Review – The Boys of Summer (Book #1 Summer Series) by C.J Duggan


Title: The Boys of Summer (Book #1 Summer Series)
Author: C.J Duggan
Pages: 321
Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary Romance
Reviewer: Nicole

*** Thank you to The Three Bookateers and C.J Duggan for the opportunity to be involved in That One Summer Blog Tour ***


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.


C.J Duggan put the biggest smile on my face while reading this story, being a proud Australian who is entering the summer months my excitement has been magnified knowing what Duggan has captured is to come!

Duggan has created a town called Onslow which captures the true essence of summer and holiday time in Australia in the outback. She perfectly details the heat and humidity which would send the townspeople crowding around a lake to cool off, necessarily followed by seeking out entertainment at the local pub The Onslow Hotel. The promise of cold VB beers on tap (proud Australian beers) would be the most sought after action/social event the town would have along with the famous pool room being the meeting place for the hot, gorgeous, hand working, down to earth country boys – Aussie Style!!

The Boys of Summer, protagonist Tess has just finished year eleven at high school, which was a nightmare of a year, due to her ex-boyfriend Scott being bitter about their break up and branding her “Tic Tac Tess”. Tess, wanting to move on from her horrible year was looking forward to spending her summer with her two best friends Ellie and Adam, relaxing and swimming at Lake Onslow. The only problem with Tess’s plan is that Adam has been forced to work his summer holiday at his Uncle Eric’s restaurant at the Onslow Hotel. Not wanting to work his holiday on his own, he convinces Ellie and Tess to come and work for the summer so they can still spend their holidays together. But when Adam, rather stupidly, hurts himself at a party his parents send him to live with his Nana in the city as form of punishment. This leaves Ellie and Tess to work at The Onslow hotel by themselves. Before the disappointment of what her summer was pending to become can sink in, Tess finds herself serving her long time crushToby Morrison and his friends, who Ellie labels “the Onslow Boys”. The Onslow boys quickly befriend Ellie and Tess and they start to spend time together. The attraction and desire between Tess and Toby is undeniable but there is only one problem, Toby has a girlfriend – Angela. Regardless, the more time Tess and Toby spend together the more Tess feels like her connection with Toby is not one sided. So is Toby giving mixed messages? Or is he attracted to Tess and much as Tess is to Toby? And if he is, what does he plan to do about it?

I loved watching Tess’s character grow and develop throughout this story. From wanting to be in the shadows and not be seen by her peers to maturing and wanting to be seen and chasing what her heart desires. Letting herself be vulnerable and to do so also to gain confidence. This change was all due to Toby’s character, for the chemistry between Tess and Toby’s characters is undeniable, you could feel the sexual tension between these two characters from their first meeting. I loved the pace Duggan took to evolve their love story keeping me engaged, making me consume the pages wanting these two to get together.
I found Adam and Tess’s relationship interesting and I feel there is definitely more involved in this friendship from Adam’s side. It was obvious to the reader he treats his relationship with Tess different to his friendship with Ellie. I would have loved to witness more of a confrontation or conflict in this friendship for I guarantee if Tess’s character was willing to want more out of their friendship Adam’s character would jump at the chance!

The Onslow boy’s characters really do make this story come to life and I loved all of them. You have the hot, sexy Toby who has high morals and values and Sean who was in the lime light a bit in this story and accepted outcomes and situations. You have Stan and Ringer who were present but didn’t go deep into their self story’s they just added personality to the story. But I have to say it was Chris’s character that I found the most intriguing. The bar man has eyes and ears everywhere and knows everything yet doesn’t get involved in people’s business. I would love to know his thoughts throughout this story as he seems to be a quite broody type. I found his character likeable because there is so much more to his character and they always say it’s the quite ones you have to look out for!

Duggan delivered a well written story about first love and summer romances. I love that this is just the start of this series and that we get to explore and focus on other members of our beloved Onslow boys, I would definitely read this series there is a boy for all types of personalities to become your next favorite book boyfriend, my question to you would be which Onlsow boy will win your heart?

lips grey 4

The Summer Series:

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

Check out the Summer Series trailer at:


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