That One Summer is Book #3 in the mature young adult SUMMER SERIES, a series filled with intoxicatingly sweet romances and addictive, swoon worthy characters. The Summer Series is set in Onslow and it is here where you will meet the ruggedly handsome Onslow Boys - a group of men SO HOT in appearance and so likable in personality that’ll leave you craving MORE. Now imagine that, set it against a sizzling hot Australian background, fill it with good old Australian humour and there you have the Summer Series!
“Guess we better not muck around then.” Even in the night-time shadows I could tell that amusement lined his face; I could tell simply by the way the words had fallen off his tongue. They were tauntingly suggestive. If he thought it was funny to make me squirm under his penetrating stare, well, I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.
I lifted my chin. “Keep dreaming, Henderson. I’m not skinny dipping,” I said proudly. “I don’t care how secluded this place is.”
The light of the moon illuminated the brilliant flash of Chris’s toothy smile. “More’s the pity,” he said. “To be honest, I’ll be amazed if you even get in.” He walked right up to the edge of the pool.
“Why wouldn’t I?” I said quickly.
Chris stretched his arms to the sky. “You just don’t strike me as a girl who gets out of her comfort zone much.”
My entire summer had been spent out of my comfort zone. This whole trip had been massively out of my comfort zone. But I had done it. Against all my better instincts, here I was. I had even been prepared to potentially do something last night with Chris that was completely out of character. I had wanted him to kiss me – everything in my body language had screamed as much at him. He would have to have been blind not to have understood that much last night, but he had known. Of course he had. Why else would he have spun around so fast other than to avoid me?
I felt not so much the burning of humiliation rising in me, but more the burning of anger.
He didn’t know anything about me. So what if I didn’t want to go skinny dipping? Just because I had some safety-related questions over the creepy, poorly lit, abandoned pool, I was a girl who never pushed the boundaries? That never went against the grain?
Fuck you, Chris Henderson.
My brows narrowed and all of a sudden I hoped that I was illuminated well enough that he’d see just how angry his statement had made me.
I pushed past Chris, my feet slapping angrily against the cool, wet concrete as I glanced out toward the massive pool.
“You don’t have to, you know,” Chris said, looking uncomfortable. “I just thought that it was kind of a cool place to bring you after a long trip.”
Oh, now he was trying to be nice and supportive?
Underneath the glow of the pool light, I stood close enough to count all the different shades of brown in his eyes, eyes that ticked across my face as if trying to solve the mysteries of the universe through me. Then they lit up, as if at that very moment he had realised what my determined, serious gaze meant.
“Tammy, wait …”
It was too late. In an act of defiance, as he reached out toward me, without a second thought I dived into the water.
"Chris Henderson kissed a girl for all to see and my heart swelled with absolute tenderness and joy, because that girl was me."
*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.*
I previously enjoyed the first two books in the series and have come to love all the characters so I couldn't wait to get to know quiet, broody Chris Henderson better!
That One Summer can be read as a standalone, it is very much Chris and Tammy's story although you would have a better picture of the whole gang if you read the series from the beginning. I liked the fact this book was set away from Onslow as that is where the first two books have taken place and who doesn't love a road trip?
Chris has always been the older, more serious one of the 'Onslow Boys' and he would probably not even class himself as one of them. Having just taken on the Onslow hotel, Chris doesn't do anything just for fun, so the group agree to go away to celebrate New Year. With a little bit of meddling from friends it turns out Chris is left to drive his cousin Amy's friend Tammy. So it's just the two of them in the van, travelling for three days. It's either a recipe for disaster or fun!
I do like road trip stories, there are so many fun mishaps that often happen on the way. In this case it was a chance for Chris and Tammy to get to know each other. There was underlying attraction but they both had preconceived ideas about the other so it was great to see them each let their walls down. There were some really sweet moments when Chris looked after Tammy and went out of his way to make sure she had everything she needed. We got to see rare glimpses of Chris' sweeter side.
The romance element was low in this book. I don't mean the physical side, I don't mind if that is present or not but it was the actual chemistry between Chris and Tammy. I understand the pace was moving slow to build up a friendship first, but the sparks and butterflies were missing for me. Chris was depicted as moody and he played his part well. Usually you can get sexy moody alphas but in this case I felt Chris was just a plain grumpy guy. So I didn't get that swoon worthy book boyfriend vibe from him. This element of the story really lacked for me. At times it was more about the group of friends going on a road trip rather than the romance. Maybe that was the intention, I just always like romance to take the lead in the books I read.
That One Summer was a sweet tale of self discovery and acceptance. Tammy started off as a whiny and insecure girl but I was glad to see by the end her confidence had grown. There was plenty of drama to be had by this gang and a really sweet ending. For fans of the series this will be another great addition.
"Loving Chris Henderson would be wrong. I mean, what was there about him to love? He was moody, bossy, a control freak, and that was on a good day. But there was one achingly obvious fact that haunted my every thought, every minute of every day... the man sure could kiss."
C.J Duggan is the number one bestselling Australian author of the Summer Series! C.J 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.
Novels in the Summer Series includes: The Boys of Summer (2012), An Endless Summer (2013) and the highly anticipated That One Summer (2013).
For more on C.J and ‘The Summer Series’, visit www.cjdugganbooks.com
Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads