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Peek Inside Her Summer with the Marine

The last person Ellie McDermott wanted to run into after returning to her hometown is Finn Donovan, her high school nemesis and the guy she crossed the line from enemies to lovers with one night years ago. Now ex-military, tattooed, and still sexy as hell, Finn is a complication Ellie doesn’t need—she needs to concentrate on saving her family business. Acting on their attraction is one thing, but Finn has to turn a profit to save his own family, and nothing—not even love—will get in his way.

Her Summer with the Marine

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The last person Ellie McDermott wanted to run into after returning to her hometown is Finn Donovan, her high school nemesis and the guy she crossed the line from enemies to lovers with one night years ago. Now ex-military, tattooed, and still sexy as hell, Finn is a complication Ellie doesn't need-she needs to concentrate on saving her family business.

Finn's entire life, Ellie was there, going head-to-head with him in every class, bee, and test. So it's no surprise she'd show up just as he was about to take over her father's struggling business. It is a surprise, though, that his attraction to her is even more explosive than it had been. Acting on their attraction is one thing, but Finn has to turn a profit to save his own family, and nothing-not even love-will get in his way.

The Donovan Brothers series is best enjoyed in order.
Reading Order:
Book #1 Her Summer with the Marine
Book #2 Chasing the Runaway Bride
Book #3 Head Over Heels for the Boss


"This book touched my soul as I too have a loved one stricken with Alzheimer’s and the way it robs you of the person you’ve loved all of your life. I appreciate the way it was handled and felt the heroine’s actions and feelings were very well written. " - Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

"This story was like no other that I’ve read before and the originality of the story line blew me away. " - Swept Away by Romance

"Bliss readers who have been looking for a little more steam will be thoroughly satisfied. And readers who love a small town, enemies (or frenemies) to lovers story, will be in heaven." - Larissa, Goodreads  

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781622664986
Series: Donovan Brothers, Book 1
Release Date: Mar 10, 2014
Page Count: 260
Imprint: bliss
Genre: contemporary, military/men in uniform
Tropes: enemies to lovers, opposites attract

Select Featured Reviews

See All Reviews on
By Kathleen March 14, 2014

Review posted at: Swept Away By Romance

Story Rating ~ 5 Stars
Hero Rating ~ 5 Stars
Heroine Rating ~ 5 Stars
Romance Rating ~ 4 Stars
Heat Level ~ 3.5 Stars
Ending ~ 5 Stars
Overall Rating ~ 5 Stars

This story was like no other that I’ve read before and the originality of the story line blew me away. This ...more

Slick‘s review posted on Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

Review copy provided for an honest review


This is one of those books that defies the old adage “you can’t go home again.” In Her Summer with the Marine, we see two high school rivals returning home for different reasons both after being ch ...more

By Larissa August 10, 2016

Her Summer with the Marine is a fun, sexy frenemies to lovers story. Ellie McDermott has to move home and take over the family funeral parlor because of her dad’s worsening Alzheimer’s. Finn Donovan, the guy she competed with all through school, and who she had one night with, has also returned to t ...more

By Sheryl C. Nash February 20, 2014

*WHEW* This was so emotional and EXTREMELY HAWT for an Entangled Bliss. ABSOLUTELY enjoyed it and cannot wait for the stories on the other 2 Donovan brothers!!!

*ARC courtesy of Netgalley and Entangled Publishing* ...more

By Susan November 22, 2016

Very good, very emotional book, with a setting I haven't encountered before - a pair of funeral homes. Ellie works for an ad agency in Pittsburgh and has just been awarded a big account when she gets an emergency call from the police in her hometown. Her father has been found wandering around town, ...more

By AlligatorSmith loves to read March 03, 2014

In the author's biography, it says that "her favorite stories are those that inspire laughter through tears." That is a good way to describe this story. Ellie comes back to town because her father was found in the park during an Alzheimer moment; even though he doesn't recognize her most of the time ...more

By Alycia July 14, 2014

Our first RED-HOT Bliss. Same great Bliss story, but with open door sex. ;) Don't miss it!! ...more

By Ashley May 01, 2015

Aww! That was SO SWEET! There was lots of crying, but also some good laughs. :) And the chemistry? SCORCHING! I'll put up my full review once it goes live on my blog!

