Woo, woo! S'more to Lose is (nearly here--it's out December 5th, aka TOMORROW!!!!!!) and I'm so excited to be a part of the official blog tour in promotion of it. Congratulations to Beth Merlin on the second installment of her charming The Campfire Series! So, follow the cut to learn more about the book--the series and its author--as well as my thoughts on the novel!
THE REVIEW ★★★★☆
As a note, a copy of this novel was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.
I'll be honest with you guys--I was positively charmed by the lovely Beth Merlin's debut novel, One S'more Summer. It had all the makings of a classic chick-lit that was pure escapism and joy. Merlin has a massively delicious way of telling a story all the while leaving readers feeling both satisfied and wanting more. I feel incredibly lucky to have picked up both novels in this series because it is purely enjoyable and nostalgic and optimistic and, ugh. So. Good.
S'more to Lose is even better than its predecessor and I can't stress that enough. It is the kind of book you read in one sitting, armed with a hot drink and a snugly blanket. There was something a bit more unexpected about this second installment that I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Perhaps it was the chance of the lifetime present for Gigi, perhaps it was the change of scenery, perhaps it was knowing all the growth she went through in One S'more Summer.
Once again, Merlin gives off Sophie Kinsella and Emily Giffin vibes only with an execution of plots that is all her own. Fans of the two authors will appreciate the prose and relationships and style of this series. They will, of course, recognize it is something all Beth Merlin.
Which, hello? Underrated, much?
(Beth Merlin is totally going to grow in popularity. I'm calling it.)
Without spoiling much in terms of my review, I want to say that the entire time I read this book I was struck by everything. All the feels. All the dreams. All the second chances. I was so happy to see Gigi in the place where she was. And the new setting adds an extra kick that is both stylish, heart-warming and full of soul. Where On S'more Summer was nostalgia inducing chick-lit, with self discovery and character development, S'more to Lose has a different vibe to it in the sense that it... reads more like a movie.
Whereas the past is very much so prominent still in Gigi's life--especially when Perry is involved--a great deal of time is set focusing on the present and future exploits of Gigi's life and career, and, yes, love life. There was a level of luxury to it that contrasts with what we know from the previous book. Very much so, I loved that her career was able to take off again and that the new scenes have a flare to it that is temptingly full of style.
Also, you may as well call me a sucker when it comes to novels that manage to make you feel every single emotion possible. And the novels that include (1) Royalty (2) Tensions between ex-significant others that you still want to root for despite the fact that they are no longer together (3) Fashion and the making of fashion.
Although Gigi has grown immensely since we first met her, she still has a lot of the same nervous ticks. I enjoy that--the consistency in showcasing the complexities of human emotion. What are characters without their flaws or obstacles?
In this case, Gigi finds herself--again--unable to let go of various events from her past. As someone who constantly curses herself out for prior missed opportunities or memories, I appreciate seeing the less-than-desirable traits of myself reflecting in another character. Because, as always, Beth Merlin doesn't let Gigi's flaws define her path.
Okay, okay--to wrap up my review, I'll say this. I enjoyed the romance of this one. Former flames, new-potential flames, it all adds up to an intriguing plot. Beth Merlin does not half-ass her stories. And that ending? Uh. UH! UHHHH!!
Okay--uh, well... readers, you'll have to find out for yourself? When you do, report to me. If you're an avid reader looking for a new contemporary read for your winter TBR, S'more to Lose should be on your list. Get ready to be charmed and to feel. Because, that's what writing is about and Beth Merlin has you covered.
S’more to Lose
(The Campfire Series #2)
Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Four years after her life-changing summer, Gigi Goldstein thinks saying goodbye to Camp Chinooka means saying hello to a brand new life. Now faced with a second chance at her career, she is filled with more hope than she’s felt in a long time. Her design house is taking the fashion world by storm, even attracting notice of Victoria Ellicott, the fashionable British socialite who just happens to be engaged to the future king of England. When Gigi is chosen to design the royal wedding dress in London, she is forced to confront her ex-fiancé, Perry Gillman, now a successful composer with a hit show on the West End.
But when Gigi learns Perry’s been dating Victoria’s sister, who rivals her in looks, style and sophistication, Gigi can’t help but feel inadequate in everything. Her world begins to crumble as she develops a creative block so debilitating, she fears that a wedding dress of royal proportions is never going to happen. Even a budding relationship with the handsome, wealthy, and rich Viscount of Satterley can’t make her forget about Perry and her inability to get over him. As the world gears up for the wedding of the century, Gigi is on the brink of buckling under the immense pressure of the uncertainties of her future and failures of her past.
Will she be able overcome her creative paralysis to design the dress of Victoria’s dreams, or will she break down now that she has even s’more to lose?
Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School. She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, rom-coms, her daughter Hadley, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.
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