Revisiting Sandcastle, the gorgeous seaside town depicted in #13 "The Summer Jenny Fell in Love", Barbara Conklin conjures up more sun-splashed magic in "Summer Dreams", another gentle love story filled with memorable characters and settings. Main character Katy Spring, first introduced in "The Summer Jenny Fell in Love" as one of Jenny's cosmetic face models, dreams of working with special-needs kids one day and hopes to land a summer job babysitting Michael Bradshaw, an unruly, blind six year old whose mother was recently killed in a car accident. Disappointed to learn that the job has instead gone to her crush, Steve Kaplan, Katy nonetheless stops by the Bradshaw house to spy on Steve and Michael and ends up catching the attention and respect of Michael, who insists that his father employ both Katy and Steve for the remainder of the summer. The plot rolls fairly smoothly from this point, with Katy and Steve spending many an idyllic hour teaching the gradually less defensive Michael about the world around him. As Katy's feelings for Steve grow, she wonders if he can ever care for her as more than a friend, or if he is still pining after his recent split with longtime girlfriend Samantha. Interweaving a beautiful extended metaphor involving dreams and sandcastles, the novel culminates in the town's annual sandcastle building competition, in which Katy, Steve, and Michael enter, with unexpected results. The novel's pacing moves slowly, with Conklin's characteristic attention to detail and loving grasp of her character's motivations and insecurities, but the end result is that the reader comes to love and respect the characters, too, and their triumphs become all the more satisfying as a result.