Blog Tour : The Summer Without You by Karen Swan - Review + Q&A

I am so glad to be a part of the blog tour for Karen Swan's new book, The Summer Without You! Here's the review! I got the chance to ask Karen a few questions and her answers are in this post too!

Title : The Summer Without You

Author : Karen Swan

Publication Date : 22 May 2014

Publisher : Pan Macmillan

Source : Sent by the publisher (Thank you!)

Overall : 5/5

Rowena Tipton isn't looking for a new life, just a new adventure, something to while away the months as her long-term boyfriend presses pause on their relationship before they become engaged. But when a chance encounter at a New York wedding leads to an audition for a coveted houseshare in The Hamptons - Manhattan's elite beach scene - suddenly a new life is exactly what she's got.

Stretching before her is a summer with three eclectic housemates, long days on white sand ocean beaches and parties on gilded tennis courts. But high rewards bring high stakes and Rowena soon finds herself caught in the crossfire of a vicious intimidation campaign. Alone for the first time in her adult life, she has no-one to turn to but a stranger who is everything she doesn't want - but possibly everything she needs.

I truly enjoyed Christmas at Claridge’s by Karen and her writing really impressed me. I couldn’t thank the lovely publicist at Pan Macmillan enough for sending me a copy of her first summer book. Her previous books were Christmas themed and I was truly excited to read her FIRST book set in summer. The cover is gorgeous and it screams “SUMMER”. I love the yellow-blue combo, superb! The yellow is just fetching!

The story follows the adventure of Rowena Tipton, a photographer that has a chance to experience summer in The Hamptons as her boyfriend, Matt has decided to ‘pause’ their relationship and spend the entire summer away from her. After a wedding, she finds herself at a party and who knows, that marks the beginning of a fun summer with three crazy housemates. Days with breathtaking scenery, green tennis courts and sophisticated parties, all ready for her. Maybe, summer without Matt isn’t going to be so bad after all.

I jumped straight into this as soon as it arrived at my doorstep! I was wrapped up in my own happy bubble and I could feel every amazing thing that was going on in the book. Glad to be given the opportunity to review the book and be a part of the blog tour! Keep reading this post for there is a Q&A with Karen! I truly enjoyed reading about Ro’s passion for her job. Who knows, I might take up photography after this! I have only seen Hamptons in TV shows and films but the beauty of the place was greatly enhanced by Karen’s words. Every feature was clearly described and I could imagine myself walking along the powdery beach and drinking in the wonderful sunsets. Imagine how great life would be!

The characters were all fantastic, I loved her housemates! I greatly felt as though I was in Hamptons with them, shared a drink or two.  Ro’s such a strong heroine and I loved her from the start. I really hoped for Ro to find her happy ever after throughout the story. Hamptons has certainly taught Ro how to love. Her charms captivated me throughout the story and I really wanted a perfect ending to this story. The plot was brilliantly developed and it’s totally worth sacrificing sleep. Karen has a unique style that belongs to her, she’s really great at blending mystery and romance. Five hundred pages in three days! Shiny, new record! A long story that felt sooo….ooo short.

The Summer Without You is a book you need to have in your luggage or by your sunlounger. I wanted to pack my pink swimsuit and move to Hamptons for a long, warm holiday with lots of sunshine! RELOCATION.  Buy yourself a copy and this would be your next fabulous read! Just remember, apply some sunscreen before you step out with this absorbing summer read! It could be scorching!


1. How would you describe your first ever, summer book, The Summer Without You and what was the inspiration behind it?

I love the vibe of this book, it’s so beachy and laid-back, I half expect sunshine to glow from the pages! It’s about a girl on the cusp of getting her Happy Ending. She’s got everything she wants;Life’s a bit sleepy, perhaps, but she’s happy for everything to stay the way it is. The problem is, life keeps on moving forwards anyway andwhen she finds herself left behind by her boyfriend, with a summer to fill till his return, she falls into a house-share in the Hamptons (New York’s elite beach scene) simply to save face and kill time. But as the weeks pass, acquaintances become friends, a job becomes a career and suddenly a summer begins to feel like a prelude to a new life.

