The Summer Series
by C.J. Duggan
Mature Young Adult Romances
The Boys of Summer (Summer #1) – 4 stars
It seemed only natural to nickname them the ‘Onslow Boys’. Every time they swaggered in the front door of the Onslow Hotel after a hard week’s work, their laughter was loud and genuine as they settled onto their bar stools. I peeked through the restaurant partition, a flimsy divider between my world and theirs. I couldn’t help but smile whenever I saw them, saw him … Toby Morrison.
Quiet seventeen-year-old Tess doesn’t relish the thought of a summertime job. She wants nothing more than to forget the past haunts of high school and have fun with her best friends before the dreaded Year Twelve begins.
To Tess, summer is when everything happens: riding bikes down to the lake, watching the fireworks at the Onslow Show and water bomb fights at the sweltering Sunday markets.
How did she let her friends talk her into working?
After first-shift disasters, rude, wealthy tourists and a taunting ex-boyfriend, Tess is convinced nothing good can come of working her summer away. However, Tess finds unlikely allies in a group of locals dubbed ‘The Onslow Boys’, who are old enough to drive cars, drink beer and not worry about curfews. Tess’s summer of working expands her world with a series of first times with new friends, forbidden love and heartbreaking chaos.
All with the one boy she has never been able to forget.
It will be a summer she will always remember.
Warning: sexual references, and occasional coarse language.
The Boys of Summer (Summer, #1) is currently FREE until July 16th!
Tess is dreading having to spent her summer working part-time at the pub, but her friends promise to be there for her every step of the way so she relents. Of course, the job start awful but thankfully she gets into the zone and manages to make it work for her. It helps that she has to get her act together if she wants to impress one of ‘The Onslow Boys’. 😉
She’s had a crush on Toby from the moment she laid eyes on him and years later it’s still holding on strong. Now that she has found herself spending time with the boys and more one on one time with Toby she can’t help but think of what could happen between them. But Toby has a girlfriend, so Tess goes on with her summer – working, hanging out with her new-found friends and hoping.
I didn’t know what to expect with this book, so I was hesitant about it at first. It’s been a while since I’ve read a story like this one, but I liked it. It was sweet, refreshing, light and funny.
I enjoyed Tess’ voice and her way of handling things. Although she wondered and hoped, she never assumed and always kept her feet on the ground. She was sweet, smart and very funny. I liked her wicked sense of humor and her sassy comebacks.
There were a lot of characters introduced in this story and they all added something to it. Be it Sean with his sense of humor and the witty banter he exchanged with Tess. I loved him! Through those exchanges I got to see a different side of Tess – flirty, fun and confident. So different from the quiet girl from I had met at the beginning of the story. Then there was Adam, Tess’ best friend, with his caring side and his loyalty. He kept Tess grounded even from afar. Of course, I enjoyed Toby too. He managed to bring out the most change in Tess. She was able to let go of some her shyness and be her quirky, sweet self without feeling judged. I loved watching the transformation she underwent. She grew from a shy quiet girl into a young, matured woman who admitted to her mistakes and still showed great strength even at times when she was hurting inside.
All in all, a surprising good story about first love, growing up and accepting yourself.
An Endless Summer (Summer #2) – 4 stars
Sean looked out over the lake, squinting against the sunlight. He turned to me, his expression sobering as his eyes flicked over my face in a silent study.
“Come on Amy, I saved you once, I’ll save you again.”
I met his stare unflinchingly. “I don’t need saving.”
A wicked grin formed slowly. “Don’t you?”
After a rebellious summer night that almost claimed her life, Amy Henderson – the Onslow publican’s only daughter – is sent away to suffer a fate far worse than any other punishment:
Three years on, a now nineteen-year-old Amy returns to Onslow for the summer. What once was a cauldron of activity with live bands, hot meals and cold beers, the Onslow Hotel now lies dark, deserted and depressing. All fond childhood memories of loitering on the hotel stairs and eavesdropping on customers’ colourful conversations are in the distant past.
How had her dad let it come to this?
With the new threat of putting the Onslow up for sale, Amy reluctantly turns to a local tradesman for help: Sean Murphy, the very same Onslow boy who saved her life all those years ago. With his help and that of some old friends, the task is clear: spend the summer building the hotel back up to its former glory or lose it for good.
In an endless summer, Amy soon realises that sometimes in order to save your future, you have to face your past, even if it’s in the form of a smug, gorgeous Onslow boy.
Sean, Sean, Sean. I need me more of him! He was too much at times, but I couldn’t get enough.
