Friday, December 13, 2013

BLOG TOUR - REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: That One Summer (Summer #3) by C.J. Duggan

Loving Chris Henderson would be wrong. Diabolically disastrous. I mean, what is there about him to love? He’s moody, bossy, brooding, a control freak, and that’s on a good day … but there was one achingly obvious fact that haunted my every thought, every minute of every day …

He sure could kiss.

As the countdown to the new millennium begins, there is one thing everyone agrees on: no one wants to be in Onslow for New Year’s Eve.

So that can only mean one thing: road trip!

No longer the mousey, invisible, shy girl from years ago, Tammy Maskala is finally making up for all those lost summers. A new year with new friends, which astoundingly includes the bossy boy behind the bar, Chris Henderson.

She likes her new friends (at least most of them), so why does she secretly feel so out of place?

After chickening out on the trip, a last-minute change of heart sees Tammy racing to the Onslow Hotel, fearing she’s missed her chance for a ride. The last thing she expected to meet was a less-than-happy Onslow Boy leaning against his black panel van.

Now the countdown begins to reach the others at Point Shank before the party is over and the new year has begun. Alone in a car with only the infuriating Chris Henderson, Tammy can’t help but feel this is a disastrous start to what could have been a great adventure. But when the awkward road trip takes an unexpected turn, Tammy soon discovers that the way her traitorous heart feels about Chris is the biggest disaster of all.

Fogged up windows, moonlight swimming, bad karaoke and unearthed secrets; after this one summer nothing will ever be the same again.

Expected publication: December 17th 2013


“So what do you think?” Chris stood with his elbow leaning casually on the open door of his jet black panel van. He looked up at me expectantly. “Pretty sweet ride, huh?”
“If you’re a serial killer,” I said, cautiously descending the steps.
Chris’s head snapped around with surprise, his eyes almost as dark as the van itself. He slammed the car door and folded his arms, glowering at me as I approached.
“I’ll have you know, Toby and I have spent the better part of six months fixing this old girl up.”
I wrinkled my nose. “Really?”
“It’s got a 308 and a four barrel carby.”
“Why, it could be grease lightning,” I smirked.
I didn’t think a death stare could vary in so many ways, but Chris had mastered a variety of pissed-off stares like no other. The one he was now casting me was a whole new level of anger.
I cleared my throat and looked away, suddenly super aware that the last thing I should do was alienate my ride, but then the thought did occur to me: did I want to be trapped in a car with Chris Henderson for three days? Three long, insufferable days – could I subject myself to any more death stares, sneers, scoffs and deep sighs? Maybe I would be doing myself a favour if I gave him good reason to leave me behind. Before I fully acclimated to the idea, my attention was snapped back to the present and the duffle bag that landed at my feet.
I frowned toward the verandah where Chris had moved and was readying himself to turf my other bag down.
“Hey! Watch it,” I snapped. “You might break something.” It was a possibility, though I didn’t know exactly what. Maybe Mum had slipped in a crockery set? Who could honestly guess?
“Let me guess,” Chris said with a smirk as he slung my beach bag over his shoulder and trotted down the steps. “Hairdryer?” He threw a cocky smile and grazed my shoulder as he passed, heading for the van. My eyes burned into his back as he opened the double doors to chuck in my bag. He turned to me expectantly, his hand out for me to pass him the duffle. I snatched it up, trying not to let the strain of its weight show as I lugged it over and carefully placed it into the back. I attempted to, anyway. With a rather inelegant lack of grace, I hitched it up onto my knee, trying to be all cool and casual, as if I was totally in control …
I so wasn’t.
Chris plucked it from me as if the bag weighed nothing and turfed it into the back.
“Relax, it landed on the mattress.”
I peered into the back. Sure enough, a mattress lined the whole floor up to the front bucket seats. The windows were blacked out and the inside walls were lined with black carpet. Oh, ick. All it needed was some leopard-print cushions and a disco ball.
It would seem that black was a common theme throughout Chris’s van, and the colour matched his mood.
Chris slammed the back shut. Viewing time was over.
I half expected him to say, “Let’s get this show on the road,” or “We’re burning daylight,” but instead I got a rather lacklustre, “Get in.”
Yep! Three long days.

