despite everything, I think we have something special. We can make this work. You just need to flex a little bit more."
Sweat pricked at the back of his neck. He saw the nurse's eyes widen.
How had he got himself in this situation?
For the first time in years he'd made a misjudgment. He'd thought Veronica was the sort of woman who was happy to live in the moment. Turned out he was wrong about that.
"I have to go, Veronica."
"All right, I'll flex. I'm sorry, I'm being a shrew. Let me cook you dinner tonight, I promise I won't complain if you're late. You can show up whenever. I'll"
"Veronica" he cut across her "do not apologize to me when I'm the one who should be apologizing to you. You need to find a guy who will give you the attention you deserve."
There was a tense silence. "Are you saying it's over?"
As far as Sean was concerned it had never started. "Yeah, that's what I'm saying. There are hundreds of guys out there only too willing to flex. Go and find one of them." He hung up, aware that the nurse was still watching him.
He was so tired he couldn't even remember her name.
Ann? No, that wasn't right.
Angela. Yes, it was Angela.
Fatigue descended like a gray fog, slowing his thinking. He needed sleep.
He'd been called to an emergency in the night and had been on his feet operating since dawn. Soon the adrenaline would fade and when it did he knew he was going to crash big-time. Sean wanted to be somewhere near his bed when that happened. He had the use of a room at the hospital but he preferred to make it back to his waterside apartment where he could nurse a beer and watch life on the water.
"Dr. O'Neil? Sean? I'm so sorry. I wouldn't have put the call through if I'd known it was personal. She said she was a doctor." The look in her eyes told him she'd have no objection to being Veronica's replacement. Sean didn't think she'd be flattered to know he'd temporarily forgotten her existence.
"Not your fault. I'll talk to the relatives" He was tempted to take a shower first, but then he remembered the white face of the boy's mother when she'd arrived at the hospital and decided the shower could wait. "I'll go and see them now."
"You've had a really long day. If you want to come by my place after work, I make a mac and cheese that is wicked good."
She was sweet, caring and pretty. Angela would come close to most men's idea of a perfect woman.
His idea of a perfect woman was one who didn't want anything from him.
Relationships meant sacrifice and compromise. He wasn't prepared to do either of those things, which was why he had remained resolutely single.
"As you just witnessed, I am an appalling date." He managed what he hoped was a disarming smile. "I'd either be working and not show up at all, or so tired I'd fall asleep on your sofa. You can definitely do better."
"I think you're amazing, Dr. O'Neil. I work with loads of doctors, and you're easily the best. If I ever needed a surgeon, I'd want you to look after me. And I wouldn't care if you fell asleep on my sofa."
"Yes, you would." Eventually they always did. "I'll go and talk to the family now."
"That's kind of you. His mother is worried."
He saw the worry the moment he laid eyes on the woman.
She sat without moving, her hands gripping her skirt as she tried to contain anxiety made worse by waiting. Her husband was on his feet, hands thrust in his pockets, shoulders hunched as he talked to the coach. Sean knew the coach vaguely. He'd found him to be ruthless and relentlessly pushy and it seemed that surgery on his star player hadn't softened his approach.
The guy wanted miracles and he wanted them yesterday. Sean knew this particular coach's priority wasn't the long-term welfare of the kid lying in the OR, but the future of his team. As a sports injury specialist he dealt with players and coaches all the time. Some were great. Others made him wish he'd chosen law instead of medicine.
The moment the boy's father saw Sean he sprang forward like a Rottweiler pouncing on an intruder.
The coach was drinking water from a plastic cup.
"You fixed it?"
He made it sound like a hole in a roof, Sean thought. Slap a new shingle on and it will be as good as new. Change the tire and get the car back on the road.
"Surgery is only the beginning. It's going to be a long process."
"Maybe you should have got him into surgery sooner instead of waiting."
Maybe you should stop practicing armchair medicine.
