Book Review: One Lucky Summer by Jenny Oliver

I’m so pleased to welcome Jenny Oliver to Novel Kicks today and the blog tour for her new novel, One Lucky Summer. 

With an air of faded splendour, Willoughby Hall was an idyllic childhood home to Ruben de Lacy. Gazing at it now, decades later, the memories are flooding back, and not all of them are welcome…

In a tumbledown cottage in Willoughby’s grounds, Dolly and Olive King lived with their eccentric explorer father. One of the last things he did was to lay a treasure hunt before he died, but when events took an unexpected turn, Dolly and Olive left Willoughby for good, never to complete it.

But when Ruben uncovers a secret message, hidden for decades, he knows he needs Olive and Dolly’s help. Can the three of them solve the treasure hunt, and will piecing together the clues help them understand what happened to their families that summer, all those years ago?


Olive and Dolly spent their childhood living in a cottage on the grounds of Willoughby Hall, the estate owned by the De Lacy family.

The girl’s father sets up a treasure hunt for them but tragedy means that the girls leave before completing it.

Years later, Ruben De Lacy is back at his family’s estate. By accident, he uncovers the first clue in that last treasure hunt.

Can the three of them solve the clues and work through what happened between their families all those years ago?

First, I want to say how much I loved the cover to this novel. It’s so pretty.

I really loved the premise of this novel and so I was eager to be part of the blog tour. Mystery, lost love and treasure hunts.

Told from the point of view of Ruben, Olive and Dolly, it gave me a real insight into what each of them were feeling and how three people can remember events so different and then, how that perspective can bring clarity.

Olive and Dolly have been running from their shared past for so long and have such a misunderstanding of each other. It was interesting to see how their relationship developed through the book.

Yes, this book covers themes of lost love but it also looks at how that isn’t just restricted to romantic love. Family love can be lost. I really wanted them both be OK.

The character that frustrated me the most was actually Ruben. To begin with, there isn’t much to redeem him. Whether he does get better is something I hope you’ll find out for yourself.

The setting for this book was lovely and so vivid. I could see myself at this house, in the sun, with these characters. Can I go there?

One Lucky Summer is a book about love, relationships, family and self discovery. It’s a unique, beautifully written novel that has humour and warmth. There were heartbreaking moments as well as life affirming ones. I didn’t want to leave these characters behind .

It’s a perfect book to get lost in regardless of whether it’s sunny outside.


About Jenny Oliver:

Jenny Oliver is a bestselling author of contemporary fiction. Twice nominated for the RNA Best Contemporary Novel award, Jenny’s books explore the ups and downs of relationships and an unwavering belief in happy ever after.

In the past she has had jobs ranging from an elf in the Disney store, a personal trainer, journalist, editor and now, by far the best, a writer.

In her spare time she can be found cajoling her family out to car boot sales, trying to reign in her competitiveness on the netball court and subtly eavesdropping on strangers’ conversations as inspiration for her next book.

Say hello to Jenny via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or via her blog

One Lucky Summer was released by HQ on 5th August 2021. Click to view on Amazon


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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