Author: Meg Easton
I’m kicking off my summer beach reads! This was the perfect start. A Kiss at Midsummer is a clean, sweet romance, that takes place at the Royal Palms Resort, North Carolina. Elise Stevens is the fun loving, super sweet activities director for the resort and she’s not surprised when she gets asked to take a one-on-one job for an uptight CEO, Merit Casselman.
What’s the story?
Elise is no stranger to the ultra-wealthy clientele her resort brings in. When Graham reaches out to the resort to book a month long vacation for his best-friend/work-obsessed business partner Merit, there are a few stipulations that must be met. Elise has four weeks to get Merit to remember there’s more to life than spreadsheets and meetings including dating. One of the wishes Graham has for his partner is to consider finding someone. He has recently married and he himself recognized how the change in his personal life has brought a fresh new drive to the business. He is afraid Merit is missing out. Graham asks Elise to introduce him to some women, although Merit is handsome enough, he doesn’t really need the help, he is so distracted he barely notices when someone is flirting. If Elise can succeed in all of these tasks and truly help him understand all he is missing then there is a 20k bonus. That’s enough to help her buy back her childhood home that she had to sell when her mother passed away.
Sounds like the ideal vacation, right? Life on the beach with nothing on the agenda but fun in the sun? Sadly, workaholic Merit isn’t exactly on board with this forced vacation. His attention is constantly pulled back to work and how to get information about his company that his partner has pulled all his access to. His employees won’t budge on giving him any details, leaving him frustrated and distraught.
Elise tries to be patient, but she can’t help but noticed the number of times Merit checks his phone. She switches gears and starts to focus on activities that require his full attention. The first activity is parasailing, it lets Merit realize just how distracted from life he really is and, how much he is missing out. Merit decides to try harder to relax and enjoy what he is doing. Over the month they bond over building sandcastles, swimming in the ocean and sexy dance classes. Elise tries to act as a wing woman in hopes Merit can start to think about dating, except the only person Merit can focus on is Elise. It might get complicated because the resort has a strict rule of no dating the guests (hello dirty dancing!)
The good, bad and meh…
The good: I liked how the book took place on a beach resort in North Carolina, it included so many fun beach things to do and some of it wasn’t just for the ultra-rich, like the simplicity of building sandcastles and swimming in the ocean. It made me feel like I was there and making my own summer fun list. The budding romance between them was super sweet. Elise really put him in his place to focus on what was around him and that was great to read. I loved the storyline with Elise’s mom and the promise she made, it really gave you a warm feeling for the characters. The ending, for this couple was super sweet, I felt it suited the story and it gave me overall good feels.
The bad: Work obsessed is right! The author really made it seem almost like an addiction to work, which is totally part of the story but even I felt frustrated at points in the book.
The meh: I didn’t love the paid to date him storyline. There are complications for sure if they date since her resort doesn’t allow the employees to date the guests, but not sure if I loved that she was getting a huge bonus if she could get him to go on dates. Even if it was her, for ‘fake dating’.
Elise and Merit are adorable, the location makes me want to book a trip to the beaches of North Carolina and overall this is a feel good, super sweet, light read that kicks off my August beach reads perfectly.