Series: Summer #1.5
Also in this series: The Boys of Summer
My content rating: NA (In this one some sexual activity is implied, but not a lot is shown)
I had plans, big plans, but all that changed the night Bel Evans darkened my doorstep.
Stan Remington is the go-to man. What he doesn’t know about Onslow means one of two things: it doesn’t exist or it hasn’t happened yet.
And when it comes to Onslow, for Stan, being an only child means a guilt-riddled sense of duty to help out at his parents’ caravan park every summer of his life: same old town, same old story.
Until Belinda Evans.
The wild and insipid doctor’s daughter who spends summer holidays with her family at Remington’s Caravan Park, but she’s not Stan’s problem; that is, until she sabotages his planned weekend escape. Now Stan finds himself not only caretaking the caravan park on his own, but responsible for Bel as well.
Just the two of them.
Under the one roof.
For one long, long weekend.
In a world built by mundane routine and small-town boredom, this summer promises to be anything but boring.
***This review is for book #1.5 in the series, but doesn’t really contain any spoilers for the first book. Check out my reviews of the other books that have been released so far: The Boys of Summer An Endless Summer That One Summer Ringer***
I so adore this series. I don’t know what about it captures my heart – the Australian setting, the 90’s vibe (I was these characters’ age during this same time period, so I definitely relate), the sweet and lovable characters with incredible chemistry – probably a combination of all of these! When I saw that Stan was coming out, I was chomping at the bit to get it, and I was not disappointed! Loved it, just like the rest of the books!
What I LOVED:
- A satisfying novella. I tend to get done with a novella and feel like I didn’t quite get to know the characters well enough, simply because there wasn’t enough time. But this wasn’t the case with Stan. I thought that Duggan did a fantastic job of showing us who Bel and Stan really are and making me feel invested in them. This is kind of tough to do, in my opinion! (Of course, it helped that I already “knew” Stan from the other books in the series.)
- Bel. Bel starts out seeming a bit bratty, but it’s because Stan manages to push her buttons – she’s insecure about her family’s money (and the way that people view her because of it), and he manages to hit that insecurity right in the head. She doesn’t want his opinion of her to affect her, but she can’t help but admit that it does. And then, once she makes one bad split decision, things kind of spiral a bit and she’s not sure how to get out of it. By the end, Bel had completely won me over, and I think she grew up a little (as much as a person can in one weekend!).
- Stan. Stan has always put other people’s wants and needs above his own, which is really selfless, but leaves him out in the cold sometimes. In this book, we see Stan start to take a little more control over his life – he makes a conscious decision not to let people walk all over him. Unfortunately for Bel, this means that he’s not willing to let her off the hook when he might have previously. It leads to some fun interaction between the two of them!
- Chemistry. LOVED the chemistry between Stan and Bel. I was definitely rooting for them to get together. I also really respected Bel’s decision not to allow anything to happen between her and Stan, despite that intense chemistry. Sure it was based on a misconception that she had (see the negative about the simple conflict below), but she showed her true character when she didn’t just throw her morals out the door!
- Simple conflict. Considering that this was a novella, a simple conflict was kind of necessary – anything more and you would have felt rushed or incomplete. So, I did think that it worked well. But the conflict in this book could have easily been solved with one question that was never asked. The whole conflict was a misunderstanding that could have been easily cleared up. Having said that, the book only takes place over one long weekend, so it’s really not that long for a misconception to stand. It’s believable, so I was okay with it.
- Series order. Duggan, you’re killing me with this ‘writing the books out of order’ business! Don’t you know that there are readers like me out in the world who are completely anal and can’t stand to read a series in the wrong order?! I guess I can forgive you. (Though I just might have to go back and re-read ALL of the books in order once they’re all released).
If you haven’t picked this series up yet, you definitely need to. I can’t wait to find out more about Max when Duggan releases the next novella in January (he was introduced in this book, and I definitely want more!!). I give this book 4/5 stars.
***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About the Author
C.J Duggan is an Internationally Number One Best Selling Author who lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia. When she isn’t writing books about swoony boys and 90’s pop culture you will find her renovating her hundred-year-old Victorian homestead or annoying her local travel agent for a quote to escape the chaos. The Boys of Summer is Book One in her highly successful New Adult Romance Series.