Sunday, February 17, 2013

Boys of Summer

Title: The Boys of Summer
Author: C.J. Duggan
Release date: December 17th 2012
Genre: Romance
Age Group: New Adult

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. Warning: sexual references and occasional course language.
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Moon rays filtered through the windshield, giving the cabin an otherworldly glow.
Toby’s perfect teeth were illuminated when he smiled. “You know, you are the worst winner!” He shook his head. “Ever since you won the bet, you’ve been apologising. Just go with it, enjoy it, because I assure you, next time …” - he leaned closer - “… you will not be the winner.” He pulled back, smug.
I curved a brow. “Next time?”
He nodded. “I fully intend to redeem myself.”
“Want a chance to rebuild your shattered ego, do you? I bet you’re itching to fix my bike so you can be rid of me once and for all.” I shouldered him gently, teasing him as I would Adam. And then I realised what I had done; I had treated him like my friends. He looked down at his shoulder, then up at me. His eyes shadowed with untold meanings that I couldn’t read.
“What if I didn’t want to fix your bike?” he said in all seriousness.
“Why, is my company so stimulating that you can’t bear the thought of being without me?” I teased nervously.
I was aiming for light and airy, but something must have gone wrong with my delivery because Toby’s face went blank. He looked out into the lights of Onslow, ran his tongue over his bottom lip and sighed.

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
 Links: Facebook Blog Goodreads Boys of Summer Facebook Twitter

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Brother's Keeper

The following review is for 18+ readers.
Brother's Keeper
5 of 5 stars false

Trapped in a web of hate with no escape, a young woman discovers her attraction to the man determined to protect her may be her undoing. Will time run out, or will he find a way to protect her before her abusive father kills her?
When Rowan is awarded a ballet scholarship to Michigan State University during her senior year of high school, her life’s dream is finally realized. Having lost her mother at an early age and being subjected to the abuse of a destitute drunken father, she has known unimaginable loss and heartache and been left wanting for a better life—a life now within her grasp. But with one ill-fated phone call, her life is turned upside down.
Logan is Rowan's best friend’s older brother whose career is taking off as he prepares to graduate law school and move cross-country to the prestigious law firm that has offered him a very lucrative contract. When Rowan finds herself at Logan’s mercy after he inadvertently learns of the abuse she has suffered at the hands of her father, their lives become intertwined in a way neither ever imagined nor wanted.
In an effort to protect her, but with his own hands tied by her unwillingness to report the abuse, Logan strikes a deal requiring Rowan to stay with him whenever there is a chance her father might be on a drunken binge—which is often. For her agreement and cooperation, he will keep her secret. Soon, their time together weighs on them both, and they find themselves constantly tempted to step outside the bounds of their supposed platonic relationship. But there is no point. The devastating fact of the matter is their lives are moving in opposite directions—a relationship destined to die before it even has a chance to live.

The ever present clock plagues them both as it ticks off the days until they are parted. But one all important question remains—after he leaves, how will he protect her from a father intent on hating her until the day he dies … or the day he kills her?
Wow, and amazing, heart wrenching love story.
The story of Rowan is a tragic one, her mother dies in a car accident when she is young and she is left to a father who never wanted her and goes about making her life a nightmare. Brutal beatings and verbal abuse are unfortunately the norm for this unlucky girl.
Rowans one joy in life is her best friend Sara and through her, Sara's entire family, the Harrington’s. Ronnie, Marcus and their children Sara and Logan become Rowans family in every way they can, or as much as Rowan will let them. Not wanting to be a leech or a burden she never tells them the truth of her situation.
This all changes when one night Rowans dad beats her and she phones Sara's phone to come and pick her up...... she gets Logan. The story of this couple starts here, with Logan's wanting to protect Rowan from her father and the struggles they are faced when after all the time they spend with each other, they fall in love.
This story was amazing, my eyes were glued to every word on every page I quite simply loved it.
It is a very emotional read as you can imagine with the issues that are dealt that I have already mentioned. Child abuse is a horrible thing and if only they all had protectors like Logan. He really did try his best, the struggle to keep from wanting Rowan was hard, I could feel it.
My heart bled for Rowan as the younger one in the relationship she constantly felt a bit out of her depths. I thought this was translated wonderfully. These characters couldn't have been more real to me. It is in cases like this, when I get characters that are so vivid that they just jump out of the page and into my mind that my reading experience is at its peak, my enjoyment at its fullest.
I cannot write this review and not comment on the amazing love scenes in this book. Steamy, raunchy and hot, however, foreplay has never been written better in my mind, and when this couple finally made love it was emotional. The words spoken by Logan to Rowan were beautiful and bittersweet. I struggled to read with the tears streaming... it was just so hard to take but so sexy at the same time. Logan is quite simply an amazing character, a better man could not be found for Rowan that is for sure and she will never be left wanting *wink wink*.
So I have gushed about how much I loved this book and I am sorry but I just couldn't help it. I think if you give this a try you will be the same. It is touching, heart warming, and leaves you satisfied with the conclusion. Contemporary romance at it's best.

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