Noticing the boy's mother digging her nails into her legs, Sean decided not to lock horns. "All the research shows that the outcome is better when surgery is carried out on a pain-free mobile joint." He'd told them the same thing a week before but neither the coach nor the father had wanted to listen then and they didn't want to listen now.
"How soon can he play again?"
Sean wondered what it must be like for the boy, growing up with these two on his back.
"It's too early to set a timetable for return. If you push too hard, he won't be playing at all. The focus now is on rehab. He has to take that seriously. So do you." This time his tone was as blunt as his words. He'd seen promising careers ruined by coaches who pushed too hard too soon, and by players without the patience to understand that the body didn't heal according to a sporting schedule.
"It's a competitive world, Dr. O'Neil. Staying at the top takes determination."
Sean wondered if the coach was talking about his player or himself. "It also takes a healthy body."
The boy's mother, silent until now, stood up. "Is he all right?" The question earned her a scowl from her husband.
"Hell, woman, I just asked him that! Try listening."
"You didn't ask." Her voice shook. "You asked if he'd play again. That's all you care about. He's a person, Jim, not a machine. He's our son."
"At his age I was"
"I know what you were doing at his age and I tell you if you carry on like this you will destroy your relationship with him. He will hate you forever."
"He should be thanking me for pushing him. He has talent. Ambition. It needs to be nurtured."
"It's your ambition, Jim. This was your ambition and now you're trying to live all your dreams through your son. And what you're doing isn't nurturing. You put pressure on him and then layer more and more on until the boy is crushed under the weight of it." The words burst out of her and she paused for a moment as if she'd shocked herself. "I apologize, Dr. O'Neil."
"No need to apologize. I understand your concern."
Tension snapped his muscles tight. No one understood the pressures of family expectation better than he did. He'd been raised with it.
Do you know how it feels to be crushed by the weight of someone else's dreams? Do you know how that feels, Sean?
The voice in his head was so real he rocked on his feet and had to stop himself glancing over his shoulder to check his father wasn't standing there. He'd been dead two years, but sometimes it felt like yesterday.
He thrust the sudden wash of grief aside, uncomfortable with the sudden intrusion of the personal into his professional life.
He was more in need of sleep than he'd thought.
"Scott's doing fine, Mrs. Turner. Everything went smoothly. You'll be able to see him soon."
The tension left the woman's body. "Thank you, Doctor. I You've been so good to him right from the start. And to me. When he starts playing" she shot her husband a look "how do we know the same thing won't happen again? He wasn't even near another player. He just crumpled."
"Eighty percent of ACL tears are non-contact." Sean ignored both the woman's husband and the coach and focused on her. He felt sorry for her, the referee in a game of ambition. "The anterior cruciate ligament connects your thigh to your shin. It doesn't do a whole lot if you're just going about your normal day, but it's an essential part of controlling the rotation forces developed during twisting actions."
She gave him a blank look. "Twisting actions?"
"Jumping, pivoting and abrupt changes of direction. It's an injury common among soccer players, basketball players and skiers."
"Your brother Tyler had the same, didn't he?" The coach butted in. "And it was all over for him. It killed his career as a ski racer. Hell of a blow for such a gifted athlete."
His brother's injury had been far more complicated than that, but Sean never talked about his famous brother. "Our aim with surgery is to return the knee joint to near-normal stability and function but it's a team effort and rehabilitation is a big part of that effort. Scott is young, fit and motivated. I'm confident he'll make a full recovery and be as strong as he was before the injury, providing you encourage him to attack rehab with the same degree of dedication he shows to the game." He hardened his tone because he needed them to pay attention. "Push too hard or too soon and that won't be the case."
The coach nodded. "So can we start rehabilitation right away?"
Sure, just throw him a ball while he's still unconscious.
"We generally find it helps for a patient to have come around from the anesthetic."
The man's cheeks turned dusky-red. "You think I'm pushy, but this kid just wants to play and it's my job to make sure he gets whatever he needs. Which is why we're here," he said gruffly. "People say you're the best.
