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Callie Vanetta is stunned to discover that she has liver disease and needs a transplant or she won’t survive the summer.  Keeping the news to herself, she moves to her grandparents’ farm under the guise of getting it ready to sell.  When a stranger knocks on the door needing help, Callie’s life is once again changed forever. Though Levi’s stay is only temporary – he’s providing labor until he can get his motorcycle fixed – Callie may have finally found someone she can give her heart to forever.  But is it too late?

When Summer Comes is another fabulous entry in Brenda Novak’s Whiskey Creek series.  As always, her writing is exquisite and her characters came alive, making themselves at home in my heart.  At this point, I’ve pretty much decided to stop comparing them because they are all so uniquely compelling.

Callie decides to not tell anyone of her diagnosis because she thinks it will be easier to enjoy her last few months without dealing with everyone else’s emotions as well as her own.  And there is a lot of hope mixed in that a transplant will come and fix everything.  All of her feelings, the despair and love and anxiety , just leap off the page.  She becomes so real, so quickly, that it is very easy to understand where she’s coming from.

Levi had a rough childhood and a horrible experience while at war.  He’s very reserved and private at the beginning, but the more time he spends with Callie and her quiet acceptance of his limitations the more relaxed he becomes.  It is  heart-warming to see him start to believe that he’s found a place to call home.

As with all of the Whiskey Creek stories, this one is an ensemble piece.  There is a very close knit group of friends at the center of the series and they all bring warmth and depth to an already emotional story.  But it isn’t necessary to have read the previous books to be able to enjoy this one.  Novak does a fantastic job of making sure newcomers can understand the intricacies of the group, while providing updates on previous stories and giving readers glimpses into future ones.

If you’ve never read a Whiskey Creek novel, pick up When Summer Comes.  You’ll immediately find yourself drawn into this amazingly touching story of a couple who embrace life together, even if the end is coming soon.

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