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Flora Fielding has been dumped on her 30th birthday. And left stranded in San Francisco. With nowhere else to turn, she seeks out her cousin Bella who's been working as a nurse in the city for the past few years. But when she arrives at Bella's apartment, Flora is shocked to find that her cousin's in even more trouble than she is. Because instead of leading the fast-paced life of an emergencey room nurse that Flora has imagined, Bella is eking out a living as the lead singer in an Abba tribute band. But as Flora soon learns, although life in San Francisco with Bella may be uncertain, but it's never ever dull. What with the tense Battle of the Tribute Bands, the threat to the local area by an evil developer, and the attentions of a very persistent computer geek, Flora soon begins to wonder whether she wants to go home at all.
I read my first Allie Spencer novel last year, when I read her first stand-alone novel (that is, away from the Little Black Dress range of books) Summer Loving which was a fantastic summer read that I adored. So when I saw that her new book was called Summer Nights, I was hopeful that it'd be a sequel to that book, but I was wrong. It's a brand new story with new characters, and I have to say the cover is amazing and perfect for the summer that is (hopefully) coming. There is something about Allie's novels which is extremely readable and enjoyable, and that was most certainly the case with Summer Nights. I would think this book is perfect for sitting on the beach with - love, life, laughter and Abba... what more could a girl want?!
Flora is all set for the holiday of a lifetime to San Francisco with her boyfriend to celebrate her 30th birthday, but when he dumps her on the day he's supposed to jet out to meet her, Flora is sure he's ruined her life. Now she's stranded in San Francisco all by herself, and decides to seek out her cousin Flora earlier than planned. Flora is a singer in an Abba tribute band, but is hiding some secrets from her cousin, mainly to protect Bella. As the competition for 'Battle of the Tribute Bands' hots up, Bella finds herself making lots of new friends in the US, and realises who she can really rely on when things suddenly take a turn for the worse. Will Bella actually want to leave her new life behind when the holiday comes to an end?
The book doesn't have action set in the UK, and is therefore set in San Francisco, and I really enjoyed that! It's nice to see a setting other than New York, or LA, or the other typical American locations you read about, and I enjoyed the way Spencer wrote the place, she really made it sound like a great place to be, and full of great people too. Bella is an easy character to like - she's heart-broken and unsure how to deal with the break-up of her relationship, and you can't help but feel sorry for her. However, as she got her head together throughout the book, I loved the turns her character took and we get to see more of her personality which was great. It didn't happen too quickly or too slowly, just right and it was well written overall.
I loved the other characters in the book too, from Flora's friends to Flora herself, who is the singer in a tribute band for Abba, and I loved the presence of the Abba songs throughout the book, you can't help but start humming along as you read about them! Bella and Flora manage to get themselves into a few sticky situations, and one near the end in particular had me laughing out loud! There is a very serious storyline involving Flora in the book, and it took me by surprise as I didn't expect to see it there. It was so well written by Spencer, you could really feel the emotion as you were reading, and I confess I did shed a tear over it. The whole segment took the book in a whole new direction, and I thought it was so well done by Spencer, it made the book even better.
This is a super book for the summer, and was a joy to read from start to finish. I loved Spencer's writing and found it so easy to read and get into, and she crafts characters that you really love and will want to have a happy ending for. I adored the setting, the other characters in the book and especially the Abba tribute bands scenes which were just brilliant! Spencer manages to weave many storylines into one, and the story surrounding the old town was brilliant, showing how people from all walks of life can come together and make things happen when they need to. It's a fab book for the beach, and will leave you with a big smile on your tears, after a few tears and a lot of laughs as well. Fabulous!
ISBN: 978-0099557067. Published by Arrow on 21st June 2012. RRP: £6.99. Pages: 400. Also available as an eBook.
Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy to review for http://chicklitchloe.blogspot.com
Thank you for reading.