Everyone I talked to gave me the same response. If it's a knee injury, you want Sean O'Neil. ACL reconstruction and sports injuries are your specialty. Didn't realize you were Tyler O'Neil's brother until a few weeks ago. How's he coping now he can't compete? That must be hard."
"He's doing just fine." The response was automatic. At the height of Tyler's skiing success the whole family had been bombarded by the media and they'd learned to deflect the intrusive questions, some about Tyler's breathtaking talent, others about his colorful personal life.
"I read somewhere he can only ski for recreation now." The coach pulled a face. "Must be hard for a guy like Tyler. I met him once."
Making a note to commiserate with his brother, Sean steered the conversation back on topic. "Let's focus on Scott." He went through it again, repeating words he'd already spoken.
Drumming the message home took another twenty minutes. By the time he'd showered, checked on a few of his patients and climbed into his car, two hours had passed.
Sean sat for a moment, summoning the energy to drive the distance to his waterfront home.
The weekend lay ahead, a stretch of time filled with infinite possibilities.
For the next forty-eight hours his time was his own and he was ready to savor every moment. But first he was going to sleep.
The phone he kept for his personal use rang and he cursed for a moment, assuming it was Veronica, and then frowned when the screen told him it was his twin brother, Jackson. Along with the name came the guilt. It festered inside him, buried deep but always there.
He wondered why his brother would be calling him late on a Friday.
A crisis at home?
Snow Crystal Resort had been in their family for four generations. It hadn't occurred to any of them that it might not be in the family for another four. The sudden death of his father had revealed the truth. The business had been in trouble for years. The discovery that their home was under threat had sent a ripple of shock through the whole family.
It was Jackson who had left a thriving business in Europe to return home to Vermont and save Snow Crystal from a disaster none of the three brothers had even known existed.
Sean stared at the phone in his hand.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Absolutely loved this one too. These two characters are so cute and the whole family is wonderful. So well written. LOVE IT, LOVE IT!!!!!! This was the second book in the series and both so far were fantastic and fun reads.
I loved Elise. She was a very sympathetic characted. I'd like to read about Elizabeth finding the love she deserves
Reviewed by Francesca and posted at Under The Covers Book Blog During the course of the first book, we found out that the one O’Neil brother who moved away to Boston to pursue his medical career had a quick one night stand with the chef at the Snow Crystal Resort. Now that his grandfather collapses and he’s back home for a while he recovers, he doesn’t see why they can’t pick up where they left off and have a fling. Elise is a strong heroine. She’s tough, she knows what she wants, she goes after it or pushes it away. Her choice, her life, on her terms. After the events in her past, that’s the only way she’s found to live and survive. She’s the type of woman you have to admire for that tenacity to move on, her dedication to her job and that need to belong that is still deep insider her. The O’Neil family gave her the opportunity to blossom. Sean’s backstory I had a bit of a harder time with. It’s one of those lack of communication issues that I usually hate. He’s been harboring all this anger towards his grandfather, the Snow Crystal Resort and the town because of his views of his father’s life. Some things that could’ve been resolved a lot sooner, had they all sat down to talk. But nevertheless, I liked Sean’s character. The chemistry between Sean and Elise is undeniable. It’s as much a burning physical thing as the fact that they just have fun in each other’s company. I loved seeing that ease. And of course, I loved the fact that we get a bit more from the O’Neil clan, even with their meddling and their issues. I see a pattern for the endings in this series. But as much as I didn’t love that aspect of this book, I did want to see what happened go down the way it did. Now I finally get to read about Tyler! If you are looking for sweet small town romance, then you will enjoy this one! They work well as standalones but you obviously enjoy more of the family dynamics if you read in order.
I really enjoyed this installment of the O'Neil Brothers series! It is a story of rekindled romance filled with passion and hope! It makes for a great summer read! Highly Recommend!
