A MelanieM Review: Summer Son by Anna Martin


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Summer Son coverIt wasn’t Ellis Broad’s idea to have a child in the first place, it was his husband, Oliver’s. Now 29, Ellis finds himself divorced and the single father of Harrison, his six-month old son.  Turned out that Harrison was Ellis’ biological son not his husband’s and that changed everything.  Now Ellis is raising his son alone, while  working at home full time at his graphic design business.  The only thing keeping him going was his closeknit circle of friends and occasional babysitting from his mother.  Everyone calls it hiding, but Ellis just sees it as his life…a full time dad.

But his friends have other ideas and introduce Ellis to artist Zane Hadlin.  From the first moment they meet, sparks fly.  Ellis feels an ease and companionship with Zane that he never had with Oliver.  And the feelings are reciprocated.  However Zane comes with some serious baggage.   Zane and his older brother got  mixed up with gangs when they were younger and it got his older brother killed.  It also put Zane and his family into hiding, complete with a different last name.  Truly scary stuff for Ellis with a young son to look after.

And Oliver hasn’t completely disappeared from their lives. A chance meeting with Zane, Ellis and Harrison on an outing together starts Oliver poking into Zane’s background in a rush of jealousy. Why? Because it is clear that Ellis has never been this happy.  He has Zane, Harrison and a new outlook on life.  But will Oliver’s interference and Zane’s past conspire to take it all away?

I really enjoyed Summer Son by Anna Martin.  Much like its title, the story runs along slow, warm, unhurried lines.  It’s highlights are a collection of small scenes of domesticity and the deeply moving bond between a father and his son.  Its reminiscent of summer picnics at a park, looking over at all the couples and families spread out on their blankets and tables, watching small intimacies of tenderness and family love.

At the heart of this story is Ellis and Harrison, his six-month old son.  Their moments together are delightful and affectionately real.  Ellis copes with sleep deprived days and nights, working when Harrison is asleep and totally consumed with his son when Harrison is awake.  We are privy to all the details first time parents make note of and all the development progress that parents celebrate.  It’s loving, warm, and rings with authenticity.  It’s probably my favorite aspect of this story.

Ellis Broad comes across as very believable, especially in his role as a loving but stressed out father.  That’s a huge load to carry but Ellis is also shouldering parental duties alone at a stage in his life he never anticipated.  Gone, or so he thinks, are his dreams for a loving husband and the life they talked about together.  Now Ellis is withdrawn and mistrustful of anything that looks like romance and commitment until a young artist walks into his life, making him question his beliefs and decisions.  I really loved Ellis.  In fact its really hard not to, especially when he has Harrison in tow.

Zane Hadlin is interesting in his own right.  Young, gay and of arabic descent, his gang membership was due to a sense of obligation to his brother and mother.  The death of his brother changed everything for him and his family.  Now a talented artist, Zane also works with children with special needs.  Those scenes will really help to connect you with Zane, including the games he plays with Harrison.

The men finds themselves moving into love and a relationship with a certain amount of thoughtfulness and ease.  The drama, when it comes, is gently dealt with, the hurt kept to a reasonable level, and the ending joyful and completely satisfactory.  I know that for some readers the addition of a family or child pushes the romance into the background and its does so here.  If you are strictly looking for a hot “jump your bones” sort of romance, this is probably not the story for you.  But if you enjoy reading about the formation of a family, and loving relationships, then you will find this gentle novel a lovely read and Anna Martin a new author  who’s stories you will look forward to.

Cover Art:  Aaron Anderson.  How could you not love that cover?  It’s wonderful and perfect for this story.

Sales Links:        Dreamspinner Press                 All Romance eBooks             Amazon           Summer Son

Book Details:
book, 200 pages
Published August 1st 2014 by Dreamspinner Press (first published July 31st 2014)
edition languageEnglish

A Quick Stop Tour with Vanessa North and Double Up! (contest)





Heard about wakeboarding?  Love a hot romance and even better love story?  Combine all three and you have Double Up by Vanessa North.  I loved this book and think you will too.  I even admit to more than my share of giggling over the characters and dialog.  But hear is Vanessa North to tell you a little about herself and Double Up.  And there’s a giveaway for a $15 Riptide Gift Card!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Now let’s get started!



Hi everyone! I’m Vanessa North, and I’m touring this week to talk about my new release, Double Up: how it got started, a scene that almost happened, and the sport of wakeboarding–how it influenced me, why I love it so much, and how it shaped the characters in the story.

Contest: Join me on the tour and leave a comment on this post to enter the giveaway for a $15 Riptide Gift Card! Be sure to include your email address in the comment so that I can contact you if you win! I’ll be drawing the winner at the end of the blog tour.

Double Up Book Blurb:

Knowing he’s loved can make any man fly.

Fifteen years ago, Ben Warren was a wakeboarding champion: king of big air, ballsy tricks, and boned grabs. Until a career-ending injury left him broken in ways he still has no hope of fixing. Now he takes his thrills where he can get them, and tries not to let life hurt too much.

Then Davis Fox arrives in Ben’s sporting goods store with a plan to get in touch with his estranged brother by competing in the annual wakeboarding double-up contest. The catch? He’s never ridden before. It’s crazy, but Ben’s a sucker for the guy’s sob story—and for his dimples, too—so he agrees to coach Davis.
Davis is everything Ben isn’t: successful, confident, and in love with life. And he wants Ben to love life—and him—too. But before Ben can embrace a future with Davis, he needs to remember how to hope.

Double Up coverBook Details:

Title:  Double Up by Vanessa North
Publisher:  Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Sales Link:         Double Up Book Page at Riptide

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.


Connect with Vanessa:
Website: vanessanorth.com
Facebook profile page: facebook.com/AuthorVanessaNorth
Twitter: @VanessaNWrites
Goodreads: goodreads.com/VanessaNorth

Catch Me At RJ Scott’s Bloggers Blog Spotlight Today




It’s Scattered Thoughts

and Rogue Words Day

at RJ Scott’s!


“When we are young, the words are scattered all around us. As they are assembled by experience, so also are we, sentence by sentence, until the story takes shape.” – Louise Erdrich




Good Morning, All!  I’m over at RJ Scott’s website today for her Blogger Blog Tour! I wanted to give a little background information on myself, ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords, and all things books for those not familiar with this blog, the reviewers, and all the things we get into here, mostly focused on books!  So head on over and check out RJ Scott’s website, her press Love Lane Books, and my blog for today.  You can find her here!

At the time I sent her the information, Barb the Zany Old Lady hadn’t come on board yet as a reviewer.  But be sure to give her a welcome in your comments!


So welcome to ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords! Home to some crazy ladies, tons of books reviews, author interviews, and thoughts on writing!  We’re growing and the site will be undergoing changes in slow to middling hops and leaps. If you are love to read and write reviews, consider writing them for us.  We supply the books, you supply the review! Let us know what you think of them….and us of course!  Check out our latest reviews and sign up for our latest contests while you are here.  And speaking of contests…

I am offering up a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky person who visits my blog and leaves a comment during RJ’s blogger event. Open worldwide (I am sure I can figure out how to get a Amazon UK card to you all overseas). Contest runs until September 19th as here in the States as August is the time when the government is out of session and everyone is on vacation!


Here are some of my favorite covers so far this month!  Have you read their reviews?  Don’t leave without checking them out!

City of Monsters

John & Jackie coverDouble Up coverDevil's Own cover