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Just for the Summer
(Review, Book Summary & Spoilers)

By Abby Jimenez

Book review, full book summary and synopsis for Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez, a cute summer romance about two people who agree to be each other's "good luck charm" but end up falling for one another.


Emma is a traveling nurse whose romances generally fizzle out before she's headed to her next location. Her curiosity is piqued when she sees a post online from a guy living in Minnesota who says that he's every woman's "good luck charm" -- in that each woman he dates ends up marrying the next guy.

Emma reaches out to tell Justin that she suffers from the same fate, also a "good luck charm" for the guys she dates. The two soon hatch a plan to be each other's "good luck charm" and to date for just a few weeks to make it happen.

They soon find they both see this as more than a fling, but both their lives are complicated by their families. But despite the complications, there just might be enough there for them to make it work...

(The Full Plot Summary is also available, below)

Full Plot Summary

Chapter-by-Chapter Summary
See the Chapter-by-Chapter Summary of Just for the Summer
Quick Plot Summary

Four paragraph version: Emma and Justin connect over being other people's "good luck charm" since the people they date seem to get engaged to the very next person after them. They agree to a plan to date each other and be each other's "good luck charm". Emma, a traveling nurse, is able to sign a six-week contract to spend time with Justin at his place in Minnesota. As they date, Justin develops strong feelings for Emma, but his personal life is complicated by him needing to take over legal guardianship for his three younger siblings when his mother is sent to prison for white-collar crime.

Meanwhile, Emma develops feelings as well, but she is someone who has always been aloof in relationships and does not like to get attached. Emma does realizes how strong her feelings for Justin are and decides to stay in Minnesota for another six weeks, though she continues to struggle with her desire to remain alone and unattached.

Emma grew up with foster parents because her mother was so unreliable and abandoned her, drifting in and out of her life. Her mother Amber is still in her life and shows up in Minnesota but continues to be selfish with Emma and only calls on Emma when she needs something. When Emma's mother has another breakdown, Emma finally realizes she needs to stop cleaning up after her mother. Then, Emma takes a DNA test and learns that she has a half brother Daniel that her mother hid from her. Daniel reveals they have a large loving family that Emma's mother kept from her, and she breaks down. She finally cuts her mother out of her life.

After the interlude with her mother, Emma is convinced she's incapable of loving someone or being loved because of what she's been through, and she's certain she will sabotage any potential relationship or flee. Her best friend Maddy tells her she needs to learn to work through it and fix this. Emma breaks up with Justin, saying she's not ready to be stable presence in his sibling's lives. She spends six months living with Daniel's family, working and going to therapy. She then approaches Justin to tell him she loves him, and two years later they get engaged.

For more detail, see the full Chapter-by-Chapter Summary.

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Book Review

Abby Jimenez’s Just for the Summer was released earlier this month. Jimenez is known for her contemporary romance novels, and this book was Good Morning America’s Book Club pick for April.

Just for the Summer is a feel-good summer romance. No tortured reasons for people to be kept apart, just two people who like each other, want to spend time together and are falling for one another, albeit with some personal baggage that needs to be sorted through.

Opening with a reddit post, in Just for the Summer, a traveling nurse, Emma, reaches out to a guy online, Justin, after he posts on reddit about being a “good luck charm” for the women he dates. He says that all his exes end up engaged to the next person they date after him. Emma tells him that she’s the same thing for the guys that she dates.

After some flirting and phone calls, Emma make plans to spend six weeks in Minnesota, where Justin lives, since her work keeps her constantly on the move anyway. The plan is for them to date and be each other’s good luck charm, but I’m sure you can guess where this story is going.

I’ve been in the mood for a genuine feel-good romance for a while now and unable to land on one until now. I’ve read a lot of tortured romances and a good breakup book, but none of that is really stuff that I have been wanting to dwell in.

Most of this book is a pure light-hearted romance. Of course, Emma and Justin both have complications in their lives and their own baggage, but they want to figure it out and be together. Emma in particular has to struggle with her desire to stay safely unattached, which creates some turmoil for our burgeoning couple, but the novel still manages to retain a mostly light and easy-going feel.

I really enjoyed this light, fun and warm novel. The story moves at a moderate pace, giving their relationship room to grow.

Read it or Skip it?

Just for the Summer is a bright, fun, sweep-you-off-your feet romance with adorable dates and sweet moments. Our protagonists also tackle some big, real issues between them in a way that feels authentic and meaningful, but without making the book too heavy. This is my first time reading a book by Abby Jimenez, and she’s an author I’d happily revisit.

It’s just a sweet and substantive romance about two people who like each other who are trying to make it work despite the complications in their lives and whatever personal stuff they have to work through. It’s also a leisurely and easy read, definitely good beach read material.

Very easy to recommend this book for anyone looking for a delightful summer romance.

See Just for the Summer on Amazon.

just for the summer promo

Just for the Summer Audiobook Review

Narrator: Christine Lakin, Zachary Webber & Abby Jimenez
Length: 11 hours 42 minutes

Hear a sample of the Just for the Summer audiobook on

Book Excerpt

Read the first pages of Just for the Summer

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