Once Upon a Summertime: A New York City Romance

Once Upon a Summertime: A New York City Romance

by Melody Carlson


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Managing the Value Lodge in her hometown was not what Anna Gordon had in mind when she set out in the hospitality industry. But it's a safe choice for a woman whose childhood was anything but stable. Out of the blue, she gets a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reinvent herself by moving to New York City, where she hopes for a management position at a stylish new boutique hotel. The big city is full of surprises--not the least of which is Sean O'Neil. Her childhood crush has applied for the very same position!

Sweet, romantic, and endlessly entertaining, this romp through the storied streets of New York City will enchant readers. Melody Carlson has created characters so charming that readers will long to meet them in the lobby of the stunning Rothsberg Hotel.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800723576
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/02/2015
Series: Follow Your Heart Series , #1
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 532,344
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than 6.5 million. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at www.melodycarlson.com.

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Once Upon a Summertime: A New York City Romance 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This is a true blue romance.  I usually like a bit of suspense mixed in to my romances but for some reason I could not put this one down.  This is about Anna Gordan who wants a better job than the one she has in her hometown.  All of a sudden she gets fired and than gets a new job offer on New York City.  Here she meets a guy from her hometown who she hasn't seen in years.  His name is Sean O'Neil.    He becomes her coworker and there is to be no romances between coworkers at this boutique hotel.  Very romantic and sweet.  I could not put it down until I learned how they could stay together.  I received this book through Revell reads for a fair and honest opinion.
EpicFehlReader More than 1 year ago
2.5 Stars This story definitely had potential. It had the reliably interesting backdrop of NYC, the fun behind-the-scenes kind of story of the hotel business, it had some interesting secondary characters to keep the flow of the plot nice. Where this one fell down for me is with our main character Anna. Lordy, that girl was BLAND! Poor girl got virtually no humor or personality from Carlson! Anna was just all straightforward business and social awkwardness, but not even in a cute way! It drove me crazy how Anna seemed to interpret every situation in an uber-literal way. Carlson tries to write in an explanation, saying that Anna was compensating / over compensating for the poor life choices of her parents, but I’m sorry, I still found no flavor to the girl. But of course, mysteriously our main guy character is drawn to her like she’s some sort of sea siren. Nevermind the fact that she comes off as someone that wouldn’t be much fun to hang out with lol. But like I said earlier, what pulled me through this story is the cast of secondary characters, and also some of the NYC history that Carlson weaves into sightseeing scenes with Anna. I did enjoy the passages describing Anna’s walks through Ellis Island and St. Patrick’s Cathedral and her ponderings on the immigrant experience. I also enjoyed the inclusion of the historical tidbit on Annie Moore, a 17 year old Irishwoman documented as the very first person to every pass through Ellis Island in 1892.
ksnapier475 More than 1 year ago
Melody Carlson is one of my favorite authors. I have never been disappointed by her writing and I, once again was happy to be reading her works. In Once Upon a Summertime, Carlson takes the reader behind the doors of what is needed to run a hotel in New York City. This is where Anna ends up after a different life as a small-town girl. Here the world of the Big Apple takes shape under the descriptive words of Melody Carlson, as seen by the main character. Her life, including a relationship, are all developed nicely. However, I do not know if it was because I did not want the book to end or some other factor, but the ending happened too quickly. This is a great read for those that like developed characters and descriptions that place them in the center of things. I received this book from Baker Publishing Group, Revell and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
I am so blessed to be able to read Melody Carlson's latest novel Once Upon a Summertime, before the closure of summer for me. What an incredible series this is going to be and I can't wait for the next novel in this series! For those looking for an exceptional romance, pick this one up! You won't be disappointed. Anna Gordon has always had a heart for hospitality, and thus the reason for getting her degree in hotel management. Having lived a rough childhood, living on the streets at times, she relished those moments when they would find a place to stay in a motel. She tried her best at those times, to make it the best it good be, despite what her parents did, and the very reason why she had such a desire for those guests that would come to a place to stay, wanting to ensure that it was truly a great experience. Yet she never dreamed after all those years of attending school, that she would wind up working at the Value Lodge and living on her grandmother's couch. While all her other friends, were busy living it up at exotic locations managing exceptional hotels, she was questioning if this is as good as her life would get. Was this what her degree would be used for? Not to mention that the Value Lodge was beyond run down and the employees lazy and without the same desire for seeing the potential of what could be. So when an offer to move to New York and help manage one of the high end newly renovated hotels becomes available, Anna believes God might just have a plan in mind if she is willing to place her faith in Him. She meets a long time friend from home, Sean O'Neil, who most girls had crushes on in high school has now been appointed as the day manager. The two eventually realize that they need a friend while trying to make their way in an unfamiliar city, but if sparks begin to fly, they both could be out of a job when the hotel mandates a no romance or dating policy among it's employees or guests. But all Anna needs is a chance to prove herself worthy so she can move on to bigger and better goals and New York right now offers her the best chance at a new life, she had only dreamed of before. I received Once Upon A Summertime by Melody Carlson compliments of Revell Publishing and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of the book for my honest and personal review. This was such a great novel, that I read it in one sitting. I was completely lost in the world of what it is like to manage a hotel, and being a huge dreamer of one day opening a Bed and Breakfast, this one will appealed to me. Readers even get a sneak peek at the second novel in this series, even though it is unnamed at this time, I can't wait to add this one to my personal collection at home. For me, this one well deserves all 5 out of 5 stars.