This 2nd of 3 books is so great! The beautiful Vermont setting makes me (a woman of the south) want to pack my bags & visit. The brothers (in the series) and the women in their lives are great characters. Something for everyone.
I love this family! I love how the family comes together when there is a crisis. Great love story. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
I LOVED THIS BOOK JUST AS MUCH AS THE FIRST ONE AND I'M READY TO READ THE THIRD.
"I can take you to a place where ppl live. Go to 'resu' res 1" *he led her there*
"Thanks! What's your name?"
Suddenly Last Summer by Sarah Morgan (O'Neil Brothers #2) 4 STARS Now I have read all three books about the O'Neil Brothers. I have enjoyed this series. I could do without all the detail love scenes that I skipped over. Love the closeness of the family. love the settings, plots and characters. This story is Sean O'Neil and Élise Philippe story. Sean is a surgeon who works a lot with sport injuries. He lives 4 hours away. Elise is a French Chef who cooks at the resort and loves the O'Neil family. They slept with each other once last summer. A family emergency brings Sean home. Sean has some issues to work out with his Grandfather. He is still attracted to Elise. Sean does not to relationships. His career comes first. Elise only does one night stands she will not fall in love again. The O'Neil family sure yells a lot and loves a lot. They are a close family who are trying to save their family ski resort. It has been in the family for generations now at risk of losing it because of their decease fathers bad management. Some of the issues that this book deals with are family pressures. To work in family business or to dream through son skills, Also deals with physical abuse. They are handled well. The setting is summer in Vermont at a ski resort. I liked the story and will continue to read more from Sarah Morgan. This book can stand alone but is better if you read the series in order. I was given this ebook to read from Net Galley and Harlequin. In return I agreed to give honest review of Suddenly Last Summer.
This being the second book, I was a little worried that I might have missed some things not reading the first. But luckily, that was not the case. I have to admit though, I am curious about the characters in the first book, Sleigh Bells in the Snow, so I will be reading it in the future too. I don’t read a lot of adult books, but when the email came from Candace about the tour, I thought is sounded like a good change from what I have been reading lately, and I decided to give it a try and I am so happy that I did. I enjoyed this so much. Sean has kept himself busy with his work at the hospital, and managed to steer clear of the resort his family owns. That is until he has to go back home when his grandfather is ill, but he was prepared for what, or shall I say who is there. Elise. They share this hott night last year, and never looked back. Which is how both of them wanted it to be, but things don’t always stay the same. The characters were wonderful and adored Elise and Sean, neither are perfect and both have some things they need to work through. I’ll start with Elise, she is one feisty little chef! She is grateful for the help that has been given her, and is excited for the opening of the cafe. Elise has been through a lot, and even though she doesn’t want any relationship, she does still think of Sean and seeing him only makes her question the whole not wanting him. Sean has his own worries and issues to work through. And through everything he is starting to question his stand on “no relationships” too, but he is so career driven, it is hard for him. Jeez, these two are so stubborn! But I adore them. There are a few other characters that stood out for me too. The story centers around Elise and Sean and overcoming the past and moving on. And the Snow Crystal Resort was a fantastic setting, and the description of everything makes me want to visit Vermont. Sounds beautiful, and romantic. Speaking of romantic, there is some serious chemistry between Elise and Sean, if they would only let it run it’s course. They fight it and fight it, and I kept wondering if they were ever going to just give in to it. It was passionate and toe curlingly sweet and I loved every moment of it. There is no lack of family involvement, maybe a little on the side of meddling, but that is is family sometimes is, and it needs to be. I laughed, teared up, and even thought about the state of my own family and how distant we all are. It was all pretty emotional, but the wait to see if Elise and Sean got their HEA was so worth the wait for me. Suddenly Last Summer is a beautiful story of over coming grief, forgiveness, and allowing yourself to love, and I can’t recommend it enough.
