Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Summer Series by CJ Duggan with Reviews

The Summer Series by C.J. Duggan 
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

The Boys of Summer Synopsis:
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.

My Review: 5 stars
I felt so bad for Tess at the beginning of this book. Her ex-boyfreind is a huge jerk to her and humiliates her whenever he gets the chance. Adam talks Ellie and Tess into getting jobs at his Uncle's hotel over the summer, then he misses out on almost the entire summer because of an accident. One summer can change everything. And, boy does it. Toby, Sean, Stan, Ringer; they were all great guys. Those Onslow Boys were killer. Ellie and Tess meet them at the hotel where they're working. One thing leads to another and they all end up spending a fantastic summer together. Through the drama and the tears, they made friendships that would last, and maybe a little more too.

There were scenes in this book that had me laughing out loud, ones that made me sad and want to cry, and scenes that made me happy for the characters in them. The Onslow Boys remind me of guys I knew when I was Tess's age. Just a little older, a little more carefree, and a little wild. I loved the way the book ended, and I can truly say I'm really appreciating Australian writers these days. Some things sound a little funny, but eventually you figure out what it is they're talking about. CJ is one to definitely keep an eye on, I certainly plan to.

An Endless Summer Synopsis:
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 a 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. “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.

My Review: 5 stars
Since the day she arrived back in Onslow, Amy and Sean have been near each other in one way or another. Amy and Sean have figuratively danced around each other all summer. Sean always seems to be there to save Amy when she needs it. Just when things seem pretty grim, Amy reaches for what she wants, and what she finds in return is amazing. This book wasn't just the story of Amy and Sean. It's the story that pulls the entire town together to preserve a part of their heritage, that also happens to belong to Amy's family. The town, the Onslow Boys and their friends make the Onslow Hotel shine again through a lot of hard work and teamwork. It doesn't stop the sale of the property, but you'll never guess who ends up buying it! Loved this book! CJ just has a way of writing that pulls me into that world and makes me so comfortable. I love her characters, there is something special about each and every one of them. 

That One Summer Synopsis:
Loving Chris Henderson would be wrong. Diabolically disastrous. I mean, what is there about him to love? He’s moody, bossy, brooding, a control freak, and that’s on a good day … but there was one achingly obvious fact that haunted my every thought, every minute of every day …

He sure could kiss.

As the countdown to the new millennium begins, there is one thing everyone agrees on: no one wants to be in Onslow for New Year’s Eve.

So that can only mean one thing: road trip!

No longer the mousey, invisible, shy girl from years ago, Tammy Maskala is finally making up for all those lost summers. A new year with new friends, which astoundingly includes the bossy boy behind the bar, Chris Henderson.

She likes her new friends (at least most of them), so why does she secretly feel so out of place?

After chickening out on the trip, a last-minute change of heart sees Tammy racing to the Onslow Hotel, fearing she’s missed her chance for a ride. The last thing she expected to meet was a less-than-happy Onslow Boy leaning against his black panel van.

Now the countdown begins to reach the others at Point Shank before the party is over and the new year has begun. Alone in a car with only the infuriating Chris Henderson, Tammy can’t help but feel this is a disastrous start to what could have been a great adventure. But when the awkward road trip takes an unexpected turn, Tammy soon discovers that the way her traitorous heart feels about Chris is the biggest disaster of all.

Fogged up windows, moonlight swimming, bad karaoke and unearthed secrets; after this one summer nothing will ever be the same again.

My Review: 5 stars
Once again, CJ just blows me away with her stories of these wonderful people from Onslow. Chris is part of the Onslow Boys, but he's the serious one. The unreadable, almost unreachable one, but still sexy and domineering. Tammy is Amy's best friend from high school who just renewed her friendship with Amy last summer. The Onslow Boys are planning a camping trip that the girls invite themselves on. Tammy ends up riding with Chris to their destination point. In the beginning Tammy and Chris seem an unlikely pairing. But the more the book went along, the more I found myself rooting for them to end up together. Along their journey Tammy learns a great many things about Chris, just as Chris learns more about Tammy. One of my favorite scenes is not a typical one for most people, but when Tammy and Chris enter the the Villa Co-Co and Rose Tattoo's 'Bad Boy For Love' is playing. I love that band, and even though they're an old band, it brought back a lot of good memories for me. Somewhat prophetic song too. It's not the last stop on their trip, nor the most important however, in my opinion, it leads to something more. There are a few things that happen in short order that have Tammy asking Chris to just take her away from everyone else, and I'm certain he's glad to do it. Their final destination is a surprise to all the girls. It's brilliant, and they will never forget the ringing in of their New Year on the rooftop of the Point Shank Beach Resort and what comes after that. It all comes back again on the return trip when they once again stop at the Villa Co-Co and Chris does something completely out of character for him. Don't worry - it's great! I just want to read and re-read these books. 



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

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