Monday, February 4, 2013

Book Blitz + Giveaway/Review(#14): The Boys of Summer by CJ Duggan

I am so excited to be taking part in my first book blitz, hosted by Giselle at Xpresso Book tours. As part of the tour, I have for you my review of The Boys of Summer, an excerpt, and a giveway! How great is that?


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.



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.

Want a read that transports you to summer and has you up into the wee hours of the night because you really can't wait to see what happens next?  Duggan gives you all of that in The Boys of Summer.  I never thought when I picked up this book that I would like it so much.

I must admit it took me a little bit to get into The Boys of Summer at first, but once the Onslow boys came into the picture, it was a roller coaster ride until the end.  The Onslow boys are just great guys, even with their 5 year age gap, between the two main characters, Tess and Ellie.  They are sweet, caring, generous, and just so decent for being older guys.  Never did they try to take advantage or hurt either of the girls.

I loved seeing Tess come out of her shell.  At the beginning, she is portrayed as this backwards girl who doesn't have many friends and seems to get picked on by a lot of people.  But by the end, she is so confident and comfortable with herself.  I loved how as the story progressed she was so witty with the guys and really got comfortable with being herself.  

And then there's Toby, Tess's love interest. I must admit, he had me just as confused as he made Tess feel.  One minute he's outgoing and joking around, and the next he's drawn back and quiet.  I couldn't quite read him at times and I sometimes got highly frustrated at him, but by the end, I loved him.  He's such a decent guy and his and Tess's adventures made me ache to have what they had.  

Duggan's writing is exceptional and I will definitely be reading more by her.  The set of characters she creates in The Boys of Summer will stay with you for a long time.  I promise you won't regret picking up this book!


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