In brief: The second book in the Boys of Summer trilogy, this book focuses on Lizzie and Dan – both secretly broken but openly attracted to each other.
The good: A wonderful read – great plotting, excellent characterisation and an Aussie summer.
The not-so-good: The third book isn’t released until the end of the year!
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Setting: South Australia
My rating: 10 out of 10
Sometimes you just discover serendipitously an author that works for you. Victoria Purman is one of those authors for me. I loved her debut novel, Nobody But Him, as it had just the right balance of gorgeous characters, sexual tension and happy ever after. I didn’t think she could beat it in her next book in the Boys of Summer trilogy, but oh boy, did she nail it! Someone Like You absolutely sizzles with an undercurrent of sexual tension between the two main characters, Lizzie and Dan. In between flows a tightly written plot that contains heartbreak, demons of the past and some wonderfully happy moments. Plus, we get to catch up with the main characters from Nobody But Him, Julia and Ry, to see how they’re faring.
In Someone Like You, we return to the fictional South Australian beach town of Middle Point (situated near Victor Harbor and Goolwa). Middle Point is a sleepy beach town that’s starting to wake up as more people discover the town’s wonderful beaches and laid back lifestyle. Giant glass mansions (like the one Ry and Julia live in) sit beside small beach shacks. It is in one of these shacks that Dan McSwaine lives, after buying it from Julia. He’s a broken man after an accident on the twisting road back to Adelaide nearly claimed his life. Formerly outgoing and a definite ladies’ man, Dan is a shell. He doesn’t go out. He possibly eats nothing both toast. So Ry and Julia hatch a plan not only to get Dan eating again, but to match make him with Lizzie. There were sparks before the accident and surely there can be again…so Lizzie starts bringing over daily dinners for Dan from the pub she manages (and Ry owns). The description of the food alone is enough to get you salivating before Dan is even described!
Lizzie and Dan start to get to know each other better and a night of passion is a night of triumph for Dan. Lizzie isn’t keen that he’s broadcasting their relationship before it’s really begun and things begin to cool. A number of misunderstandings and appearances of family and friends in Middle Point complicate things. Will Dan and Lizzie get the happy ever after they deserve? Or will the demons that haunt them both keep them apart?
The book is brilliantly plotted – there are enough curves and twists to keep things moving at a brisk pace. Both Lizzie and Dan are multilayered characters, having secrets beyond what I was expecting. Dan’s problems are both sympathetically portrayed and dealt with realistically. Lizzie is very interesting with her motivations and her reasons for staying in Middle Point, plus you’ll love how Dan reacts to them. Purman also captures the essence of summer with the plans for a market that Dan and Lizzie work on – you can almost feel the sand between your toes as you read.
One thing I was curious about before reading Someone Like You was who the couple would be in the third book, as there didn’t seem to be many likely contenders in Nobody But Him. Someone Like You introduces these characters nicely – their story will be very emotional I’m sure.
Both steamy and sweet, with an injection of Aussie humour (and cricket!), Someone Like You is a beautiful book to spend a weekend or longer with.