Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 260 Pages
Category: Contemporary, New Adult
At a Glance: This series is a delight! If only we were all lucky enough to find such a wonderful group of friends.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: Mason Hayes’s love life has a long history of losers who don’t see that Mason’s heart is as deep and tender as his mouth is awkward. He wants kindness, he wants love—and he wants someone who thinks sex is as fantastic as he does. When Terry Jefferson first asks him out, Mason thinks it’s a fluke: Mason is too old, too boring, and too blurty to interest someone as young and hot as his friend’s soccer teammate.
The truth is much more painful: Mason and Terry are perfectly compatible, and they totally get each other, but Terry is still living with his toxic, suffocating parent and Mason doesn’t want to be a sugar daddy. Watching Terry struggle to find himself is a long lesson in patience, but Mason needs to trust that the end result will be worth it, because finally, he’s found a man worth sharing his heart with.
Review: While this is the second book in the series, there is enough context that it can be read as a standalone. That being said, I highly recommend reading Winter Ball first.
We met Mason and Terry in Winter Ball, Amy Lane’s lovely little Christmas treat last year, and these two guys couldn’t be more different. Mason is a successful sales exec. He’s left his job and his home to head north after discovering his now-ex was having a long-time affair with his boss. His brother Dane has struggled with bipolar disorder and is in Veterinary school. When he has the opportunity, he takes a new job at Tesko, and buys a house where he and Dane can live. But, he’s definitely not having any luck in the dating department after his disastrous start with Skip.
In Winter Ball, Mason hits on Skip and, as usual, his “way with words” gets him into trouble. Luckily, Skip is a good guy, forgives Mason, and they end up getting to be friends. When Mason is pulled into playing on Skip’s rec league soccer team, Jefferson goes into high gear. He WAS flirting with Mason it seems—although Mason was confused as well. But Terry—only Mason calls him that—has his own issues.
Terry has a…well…horrible single mother who does nothing but whine about Terry owing her—apparently for birthing him. Mason is appalled, but he realizes that really Terry just doesn’t know that there are other ways to live. So, Mason tries to help him see the way, but in a very subdued and nonthreatening way. It’s tough because Mason feels like maybe he’s too old for Terry. Or, maybe Terry isn’t ever going to be able to break free. But Mason’s insistence on helping Terry begins to really take hold, and the whole gang is along for the ride.
We get such a well told story here of Mason’s background and why he feels the way he does, both about other people and about himself. It certainly hasn’t all been a bed of roses for him. He loves his family fiercely and it’s easy to see why, when we know about what a support his mother has been and how protective Mason has always been of his little brother. I just adored this family.
But mostly what we get is Mason trying to support Terry and help him realize that he can have a different life. And, maybe that life can include Mason. He’s not too sure about it, but Mason knows exactly what he wants his life and relationship to be like, and he finally understands that he just can’t settle for less. And, if Terry just can’t do it—well, it’s gonna hurt for a while, but damn it, Mason deserves to be loved in the very same way he is going to love. The road is definitely not easy, and Mason not only has to deal with Terry’s insecurities but some tough times with Dane as well. Luckily, Mason and Dane have a great set of friends who want to see everything work out—and they even do a little plotting to help make that happen.
One of the best thing about Amy Lane stories are the fantastic supporting characters. In addition to Mason’s family and the cast of characters from the soccer team, there are some wonderful moments with Mason’s admin. Mrs. Bradford is an absolute rock star! I can only wish to work with such a fabulous lady. There is also some amazing karma to be witnessed. 🙂
This series is just a delight! It’s wonderful to watch these characters find their way and grow into the men they are meant to be. It’s satisfying to see them accept that they are worthy and lovable and able to make a happy life. Characters from the first book and this one mingle seamlessly, and the circle continues to grow. If only we were all so lucky to find such a wonderful group of friends. I can’t wait for the next installment, because Dane and Carpenter deserve their happy ending as well.
You can buy Summer Lessons here: