Friday, March 7, 2014

Summer of the Loon by Deanna Lynn Sletten (5 stars)

About Summer of the Loon
(from GoodReads)

From the author of Maggie's Turn and Sara's Promise comes a heartwarming story of family and first love.

Life can change in a heartbeat…

Ali Jenson's life changed forever the moment her mother died. The sixteen-year-old was suddenly swept away from the life she knew in California to live with her estranged grandfather in the deep woods of northern Minnesota. Ali's life has never been easy, but it seems her grandfather is trying his best to make it even more difficult. Her only hope is to get through the summer and her last year of high school so she can return to her old life in California. What she hadn't counted on, though, was slowly becoming attached to the grumpy old man and falling in love for the very first time.

Benjamin Jenson never planned on meeting his granddaughter, let alone having her live with him. He wasn't thrilled with the idea of a teenaged girl coming into his home or his life. He'd been down that path once before, and he didn't want to relive it again. But he is her only living relative, and he knew his deceased wife, Lizzie, would have wanted him to give Ali a home. Grudgingly, he figured he could put up with the girl for a year. He never expected Ali to find a way into his heart and make him face painful past memories and his worst fear. The fear of losing yet another person he loves.

Will Ben finally put away the past and give Ali the one thing she's always dreamed of? A home.

Buy at Amazon

NOTE: This eBook will be $1.99 (regularly priced $3.99) through 3/9/14.


Growing up is hard. For Ali Jenson, it was something she had to do at a very young age. With no father and a mother lost in regret and alcohol, Ali didn't have a typical childhood. When her mother dies unexpectedly, Ali goes to live with the grandfather long cut out of their lives. Did he sever the ties or did her mother? There's so much Ali doesn't know.

Ben Jenson lives with his own regrets and loss. He doesn't know his granddaughter. Suddenly, she is moving in. When he looks at her, he sees his daughter and that brings up a lot of pain and distrust. Then, Ali meets Chase. What starts as a much-needed friendship quickly grows into something more. But this further complicates her relationship with Ben, because he fears Ali will make the same mistakes his daughter did.

Can Ben and Ali be the family they both need?

Ali grabbed my heart right away. She's a young girl all alone, but she's wise beyond her years. Instead of throwing a pity party and playing the blame game, she picks up the pieces of her life and tries her best. Her grandfather is a hard man, but it's obvious he painfully misses the two loves of his life--his wife and daughter. Even though I wanted to strangle him for being so difficult with Ali, he never seemed like a bad guy. Just a guy in pain.

As much as I loved these two characters, the heart of the book was Jo, Ben's girlfriend and Chase's mother. She was the quiet force that kept pushing Ali and Ben together. And Chase was the kind of young man every girl should meet--sweet, mature, and giving. 

I highly recommend Summer of the Loon. It's a poignant tale with endearing characters. From page one, you'll be rooting for these characters to find love and acceptance. If you are looking for romance, emotional investment, and a touching coming-of-age story, this one is a winner.

Rating: 5 stars

Please check out my review of Deanna Lynn Sletten's contemporary women's fiction novel, Maggie's Turn here. She's fast becoming a fave!

About the Author

Deanna Lynn Sletten writes women’s fiction and romance novels that dig deeply into the lives of the characters, giving the reader an in-depth look into their hearts and souls. She has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime.

Deanna’s romance novel, Memories, was a semifinalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Books of 2012. Her novel, Sara’s Promise, was a semifinalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Books of 2013 and a finalist in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Book Awards.

Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her northern Minnesota home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing in the boat on the lake in the summer.

Visit Deanna at her website at Or, you can connect via Twitter and Facebook.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.


Deanna Lynn Sletten said...

Hi Tia,

Thank you so much for the beautiful review of Summer of the Loon. I'm so happy that you enjoyed Ali's story. I just loved these characters and it's fun sharing them with others.

Tia Bach said...

You are most welcome. I really did enjoy it, and I can't wait to read more from you. Your characters find a way straight to my heart.