Laura_Pol More than 1 year ago
“Once Upon a Summertime” was interesting…and slightly disappointing. I say that last part hesitantly because I love Melody Carlson’s books and have read almost all of her YA novels, but this one wasn’t a personal favorite. However, I really enjoyed the historical aspect of learning about New York through Anna’s eyes. I thought it fascinating as well as the ins and outs of housekeeping at a hotel. It makes me more appreciative for what hotel maids do. The one thing that bothered me the most when reading was the romance. Sean was so cute and really sweet, but I didn’t like how the actual romance happened. It felt too rushed and slightly unrealistic for my taste. If you’re looking for a quick read that’s set in New York City with second chances then I recommend this novel. I might have not liked a few aspects of the novel, but overall it was an enjoyable read that pulled me in halfway though. *(I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.)*
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
If you're looking for a nice read to escape all this crazy summer heat you've just stumbled upon it! Melody Carlson has once again brought us a light read that is the perfect anecdote to a lazy summer afternoon. Even though it is a light read it isn't fluffy. The characters are well developed and the story line is interesting. Anna Gordon is our female lead and I really like her. She was raised by her grandma who made many sacrifices for Anna. When Anna's grandpa dies she gives up pursuing a prestigious career in hotel management to come back home and be with her grandma. When we meet up with Anna she has been sleeping on her grandma's couch and working at the Value Lodge for two years. The situation is less than ideal but as Providence would have it everything is about to change. A chance encounter with a childhood friend brings about the chance of a lifetime. With her grandma's blessing Anna takes a chance and applies for her dream job in New York City. Imagine her surprise to learn that Sean O'Neil, a guy that she has had a crush on since high school, has applied for the same job. Even though they both are attracted to each other this is a romance that cannot be. They are co-workers and there is no fraternizing among staff. The story that unfolds has all the wonderful elements that I love in a great romance. Seemingly insurmountable odds, growing attraction, and above all the Divine destiny of the characters are worth every moment it takes to read this wonderful book. If you've not yet read a Melody Carlson book this would be a good one to pick up and enjoy. You'll be hooked! I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Pitkinchick More than 1 year ago
I really would like to thank Revell Books for allowing me to review this book. I really love Melody Carlson books and I think she is an awesome author. I don't know what happened with this book. She started out with a really good story and a really good character, Anna, but somewhere along the way she lost sight of the goal. In this book, Anna goes to New York to get the opportunity of a lifetime managing a hotel, but she is competing against an old crush, Sean O'Neil. There was a great deal of romance, but not much substance to it. Then all of a sudden he just proposes after knowing her for only two weeks. Talk about love at first sight! I think this could have been a really good book if it had been more thought out. Overall, it wasn't bad but it wasn't her best.
Moonpie72 More than 1 year ago
I have never read a book by Melody Carlson I did not enjoy.  This one will be added to the list. It was a refreshing change from historical novels.   I never fail to learn something new from the books I read.  When I heard of people going to school to get a degree in hotel management I never realized all the Hospitality Industry entailed professionally! Anna Gordon is a young woman with big dreams to pursue a career she loves. She puts her plans on hold to move back to her small home town and be with her widowed grandmother. Making  the best of the situation and wait or God to direct her, she gets a job managing the “Value Lodge”.  The name should tell you enough!   It was fraught with frustrations dealing with indifferent owners, lax employees, and outdated facilities. She feels her education and expertise is worthless there.  Just when she thinks she can’t handle anymore, the opportunity of a life time opens up. A friend arranges for her to interview for a job at a stylish, high-class, new hotel opening in New York City!   She gets a job, but not as manager.  Much to her disappointment, she is hired as head of housekeeping. She decides to do her very best and hopefully move up in the future.  The real blow to her comes when she finds out that Sean O’Neil is the new manager.  He is an old crush of hers from high school.  Still drawn to him, she struggles to maintain a professional attitude and relationship.  Much to her surprise, he is very interested in more.  That wasn’t the only adjustment she faced.  It was quite a change from her little community to bustling New York City!  I have never been to the Big Apple, but I feel like I got a mini trip their through Anna!   Ms. Carlson made the sights and sounds so real.  I especially liked her descriptiveness of the hotel and Anna’s first apartment.  This is a fun book, and such a sweet story of romance.  An added bonus is a sneak peek at the author’s next book in her “Follow Your Heart” series.  I can’t wait to read it too!  I received a copy of this book from Revell's Blog Tour Program for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed are my own.
Readanygoodbookslately More than 1 year ago
Melody Carlson's book Once Upon a Summertime takes you on a trip from a small town to the big city of New York.  It has been the main character, Anna's dream to work in a fancy New York City Hotel, but her dreams are sidelined when family issues draw her back home before she is able to accomplish her goals of managing a big city hotel.  An unlikely set of events finally gets Anna her chance to move from small town to big city.  Anna is a hard worker and is willing to start with a lower level position in which she feels she is over-qualified for in order to get her pump-clad foot into the door. The descriptions in this book did make me feel like a visitor site-seeing in New York right along with Anna and her friend Sean.  If I ever plan a trip to New York I will be sure to include many of the places they visited on my itinerary.  I did feel that Anna's attitude toward co-workers was a tad condescending and that she almost looked down on others that supported the profession in which she longed to work.  I don't think I would want Anna as my boss.  However, the book was entertaining and a fun read.
RandomAmb More than 1 year ago
Another winner from Melody Carlson! I was so excited when I heard Melody Carlson was coming out with a new contemporary series. Luckily, I was able to get my hands on a review copy and dive head first into the Follow Your Heart series! Book 1 is called Once Upon a Summertime and centers on Anna Gordon, who has a less-than-fulfilling career and not much else of which to speak. Following a series of events and decisions, Anna winds up in New York City to interview for her dream job. While this story has definite fairy-tale tendencies, it's not a fairy tale. Anna faces ups and downs in her new city, including a new romance. New York City itself is a main character in this story and has as much a part in the romance as the actual couple. Carlson's descriptions of the city left me wanting to visit more than any other book has. If you've been to NYC, you'll be itching to go back. If you haven't been (like me!), you'll be dying to plan a trip! The setting, characters, and plot are both inviting and envy-worthy. While the ending feels a bit rushed and possibly too easy, it's well worth the read. Highly recommended for fans of NYC, romance, and Melody Carlson's other works. I can't wait for the next book in the Follow Your Heart series! *I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
New challenges.... Anna Gordon is ready for a change. She spent two dead end years after receiving her degree managing the small-town Value Lodge, and sleeping on her grandmother's sofa. An opportunity to work for a high-end boutique hotel in New York City becomes available, and Anna is ready for the challenge. A childhood friend of sorts becomes her coworker, and the two are off to see the city and prepare to manage the best hotel in the Big Apple. A sweet and ambitious tale of young people and new beginnings may appeal to the younger crowd, late teens, early 20s. I found it a bit overdone. Anna is an innocent character, and her counterpart, Sean O'Neil is rather imposing, yet in fictitious New York City anything is possible. Numerous characters are introduced into the story, but I was able to follow.  The story was flowing along, and then suddenly dropped. Dead end. End of story. As I came closer to the end of the book I was concerned about which direction this story was going. In a word, nowhere. The book is descriptive, architectural detailing was well done, but the story just fell flat. This may be a good beach read for those who enjoy light reading, but be prepared for an abrupt ending.  Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Wynn-Wynn Media in exchange for my honest review. All expressed opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Melody Carlson in her new book, “Once Upon a Summertime” Book One in the Follow Your Heart series published by Revell brings us into the life of Anna Gordon. From the back cover: She’s looking for her big break. She never imagined it would depend on a blast from her past. Managing the Value Lodge in her hometown was not what Anna Gordon had in mind when she set out in the hospitality industry. But it’s a safe choice for a young woman starting out her career. Then, out of the blue, she gets the opportunity of a lifetime: a chance to reinvent herself and reinvigorate her career by moving to New York City. She applies for a management position at a stylish new hotel, The Rothsberg. But the city is full of surprises–not the least of which is discovering that Sean O’Neil, a once-upon-a-time crush, has applied for the very same position. This sweetly romantic tale of dreams come true takes you through the storied streets of New York City–and into the depths of the human heart. Springville and the Value Lodge is not the reason why Anna wanted to be in hotel management Hospitality. Her friends were working in 5 star hotels in Paris and the Caribbean she was helping her grandmother in Springville. She is given the opportunity she has always dreamed of to work at the new New York hotel, The Rothsberg. Now we get to play tourist with Anna as she visits New York to actually meet with Human Resources. It is here that she meets up with Sean O’Neil who is also meeting with HR and happened to be the love of her life. Ms. Carlson has given us a story not only of hopes and dreams but of fulfilling our purpose in life. On top of everything there is also the romance. Anna is such a remarkable character that we instantly feel that we have been friends with her our whole lives and we want what is best for her. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy this book as you will want to finish it before going to bed. “Once Upon a Summertime” is an exciting adventure from start to finish. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Once Upon a Summertime is a sweet lighthearted romance about a young woman who has worked hard to get where she is in her career and yet has unfulfilled dreams while still living in her hometown. When a chance of a lifetime presents itself to Anna for an opportunity to work in a brand new boutique hotel in New York City, she decides to go for it. This is her journey to not only her dream job, but also to true love as well. She experiences bumps along the road as she learns to navigate the busy streets of the big city as well as the desires of her heart. This was an easy read and a cute romance with a guy that seems just too perfect in Anna’s eyes. With summertime upon us and vacations starting up, I did enjoy learning through Anna’s responsibilities as a manger about the hospitality aspect of hotels. Especially the difference between a hotel that is a budget one and focused on only the basics versus one that wants to make your stay an experience itself. I received this book for an honest review from Revell Publishing and the opinions are my own.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a cute, light, fun summer read…Once Upon a Summertime might be just the book for you. The author did a very good job of making me feel like a tourist to New York. I really felt like I was seeing the sights and I enjoyed the details of Anna and Sean’s treks around the city. I also felt that I learned a lot about the hotel industry and all the little details that must be taken care of to offer true hospitality . I liked Anna and Sean, but didn’t get very connected with them. I thought the overall storyline was cute and was happy that it was clean and sweet. Everything was from Anna’s perspective, which surprised me. I kept wanting to hear Sean’s thoughts, as well! But, on the other hand, this way of storytelling did keep Sean’s feelings as more of a surprise to Anna and myself. Some things toward the end of the story did feel rushed to me, but I still enjoyed the book. My thanks to Revell for the complimentary copy of this book that I received in exchange for an honest review.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
When Anna Gordon follows her dream to New York City, she discovers something she never expected! Melody Carlson’s vivid imagery brings to life the sights and sounds of this light-hearted story. Anna is an engaging character, and I enjoyed her journey of self-discovery and her relationship with Sean O’Neil, a crush from her childhood. The conclusion of the story felt a bit rushed, but I did appreciate its ambiance and romance. Once Upon a Summertime is an enjoyable story and a fun summer read! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and appreciate the opportunity to share my honest opinion.
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
This is a nice clean-cut, feel-good romance. I fell in love with the main characters, Anna Gordon and Sean O’Neil. They are both so wonderfully well developed and easy to relate to. It was a lot of fun to follow along as they built a friendship starting with their first meeting since they have grown up. I enjoyed the information that they shared with each other about their home life as children and how they each made their decision about what they wanted to do for a living. I also enjoyed the secondary characters in this book. The interaction between them and Anna and Sean was great. There was some conflict in the story, but it wasn’t enough to detract from the over-all feel good experience of reading this story. In fact there was just enough conflict to help the story feel a little more realistic. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
parmilespages More than 1 year ago
Anna Gordon is managing the Value Lodge and living with her grandmother, not really what she imagined she would be doing after earning her master’s degree in hospitality.  One day as she is walking to work, she runs into her old friend, Marley and they become reacquainted.  It seems Marley has a connection with a fancy new hotel opening in New York City and arranges an interview for Anna with the owner.  Things don’t pan out as Anna had imagined, including her discovery that Sean O’Neil, an old acquaintance from her hometown, also lives in New York.   This story is purely a romance without any other major themes or underlying plot.  I found the New York City location to be entertaining and enjoyable to read about.   It took me a bit to get into the story, as the plot was slow starting.  I didn’t immediately connect to the main character, as Anna seemed to be insipid and indecisive.  The story also lacked a definite climax.  It seemed to plod along at a slow and steady pace making it rather dull.  It ended quickly and the conclusion seemed rushed, catching the reader by surprise.  The characters weren’t developed to their full potential, causing them to lack depth and complexity.  It was, however, a sweet and light-hearted story about the possibilities of new beginnings.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for an honest review. 
LiliansBooks More than 1 year ago
Disclaimer- I received this book from Revell Publishers in return for a honest review. Managing the Value Lodge in her hometown was not what Anna Gordon had in mind when she set out in the hospitality industry. But it’s a safe choice for a woman whose childhood was anything but stable. Out of the blue, she gets a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reinvent herself by moving to New York City, where she hopes for a management position at a stylish new boutique hotel. The big city is full of surprises–not the least of which is Sean O’Neil. Her childhood crush has applied for the very same position! Sweet, romantic, and endlessly entertaining, this romp through the storied streets of New York City will enchant readers. Melody Carlson has created characters so charming that readers will long to meet them in the lobby of the stunning Rothsberg Hotel. Once Upon A Summertime is a fun, fresh, flirty story that is absolutely perfect for your summer reading! The quirky characters and interesting storyline makes this story a very refreshing read. I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous to read this book. It was my first real “New Adult” contemporary romance in a long time. I’ve stuck to mostly YA lately. So when this book arrived, I was a little scared as to how I would like it. I’m also not the biggest contemporary fan, so that added to my feelings. But I must say, I wasn’t disappointed in it. The storyline was, as I said above, fun, fresh, and flirty. Here’s why- Fun- The characters were very well-written and captivating. The protagonist, Anna, was a very likable character. She felt relatable and real. Plus I loved the fun setting of NYC. Hearing about the different sights and places around the city was fun, and it kinda felt like I was there. Fresh- I have read a good amount of contemporaries. They have never been my favorite genre, but, if written correctly, they can be enjoyed. I felt like Melody did a great job keeping this story surprising and cute. It was a little cheesy at times, but most contemporary’s are. Flirty- I loved how the romance was new and adorable. It wasn’t overly serious or forced. It was young love that grew sweeter throughout the story. One thing that I am unhappy about is the ending. The ending felt forced and abrupt. I felt like Melody could have written a much sweeter and more satisfying ending. I do recommend this book! I think it is especially great to read during the summer. I am looking forward to the next book in the series, out in 2016! -Lilian-
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
Once Upon a Summertime is the story of a young woman who realizes how lucky she was to have her Grandparents come to her rescue as a child. When her Grandmother needed her she gave up some of her dreams and returned to her small town to help her. As the story unfolds Anna reconnects with a childhood friend Marley, and the die is set to have Anna restart her life in New York City. What an adventure is about to start for Anna, and so totally different than what she has known. As you get to know her you know that this is what she trained for, and is about to use her gifts. There is some romance and competition here for the same fellow, and we also get to enjoy being a tourist in NYC, enjoy your double deck bus rain ride. You will also enjoy the splendor of the new hotel, made me want to stay there. A few pages into the book we meet Mr. Perfect, and he was very wonderful, almost too much, and the romance went a bit to fast. The book itself was a fast, sweet read. As a Granddaughter Anna was wonderful, and she does get a raw deal as far as working in her small town. A nice read for a quite summertime day. I received this book through Revell Reads and was not required to give a positive review.
tmurrell2 More than 1 year ago
Anna moved back to her hometown to be with her widowed grandmother. But when a wonderful job opportunity to move to New York comes, she jumps at it. After getting a job at a posh hotel she meets the new manager, Sean, an old acquaintance from her hometown. Sparks fly immediately, but a no dating policy at the hotel puts their jobs in danger if they continue the relationship. This is one of those light, fluffy, fast reads. It only took me a couple of hours from start to finish. The romance was rushed and I couldn't connect with any of the characters. The plot and secondary characters appeared to only be there to support the hurried romance. I was also surprised because this is supposed to be Christian fiction and the only real aspect of God was the two prayers that Sean prayed for meals at the end of the book. But for some reason, it was such a fun read that I didn't mind. So I'm giving this a much higher rating than if I normally would have because I enjoyed it. And I fully intend to read the next book in the series. I received this book free of charge from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review.