Friday, March 22, 2013

Vouched Book! The Boys of Summer by C.J. Duggan

The Boys of Summer
C.J. Duggan
Book #1 of the Summer  series
Publication: December 17th 2012
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

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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.

When I started The Boys of Summer, I expected everything summer romance implies: Tons of fun, a great love, and then heartache as the season ends. The Boys of Summer  encompassed all that but surprised me with its gritty realism, too.

I don't want to spoil the book, so I'll just say this ... C.J. Duggan captured what I believed was, when I first heard about it, the true New Adult genre: A coming-of-age story about new adults, emphasizing personal growth rather than sexual interactions usually found in Adult Romances—dealing with the conundrum of being  responsible and taking  responsibility. The characters had understandable faults, plausible circumstances as well as natural reactions, and I connected with them because of it. They lived and learned. They experienced, and they grew. It's wonderful self-discovery and letting go at its worst and best; the highs and lows thoroughly explored.

That's not say there isn't sizzling Romance. Duggan hit. The. Spot. Sensual and tasteful, the scenes were well written, and never has a two-pump dry hump (Sean, OMG!!) leave me panting (or feeling so damn guilty). That's also not to say that The Boys of Summer  was too heavy, either. It's not. I chuckled aloud so many times that my husband gave me looks, and he even told me to stop smiling, that it was just book.

Bah! It didn't feel like it at the time. I lived in every moment, loved every song reference, related to the woes of waitressing, and adored the secondary characters as much as the main. Each one stood out and added to storyline as well as the entire group. Sean ... I cannot wait for his story, which is the next book in the Summer series. Oh, Adam, too—I hope he gets his own story. All of the boys, really, not just the Onslow boys, made me melt in his own unique way.

The Boys of Summer  is a fantastic New Adult novel, fun with just enough depth. I read it in one sitting—I couldn't put it down—and as soon as I finished it, my first thought was *sigh* ... LOVE.

eBook provided by the author in exchange for a review.
Thank you, C.J.!

Favorites lines (out many):

He smiled. "You are sexy in your own goofball way, you're sweet and beautiful and funny and, although you kiss to the point where I feel like I want to go back for seconds, you're my best friend, and that's why I don't want to tap that."
The horrors of high school would soon become nothing more than a distant memory, even if it was little comfort to me now.
"I just didn't recognise you; when I was standing on the porch at the hotel, I saw Ellie walking up with some girl, and I was watching this girl, in this hot, white bikini, and I thought I have to know this girl, and then you came closer and I saw it was you, but it couldn't be you. This girl was so carefree, confident. I thought it was the sexist thing I had ever seen."

The Summer Series

C.J. Duggan

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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. For more on C.J and the Summer series, visit


  1. I love the summer reads that incorporates gritty, so will have to check this one out.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    1. I love when romances are fun but with a bit more grit too, and The Boys of Summer is definitely that. You won't regret picking up a copy of this one. Thanks for stopping by, Brandi!

  2. Pretty interesting that this book was not a poor excuse of NA or a romantic summer read! I love that it is realistic! Looking at the kissy-kissy cover, I would have never expected that. Hmmm...

    1. I know, right? Who would have thought with that cover? I know I didn't. Love being surprised and finding gems like this one. I'll be keeping a close eye on Oh, Chrys! in case you ever pick up a copy. I'd love read what you thought.

  3. Nice review. I've been hearing good things about this series so maybe i'll give it a try.