Amy is the daughter of the owner of the Onslow Hotel, so she knows what transpire there and its patrons – she especially remembers ‘The Onslow Boys’. So when she returns from the city to visit Onslow on her summer break, she’s heartbroken at what she encounters. The hotel that held so many memories for her and what her father worked so hard for is in shambles. She’s overwhelmed by the amount of work that has to be done and by the gorgeous man that she encounters wherever she goes.
Sean continues to be his flirty, easy-going self and his attention seems to be directed solely on Amy. She knows that the only way she can get the place back to its past glory is by trusting Sean. Now if she can get her pesky attraction to him under control, this would be a whole lot easier on her nerves.
I loved it! I mean what’s there not to love? We have a feisty heroine who’s determined to fix her home, a sexy, alpha-male that’s both sweet and funny, the Onslow boys and the rest of the crazy crew.
Once again, Duggan delivers a sweet, romantic coming-of-age story with a kick. Amy is one determined girl and when she went toe-to-toe with Sean it made for some fantastic moments. I enjoyed their banter, their honest interactions and their easy camaraderie. Of course, I enjoyed their chemistry too! It was always under the surface – in the way they interacted, looked at each other and bickered. And when the emotions came into play, it was even more amazing.
I don’t want to compare this story to the previous one because the characters are so different, but I did notice some of the same elements I enjoyed previously in this one too. I liked how Amy grew into a matured young woman but still kept her feisty side. She stood for what she wanted and I admired her for that. The humor was present too. Although Amy was not as funny as Tess, her snarky comments and sarcastic remarks were top-notch. She gave as good as she got and I enjoyed it thoroughly, especially when she gave them to Sean. Amy kept him on his toes, even when she gave into the connection that was growing between them.
All in all, a fantastic addition to the series. A story about sticking to your guns, being yourself and starting anew. I loved it!
That One Summer (Summer #3) – 4 stars
Loving Chris Henderson would be wrong. Diabolically disastrous. I mean, what is there about him to love? He’s moody, bossy, brooding, a control freak, and that’s on a good day … but there was one achingly obvious fact that haunted my every thought, every minute of every day …
He sure could kiss.
As the countdown to the new millennium begins, there is one thing everyone agrees on: no one wants to be in Onslow for New Year’s Eve.
So that can only mean one thing: road trip!
No longer the mousey, invisible, shy girl from years ago, Tammy Maskala is finally making up for all those lost summers. A new year with new friends, which astoundingly includes the bossy boy behind the bar, Chris Henderson.
She likes her new friends (at least most of them), so why does she secretly feel so out of place?
After chickening out on the trip, a last-minute change of heart sees Tammy racing to the Onslow Hotel, fearing she’s missed her chance for a ride. The last thing she expected to meet was a less-than-happy Onslow Boy leaning against his black panel van.
Now the countdown begins to reach the others at Point Shank before the party is over and the new year has begun. Alone in a car with only the infuriating Chris Henderson, Tammy can’t help but feel this is a disastrous start to what could have been a great adventure. But when the awkward road trip takes an unexpected turn, Tammy soon discovers that the way her traitorous heart feels about Chris is the biggest disaster of all.
Fogged up windows, moonlight swimming, bad karaoke and unearthed secrets; after this one summer nothing will ever be the same again.
Oh wow! So there I was starting this story and wondering if I would like it as much as the previous one. Ha! joke’s on me. This is my favorite so far and I will tell you why.
- There was hot, broody Chris that happened to have a sweet and caring side too.
- A sweet and adorable Tammy that felt overwhelmed by all her new-found friends.
- Toby and Tess.
- The Onslaw Boys.
Add to that the fact that this is a New Years Eve camping trip welcoming the new millennium, there are secrets and revelations, funny moments, tender moments and an easy camaraderie between them all.
I thought it would get to be a bit too much to have them all in one place, but I actually enjoyed the hell out of the ‘holiday’. It was nice to get out of the hotel and just explore and have new adventures in unexplored territories. I loved that the author kept the pace constant and the humor abound. There some emotional moments, some intriguing moments too and some surprises, but she managed to maintain that ‘light and airy’ feeling I have come to expect from her stories.
I enjoyed the having the crew back together and seeing how far they’ve come as people. Of course, I still love Sean. Toby, Tess and Amy were wonderful to see again. Now I’m intrigued about Adam and Ellie, but I am especially anticipating Ringer’s story. He has always been there in the background and I’ve grown curiouser and curiouser about him.
All in all, a wonderful installment in the series and one you wouldn’t want to miss, especially if you have come to love and care for these characters. And if you’re new to the series, don’t worry, you can also experience this amazing story without having to read the previous installments. But my recommendation? Read them all and get to know the characters better so you can get the full experience!
Forever Summer (Summer, #4)
About the Author
C.J Duggan is an Australian author who lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia. The Boys of Summer is Book One in her Mature Young Adult Romance Series.