#BookReview: The Summer of Taking Chances by Lynne Shelby

The Summer of Taking Chances

Would you take the second chance you’ve always dreamed of?




It’s been ten years since Emma Stevens last laid eyes on Jake Murray. When he left the small seaside village of South Quay to chase the limelight, Emma’s dreams left with him.

Now Emma is content living a quiet and uneventful life in South Quay. It’s far from the life she imagined, but at least her job at the local hotel has helped heal her broken heart.

But when Jake returns home for the summer to escape the spotlight, Emma’s feelings quickly come flooding back. There’s clearly a connection between them, but Jake has damaged her heart once already – will she ever be able to give him a second chance?




If you’re looking for a feel good summer romance, then this is the book for you. It’s a fairly predictable romance with a likeable heroine and a major Shakespeare theme throughout.

The story centres around the relationship of Emma and Jake. Despite being friends in high school, their lives have taken them in completely different directions and other than a shared love of drama, they don’t really have that much in common. Jake is now a famous actor starring in Hollywood productions and as the lead in a TV show, whereas Emma hasn’t really left her hometown and acts in her amateur dramatic group. With Jake living in London and Emma in her quaint hometown, their lives are set on completely different courses. That is until Jake reappears in South Quay…

Everything in the story happens fairly as you expect it too. It’s one of those books you know you’d love to read on holiday on a sunlounger to relax with. Emma was a truly lovable protagonist and I felt myself really rooting for her to achieve her dreams and act! She seemed to spend so much time concerned about her friends and looking after others, she had forgotten to look after herself.

Whilst I loved the protagonist Emma, I really hated Jake and by the end of the book and honestly, I didn’t really want them to get together. He was obnoxious, arrogant and belittling to Emma and the other actors in South Quay. I’m not sure I’d want any of my friends to end up with a partner like Jake…

I loved the Shakespeare references that were dotted around in their conversations but by the end of the book it felt forced. Sometimes there was a reference that seemed to be dropped in for no apparent reason right in the middle of dialogue and it didn’t seem to add to the story. A nice touch, but it was a bit too much for me in the end.

Overall, a lovely summer romance to whisk you away and with an extra touch of drama! Perfect for romance and Shakespeare lovers alike. A well written story, even if it’s a tad predictable!

I received a copy of the book from the book’s publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Summer-Taking-Chances-Lynne-Shelby-ebook/dp/B0849NF6KD/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Taking-Chances-Lynne-Shelby-ebook/dp/B0849NF6KD/

Author Bio –

Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction/romance. Her debut novel, French Kissing, was published when it won a national writing competition. She has worked at a variety of jobs from stable girl to child actors’ chaperone to legal administrator, but now writes full time. When not writing or reading, Lynne can usually be found at the theatre watching a musical, or exploring a foreign city – Paris, New York, Rome, Copenhagen, Seattle, Athens – writer’s notebook, camera and sketchbook in hand. She lives in London with her husband, and has three adult children who live nearby.

Social Media Links –

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LynneShelbyWriter

Twitter: @LynneB1

Instagram: lynneshelbywriter

Website: www.lynneshelby.com

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Happy reading!

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