I wanted to write a book set in the Hamptons as I spent some time there during my ‘previous life’ as a fashion editor. When I went to New York for the shows, I would stay with a friend who was Editor for the Hamptons magazine and we’d go down there at weekends, do some fashion shoots in hunting lodges and on the beach… It’s a very slick, glossy, high-octane scene that’s the polar opposite of the British beach experience (Boden fleeces and pasties) and I knew the culture shock would create some great comedy, plot action and character growth. Anyone who’s read any of my other books will recognise a recurring them in them: how much are we products of our environment and how different would we each be if we relocated our lives into an entirely new setting? I’m a sucker for those What If scenarios….

2. How do you feel about writing two books a year?

Exhausted and exhilarated in equal measure! There’s no doubt it’s a really gruelling schedule – some days, writing feels more like a blood sport – but there are so many buzz points to this profession that writing twice as much means I get a double dose of it all: for example, I love that Eureka! moment when I come up with the big idea for the next book after weeks of drawing a blank, hitting on that one mannerism that brings a character to life, that slow dawning on a read-through that actually the edits have worked, and then of course launch time when I’m so nervous I can barely eat, waiting for the charts to be released. The entire cycle is such an adrenalin kick and I’m totally addicted. Frankly if I thought I could go up to three times a year, I would. (But I really can’t).

3. People have said that you are the Queen of Christmas read. What are your thoughts on that?

Good ones! It’s hugely flattering of course, but the success of Christmas at Tiffany’s a few years ago means the market has become very crowded and there’s such tough competition to face off - with some really big names in the mix–that I’m anything but complacent. I know my readers want a feeling of retreat and hibernation with their Christmas read.It’s the ultimate Me Time at the busiest time of year so I see it as my job to take them away into a story that makes them laugh, cry and get goosebumps. They want glamour, sumptuousness and heart-stopping electricity between Him and Her - plus a few twists and an unguessable ending (So, not asking for much then!). There are definitely other authors who write more Christmassy-plots than me, but my readers know by now that they can depend on me for pure escapism and big heart. When they buy me, they’re not getting a book – they’re getting a plane ticket.

4. If your main characters were to be adapted for screen, who do you imagine playing the roles of them?

Oooh, how indulgent! For this book I’d love to see Jennifer Lawrence play Ro – although she’d have to get a perm, Ro’s hair practically has its own role in the book! I’m saying Jennifer not because she’s the Oscar-winning, actress-of-the-moment but because she comes across as a really regular girl. I love that she’s not rail thin with waist-length blonde hair hijacking Coachella as a PR stunt but instead hangs out in her track pants with her boyfriend. Ro’s a little bit awkward, clumsy, shy, and self-deprecating. She thinks she’s quite invisible and has no idea that people find her funny, loveable and really sexy. She feels totally over-sized and out-of-place in the Hamptons, humiliating herself on quite a regular basis (the yoga scene, don’t get me started…) and I think Jennifer would be able to juggle the mix of comedy with vulnerability and gradual blossoming.

5. If you were to choose a memorable line from The Summer Without You, which line would it be?

Argh, so hard! It’s all about context.  I can’t choose. You choose!

‘The affection she saw between Ted and Marina was a mirror to her and Matt., and she missed his touch. She missed being touched so badly she wanted to cry. Back slaps from Hump on the way to the fridge didn’t count.’


‘She had never felt more removed from her leafy suburb, working out of the spare room and catching the bus to the local studio, feeding the fish at five on the dot and nipping into the corner caff once a week for a flapjack treat. How could the life she shared with Matt stay alive or real if neither one of them was living it?

6. This question may be a little out of topic. If you were an island, what would your name be?

Orchard Isle, because my children’s names are associated with various fruits (completely unintentional at the time) so I’d be an island planted with pear, plum and olive trees.

7. And finally Karen, are you already working on another book?

With my schedule, I’m never not! I’ve just finished editing the Christmas book and I’m already working on next summer’s book. There’s something really big about it that I’d love to share with you but I think it’s a bit early yet. As with plots, it’s all a matter of timing.

Thanks for answering my questions, Karen! Great answers! xx

And before I go, here's the gorgeous blog tour badge! Check out the participating blogs!


  1. This book sounds really great! I would love to read it!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts