A MelanieM Review: Summer Season (Treading the Boards #2) by Rebecca Cohen

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

summer-season-by-rebecca-cohenA trip down to Cornwall is just what Ryan Penniford needs to recover from the daily grind of London life. Ryan and his amateur dramatics society, the Sarky Players, are traveling to Porthcurno to perform at the stunning Minack Theatre.

Stuart Box has returned to Cornwall after earning his PhD, and is killing time as he looks for a job back in London. Spending time with Ryan from the Sarky Players is a great way to take his mind off things.

During their first meeting, sparks fly, but not in a good way, and they must work to get past their initial hostilities to discover they have great off-stage chemistry. Stuart soon learns Ryan is not the superficial man people assume he is, and Stuart likes what he sees. The feeling is entirely mutual.

Pity Ryan is only visiting for two weeks, but both men want to see where this holiday romance might take them.

Summer Season (Treading the Boards #2) by Rebecca Cohen continues the romantic ventures of a local amateur dramatics society called the Sarky Players.   In the first story, Overly Dramatic, it was Andy and Phil who got their HEA, leaving a certain Ryan Penniford to wonder why neither man thought he someone worth pursuing.  Here he gets his answer.  Its because he hadn’t found the man for him yet.  Ryan meets that person when he travels to Porthcurno to perform with the Sarky Players at the famed Minack Theatre.

I’ve included a photo in the review only because if you aren’t familiar with this theatre (I confess I wasn’t before this story), you will be afterwards.  Its as much a major character as any of the other players and rightfully so.  It provides the dramatic backdrop not only for a successful run during the story of Shakespeare’s A Midsummerminack02 Night’s Dream by the Sarky Players with Ryan as a sexy Puck but the romantic setting of sea and village can make anyone fall in love.  Its magic.  We can imagine it because Rebecca Cohen brings that magic out on the page and into the scenes, from the salt on the sea air and the dolphins dancing on the water behind the actors to the walks down the lane.  You get it.  And want to hop on the next plane out to experience it all for yourself.

We get two points of view here, which is nice.  Stuart is at that uncertain place in his life. His degree done, he’s returned home to send out resumes and think about his next step.  So we see all his jumbled thoughts about his future, and the questions in his mind about what to do next. Home includes a wildly unconventional mother who I adored and a pair of neighbors who figured large in his upbringing.  One of which manages the Minack and brings Stuart back into helping out with the new production which is coming into the village.

The other pov is Ryan’s who is a player on the surface, and the total opposite once the layers are removed.  Only he’s hesitant to remove his layers for anyone to see for fear of being hurt.  One person in transition, the other there for only two weeks and afraid of being hurt.  But Cohen shows us that the right place, the right timing, the right people and yes, the magic can happen and feel real.

I am not a believer in “insta love” and part of this still feels a little too fast for my liking.  Yes, too summer holiday.  But they text, and call, and continue to connect once the holiday is over.  And that made it believable for me.  They worked for it.  They traveled to see each other.  I liked that about this story.  It wasn’t a “insta love” and boom they were HEA.  No things had to be worked out. Jobs, housing.  RL issues.  Yet the romance didn’t falter either.

I was actually sorry to say goodbye to Porthcurno and be back in London again.  But that’s where the Sarky Players call home and there’s another story yet to come.  I would love to see the Sarky Players take another road trip.  This one turned out fantastic. I learned about The Minack Theatre and read a lovely romance.  The Sarky Players are such a sweet, fun group. I definitely recommend you make their acquaintance.  Each and every one, from Overly Dramatic to Summer Season.  You don’t need to read the first one to read this one.  Each sort of operates as a standalone, putting them together, however, is a definite plus!  And there’s one more to come.

Cover art by Paul Richmond captures almost every major story element.  Its amazing.  From Ryan as Pan with Stewart watching to the famous Minack Theatre in Cornwall, its perfection.

Sales Links

Book Details:

ebook, 127 pages
Published October 7th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleSummer Season
ISBN 1634762738 (ISBN13: 9781634762731)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series: Treading the Boards – add them to your Goodreads shelf here:

Series Recap Tour – Summer Season (Treading The Boards #2) – Rebecca Cohen (giveaway)

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Summer Season (Treading The Boards #2) 

 Rebecca Cohen

Length: 37,415 words
 
 
 
Series 
 
Overly Dramatic (Treading The Boards #1)
He’s Behind You (Treading The Boards #3)
 
Blurb

A trip down to Cornwall is just what Ryan Penniford needs to recover from the daily grind of London life. Ryan and his amateur dramatics society, the Sarky Players, are traveling to Porthcurno to perform at the stunning Minack Theatre.

