Review: Cruel Summer Box Set by Rachel Van Dyken

Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author.

I was thrilled to finally have the opportunity to read this series, and the fact that it was available in a convenient box set was a bonus. Penned by bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken, each book in the Cruel Summer trilogy was originally published as Apple Books exclusives, but Summer Heat, Summer Seduction, and Summer Nights, as well as the Cruel Summer Box Set are now all available in major e-retailers. This features one main couple with a continuing story line, so yes, these MUST be read in order for the full experience.

The Cruel Summer trilogy is about Marlon Brandon and Ray De Lato, who met when they were both six years old but were from very different backgrounds. As children, they were friends, but a time came where Ray made it clear that Marlo was no longer welcome inside her home, relegating him back from friend to her nanny's foster child--and their family gardener. She stood silent as her friends ridiculed him. But for one night, she had him, only to go right back to allowing others to make him feel smaller. For four years, she hadn't seen him, easing her guilt over getting the college scholarship he needed. But now at an exclusive summer camp, they're together again...only now, the tables have turned.

With mentions of two of my all-time favorite films, Dirty Dancing and The Princess Bride, the Cruel Summer series was such a fun-filled read with loads of wit and humor punctuated by moments of angst. Ray and Marlo, along with Brax, Jen, and Jackson, were the perfect companions to have this weekend. They made me laugh with their antics, and our main characters had my emotions running the gamut. This box set was very much a Rachel Van Dyken read, one that gives you all the feels while having that distinct RVD touch to it that leaves you with a satisfied smile. The Cruel Summer Box Set gets five stars.

Date Read: 01 August 2021

Learn more about Rachel Van Dyken.

Purchase Cruel Summer Box Set on Amazon | Apple Books | B&N | Kobo.


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