Mason Hayes is sort of a loser when it comes to romance and sex. It would be amusing if he wasn’t so lonely. Mason’s latest relationship ended when he discovered his boyfriend, Ira, was cheating on him with Mason’s own (married and allegedly straight) boss! Now Mason grabs onto a way to get a new start (and away from Ira) when his brother Dane gets accepted to veterinary school in Sacremento. Mason gets a job out there, as a vice president of product quality at Tesko Tech and moves, not only for that new start, but to keep an eye on Dane, who is bi polar.
One night, at a holiday party thrown by Mason’s friend Skip, he meets Terry Jefferson. Terry is adorable, but he’s also under the thumb of his overbearing mother. Poor Terry is humiliated by the woman at the party, and she makes him miserable on a daily basis. However, Terry flirts with Mason, and Mason doesn’t even realize it. Dane has to point it out to him. Terry asks Mason if he’d be interested in playing soccer on Skip’s team.
A lot of things take off from there.
First, I have to say, I freaking LOVE Amy Lane. Her books are always damn near perfect. She’s an auto buy for me, and you know what else? I was fortunate enough to meet her at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, and she was the sweetest, most gracious women I’ve ever encountered. So, when I saw I had the opportunity to review Summer Lessons, I jumped on it. I am so not sorry.
Let’s start at the beginning because it was freaking hilarious! It begins when Mason is in the fourth grade, and they show the puberty video to the boys and he comes home convinced Dane is going to get the flowers pregnant because he was naked in the yard peeing on them. He pretty much comes out to his mother then because he tells her he doesn’t want to touch a girl’s vagina and he only wants boys to touch his penis. This little scene is also when we discover Mason and Dane’s mom adds vodka to her Kool Aid. I laughed so hard, I drooled.
Young Mason is obsessed with all things penis…the word, his own, other boys’. It’s all about the penis. We get to see an event when he’s in the eighth grade, and another when he’s in high school, and still another funny story from college. There’s also a memory from seven years earlier when his boyfriend breaks up with him, and all thoughts of sex toy Saturday (and other themed days) are dashed.
Another glorious thing about Amy Lane’s stories is the amount of detail she includes, both with her characters and the scenery. Not only did she make me fall in love with Mason and Terry thanks to their personalities, I could also clearly visualize the soccer field, the golf course, Mason and Dean’s house, and all the other places in the book. She also writes awesome background characters. Every single man on the soccer team, Terry’s dreadful mother, Mason and Dane’s fantastic parents, and Mason’s positively amazing assistant, Mrs. Bradford (especially Mrs. Bradford), come to life. They fill their roles, but we also are able to know and care for them.
I don’t want to give away the story, so I’ll give a quick rundown of what goes on, but that’s it. You’ll have to read it for yourself. Mason and Terry have an obvious attraction. They begin a sexual relationship rather early, but as they get to know more and more about each other, they fall into something deeper. Terry doesn’t know how to be someone’s boyfriend. He’s had a lot of sex, but that’s it. Mason finds himself in a unique position because he has intense feelings for Terry, but the age difference (and his money) bothers him. The blurb says, he doesn’t want to be a sugar daddy, and that’s the truth. When Terry begins to take tentative steps to get away from his toxic living situation, Mason starts to figure Terry will leave him so he can learn what it’s like to be free. The rest of Summer Lessons revolves around whether or not Mason and Terry can be happy together.
Ok. No more spoilers. Because you all know me pretty well by now, I have to talk for a moment about how sexy Mason and Terry are because they are REALLY EFFING SEXY. I loved every intimate scene. I could feel their connection, whether it was a quick BJ or long, emotional love making. Amy Lane uses just the perfect amount of dirty description to make the sex hot, but it’s not over the top. She really captures the feel in every scene, and she also manages to make it so her characters are getting exactly what they need, exactly when they need it.
As the title states, this is book two in the Winter Ball series. Book one is the story of Skip and Richie, friends of Mason, Terry, and all the guys on the soccer team. I can tell you it was awesome as well. I highly recommend it because it’s a great book, but it’s not necessary for you to be able to understand what is going on in Summer Lessons. It’s pretty obvious Amy Lane is giving hints as to who the other stories will be about, and I’m so excited about them.
I very highly recommend Summer Lessons!
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.