Book: Summer Stock
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: LC Chase
Publication date: May 15, 2017
Length: 239 pages
Reviewed by Erin
Tabloid scandals have driven TV star Ryan Hertzog to North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where he’s hiding out doing summer stock at his cousin’s seaside theater. When a hookup with local handyman Trey Donovan results in Ryan being photographed butt naked, he vows to keep his pants on and his hands off Trey. How was he supposed to know Trey would turn out to be the summer stock set builder?
Trey isn’t looking for a relationship; he’s still recovering from the emotional fallout of an abusive marriage. But Ryan’s laughter draws him in again and again, and he’s not about to say no to fooling around.
As the summer heats up, the paparazzi catch Ryan in increasingly compromising situations. Ryan might be too much drama for a summer fling—and Trey might be just an intermission from Ryan’s Hollywood life. But if they take their cues from Shakespeare, all’s well that ends well.
If you are searching for the PERFECT book to give you all those laid back, easy summer vibes, look no further than Vanessa North's new release, Summer Stock. This low angst, light and sweet book hit all of my buttons and then some. Ryan and Trey are eminently likable, the setting was refreshing and a fun background for the story, and the secondary characters all played a pivotal role in the story. Not to mention a giant of a dog named Ferdy who acts like a puppy!
Party boy Ryan Hertzog is in need of an image makeover and is sent to Banker's Shoals, North Carolina to spend the summer performing at his cousin's small theater. He's worn down, worn out, and trying to figure out where his career is going and what he wants it to be. He grew up in Banker's Shoals and he hopes being back with his cousin Caroline and good friend Mason will help him get back on track. Of course, waking up naked in a strange man's bed, being terrified of said strange man's beast of a dog, then literally being caught with his pants down (or absent in this case!) by the paparazzi does not a good first step make. However, once Ryan finds his footing after a blunt talk with Mason, Ryan begins to embrace the change of scenery and his love of the theater. It doesn't hurt that his one night stand turns out to be Trey Donovan, stagehand and all around handyman. Trey is sweet and sexy and though he is dealing with some major baggage, his attraction to Ryan can't be denied. Their chemistry is intense and their friendship, flirting and dirty talk was pretty freaking fabulous. I really enjoyed watching these two interact. Trey is both sweet and strong and Ryan endearingly vulnerable.
I really enjoyed the whole setting and the backdrop of the theater. The other actors in the company added a level of authenticity I dug a lot. And as for Ryan's best friend Ali and then West, well, I loved them both. I always really enjoy it when an author gives the main characters a strong support system and shows them interacting with other people than just each other and Vanessa delivered this so well. For a story about a Hollywood playboy who has some famous friends, the Hollywood factor played a small role in the overall story and allowed the focus to be mainly on Ryan and Trey. These two guys aren't perfect. Trey has a pretty traumatic past he's trying to move on from and Ryan is dealing with his own issues. While both men are complex and their issues heavy, they didn't bog down the story or drag things out. I loved that their relationship is the focus of the story and yeah, there are some really sexy scenes between Trey and Ryan but there are some emotional and intimate ones, too. Also, kudos to North for the great bisexual representation!
Summer Stock is a perfect balance of sweet and emotional so be sure to check this book out. And be prepared to fall in love with Ryan and Trey ... and Ferdy.
About Vanessa North
Author of over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories, Vanessa North delights in giving happy-ever-afters to characters who don’t think they deserve them. Relentless curiosity led her to take up knitting and run a few marathons “just to see if she could.” She started writing for the same reason. Her very patient husband pretends not to notice when her hobbies take over the house. Living and writing in Northwest Georgia, she finds her attempts to keep a quiet home are frequently thwarted by twin boy-children and a very, very large dog.
Connect with Vanessa:
- Website: vanessanorth.com
- Facebook profile page: facebook.com/AuthorVanessaNorth
- Twitter: @byVanessaNorth
- Goodreads: goodreads.com/VanessaNorth
To celebrate the release of Summer Stock, one lucky winner will receive a Summer Stock swag bag! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 20, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!