Monday, May 15, 2017

ARC Review: 5 stars for Summer Stock by Vanessa North

Summer Stock

Summer Stock

Tabloid scandals have driven TV star Ryan Hertzog to North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where he’s hiding out doing summer stock at his cousin’s seaside theater. When a hookup with local handyman Trey Donovan results in Ryan being photographed butt naked, he vows to keep his pants on and his hands off Trey. How was he supposed to know Trey would turn out to be the summer stock set builder?

Trey isn’t looking for a relationship; he’s still recovering from the emotional fallout of an abusive marriage. But Ryan’s laughter draws him in again and again, and he’s not about to say no to fooling around.

As the summer heats up, the paparazzi catch Ryan in increasingly compromising situations. Ryan might be too much drama for a summer fling—and Trey might be just an intermission from Ryan’s Hollywood life. But if they take their cues from Shakespeare, all’s well that ends well.

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What I thought about Summer Stock

Ryan is taking a break from the Hollywood social scene and the tabloids by acting in a Shakespeare summer stock production with his cousin Caro and her partner Mason at their small theater.  When he goes out one night and hooks up with Trey, he finds out the next morning that he hasn't quite cleared the paparazzi or Trey's big dog.

He runs into Trey again when he finds out that Trey builds the sets for the community theater.  The attraction the enjoyed that one night is still there and even though Ryan is warned to stay away from Trey because he's still dealing with PTSD, they both can't ignore the attraction between them.  

There's something endearing about both of these young men.  Trey's issues are not trivial and he's clearly vulnerable, but Ryan handles him with sensitivity, even when he doesn't even know the whole story.  But Ryan is vulnerable too, about his job and his sexuality. 

Ryan is also separated from his best friend, Ali.  I really enjoyed the fact that Ryan and Ali were good friends.  It's not often there's a platonic girl-guy friendship that doesn't turn into something more in a romance novel, so I really enjoyed this friendship and how everything works out for Ali. 

There were many things I liked about Summer stock.  The characters were all just likeable. And everything builds nicely to that moment when Trey and Ryan need to decide where their relationship goes. I liked the secondary characters, especially Ryan's cousin and her partner Mason.  I want a story about them next!

Summer stock captured the feel of summer, sand and season's with expiration dates, like the relationship between Trey and Ryan. Truthfully, I was all-in at the dedication, and I loved Ferdie! The dog was a great addition to the story and a wonderful tribute to Vanessa North's own Hank

Even though this is a standalone, I'm hoping we will get more stories from this world.
 ARC provided for review.

About the Author

Author of over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories, Vanessa North delights in giving happy-ever-afters to characters who don’t think they deserve them. Relentless curiosity led her to take up knitting and run a few marathons “just to see if she could.” She started writing for the same reason. Her very patient husband pretends not to notice when her hobbies take over the house. Living and writing in Northwest Georgia, she finds her attempts to keep a quiet home are frequently thwarted by twin boy-children and a very, very large dog.

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