UPDATE: (from my blog

Who knew running a funeral home could be so sexy? (And no, there's nothing morb ...more

By Crystal March 14, 2014

Former brief (meaning one-time) lovers, competitors all through school and they've been apart 10-years when they meet up during difficult circumstances. All of this make Ellie and Finn's story very, very interesting and Her Summer with the Marine an excellent book to read as spring approaches and it ...more

By Char (1RadReader59) March 25, 2014

How many times have you said, “If only?” or wish, "If only things could have happened differently." Or, "If we could have a, do over.” Would you? Or you thought things were one way but they weren’t? This story is that.
This is one deep book. OMG! You laugh and cry during it. Yet, it is so worth ev ...more

By Sandra March 12, 2014

When I figured out the setting were two funeral homes and the two main characters Ellie and Finn are dealing with heavy family issues and competing for customers, I was a bit shocked. But the saucy story line between the two high school rivals made me laugh and the writing was flirty and fun and whe ...more

By Barbara April 01, 2014

I've had the pleasure of working with Susan on two books - Billionaire's Matchmaker and A Fairytale Christmas. She's a wonderful storyteller. This was her first sexier romance - different from her Harlequin stories - and she makes the transition seamlessly. Fun and funny, the book still manages to t ...more

By romancejunkie October 06, 2019

Sweet and touching. ...more

By Gokce ~Muslin Myst~ April 05, 2014

I don't know where I've heard it, I'm not even sure of the complete story, but I remember one day, decades ago when I was in high school, about a guy talking about his dead girlfriend with whom he'd been rivals at school. I remember him telling they competed in about every single subject, always com ...more

By April July 01, 2014

Ellie McDermott returns to her hometown to care for her ailing father, and within 12 hours, her and frenemy Finn Donovan are doing what they do best... competing against one another.

Ellie's father runs a funeral business, and expects his daughter to take over it for him. Ellie works for an ad compan ...more

By Margaret December 10, 2014

The past always has a way of catching up with you, and sometimes what you thought you knew becomes re-written when life brings you full-circle – and for Ellie that was face to face with Finn Donavan. Growing up, Ellie and Finn competed against each other in everything – who knew that when fate broug ...more

By Christi March 10, 2014

My Review:
Okay, straight off...competing funeral home businesses...a bizarre choice for the author to use as the conflict, but other than that, I loved this book.

I liked the history between Ellie and Finn. They both came from unhappy homes, both were smart, and both very competitive. That competiti ...more

He reached her, smiled. "Ellie." How could the slight lift of a man's lips make her breathless?

It was one thing to torment her, to fight for business, even get a little smarmy in the way he kept himself in front of potential customers. It was another to make her feel...She squeezed her eyes

By Rachel March 10, 2014

This book is a fun, flirty read. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next books in this series. This is the first for Bliss, it adds a little extra spice to the nice.

What's different and dare I say fun about is story is the fact that both the hero and heroine own/run funeral homes. Yo ...more

By Tory March 05, 2014

This was a very sweet romance. The non-stop competition between Elli and Finn that has lasted their entire lives remains as heated as ever when Ellie comes back to town to help save the funeral home business her father owns (even though she has no personal desire to own a funeral home herself) when ...more

By Beverly March 17, 2014

My thoughts:
This was a great story. The characters are fantastic. Ellie and Finn are both strong characters; smart, determined, dedicated, and driven. Both have parents who need them, and that need is a driving force in their business decisions. They are easy to invest in and I couldn't put the book ...more

By Stephanie March 16, 2014

This was a book that had moments where I wanted to slap sense in to both the hero and heroine but also one that made me laugh and cry. The sparks that fly between Ellie and Finn are palpable but what makes the story work is the hearts behind the heat.

I don't want to give away too much because the tr ...more

By Nicola March 09, 2014

Her Summer with the Marine is a fun, enemies to lovers romance with endearing characters, humour and some heartfelt touching moments.

Finn Donovan and Ellie McDermott spent most of their high school years competing against one another. The only time they didn’t was the time they ended up in his truc ...more

By Sonya March 15, 2014

I bought this book and planned to read a chapter. But once I started, I couldn't stop reading it. I loved Ellie right from the start and the author made Finn a character that was easy to connect with as well. The fact that both of them were in the funeral business didn't bother me because of the fac ...more

By Lea March 08, 2014

This was an enjoyable well written read. I loved the chemistry and banter between Ellie and Finn. The competitive spirit between them was fun to watch, and I loved that it never really got mean spirited. I’m not a huge fan of enemies (or frenemies) to lovers storyline but this was a pretty good one. ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
3.72 avg rating
Susan Meier

About the author

Susan Meier

A one-time legal secretary and director of a charitable foundation, Susan Meier found her own personal 'bliss' when she became a full-time novelist. She's visited ski lodges and candy factories for "research" and works in her pajamas. But the real joy of her job is creating stories about women for women. In her sixty published novels, she's tackled issues like infertility, losing a child and becoming widowed. Her favorite stories are those that inspire laughter through tears. Susan lives in western Pennsylvania with her own hero, their son and two fabulous felines, Sophia Maria Lolita Conchita Chiquita Banana and Fluffy.

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