Bantam Books £5.99

'Summertime' is the latest offering from prolific romance author Charlotte Bingham, a former winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year Award. Published just in time for the deckchair season, this is an ideal read for the beach.

Set in post-war London, it tells the story of a young girl, Trilby Smythson who leaves her Cinderella-like home behind her to marry Lewis James, a newspaper tycoon who seems to have it all – good looks, money, power and all the trappings of a wealthy lifestyle. However, Trilby soon discovers that her husband is a very different man to the Lewis she fell in love with. When she discovers his dark secret a sequence of events is set in motion that eventually drives her into the arms of another man. But can she ever experience complete happiness as long as Lewis is determined to win her back?

'Summertime' is not one of Bingham's better offerings; the plot is particularly weak and the characters not sufficiently developed to give the storyline some credence. It is difficult to understand why Trilby, a girl who delighted in outsmarting her stepmother, took so long to leave her domineering husband. The book also seems somewhat rushed towards the end, with Lewis' search for Trilby resolved unconvincingly. Despite its faults however, it is well written and if you require nothing more than a means to escape for a few hours on a sunny day, look no further.

Amanda Fennelly