Suddenly Last Summer is a story I've been heavily anticipating since Sleigh Bells in the Snow. I adored that story, with its beautiful Vermont setting, endearing love story, and the charming, struggling O'Neil family. What had me worked up for this story, though, was the promise of a fiery passionate romance between two fiery passionate characters, Elise and Sean. Sean O'Neil has never wanted to be part of the family business. While his grandfather was drumming the words "family, responsibility, legacy" into his heirs brains, in his mind, Sean O'Neil was hearing "duty, obligation, stuck". Stuck in a life that -like his own father- he wanted no part of. Unlike his father, Sean stood up for himself, left to become a renowned surgeon end rarely comes back, causing a painful rift with his grandfather. Sean was complicated, and I liked that. I could empathize with his feelings of being torn between family and wanting a life of his own. To explore and not be held down by obligations to a life he never signed up for , but in which he was born into. Elise Philippe is a world-class chef who is more than content to spend her career at a resort in quiet Vermont. After the painful loss of her mother and years of abuse at the hands of the mam she loved, a quiet life sounds perfect. The O'Neil family took Elise in, made her a part of the family and part of the business. This life is exactly what she desires. She doesn't share Sean's craving for a bigger, fast-paced life, though she does crave him. She knows Sean would never be happy living at Snow Crystal Resort, while there's no where she'd rather be. Apparently one O'Neil (Sean) gave Elise an extra-special "Welcome to the Family" gesture the summer before. Sean is up to another night with Elise, but she is reluctant to go another round which would violate her one night only rule for men. Considering that Sean has in intentions making a life in Vermont, he's in agreement. But with her fire and his passion, it's only a matter of time before the clothes go flying, again. Suddenly Last Summer is a sexy, heartfelt love story between two willful, independent characters who slowly learn that it's okay to fall in love, to need and be needed, that life is best when shared with your perfect match. I really enjoyed this installment in the O'Neil Brothers series, almost as much as the first. Now it's on the sexy single father Tyler O'Neill and Brenna, his life-long friend whom I'm convinced is his perfect match. I'm sure that will be another great installment in the fun and romantic O'Neill Brothers series! Favorite Quotes "If I have a one-night stand with someone chances are I'll bump into them in the store the next day. I'd die." "Why would that cause you to die?" "It would be majorly embarrassing." "If it was something you both agreed to, why would it be embarrassing? You just say bonjour and smile or if the sex was really bad I suppose you might just smile a little less. Be a little cooler so that they don't think you want to do it again." Brenna gave her a look of exasperation. "Are all French people like you?" "You're jealous." He said it slowly, like a revelation, and his sudden smile made her want to push him straight back in the lake and hold his head under. "Why would I be jealous? I do not at all care who you sleep with, tu me comprends?" "I do understand you," he said calmly, "but the correct sentence structure should be 'I do not care at all.' You split the infinitive, baby." "I am not your baby. And I will split as many infinitives as I want to split, right along with your skull!"
Really enjoyed it! Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. I read it every free chance I had. It is a great summer read. Sean and Élise are both very strong, very stubborn, and very hot for one another. Their chemistry is palpable. And when they are together, they are hot! Besides the chemistry, Sean and Élise each have issues they are trying to overcome. It takes a while to get to the truth behind those issues, but the wait is worth it. Élise’s attitude and jealousy is a bit comical . . . but not in a bad way. It was fitting giving her background, his background, and their heat together. The comical part is when Sean gets under her skin and gives her that smile, and she starts dropping her hs. ;-) There are two parts in the last third of the book that had me on the edge of my seat. I’m not going to spoil it, but wow, Sean is amazing. In so many ways. As for the rest of the story–the story beyond the heat and passion–there is a lot of emotion. A lot of issues. The O’Neil family is strong together. They love each other and are there for each other even when they want to punch each other. The family bonding and resolution of a few secrets shows the love they have for each other. Walter is my favorite. He may be old, gruff, and stubborn, but he sees and knows a lot. Would I recommend it: Sure! I’m going to have to read book 1, Sleigh Bells in the Snow. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
For.tne money I spent I am disappointed that it was only 94 pages long