Rating: 4.25 stars
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High school English teacher Jeremy Decker is annoyed and frustrated to find himself teaching summer school history classes, rather than having a relaxing summer off as he had imagined. But with looming credit card bills stemming from a bad break up, he needs the money and so he drags himself to the classroom, grouchy and barely prepared to teach the unfamiliar subject. Fortunately for him, the school has given Jeremy a teaching assistant, a 21-year-old college history major named Lucas Van Sloan. Lucas is lively and friendly and has enough knowledge on the subject to make up for what Jeremy lacks.
Attraction sparks between both men early on but each have reservations. Jeremy recognizes it is not really appropriate for him to start a relationship with his TA. Not to mention that Lucas is about nine years younger than him. Added to that, Jeremy is still smarting from the break up of his 10-year, long distance relationship with David and isn’t ready to get involved with anyone again. Lucas realizes that sleeping with his boss is a pretty bad idea, but has far fewer reservations than Jeremy and is soon clearly expressing his interest. When Jeremy’s air conditioner breaks and Lucas invites him to stay at his home for a while, it is just the spark they guys need to get together. But David doesn’t want to take no for an answer, trying to win Jeremy back. And as the summer ends the men must decide if what started out as a casual fling can continue as something real.
Summer School was a fun, light read, great for a hot summer day. I found Lucas particularly charming. He is lively and sexy and a knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to reach for it. Although he is the younger partner, in many ways he is the dominant one in the relationship. Jeremy is such a go with the flow kind of guy that Lucas really leads them, both in the relationship and in the bedroom. When he decides he wants Jeremy, Jeremy barely knows what hit him and is helpless to Lucas’ charms. Lucas is more sexually experienced, more outgoing, and just generally a fun guy. I really liked this dynamic and enjoyed seeing the younger man taking the lead.
I will say Jeremy took much longer to grow on me. In fact, in the beginning I found him awfully whiny and a bit annoying. On one hand I felt for him after going into debt to try to salvage his relationship and now being stuck teaching summer school. But come on, most people are forced to work during the summer and it isn’t even full days. He is quite grumbly and feels sorry for himself an awful lot. Not to mention that he is not particularly professional. Ignoring the whole sleeping with your TA thing, Jeremy comes to the first day of class totally unprepared to teach. He doesn’t even really know what the subject of the class is supposed to be, let alone have anything prepared. Then when he finds that Lucas knows the subject matter, he just has Lucas teach for him (although they plan the lessons together). Once we get past the first third of the book or so and move into the relationship part of the story, Jeremy is much better. He relaxes, is more fun, and becomes a better partner to Lucas. We start to see his more vulnerable side and I could really feel for him as he starts to slowly understand why things went wrong with David and what he needs to do with Lucas to prevent it from happening again. So he redeemed himself by really showing growth over the course of the book, but it was a rough start.
I will say the teacher/TA thing didn’t bother me at all, for those who are wondering about that dynamic. As I said, Lucas is definitely the dominant partner and there is no doubt he wants this relationship with Jeremy. There isn’t the slightest hint of coercion or anything to suggest Jeremy is using his position of power over Lucas. Of course, it is still not professional and in real life I would frown on it, but for the purposes of the story it worked fine and didn’t bother me a bit.
Overall I thought this was a fun story that definitely gathered steam as it continued. I really liked Jeremy and Lucas together and it is an enjoyable story with little angst and some nice heat. If you are looking for a hot, light summer read, this is a good choice.