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By Belen on 05-09-17
Loved this audio so much!
Any additional comments?
I absolutely, one hundred percent, no holds barred LOVED this audio narration. Nick J. Russo made me so happy while listening to this!
I laughed so hard, I loved the humor in this so much. I loved the age gap, I loved Mason, I loved Terry - even when I wanted to kill him.
Told entirely from Mason's point of view, I loved his (sometimes awkward) interactions with everyone around him. I felt all the feels with his love and fraternal bond with his brother, Dane. And I absolutely adored how he falls head over heels for Terry.
This was just a treat to listen to.
Summer Lessons is funny and sweet, has just a soupçon of angst, some terrifically complex characters, wonderfully smart banter and dialogue, lots of passion, and a so-worth-it-in-the-end HEA.
Recommended, and I can hardly wait for Dane and Carpenter's story!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Morgan A Skye on 06-21-17
So much fun!
(Small spoilers near the end – I’ll warn you before they come!)
So, you remember Mason as the executive who kept flirting with Skip and then later played golf with him. He’s a great guy who’s a bit socially awkward and hasn’t had much luck with men. His latest ex tossed him over for his boss and that, coupled with his brother, Dane’s, troubles instigated his move to Sacramento from San Francisco. He’s got a wonderfully supportive family and a job he excels at, but he’s lonely.
Terry is another guy on the soccer team that plays with Skip. He can’t be “gay” because his mother would never allow it and he still lives with her. He’s working a fairly low-paying job and doesn’t love it, but he doesn’t know how to do anything differently. His mother has pretty much convinced him he’s worthless and beholden to her for his very existence.
There is absolutely NO WAY these two should ever hook-up, much less have any chance at something long term. But somehow – they just click.
Just like Winter Ball showed us two blue collar guys trying to make the best of their lives and to rise above mediocrity by claiming something for their very own, Summer Lessons looks at two “simple” guys who aren’t necessarily struggling against impossible odds, but who are really just unhappy with their current lot in life and who find “magic” in loving one another. That’s the simple beauty of this story.
Because it’s Amy, it can’t be simple. Oh, no it can’t! First we have an age gap, an economic gap and an education gap. Then, we have Terry’s mother and to a certain extent Mason’s brother to contend with. (Dane is hopefully getting his own story next!) It’s not enough to bridge those gaps and cross those hurdles. Oh, no it isn’t! Amy adds in another little “twist” that just about kills you along about the 70% mark in the story. (No spoilers – just be warned – Amy gets her angst in there, don’t let down your guard!)
Of course I found myself riveted, totally unable to put this story down. My heart literally bled for Mason. I wanted him to be happy so, so badly. I loved that he loved Terry and that the two of them seemed to “get” one another so well, but I do wish I’d been able to see a bit more of just WHY a bit more. Mason is reported to be pretty fascinated by sex and has supposedly messed up some things in his life with this fascination, so it makes sense that he and Terry (especially at first) really bond on a physical level. They do – later- hang out a bit – and to a certain extent I could see some of the fascination. But….
When Mason let’s Terry be free and they “take a break” I really, really wanted Terry to be more sad, more devoted upon return and more “broken” by the break up. It killed me that he even went on dates with other guys. How could he not see how wonderful Mason was??? I could totally understand both of them needing proof that Terry could be independent – but did he have to date???
In any case, I really loved seeing these guys find each other and found Mason to be about as loveable as a big, floppy puppy. He was all heart and just so open and honest and such a breath of fresh air. He was delightful! Terry, while probably sweet, didn’t wow me nearly as much and I wasn’t ever quite sure he deserved our Mason.
The other thing that really kept this story moving along was Dane and Carpenter’s relationship. Oooo, la la! That’s gonna be a heart string ripper and I can’t wait!
For fans of the author and especially Winter Ball this will delight. It’s definitely okay as a stand-alone, and I think anyone looking for “real men” falling in love will absolutely adore this!
4.5 of 5 stars
I just love Nick J Russo – I say that every time – but I do! I grew to love his version of Mason- I was worried about this – but it definitely seemed to fit. He portrayed Terry about as I’d imagined as well. I’m really looking forward to Dane and Carpenter’s story – I hope Nick does their audiobook, too!
