by Amelia C. Gormley
An MM Contemporary Romance
From Riptide Publishing
Released on May 19, 2014
One summer can change everything.
Hi, I’m Topher Carlisle: twenty-one, pretty, and fabulous. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. But let’s get real. Walking the fake-it-til-you-make-it road to independence and self-respect isn’t easy. Especially since my mom’s a deadbeat alcoholic, and most of my family expects me to turn out just as worthless. Oh, and I’m close to losing my college swimming scholarship, so let’s add “dropout” to the list.
My BFF has invited me to stay at her beach house on the shore of Lake Michigan. That’ll give me one summer to make money and figure out what I want to do with my life. So of course I decide to have an affair with my BFF’s married, closeted dad. Because that always works out.
Now I’m homeless, friendless, jobless. Worthless. Just like my family expects, right? Except there’s this great guy, Jace, who sees it differently. He’s got it all together in ways I can only dream of—he’s hot, creative, insightful, understanding. He seems to think I don’t give myself enough credit. And if I don’t watch out, I may start to believe him.
Hi, and welcome to the Saugatuck Summer blog tour! Thank you to LeAnn’s Book Reviews for hosting me today!
For those of you who have seen me talking about it on social media for the last nearly year and a half, you know that Saugatuck Summer was a labor of love far beyond what I would normally claim for one of my books. Of course I love them all, but Saugatuck Summer came from my very soul. Actually, I’m not certain it came from me at all.
Basically, here’s what happened: One day I was driving along, running errands, and Topher Carlisle whispered one line of dialogue in my ear. Just one. When I asked him what I was supposed to do with that, he promptly took over my brain for fifteen absolutely insane days and at the end I had the first draft of Saugatuck Summer.
Topher’s story of recovery, hope, making mistakes, and growing up just told itself, and the experience of being the conduit for that was at times grueling and heartbreaking, but also euphoric and wonderful. It was one of those experiences that, as a creator of some form of art, be it musical, visual, or literary, you have once or twice in a lifetime if you’re extraordinarily lucky, when you know you’re creating something magical. I’m not sure it will ever happen to me again, but I feel absolutely blessed that this book has come of it.
This week on the Saugatuck Summer blog tour, I’ll be sharing some bonus content from the book and a sneak peek at another upcoming book in the Saugatuck universe. I’ll also be having a heart-to-heart discussion with Marie Sexton about our experiences as adult children of alcoholics and how they translated into writing our ACOA characters from Saugatuck Summer and Family Man, giving you a peek at some of “Jace’s” art, and I’ll be sharing the official Saugatuck Summer soundtrack from a brilliant singer/songwriter of my personal acquaintance, Casey Stratton.
And finally, all week long I’ll be asking trivia questions from Saugatuck Summer and this week’s blog tour articles, and each correct answer emailed to me offers you a chance to win your choice of any of my backlist titles!
So put on your sunscreen and let’s go!
Buy the Book
I love it when a character grows on you, especially when his voice insistently calls to pay attention and his story is as interesting, quirky and touching as his personality is.
One of the things I’ve found about Amelia’s writing is that her characters are not merely there for entertaining purposes. From other books I’ve read from her and in this story in particular I found that their characters’ story, thoughts and actions encourage the reader to thing outside the box–to analyze and ponder and go beyond what’s the norm.
Topher is a perfect example of that. I would not usually like his type of character. My first impression of him was that he was selfish, a bit reckless and a lot of immature. He had problems that stemmed from his past, he had problems as a result of his recent actions and his future was uncertain. Truly, I did not see much hope in him.
Thankfully, Amelia made sure I had more than enough chances for me to change my mind. Although his thought process had me reeling at times, I could not get enough of him and his story. His decisions were hasty and urged me curse at him a time or two, but his heart was big, his intentions were (mostly) good and his strong will was admirable. While reading his story I put myself on his shoes more times than I could count, which led me to understand the why behind his actions.
By no means was this a light read, but it did have its light moments and its sensual moments too. I loved the mix of elements. The angst, the humor and the romance were well written and thankfully each and every character introduced added something to the story.
I especially liked Jace. Not only because he was Topher’s love interest but because he was interesting all around. He was caring and charming and oh so passionate! I got to like him even more each time I saw him accept one of Topher’s quirks. It was a treat to see Topher finally being accepted for everything that he was. Although their romance was slow to come, their connection was immediate and I was glad to see that it was developed properly as the story progressed. I do wish I have gotten more about his story, but I enjoyed his character regardless.
I did feel that the story dragged in places, but I guess that it goes with the territory that is Topher. His thoughts were scattered at times and it made for some difficult reading. However, as I got to know him and his story better I realized that it fit him perfectly and I came to overlook it easily. I just made it a point to pay more attention so as not to miss anything trivial.
All in all, not a summer light read but a heartwarming angsty one with a great cast of characters, a nice setting and bath house scene that is to die for!
*I received this title in exchange of my honest opinion.
Pre-Saugatuck novella is available for FREE!
Amelia C. Gormley may seem like anyone else. But the truth is she sings in the shower, dances doing laundry, and writes blisteringly hot m/m erotic romance while her son is at school. When she’s not writing in her Pacific Northwest home, Amelia single-handedly juggles her husband, her son, their home, and the obstacles of life by turning into an everyday superhero. And that, she supposes, is just like anyone else.
Her self-published novel-in-three-parts, Impulse (Inertia, Book One; Acceleration, Book Two; and Velocity, Book Three) can be found at most major online book retailers, and be sure to check Riptide for her latest releases, including her Highland historical, The Laird’s Forbidden Lover, the The Professor’s Rule series of erotic novelettes (co-written with Heidi Belleau), the post-apocalyptic romance, Strain, and her upcoming, New Adult contemporary, Saugatuck Summer, available now.
Also my Amelia!
FREE at Riptide!