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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Comeback Summer

Narrators: Brittany Pressley, Lauren Fortgang

Penguin Audio

ISBN: 9780593440179

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date: 05/09/2023

Format: Other

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)

Two sisters have one summer to crush their comfort zones and save their grandmother’s legacy in this sweet, sexy, and heartfelt novel by Ali Brady, author of The Beach Trap.

Hannah and Libby need a miracle. The PR agency they inherited from their grandmother is losing clients left and right, and the sisters are devastated at the thought of closing. The situation seems hopeless—until in walks Lou, an eccentric self-help guru who is looking for a new PR agency. Her business could solve all their problems—but there’s a catch. Whoever works with Lou must complete a twelve-week challenge as part of her “Crush Your Comfort Zone” program.

Hannah, whose worst nightmare is making small talk with strangers, is challenged to go on twelve first dates. Libby, who once claimed to have period cramps for four weeks straight to get out of gym class, is challenged to compete in an obstacle course race. The challenges begin with Hannah helping Libby train and Libby managing the dating app on her sister’s behalf. They’re both making good progress—until Hannah’s first love rolls into town, and Libby accidentally falls for a guy she’s supposed to be setting up with her sister.

Things get even more complicated when secrets come to light, making the sisters question the one relationship they’ve always counted on: each other. With their company’s future on the line, they can’t afford to fail. But in trying to make a comeback to honor their grandmother, are they pushing themselves down the wrong path?

My Review

The dynamic duo, Ali Brady, returns following The Beach Trap with THE COMEBACK SUMMER, a perfect beach read featuring two sisters on a quest to save their grandmother's legacy. While doing so, they experience much personal growth, forcing them out of their comfort zones and overcoming insecurities.

Set in Chicago, with alternating POVs, sisters Hannah and Libby (two years apart) inherited a PR firm, The Freedman Group, in Chicago from their grandmother, GiGi. It was her pride and joy.

Things have gone downhill since her death three years ago.

A popular self-help guru—Lou's Crush Your Comfort Zone, steps in with a program to turn the business around, but she wants to ensure the sisters are promoting correctly, pushing boundaries.

It involves a 12-week challenge of doing things that will be outside their comfort zone. Will they be up for the challenge?

Hannah's challenge: She has not had a serious relationship in five years. She despises small talk. Her challenge is to go on twelve dates in twelve weeks. Her sister will set up her online profile and handle the messaging. All Hannah has to do is go on the dates.

Libby's challenge: Fitness and health. She would like nothing more than to read romance novels and snack. She has a challenge of a physical competition called Down and Dirty. Hannah enjoys working out and will assist her sister with the schedule.

THE COMEBACK SUMMER is delightful! I loved the Freedman sisters. Libby battles her body image issues while Hannah confronts her confidence issues.

A witty, fun summer read with two sisters on a journey to self-discovery! Empowering and inspiring—an exploration into relationships, romance, health, fitness, image, family, business, and sisterhood. Also an excellent Jewish representation.

For fans of authors Kristy Woodson Harvey, Colleen Oakley, and Rochelle Weinstein. The best part was getting a special preview of the next Ali Brady novel, CAMP PEOPLE! Cannot wait.

Thanks to #Berkley for a gifted ARC via #NetGalley for review purposes. I also purchased the audiobook narrated by Brittany Pressley (favorite) and Lauren Fortgang for an outstanding performance!

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: May 9, 2023

My Rating: 5 Stars

May 2023 Must-Read Books


"This uplifting story will have you cheering for sisters Hannah and Libby as they push past the boundaries of their comfort zones. The dual narrative lets the readers experience Hannah's and Libby's compelling journeys, both of which unfold at a perfect pace throughout the story. The prose, character development and romance are a 10 out of 10 in the The Comeback Summer."

—Suzanne Park, author of So We Meet Again

“Both heartful and so much fun, The Comeback Summer finds two sisters at forks in their road and challenges them to consider the path not taken: in love, in family, in life. A delightful confection all about reinvention.”

—Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author of The Rewind

“In this lovely story of sisterhood and summer, self-discovery deftly entwines with two sweet romances. Full of warmth, complexity and charm, The Comeback Summer is the perfect read.”

—Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, authors of Do I Know You?

"The ultimate vacation read. I didn't want to put it down. The duo deliver a stunning story about the love between sisters, soulmates, and for one's self. Heavy topics such as body positivity and mental health are handled with a light, humorous, and heartwarming touch and The Comeback Summer will leave you grinning from ear to ear."

—Denise Williams, author of Do You Take This Man?

