Title: The Summer We Danced
Author: Fiona Harper
Published: April 21st, 2016
Find the Author: Goodreads
I received this book for review! As always, my reviews are fair and unbiased.
Fiona Harper, a rising star in the world of romantic fiction, had phenomenal digital success with her 2014 title, The Little Shop of Hopes and Dreams, which was a Kindle #1 bestseller and one of the top 10 bestselling ebooks of 2015. Her new novel The Summer We Danced is a warm, summery read perfect for fans of Milly Johnson, Carole Matthews and Katie Fforde.
After a humiliating divorce and watching her former rock star husband leave her for a model live on reality TV, Pippa is determined to disappear. So she returns to the small Kent village where she grew up to make a fresh start. Little did she know that would mean saving her beloved childhood dance school or falling for her old school crush Tom too!
The Summer We Danced explores lost love and new beginnings with emotional depth and wry humour. This is a novel to curl up with and laugh, cry and enjoy the perfect happy-ever-after.
I have a soft spot for books like Fiona’s: the type that make you swoon and feel comforted reading with entertaining and humorous lines to keep you laughing and crying ’till the end. I hadn’t read anything by Fiona before, but my sister has and she couldn’t recommend her highly enough, so I was eager to get stuck in.
Straight away, I loved Pippa. I felt so bad for her after she was horribly dumped by her husband that she had stood by through his journey for fame without batting an eyelid, only for him to leave her for a model on TV as soon as he’d gotten to be a star. She was humiliated, as anyone in her situation would be, and now it was all she could think about. She wanted to get away and forget about her troubles, even if it was just for a while. She returned back to her hometown where she was brought up and searches for some kind of meaning to how her life had ended up this way. So, ultimately she decides to go to a dance lesson of all things, still run by the tutor she used to have, Miss Mimi. It was a huge thing for Pippa as a child and she loved dancing but she ditched it to support her husband – now, what was stopping her?
But Miss Mimi’s dance school is on the rocks and Pippa feels like she should help try to save it and make it thrive again. Then she meets her old school crush, Tom, who still lives in the village she grew up in. He has a daughter, and even though they’re older and have lived two very different lives, they find their old selves in each other as they work together to save Miss Mimi’s dance school and maybe their lost love along the way.
I really connected with The Summer We Danced. Not just the characters, but the plot and the way it all came together like a perfect story about a small town love and reconnecting. Pippa was such a bright, brilliant character and she really made the book. Fiona did such an amazing job writing her story with so much believability. There were laughs along the way and although it was humorous, it didn’t distract from the deeper elements of romance and emotion that I love in adult romance novels.
Overall, The Summer We Danced is a perfect, funny, enchantingly amusing book that had me hooked from beginning to end. This will definitely not be the last I read of Fiona’s novels and I can’t recommend this highly enough. It’s definitely one of the stand-out Adult romances I’ve read this year and is a top contender with the likes of Lindsey Kelk and Milly Johnson.
Adult romance fans with humour and love elements.
Hi Fiona! I just read my first book of yours (The Summer We Danced) and I’m an instant fan! What gives you the inspiration for your books?
I get ideas from all over the place – sometimes it’s a headline in a newspaper, sometimes an enchanting place I’ve visited, and sometimes the idea of a character or a situation they face. Before The Summer We Danced I’d written a book called The Doris Day Vintage Film Club and I enjoyed combining a story with my love of old movies so much I wanted to do another one. The working title for The Summer We Danced was The Ginger Rogers Tap Club – so you can see where the idea came from!
Pippa is such a likeable character. If The Summer We Danced were a movie, who do you think would play her and Tom?
I imagined Pippa to be a curvier version of Ginnifer Goodwin (from Once Upon A Time and He’s Just Not That Into You), with those beautiful big eyes and a dark pixie cut. Tom’s harder to pin down, though. Hmm. No one too pretty. But ruggedly handsome would do! How about Dougray Scott?
If you could sum up your ideal writing environment in a sentence, what would it be?
I can write almost anywhere, but I have to have my trusty Moleskine notebook and Post-it notes, my current favourite pen and coffee! (And occasionally my laptop.)
As an aspiring writer, I’m always grateful for advice. Do you have any for me—and for all the other aspiring writers out there—who aspire to be like you?
I have two bits of advice:
1. Don’t stop dreaming! You might have to work hard to make those dreams happen, but if you don’t try you’ll never get there.
2. Don’t stop learning. You can always improve your craft.
Finally, do you have plans for another book? If so, is it similar to The Summer We Danced?
I’m working on the next book at the moment, but it’s a bit of a gear change from The Summer We Danced in that it’s romantic, but it’s not a boy-meets-girl story. The new book looks at long-term love: what makes it work, what makes it fail… It also has a slight supernatural element, which is a bit of anew thing for me, but I have to say I’m loving every second of writing it!
Thank you for being on my blog; Pretty Little Memoirs today!
Thanks for having me, It’s been a blast!
The Summer We Danced by Fiona Harper is out now in paperback and ebook (MIRA)