Stuart Box has returned to Cornwall after earning his PhD, and is killing time as he looks for a job back in London. Spending time with Ryan from the Sarky Players is a great way to take his mind off things.

During their first meeting, sparks fly, but not in a good way, and they must work to get past their initial hostilities to discover they have great off-stage chemistry. Stuart soon learns Ryan is not the superficial man people assume he is, and Stuart likes what he sees. The feeling is entirely mutual.

Pity Ryan is only visiting for two weeks, but both men want to see where this holiday romance might take them.

 
Author Bio

REBECCA COHEN is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.

Contacts:
Blog: http://rebeccacohenwrites.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.cohen.710
Twitter: http://twitter.com/R_Cohen_writes

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A MelanieM Review: Overly Dramatic (Treading the Boards) by Rebecca Cohen

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Overly Dramatic coverAndy Marshall moves to London looking for a fresh start after breaking up with his long-term boyfriend. To stave off boredom from his day job as an accountant and to meet new people, Andy joins a local amateur dramatics society called the Sarky Players based in Greenwich, South London. Despite his best efforts to avoid it, Andy is cast as one of the leads in a truly dreadful play called Whoops, Vicar, There Goes My Trousers, written by a local playwright.

The play might be bad, but the Sarky Players are a friendly bunch. Andy quickly makes new friends and finds himself attracted to Phil Cormack, a local artist helping with the props. But life doesn’t run to a script, so Andy and Phil will have to work hard to improvise their own happy ending.

I’m used to Rebecca Cohen having a few characters who trod the “boards” in her stories but those actors did so in William Shakespeare’s days.  Now Rebecca Cohen has given us a gentle romp herself with Overly Dramatic, a light-hearted romance set in contemporary Greenwich,  London, England, where a local amateur acting group is putting on a resoundingly bad play.

The name of that  play? “Whoops, Vicar, There Goes My Trousers!”  Full of double,triple, and quadruple entendres and a vicar mounting paper mache’ goat on wheels,  its a disaster along the lines of “Springtime for Hitler”.   The dramatic society producing the play is the Sarky Players, a local dramatic group Andy Marshall has just joined looking for companionship and perhaps something more.  Andy was lured in thinking the play was Cold Comfort Farm but once he started to read for it, Andy was caught up in the people, the action and the feelings of being part of a group again.

I loved how the author brought the Sarky Players to life in their snarky, believable characters.  I thought these were people we had in our offices or sat next to us in the cubicles or ran into at class reunions.  Even Andy and Phil are far from the normal “gorgeous” characters that may stride across your typical m/m romance novel.  A little paunch is visible (and Andy’s ok with that), the brown hair is lovely and nice but maybe not so glossy.  In short, lovely, men (no I won’t call them average – dislike that) who might fall along the “normal” range than movie star.  Both Andy and Phil are coming off bad romances but not completely disastrous ones.  And that just might be a problem right there for some readers.  There is no hurt/comfort.  No drama.  Just two very human men slowly finding their way into a relationship with each other.  Amidst a very bad play.

Some readers will find this boring.  I found it very sweet and lovely.  What did I wish more of?  Something more from the ending.  That felt a little abrupt.  It needed to play out a little more than it did for my total satisfaction. Other than that…this play and these men were just my thing!

Rebecca Cohen’s secondary characters are well crafted as her main ones.  I loved Ussie, Andy’s elderly game-playiing neighbor, along with Ryan, Derek and Naomi.  Ryan needs his own HEA and as this is just the start of the Treading the Boards series, I’m hopeful that is to come.

If you are looking for drama (outside of bad plays and paper mache’ goats of course) and angst, this is not the story for you. But if sweetness, lovely men in search of love and romance is your thing, then Overly Dramatic is a story you will enjoy.  I know I did and I look forward to the others in this series.

Cover art by Paul Richmond was as cute and adorable as the story and cast.  How can you resist a man in that Marilyn Monroe pose?

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 131 pages
Expected publication: August 19th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN13 9781634764551
edition language English