Review: Summer Ride by Susan Laine

summer rideRating: 3.75 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novella


Though best friends in high school, Toby Billings and Jimmy Maverick lost touch in the intervening five years. But a chance meeting in a bus station has brought them back together. Both men are running from something and trying to work out how to deal with it, and so they decide to head west together. To just drive.

Along the way, they rekindle their friendship and eventually share what they are running from. While vastly different circumstances, each man handled things in opposite ways. Confiding in each other helps them both see their next steps, and lets them take their relationship to the next level. But no matter how much they connect, their lives are about to change. The question is, is it going to include them together?

I love a good road trip romance, and with the added bonus of this being a reunion of friends, I was on board as soon as I read the blurb. Both Toby and Jimmy are endearing in their own ways and I liked that even though they made mistakes, they both owned them and were willing to work to fix them. They had a chemistry together I really enjoyed, but things move quickly. On the one hand, I can get on board with that as they clearly have a history that makes up for some of what we don’t see on the page. That being said, I would have liked to see the romance aspect of things explored a little more fully toward the end of the story. This plot point seemed a little too cut and dried, without the depth I really needed to believe in their HEA.

As much as I enjoyed the characters and their rediscovery of each other, I had a few issues with some of the other plot points. When Toby reveals his secret, the thing he’s running from, I thought it could have been handled with a touch more sensitivity. I’m going to put it under a cut so as not to reveal any spoilers. 

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Toby is sexually harassed by one of his professors and immediately reports it. I appreciated the way he stood up for himself and immediately moved to do the right thing for him. Where I had problems was the aversion to touch dropped in out of nowhere, and then just as quickly resolved since it was Jimmy touching him. This seemed much to cavalier an attitude for the seriousness of the topic.

That all being said, I did like this book at it’s core. Both Jimmy and Toby needed to find themselves in order to take their next step into their lives, and both needed to own their actions. I liked that not only did they do that, but they also were able to reconnect and move toward a future.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

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