Excerpt + Review: When Summer Comes (Whiskey Creek #3) by Brenda Novak


Panic turned Callie’s knees to water as she felt the raw power of Levi’s quick, sure movements. She opened her mouth to scream but couldn’t draw in enough air. 

For the first time, she was afraid of him. Really afraid. In that moment, she knew without a doubt that he could do anything he wanted to her, and that, despite her diagnosis, she still cared. 

The fear didn’t last, however. As soon as he realized it was her, he eased his hold enough to turn her in his arms. “I’m sorry,” he murmured. “I hope...I hope I didn’t hurt you. I didn’t know...” 

His words fell off, but she understood. He hadn’t known it was her. She should’ve announced herself. She would have, except that she’d been waiting to get close enough to touch his arm, in case he was sleeping. “It’s okay,” she said. “I...I shouldn’t have surprised you.” 

“What are you doing out here?” 

He released her but she couldn’t let go of him. She was still trying to overcome the effects of receiving such a fright, worried that she might crumble to the ground. “I-I wanted to see if you’d come inside.” 


His deep voice rumbled in her ear, but he must have felt her shaking because his hands no longer hung at his sides. They were sliding up her back. She could feel the warmth his splayed fingers provided as he drew her into a solid embrace that reassured her but did nothing to slow her galloping heart. 

Instinctively, she turned her cheek against the soft cotton of his T-shirt. Don’t read anything into this. He’s just being kind. Such contact was normal, given her reaction. But she couldn’t deny that the chemistry between them had suddenly changed. She liked the feel of his firm chest, the security she felt in the circle of his arms, but there was also a sexual element—probably because he wasn’t completely dressed. She’d already felt the band of his briefs, the crisp hair on his legs as he brushed up against her. 

She swallowed hard as his hands settled between her shoulder blades. “I couldn’t sleep.” 

“Why not?” 

“I was...I was worried that maybe Denny and his fool of a friend would come back and cause trouble.” “They might. But they’re the kind of trouble I can handle.”

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*
One day, Callie Vanetta receives devastating news . . .
She needs a liver transplant. But her doctors warn that, in her case, the chances of finding a compatible donor aren’t good. Determined to spend whatever time she has left on her own terms, she keeps the diagnosis to herself and moves out to her late grandparents’ farm. She’s always wanted to live there. But the farm hasn’t been worked in years and she begins to fear it’s too much, she’ll have to return to town.

One night, a stranger comes knocking at her door…
He’s an attractive and mysterious drifter by the name of Levi McCloud who offers to trade work for a few nights’ shelter. Callie figures she doesn’t have anything to lose. He needs a place to stay until he can fix his motorcycle; she needs an extra pair of hands. The arrangement seems ideal until what was supposed to be temporary starts to look more and more permanent. Then she realizes she does have something to lose — her heart. And, although he doesn’t yet know it, Levi stands to lose even more.
When Summer Comes is the third book in the Whiskey Creek series and they can easily be read separately, but it's more fun if you read them all. It gives you more background on the characters, which in Callie's case did make a difference.

Callie a new liver if she wants to stay alive. Faced with this horrible fate, she starts keeping everything to herself. She doesn't tell anybody about her diagnosis and moves into her grandparents farm saying she's going to fix it up. This is partially true, but it also keeps her away from her friends and family's prying eyes.

I got to know Callie a bit in the previous books and she was this very strong, confident woman. Now that confidence is kind of wavering. Knowing she might die, she starts pushing everyone away, not wanting them to have pity on her. This of course doesn't stop them from wondering what is going on, definitely when a certain man arrives on the scene.

After Callie mistakes Levi for a robber, they clear the air and call truce. He needs a place to stay and she needs a helping hand around the farm. Levi has been a drifter for a while now and just like Callie he has secrets he isn't willing to share (yet). Like whenever the police shows up, he disappears, which has everyone concerned most of Callie.

Now Levi is a very attractive man and Callie is a beautiful woman, so thinking she might have not that long to live, she goes for it. What indeed was supposed to be a temporary arrangement, seems to take longer than expected when not only the Summer comes closer, but when Levi gets closer to her heart and finding out her secret.

When Summer Comes is part of those contemporary adult romances where you can read one after another and never get tired of reading. Strong main characters, with obvious (sexual) tension, interesting side characters and a plot that keeps you turning page after page.

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