Review – An Endless Summer (Book #2 Summer Series) by C.J. Duggan

endless summer

A SUMMER YOU WILL NEVER WANT TO END!!

Title: An Endless Summer
Author: C.J. Duggan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Reviewer: Debby

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

BLURB:

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:
Boarding School.
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.

REVIEW:

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!!

lips grey 4.5

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

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

A BEAUTIFUL LOVE STORY AUSSIE STYLE!

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 ***

BLURB:

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.

REVIEW:

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: 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