Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Review and giveaway: That One Summer by C.J. Duggan

18192972That One Summer
Summer #3
C.J. Duggan
Publication date: 17th December 2013

I adore road trip books, all that beautiful scenery and endless open road, the carefully chosen road trip music in the background (Springsteen and Fleetwood Mac naturally) and if you are Tammy Maskala you get the added bonus of  sharing a confined space for three whole days and nights with the slightly bossy and frowny but oh so smoulderingly hot Onslow publican Chris Henderson of the guaranteed eye rolls and death stare fame. What's not to love about that???

In true road trip fashion C.J's fantastic Aussie late 90's tale starts with the slight awkwardness of both Tammy and Chris who thanks to the "assistance" of BFF Amy have been thrown together for 3 days as they try to catch up with the rest of the Onslow gang who are all determined that they will spend New Year anywhere other than Onslow.

Tammy and Chris are both kind of outsiders, Chris to me has always seemed a little bit older and responsible than the rest of the Onslow boys, in a I'm watching the hilarious banter with a raised eyebrow kind of way. Right from the first book Chris has absolutely intrigued me as I just lurve to see the serious and in charge hero fall for the girl. Tammy I loved right from the start, it's only with the return of her friend Amy that she's found herself on the periphery of the Onslow gang, she's stressy, shy but with a wicked sense of humour and her sarcastic one liners had me laughing out loud. Put Chris and Tammy together with Chris's beloved black van (who's name had me sniggering) that has a handy mattress in the back and we see a whole different side to both characters the further away they actually get from Onslow.

I loved that as the miles roll past we see this different side to Chris, not only can he actually laugh he has a killer smile and takes care of Tammy 100% when she's hit with a terrible migraine going out of his way to ensure she gets the medication she needs, and with that he'd won me over completely. I also adored that That One Summer was interspersed with all of my favourite Onslow characters when Chris and Tammy eventually caught up with them on the trip. I veered between wanting more Onslow gang time because they seriously crack me up, to wanting more quality alone time with the slow but delicious build up between Chris and Tammy it was so good.

Sometimes I forget we are only three books into the Summer series and that C.J. is still a relatively newish published author, but I absolutely know that when I open the first page of one of her books I'm guaranteed to get a huge helping of humour and will be swept away by her irresistible and swoon worthy stories. Her books make me want to be there in Onslow and get to know these amazing characters, I can't praise her enough she really is on my author auto buy list alongside the Kristen Ashley and Jill Shalvis's of the world. Fellow hopeless romantics will love That One Summer, I'm planning another re-read soon! 5 out of 5.  

So, how about a little excerpt? This was one of my many favourites.

“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.

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Now how about a giveaway?
Up for grabs today as part of the THAT ONE SUMMER blog tour is the following:

All you need to do is enter via the Rafflecopter thingy below.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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