An Ali Release Day Review: Summer Lessons (Winter Ball #2) by Amy Lane

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
summer-lessons-by-amy-laneMason 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.
Mason wasn’t the most likable character in book one of this series so I wasn’t sure about him going in to this.  I have to say though that he completely won me over.  If you read Winter Ball, you’ll remember Mason as the guy who was pushy & said inappropriate things to Skip on his IT calls.  Once he realizes Skip & Ritchie are together he backs off and they become friends of a sort.  This book starts by showing us glimpses of Mason’s past and then fast forwards to his current life.  He’s a successful businessman but his personal life isn’t going like he’d like.  He’s a bit sad and lonely and he’s a nice guy who just wants to be loved.
Mason meets Terry through Skip and soccer and he’s immediately attracted.  The feeling is mutual but Terry is much younger and still living at home with his mother in a negative situation.  As the two men begin a tentative relationship, Mason realizes that no matter how much he cares, Terry still has to do some growing up to do.  Unfortunately love does not always go how you want it and both Mason and Terry have struggles as the story unfolds.  While parts of this were a bit painful to read, I felt the issues were treated very realistically.
The thing I really loved about this book (& the previous one in the series) is how well the author does every day people.  So many romance novels are filled with alphas and heroes or people with tragic backstories they are overcoming (& those have their place) but it is rare that you find a book with people just like you and me.  People with every day jobs and every day hobbies and every day concerns.  I loved that both Mason and Terry were flawed and had some problems but are really nice guys who care about each other and care about their friends.  I really liked them both, especially Mason, and I also really enjoyed the side characters.  Mason’s brother, Dane, and his story were particularly interesting to me and I’d love to see him have his own book at some point.  Skip and Ritchie from book one are in this quite a bit as well as some of the other team mates.
Overall I enjoyed this a lot.  It is both mildly angsty but sweet and romantic.  It has some humor and some smexy times.  And most importantly it had great character development and a lovely happily ever after.  While it is the second book in the series and there is a lot of overlap of the characters from book one, this could be read as a stand alone.  I ended up enjoying this more than the first book, Winter Ball, but that was good too and I would recommend reading it also.
Cover art by Anne Cain:  I love the cover.  I think it fits the story perfectly and it is a great compliment to the cover of the first book in the series.
Sales Links
Book Details:
ebook, 260 pages
Expected publication: November 25th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634778944 (ISBN13: 9781634778947)
Edition LanguageEnglishSeries Winter Ball #2

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