Book Recommendation – A Painted Summer by Amy Matayo

Book Description:

Darby Sparks has lived a very sheltered life. As a homeschool graduate, a small town resident, and the only child of two over-protective parents, she’s dreamed of chasing big dreams. But big dreams take big courage. So in a moment of uncharacteristic boldness, Darby leaves the only life she’s ever known and sets off for California to test her skills in Hollywood. It works…until she runs out of money. That wasn’t part of her spur-of-the-moment plan, and she finds herself stuck in an unfamiliar city with too much pride to call home for help.

With limited options, Darby finds herself working for dangerously hot Lennon Dixon, the owner of a downtown Los Angeles tattoo parlor. Lennon needs help and finds it in Darby. What he doesn’t expect is her odd aversion to his place of business…or his attraction to her. As for Darby, to call her new job unfamiliar is the world’s biggest understatement. But to call her mutual attraction to Lennon unexpected is a very close second.

Previously published as part of the Just One Summer collection.

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading A Painted Summer, a short romance novella that fits within the college and new adult book category and is set in Los Angeles. Darby reached her milestone twenty first birthday and decided to leave her small Washington town and overprotective parents for the bright lights of L.A. She’s on summer break after completing her sophomore year at college, and has switched to an online course that she wants to quit.

L.A. is not what Darby expected, and is a world away from her homeschooling small town life back home. She collects acting audition rejections, runs low on cash, and takes the only job she can secure as a receptionist at a downtown L.A. tattoo parlor.

Lennon owns the tattoo parlor and offers Darby a job. He gives Darby the nickname, Sparky, and soon learns about her quirks. Darby doesn’t know what to make of Lennon, or the simmering attraction that pulls her into his orbit. Four years her senior, he’s the one new friend she’s mades in L.A. who looks out for her. He’s inked and inks others for a living, and she’s massively afraid of needles. What could possibly go wrong?

A fun romance unfolds in Darby’s viewpoint. We journey with Darby and experience her often hilarious life challenges and growing feelings for Lennon that lead to a satisfying story ending. I recommend A Painted Summer for readers who like short romance novellas in an urban setting that embrace realistic life challenges for young adults with a light faith element.

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