Book: Summer Lessons
Series: Winter Ball #2
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: November 25, 2016
Length: 290 pages
Reviewed by Erin
Mason Hayes’s love life has a long history of losers who don’t see that Mason’s heart is as deep and tender as his mouth is awkward. He wants kindness, he wants love—and he wants someone who thinks sex is as fantastic as he does. When Terry Jefferson first asks him out, Mason thinks it’s a fluke: Mason is too old, too boring, and too blurty to interest someone as young and hot as his friend’s soccer teammate.
The truth is much more painful: Mason and Terry are perfectly compatible, and they totally get each other, but Terry is still living with his toxic, suffocating parent and Mason doesn’t want to be a sugar daddy. Watching Terry struggle to find himself is a long lesson in patience, but Mason needs to trust that the end result will be worth it, because finally, he’s found a man worth sharing his heart with.
Summer Lessons for Diverse Reader
By Amy Lane
I had a friend whose son once decided to use the top of his swing set as a balance beam to the top of the fence.
My friend looked out from doing the dishes to see her kid seven feet off the ground and wobbling hard, about ready to fall off the swing set and onto the teeter-totter and probably injure himself grievously.
She got outside in time to catch him, and, of course, had to scrape five years off her life into the trashcan along with a pair of underwear she’ll never wear again.
And after all of that, when the kid did break his arm (it was inevitable—we all knew it would happen) he broke it because his dad brought home McDonalds as a treat. The kid got excited, hopped on the couch, slid off, and broke his fall badly and wore a cast for five weeks.
Kids will surprise you in the best and worst of ways.
Mason and Dane are those kids.
Mason is always organized, always on top of things—and always sticking his foot in his mouth. Dane is never organized, doesn’t care about being on top of things, but is usually charming, gracious and funny, right up until his mental ore cart drives off the rails.
About the only thing the two men have in common is that they adore each other.
As a mother, I can tell you, that’s what we hope for our kids from the very beginning.
We spend so much time with them when they’re small—and they spend so much time together. They’re taught to believe that family is important, that the people in the house are their tribe.
But we’ve seen brothers and sisters drift apart as they grow older. We know that we haven’t spent as much time talking to our own siblings as we should. We’ve seen those rare siblings who are each other’s best friends, and we think, “God, I hope my kids at least talk together when they’re grown!”
Mason and Dane are those brothers who have each other’s backs. Through his snarking and his unmerciful bitching and the ration of shit Dane is constantly subjecting his brother to, there is a thread of hero worship that will never go away. Mason gives as good as he gets—but he would move the sun and the moon and his place of residence and all his weekend plans just to make sure his baby brother is going to be okay.
Of course Terry and Mason’s romance takes center stage—and we get glimpses of Dane’s own romance as it takes place behind the curtain. (Dane will get to diva his own production, never you worry—he couldn’t possibly not have his own story told.) But some books surprise you in the way they flesh themselves out, and Dane and Mason did that for me.
Dane was Mason’s cheerleader, his most constructive critic, and his best friend. When the two of them talked about their love lives, Mason was as open and vulnerable as a child—and Dane may have given him a couple of kicks in the seat—but he never went in for the kill.
I sort of adored both boys. I thought that if I’d been their mother, I would have been so proud.
I hope you guys like them too.
A new release by Amy Lane is always something to be excited about, no lie, and her newest book, Summer Lessons is all the reasons why she's such a beloved author. There are few that write the way she does, with an unparalleled mix of wit, humor, angst, and romance her books never fail to deliver. Summer Lessons is the second book in her Winter Ball series so all our favorites are present, Skip and Richie especially, but this time we're treated to the joys and endearing awkwardness of Mason Hayes and Terry Jefferson. Two guys who are so adorkable and just downright lovable that I fell for them both pretty much from the first page and my love only continued to grow as I kept reading.
You know doubt will remember Mason from Winter Ball, he was one of my favorites, and I was so excited that he got his own story. He's awkward and sweet and a bit clueless about things and man is ever a bit obsessed with his penis. Just ... you have to read to appreciate, trust me. That being said though, Mason is very much your typical Amy Lane hero. He has a heart of gold, is so self deprecating that it's almost cringe worthy, is a total failure in his love life, has next to no friends but he does have a kick ass family and his brother is his best friend. He's handsome, successful at work but not much else, has money and really is just kind of there most of the time. All it takes is for him to be invited to watch Skip and Richie play soccer and then wham, things sure start changing for Mason. He starts to play soccer, he makes friends with the guys on the team, and then of course we have Terry.
Terry Jefferson is twelve years Mason's junior. He's a bit rough around the edges but his heart is in the right place. He's also got a mom from hell that does everything she can to tear him down and suffocate him to the point where Terry's not quite sure who he is or what he wants to do with his life. Watching Mason and Terry begin their romance was all things vintage Amy Lane. I loved the sense of each guy coming into their own, how they found their people with the men on the soccer team, how they both realized that life is meant to be enjoyed and lived with the people who just get you. There's awkwardness, endearing beyond belief tender and raw moments, and then there's some hot and steamy sexy times. I loved these two seemingly opposite guys finding their way toward one another and find themselves along the way. The ensemble cast of secondary characters added such richness to the overall story. Everyone from Mason's family (especially his brother, Dane) to Mrs. Bradford to Skip, Richie, Carpenter and the rest of the soccer team were all just wonderful.
I love how Amy is able to weave stories that never seem overly sappy but they hit on every feeling: happy and heart melting and a twinge (or sometimes more) of pain right in the gut. I do wish in the case of Summer Lessons that both Mason and Terry wouldn't have seemed quite so juvenile at times but this little complaint took nothing away from my overall enjoyment of the book. This is a feel good book of the best kind so make sure if you're needing a pick me up, you check this one out. Well, check it out anyway because it's that good and you don't want to miss it. Oh and, I'm SO hoping that Dane and Carpenter are the next book in the series?!
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