Hot Dutch Daydream by Kristy Boyce is every bit as cute and addictive as I hoped it would be. However, I appreciated that it’s not just a story about romance. The main character has other goals and relationships outside of that.
Perfectly Planned Summer
Sage Cunningham has her summer perfectly planned out. She wants to distinguish herself in the medical field when she enters college in the fall. In order to do that, she’s spending the summer in Amsterdam, staying with her mentor, Dr. Reese, helping in her lab, and preparing for an upcoming medical conference. It’s not all perks, though—in exchange for room and board, she needs to nanny for Dr. Reese’s toddler, Deidrick.
Major problem #1: Sage knows nothing about taking care of kids. Before she’s able to reckon with this, major problem #2 appears: Dr. Reese’s teenage son, Ryland, who was supposed to be gone all summer. Ryland is Sage’s exact opposite, spending all his time out with friends instead of focusing on his passion.
It appears that an opposite is exactly what they both need. Sage needs help taking care of Deirdrick, and Ryland needs someone to help him stay on task. But if Ryland isn’t hanging out with a new girl every day, the only person he has to spend time with… is Sage herself.
Sage cannot afford to be distracted during the precious little free time she has. Dr. Reese also forbade Ryland and Sage from dating. Giving into her silly feelings would risk everything she’s worked so hard for. And yet, every day, she finds herself falling for him harder and harder…
One aspect of the book that I loved and rarely see represented in YA novels was Sage’s relationship with Deidrick. As a former nanny, I felt Sage’s frustration as she struggled to click with the little guy, and it warmed my heart when she eventually (inevitably) got attached to him.
Sage’s family dynamic also fascinated me. After her father’s death from cancer, Sage feels internal pressure to pursue a career in medicine. Her die-hard commitment makes sense given her trauma and grief. However, her older sister, who had a baby in high school, feels frustrated that Sage isn’t around to spend time with her daughter. Boyce walks a fine line here, but she is able to balance both girls’ complicated emotions about their dad and each other.
And Ryland… Ryland was dreamy. He and Sage had electric chemistry that kept me glued to the page. Ultimately, they kept me invested in the story. All the other elements were great, but I stayed for the romance.
If you’re looking to be transported to Amsterdam in a sweet, sweeping romance, then pick up Hot Dutch Daydream—it won’t disappoint.
Hot Dutch Daydream was published on April 18, 2023.
Featured image courtesy of HarperTeen.