My Thoughts:

I knew this tender side to him was not always front and present, that it was often overshadowed by the equally brooding, bossy, moody part of him. But I couldn't help but be completely and utterly in awe of all that was Chris. To me, he was bloody near-on perfect.

Chris Henderson!!! Wow!! Just wow!!! I thought that I had this complete and all consuming love for one Onslow boy. Then, next thing I know I'm in love with two. But now I just need to come clean and say that I'm a floozy. After reading That One Summer, I love them all. Every. Last. One. They all have this special little place in my heart that's reserved just for them. 

I'm not going to go into too much detail about the storyline. The synopsis pretty much sums it up perfectly. That One Summer is Tammy and Chris's story. The book centres around everyone making the decision to get away for New Year. So that means road trip. After a mishap with departure times, Tammy ends up road tripping it alone with Chris is his panel van which comes complete with a mattress in the back. At first Tammy is horrified. But if she's going on this road trip, then this is the only way it's going to happen.

“Because if I’d had to choose perfect, I would have just chosen you.” 

“I would choose your legs even when they’re jigging and driving me to distraction. I’d choose your face because it creases into something so amazing when you find something funny (which, incidentally, isn’t often enough for my liking). 
“I’d choose the way your cheeks go red whenever you’re embarrassed, just like they are now. 
“I’d choose the fact that you’re smart, kind and funny and you don’t even know it.” His eyes ticked over my face in a long, silent study. “It’s a pretty big list, but yeah. I’d choose everything about you.” 

In the previous books, I can't say that Chris Henderson made a huge impact on me. He was there, but he was quiet, reserved and somewhat moody. More in the background doing what needed to be done. In That One Summer, Chris is still quiet and sometimes moody. I have to say that I have a thing for quiet and broody. But, I believe he's also a thinker. And he's definitely a carer. He cares about everyone. Their wellbeing, their happiness, their safety. He's a mate to his very core. He believes in them without question and would do whatever was needed for them. But who knew he could be fun, and romantic, and sweet. Or that he was going to get under Tammy's skin and into her heart. 

I found myself really connecting with Tammy so much during this book. Certain little traits and thoughts that she had were so much like me. She doesn't feel like she really fits in. She's not really super close with any of the boys. She worries about things. She's much quieter than her group of friends. She had a tendency to over think things, but she has her mantra to be positive and to have fun. I thought her and Chris were so good together. They were incredibly well matched. I adored the time they spent getting to know each other. 

I loved how much the whole group of friends featured throughout the story. Oh, there was plenty of Chris and Tammy... lots of really nice one on one time. But we also got to see how Amy and Sean were doing and I loved the side story that featured Tess and Toby interwoven throughout. Ringer was his usual stirrer self and things were also set up in readiness for Adam and Ellie's story, which will be just as fantastic as all the others. 

C.J once again has written a book that's full to the brim of laughs. I laughed at the banter between mates. I laughed at the thoughts of Tammy. I laughed at the interactions between characters. I laughed at the situations that Tammy found herself in. I laughed at the fun and good times that this wonderful group of friends have. Tammy's mum and the clay vagina's were just classic. The look on my husbands face as I tried to explain them to him was equally as funny.

Just on a side not, I first came across The Boys of Summer a few months before it's release and I was excited. I was excited that an Aussie author was going to release this book that was set in Australia. I'm so happy that C.J has kept that Aussie flavour throughout her stories. I love my home country with a passion and C.J's Aussie infused books fill me with so much pride. Pride for this beautiful piece of land that I live in. Pride for her stories about these good, decent laid-back, Aussie blokes and their love for their woman. But most of all pride that this Aussie author can write such amazing stories that I am honoured to get the chance to read. Her books can rock it with the best of them.

If you are yet to fall in love with the Onslow boys, please don't hold back any longer. Let them into your heart. You won't regret it!!! 

5/5 Quiet and Caring Chris Henderson Stars

Author Bio:
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, soon to be released That One Summer (2013).

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