"...[A]nother winsome and winning tale that neatly pivots between the two sisters’ viewpoints and delivers the maximum measure of sharp humor and smoldering romance, all while insightfully underscoring the importance of the bond between siblings and the rewards found in embracing new challenges in life."


“An enchanting, heartwarming story about the families we’re born into—and the families we choose for ourselves. The Beach Trap is full of beauty, and hope, and reminders that it’s never too late to roll up our sleeves and rise above the mistakes we made. I cheered, I cried, I swooned while reading about Blake and Kat, and their journeys to finding love, to finding themselves, and to becoming the sisters they were always meant to be. Take this book on vacation with you, and let its heart and humor sweep you off your feet!”

—Ali Hazelwood, New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis

"A unique and fun twist on the enemies-to-lovers trope, The Beach Trap features two half-sisters who hate each other, but are thrown together one fateful summer to save their family's beach house. It's The Parent Trap meets Flip or Flop (with not one, but two hot handy men). In other words—the ultimate vacation read."

—Colleen Oakley, USA Today bestselling author of The Invisible Husband of Frick Island

“The Beach Trap is both a celebration of sisterhood and an unflinching examination of how where we come from shapes who we become. Ali Brady isn’t afraid to let Kat and Blake muddle through their mess, be it the mistakes of their family or the literal mess of the beach house they’ve inherited, and gift readers with an uplifting tale that shows how, with a little elbow grease, the baggage of our past doesn’t have to define us. With an HGTV-worthy plot, heaps of family drama, and a side of romance, The Beach Trap hits the nail on the head when it comes to the perfect summer read. Don’t forget to pack this one in your beach bag!”

—Sarah Grunder Ruiz, author of Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships

"From the deft manner in which the authors shift the narrative between their two protagonists to the dual romances that unfold with just the right dash of snarky wit and sexy sizzle, readers will find The Beach Trap to be an absolute delight.”


"There is a special place in my heart for media in which the real love story is about sisters finding each other (see: “Fleabag”), and that’s what The Beach Trap delivers: the tale of two women who decide to put each other first. But in the process, they also find romance with two different—but equally swoony—guys."

—Ali Hazelwood, New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis

"The writing duo of Ali Brady hit the ball out of the park with their debut—the story is just so well-done. The Beach Trap is a sweet and uplifting story that had me cheering for Kat and Blake to resolve their differences and come to terms with their family’s sordid past. It will be the perfect book to take to the pool or the beach this summer."

—Thoughts From a Page

"A juicy beach read!"


"Ali Brady...hit the ball out of the park with their debut—the story is just so well-done. The writing is vivid, and I felt like I was transported to the beach or living in the beach house. The Beach Trap is a sweet and uplifting story that had me cheering for Kat and Blake to resolve their differences and come to terms with their family’s sordid past. It will be the perfect book to take to the pool or the beach this summer.”

—The Buzz Magazines

"If you’re a fool for HGTV and sibling rivalry novels, toss The Beach Trap into your bag."

—The Augusta Chronicle

The Beach Trap

Ali Brady (Author), Brittany Pressley (Narrator), Imani Jade Powers (Narrator),

Penguin Audio (Publisher)

Two best friends torn apart by a life-altering secret. One summer to set the record straight.

When 12-year-olds Kat Steiner and Blake O’Neill meet at Camp Chickawah, they have an instant connection. But everything falls apart when they learn they’re not just best friends—they’re also half sisters. Confused and betrayed, the girls break off all contact.

Fifteen years later, when their father dies suddenly, Kat and Blake discover he’s left them a joint inheritance: the family beach house in Destin, Florida. The two sisters are immediately at odds. Blake, who has recently been demoted from regular nanny to dog nanny, wants to sell the house, while social media influencer Kat is desperate to hold on to the place where she lived so many happy memories.

Kat and Blake reluctantly join forces to renovate the dilapidated house, with the understanding that Kat will try to buy Blake out at the end of the summer. The women clash as Blake’s renovation plans conflict with Kat’s creative vision; meanwhile, each sister finds herself drawn into a summer romance. As the weeks pass, the two women realize the most difficult project they face this summer will be coming to grips with their shared past—and learning how to become sisters.

About the Author

Ali Brady is the pen name of writing BFFs Alison Hammer and Bradeigh Godfrey. The Beach Trap is their first book together. Alison lives in Chicago and works as a VP creative director at an advertising agency. She’s the author of You and Me and Us and Little Pieces of Me. Bradeigh lives with her family in Utah, where she works as a physician. She’s the author of the psychological thriller Imposter. READ MORE







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