A SUMMER YOU WILL NEVER WANT TO END!!
Title: An Endless Summer
Author: C.J. Duggan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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 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 on his face. “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.
To start off, it is worth noting that the moment I finished Boys of Summer I immediately started reading Endless Summer. I was so captivated by “The Onslow Boys” I simply could not wait to get my hands on more! Don’t I wish I could really get my hands on them! Seriously where do I find a whole group of gorgeous, muscled, down to earth, funny, sensitive and passionate guys like these? The men that J.C. Duggan has created in these stories are literally to die for and as the reader you get to experience what it would be like to fall in love with them! Paired with strong willed female characters who help us understand, explore or relive that awkward transition from being a girl to becoming a young woman, this series is chock full of varying emotions. The descriptiveness with which Duggan writes totally transported me, a born and bred Canadian, straight into the enviable summer of an Aussie teen.
In Endless Summer we arrive in Onslow three years after we left off from the summer of Toby and Tess in Boys of Summer. As I was still reveling in the excitement of that tumultuous plot line it took me a little while to ease into the story of Amy Henderson, who we remember as the reluctant dishwasher from Boys of Summer. Only this time she is no longer the little sidekick helper, Amy has grown up a lot since then and even in such a short time she has endured some experiences that have definitely impacted her emotionally. So when she decides to spend the summer of her gap year down by the lake she thinks it will be a great place to regroup, unwind and get some much needed space from her parents who have been acting so weird. We remember grumbly, smoking Uncle Eric from the first installment, well he has done an about face. He spends his time in the city with his wife, has kicked the cigarettes and is working on getting healthy. This is all well for the two of them, but as Amy is to discover upon return to the place of her youth, it has done nothing at all for the Onslow.
As soon as Amy sets her eyes on the Onslow she sees the imaginings of her relaxing summer go up in smoke. The place is a disaster! It is literally falling apart. Amy is only saved from falling through a rotting balcony by the impeccable timing of the Onslow Boys, Sean in particular. Her plunge from the balcony into his arms is a fantastic metaphor for the story that is about to unfold from the moment he catches her in the safety of his strong, well defined arms. From that point on it is all about walking that fine line between smart ass quips and comebacks and falling completely and utterly in love with someone.
The thing that I admire most about C.J. Duggan’s Summer series is how she has written in that additional character, that of “The Onslow Boys”. While each member of the group stands on his own merit it is very crafty of her to create the character of the group. I think anyone who has had the experience of that tight group of friends understands this creation. The group is a thing of itself separate from its individual members. It is the ‘we’ of the group that makes for memorable moments. It is the exclusivity of where the boys go and what they do that casts this aura of mystery around them while tantalizing everyone around with the desire to be one of them, to be a part of the group. When Tess and Ellie, as well as Amy, are struggling to find their place in the group, I could feel their desire to fit in and I could relate to that struggle of appearing ‘cool’ and not letting on how desperately they all wanted to be part of “The Onslow Boys”. That character is part of what makes this series so alluring. That and the fact that we then have access into the boys individually, we get to see what makes them tick, what turns them on and what sends them running for the hills.
That is exactly the insight we have into Sean as we follow Amy through, what has now become, a pretty painful summer. As she struggles through the labour of pulling the Onslow back into shape, Sean forces her to confront her stubborn side by forcing his help upon her, even though she is too stubborn and proud to accept it freely. She slowly comes to accept and appreciate the helps she receives from the Onslow community and in doing so, even though at the end she feels like it was really all for nothing, she is rewarded with more than she even knew she wanted.
An Endless Summer is a very satisfying read. It was so fulfilling to get an update on “The Onslow Boys” we met in The Boys of Summer, and even more satisfying was exploring the character of Sean, who I am sure you will fall in love with, as I certainly did. There were a couple moments along the way where I actually had tears in my eyes I connected so deeply with Amy’s character and her story. I wholeheartedly recommend this book, whether it is because the character’s emotions relate to something you are going through now, or something you experienced years ago, C.J. Duggan has a masterful technique of sinking her teeth into the grittiness that comes with growing up. I cannot wait to read the next installment, That One Summer, to get my next fix of those beautiful Onslow Boys!!
The Summer Series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/92873-summer
About C.J Duggan
C.J Duggan is the number one bestselling Australian author of the Summer Series! C.J lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia. When she isn’t writing books about swoony boys and 90’s pop culture you will find her renovating her hundred-year-old Victorian homestead or annoying her local travel agent for a quote to escape the chaos.
Novels in the Summer Series includes: The Boys of Summer (2012), An Endless Summer (2013) and the highly anticipated, soon to be released That One Summer (2013).
For more on C.J and ‘The Summer Series’, visit www.cjdugganbooks.com
Check out the Summer Series trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTMF8Pprxew