Recommended reads: Three fun books for the end of summer

As fall approaches, here are three books that are part of a summer series, a great way to end the season

A Butter Brickle debacle, by Sonja N. Griffing

Eris McMillan is the embodiment of walking chaos, rushing from momentary disorder to unexpected chaos, sometimes in the flash of her honey brown eyes. She’s a marketing genius, but strange circumstances caused by her ex-boyfriend Coop had taken away the job she cherished. Why does she attract evil? Try as she might, why can’t she find a life of perfect happiness? Treat Rogers has lived in the same hometown his entire life. He is the charismatic owner of the town’s ice cream shop, a family business. After his wife left one day and vowed never to come back, Treat became a single parent, raising his mischievous 11-year-old son Robbie. He turned deep inside, made a commitment to fatherhood and work, and buried his dream of sharing everything he had with the love of his life. Then one day Eris barged into his shop and their worlds collided.

When she lost her job, Eris turned to her sister for comfort and a place to stay for a while. A small town, treats small town. Although she has little experience caring for children, Eris helps out with her nieces. With only the best of intentions, Eris confronts Treat in defense of her eleven-year-old niece. It turns out that she does not correctly know all the facts of the situation. Well, that’s one way to meet such an attractive ice cream vendor. It turns out the attraction is mutual. Together, these two dynamic personalities ignite fireworks, beautiful and explosive results. And when they get together, very close together, it’s hot. However, what they are both looking for is so different that they are sure they will go their separate ways after a hot summer together.

Eris is being followed into town by her ex-boyfriend, who is worried about the end of their relationship. He brings his ice cream chain into town to put Treat out of business. Coop believes this is the way to win back his girlfriend Eris and his way to win. Eris is devastated that she has now forced her crazy life on dear Treat. Now she wants to use her marketing skills to help Treat break through. Together they end up with A butter brick debacle unique solution.

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Author Sonja N. Griffing has created a truly laughable, smart, sexy, romantic romp that delights. The family themes have really etched themselves in the hearts of readers through characters who seek joy in life and often find it in the most unlikely of places. This story really shows how fabulous a sense of humor is for quality of life. You don’t always get what you think you want in life, and sometimes it’s those surprises that you really wanted all along.

slain over Spumoni, by Tessa Floreano

Mamma Mia! Here’s a mystery tidbit for readers. Delight in the vivid sights and sounds of old Italy in the 1920’s, check out a range of suspects that rival the bountiful variety of gelato flavors at the gelateria, and maybe discover even more. It’s just after World War I in Grado, Italy, and Violetta Pelicani is helping her favorite uncle make his iconic, flavorful ice cream. The world looks hopeful as the war ends when Violetta’s dear uncle is found dead under very disturbing circumstances. Violetta investigates and finds out if you’re looking for trouble, it can find you. Now she’s concerned that the police will frame her for murder because of her detective work. There is also a handsome American who is attracted to Violetta but has his own secrets. Now you see the mysterious allure of reading Killed over Spumoni.

Violetta is a massage therapist working at a spa. Her uncle Zio Fabri is poisoned after a visit to the spa. Once alerted, the police cast a wide net, and they too are caught up in it. As she struggles to prove her innocence, she meets John Baxter, who is visiting from America. He has a mysterious aura and he’s not sure why he’s in Italy. One thing is clear, though, he’s smitten from the moment he meets Violetta. Feelings are mutual, but does he have ulterior motives? We will see.

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If you enjoy a secret, this one sizzles with extra garlic. The romantic duo is on the trail of clues, analyzing motives and discussing the alibis of suspects. They hop around town and never seem to have the time to introduce John to the famous spumoni from the ice cream parlor. The promise of a hearty spumoni dish and a sweet romance swirls around the mystery of who poisoned Uncle Zio. And what happens when Violetta discovers John’s secret?

Author Tessa Floreano has created an engrossing, exciting mystery filled with characters you’ll love. Woven into their intense situation is such a wonderful humor that absolutely inspires. The sweet romance brings a nice touch of love and an extra dimension to this tight plot. The historical background is so well researched by the author that it jumps off the pages as facts are woven into the story so seamlessly. The pacing of the plot is artful and the final revelation is very well written. Will the visiting American ever get a chance to enjoy the amazing spumoni and share a dish with the love of his life? There’s more than one way to be Killed over Spumoni.

Strawberry Sundae Afternoon, by LM Gonzalez

Nothing of value ever comes easy. School teacher Ally is a single mother to adorable 7-year-old Jimmy. On the surface, their plans for the summer seem delightful. They visit Ally’s hometown, stay with Ally’s mother and look forward to sharing the fun of where his mother grew up and the memories she cherishes. So why the reluctance to make this trip? Ally returns to help her ailing mother, but their relationship has always been rocky. Will they get along now? At least her ex had moved away after that one incredible summer together. At least she’d heard he’d moved. After an intense, romantic summer seven years ago, he had never responded to her attempts to contact him. But if Henry had moved away, what was he doing in the park selling ice cream for his family’s business? With her heart broken, how can she face him now? And will he see his likeness in Jimmy, his son?

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It is fascinating and inspiring to read all of Ally’s confrontations and her difficult choices. Her actions aren’t always the best, but her motives are pure and she’s persistent in dealing with the consequences. She is a fascinating personality and what is best for her son is at the center of everything she does. Jimmy is so wonderfully innocent and warms a reader’s heart. Ally’s beloved Henry also has his own page on this story, skillfully revealed by this author.

As this summer progresses, memories of their past summer season fuel emotions on both sides. They work out, and yet they are both attracted to each other. Those tender feelings surface and even trigger a graphic interlude, but then bitter tensions also simmer and erupt. And before them stands Jimmy, holding his mother’s hand and enjoying the company of ice cream vendor Henry, who embodies a deep secret.

— By Wendy Kendall

Wendy Kendall is a writer at The Wild Rose Press. Her mysteries include Kat Out of the Bag and the prequel Purse stachio Makes A Splash. She is also the author of Cherry Shakes in the Park, another book in this end-of-summer series.

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