Monday, May 15, 2017

Summer Stock by Vanessa North

Title: Summer Stock
Author: Vanessa North
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Main Characters: Ryan and Trey
Release Date: May 2017
Publisher:  Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
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.

My Review:
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The two main characters have some pretty significant baggage, but the book stays feeling light and happy. It was a book that made me happier for having read it. 

The book takes place in a tourist town in the Outer Banks of NC. Ryan grew up there, performing in the Summer Stock performances of the Shakespearean theater. And now after some nominal success in Hollywood he's back, trying to recoup after a series of scandals. He's reeling and needs to figure out who he is again. 

On the other hand there's Trey. He moved to this small town with his husband. A husband who later tried to kill him. Since then, his sister has moved to the area to provide support for him as he recovers. Despite everything he's made a place and a home for himself in this small town..but that doesn't mean he trusts himself to make the right decision when it comes to relationships. He made a horrific mistake once and doesn't plan to go through that again.

The bulk of this story takes place in a small, struggling community theater. I enjoyed that a lot. Ryan is obviously an actor, but Trey is making the sets. I even liked the Shakespearean references. Ryan's pseudo-family run the theater and there is a lot of conflict behind the scenes about whether to use his fame or not. He's in town to regroup and keep a low profile...something that's only moderately working.

There are paparazzi popping up, attack killer dogs, some super-hot connections, and overprotective sisters. There are incredible acting vignettes, some hot times on the beach, and a few famous faces showing up. There are more than a few mental breakdowns and totally stupid fights where things are said that can't be unsaid. And I liked it all. It was a fun, sweet book and I highly recommend it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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