Genre

Young Adult / Romance

Audience

Young Adult

Author’s Worldview

Catholic

Year Published

2023

Themes

Enemies to Lovers Romance, Past Mistakes, Mercy, Forgiveness, Trust in God

 

Reviewed by

Tiffany Buck

“So, what are you doing here?” An honest question from Jarret West to Caitlyn, as she stands in the hallway of his house. He isn’t happy to see her, and the tone in his question lets her know it. Caitlyn has made a list of the qualities she wants in a husband, and Jarret doesn’t fit any of them.  So, how do these two fall in love with each other?

Caitlyn has the perfect summer job as a live-in maid at the West house, which seems more like a castle. It’s the home of her friend Roland and his twin brothers, Keefe and Jarret. Coming from a small house without much privacy, Caitlyn is looking forward to the quiet of a large house. It’s the perfect opportunity for a retreat. Unfortunately, the idea of a retreat is crushed when she is handed a list of daily chores. Not one to give up, Caitlyn dutifully sets out to complete her tasks. For a short while, Caitlyn joyfully settles into her routine until Jarret comes home. The two don’t really get along.

Jarret has the chance of a lifetime¾ an archeological field study in Pompeii. He’s a fool for missing out. When his favorite professor backs out at the last minute, Jarret follows suit. Plus going to Italy with his girlfriend seems to0  much of a temptation.  After all, he does have a reputation as a lady’s man.  Hoping for a relaxing summer. Jarret decides to come home. How can he relax with his brother Roland’s friend in the house?

From the moment Jarret dumps his luggage in the hallway, blocking a clear path, Caitlyn is sure he hasn’t changed one bit¾always arrogant and bossy. Instead of getting angry or complaining to his father, she offers kindness. These tiny drops of sweetness from Caitlyn make Jarret yearn for a woman like her. Caitlyn sees a hidden vulnerability to Jarret that softens her heart towards him.  Living under the same roof has given Caitlyn and Jarret a chance to really get to know one another. There’s plenty of romantic tension and humor between the two.

I love a good enemies to lovers romance. In the beginning, it’s hard to see these characters as a couple. Caitlyn seems impossibly old-fashioned with her ideas of courtship.  Jarret appears to be the typical arrogant rich college boy.  Told from alternate points of view, readers get to know the thoughts that drive the actions of Caitlyn and Jarret. Little by little, the novel peels back their layers, revealing insecurities. Caitlyn has seen the girls Jarret typically dates and they don’t look like her. Jarret wants to be a man worthy of Caitlyn, but he struggles with his past. After all, he was the one that got her friend pregnant in High School. Can Jarret convince Caitlyn with Our Lady’s help that he’s changed?

There is something so beautiful about a faith-filled romance. It’s not about being wrapped up in the moment, rather, it’s allowing God’s presence to permeate the relationship. Clearly, Caitlyn and Jarret love each other. With their insecurities, especially Jarret’s, I would imagine it difficult for their romance to blossom without faith. God has plans for Caitlyn and Jarret, just as he has with all of us. All we need to do is trust Him.

Summer at West Castle is part of the West Brothers series.  While Summer at West Castle takes place before Anyone, but Him,  Anyone, but Him should be read first to avoid spoilers. A beautiful modern romance  novel, worthy of any Catholic library.  Non-Catholics will enjoy the blossoming relationship but may not understand Jarret’s devotion to Mary.

Rightfully Ours by Carolyn Asfalk

When Paul & Rachel discover a hidden treasure they wrestle with the responsibility of it– even as they face similar questions in their relationship.

Battle for his Soul by Theresa Linden

Bereft of a mother & betrayed by his twin, Jarret fights for a place to call home, unaware a supernatural war threatening to damn him to hell itself.

Voice in the Storm By: Eric Thomas Ruthford

Four young teens find their voice in the storm while navigating the humorous social complexities of summer camp.

Lance and the Veil by Kevin Rush

She was Christ’s comforter, he, his executioner. Can the two find love in each other’s arms?

The Grace Crasher by Mara Faro

The Grace Crasher is the ecumenical romantic dramedy that everyone who has ever had family members in split churches needs to read.

Playing by Heart by Carmela Martino

In this historical drama, Emilia longs for a love as beautiful as her sonata, but the ambitions of her father put her and her sister in great danger. Winner of our 2018 Best of the Year Awards.

In Pieces by Rhonda Ortiz

Is a marriage without love the only way to save Molly Chase’s reputation?

Good to the Last Drop by Declan Finn

Marco thought his problems were over when he took on the vampire council, until he gets bit by a werewolf. Will this ruin things with his vampire girlfriend?

The Boy Who Knew (Friends in High Places: Carlo Acutis) by Corinna Turner

Faced with his death, a fifteen-year-old learns how to live through the wisdom of Blessed Carlo Acutis.

McCracken and the Lost Oasis by Mark Adderley

A swashbuckling adventure into Catholic history and archeology.

God’s Sparrows By Kathleen Vincenz

Rose didn’t expect to babysit six children, but God had other plans.

The Academy Saga: Book 1 By C.J. Daly  

A thrilling, yet clean, high school romance.

Comet Dust by C.D. Verhoff

A Catholic end-of days inspired by the private revelations of the saints.

The Wistful and the Good by G. M. Baker

Two weeks after the sacking of Lindisfarne, Norse traders aren’t welcome in Northumbria. But they’re here. Does a Viking really have a chance with an English noblewoman?

Earthquake Weather by Kevin Rush

The mist that settles over San Francisco hides the ugly parts of her world. Can Kristine find the courage to see with unclouded eyes?

The Tale of Patrick Peyton

How a humble, Irish immigrant brought Mary to Hollywood and then the World.

The Wish Thief by C.D. Verhoff

Glory steals an unusual gem to save her family but winds up threatening an entire world.

The Wind That Shakes The Corn: Memoirs of a Scots Irish Woman by Kaye Park Hinckley

Sold into slavery on her wedding night, an 18th-century Irishwoman struggles to free herself from her thirst for vengeance.

For Eden’s Sake by T.M. Gaouette

Life is precious whether it’s planned or not.

Breach! by Corinna Turner

Isaiah’s got a T-rex size problem, but this time, it’s not a dinosaur.