Contemporary romance novels are not my usual reading choice, but I make an exception when it comes to Lisa T. Bergren’s books. I had the privilege to read an early copy of Once Upon a Montana Summer, and I found myself enjoying this adorable romance set against the gorgeous backdrop of Glacier, Montana.
After Adalyn Stalling was a contestant on The One twice and had her heart broken by two different men, she swears off love as she tries to pick up the pieces of her life. Then the marketing firm she works at gives her a temporary term of leave and it seems like someone might be stalking her. When a childhood friend shows up to inform her that her grandpa isn’t doing well, Adi decides to take a trip to the campgrounds in Montana where she spent every summer as a child But once there, she realizes there is plenty of work to be done… including work on her broken heart.
Lisa T. Bergren has a knack for making places come to life and characters thrive in her stories. Once Upon a Montana Summer is no exception. Adi was a wonderful character and role model. How she handled all the ups and downs—from her grandpa being set in his ways to the stalker and even Chase’s pursuit of her—is admirable. If you want a story with a smart, well-to-do, sometimes stubborn but mainly loving main character, this book has it.
In addition, Chase is adorable and swoon-worthy and basically what every girl should want in a guy. He wasn’t unbelievable in his actions or dialogue. He was actually kind of a big dork that really loves wildlife, which only made him more adorable. There were times where he literally made me crack up while reading.
The side characters were intriguing as well. I love the spotlight on a grandfather-granddaughter relationship because I don’t often see those in books. Gramps was a fun character, and I like how he helped Adi understand life to its fullest. I also like Chase’s sister-in-law, Bea. She was just amazing and deserves her own story. (*wink wink*)
But what captured me the most about the story was the setting. Glacier, Montana is a real place, and Lisa brought it to life with her gorgeous descriptions. While reading, I started looking up information about visiting Glacier National Park because her writing made me want to visit the place myself, which isn’t the first time her stories had conjured wanderlust in me. (I’m still waiting on that trip to Italy…)
I also liked the plot of the story. As I’ve said, I don’t usually care for contemporary romance, but the added layer of Adi’s famous status along with the stalker was not only intriguing, but it was nerve-wracking! Near the end, I was practically biting my nails to see how it all turned out. It was way more intense than I expected, but in the best possible way.
Overall, Once Upon a Montana Summer is a sweet contemporary romance with a sometimes sappy and predictable relationship but with an added dash of suspense. I think anybody looking for a fun, quick, clean romance would enjoy this book.