5 of 5 stars
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Tams (TTC Books and more) on 05-09-17
Good things come to those who wait
What made the experience of listening to Summer Lessons the most enjoyable?
Sitting and listening to Russo's version of these characters. Terry is a grown man still cowering in his controlling, verbally and emotionally abusive mother's shadow. Mason couldn't be more opposite... successful and from a caring, loving and accepting family. Throughout the story you can feel all of this from the characters through Russo's narration.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Summer Lessons?
Olive Oil, that's all I'm going to say.
What does Nick J. Russo bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
As I stated above, he truly brings the characters to life in a way that you can't get by just reading words on a page.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Terry finally realizing exactly what he wants and going after it.
Any additional comments?
I just love this world Amy Lane has created, an eclectic but close knit group of guys that are brought together on the soccer field. I was aching for Mason's story after book one and it was everything I expected and so much more. He and Terry couldn't be more opposite, or more perfect for each other. There is definitely a bit of sadness in the story and for about an hour toward the end I was almost in tears, but by the end, my smile was back.
I don't know who's story I want next... there are several options, perhaps Dane and Clay? I'm certain there will be at least 3 more stories as Lane lined them up as potentials in this book.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By H. Martin on 07-24-17
Any additional comments?
Summer Lessons is Book 2 in Amy Lane's Winter Ball series. The characters overlap in both books in the series, so even though you could read this on its own, I think it would be more enjoyable if you read both books.
Mason missed out on a relationship with Skip (Book 1), but he did gain a new group of friends. At one of Skip and Richie's parties, he meets Terry. Terry is younger than him and still lives at home with his mother. Mason is unsure if Terry is even gay and feels like he's too old and boring for Terry. Terry is interested in Mason but can't be gay because his hateful mother would never allow it. He and Mason start spending time together whenever Terry is able to get time away from his controlling mother, until Terry gathers the strength to move on with his life without his mother. Mason stands beside him and helps him and then steps back and lets Terry figure out if Mason is what he wants.
I really liked Mason in Book 1 so I was happy to see him find love in this book. From the outside, Mason seems to lead a charmed life, but in this book we see the truth. He does have a good life but he also has to fight to keep his bipolar brother moving forward with his life. Mason has done well for himself, and unlike others in his position, recognizes that he didn't get his success without the help of others. And Mason has a filterless mouth. He tends to offend others when he opens his mouth, except the group of friends he's made, who like that he speaks his mind. Honestly, the story starts out with little stories from Mason's past and totally explains his mother's fondness for kool-aid and vodka. I thought it was hilarious and gave great insight into Mason.
Terry was raised by a single mom who has spent his life telling him she owes him for giving birth to him. He's pretty beaten down. As this story is told from Mason's POV, I don't feel that I know Terry as well but when provided the support, he's able to take control of his life and do what's best for himself. And, unlike what most people would do, he doesn't completely cut off contact with his mother once he gets away from her. I sympathized with Terry's situation but I really didn't like him for part of this book. He hit the jackpot with Mason and the fact that he didn't see that and needed to explore really ticked me off. He eventually proved himself worthy, but he's still lucky that Mason is so loyal to those he loves.
This story was narrated by Nick J. Russo and he did a fantastic job! Mason is quite a character, and when I read the book I remember laughing out loud at the beginning of this story of him growing up. That laughter was nothing compared to what happened when I listened to the narrator with this story! I was in tears from laughter. The narrator absolutely perfectly portrayed Mason, and all the other characters superbly! He was able to give the characters individual voices and had great pacing. The narrator was the perfect voice for this story, and I found it increased my enjoyment of the story. Hearing these characters come to life was perfect. It's rare that I enjoy listening to an audible more than reading it myself, but I feel that way for this series.
Overall: 5 stars!
Performance: 5 stars!
Story: 5 stars!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Jessica M. on 11-29-17
No one quite does a sweet, heartwarming story that will make you laugh and cry like Amy Lane. I very much enjoyed Mason and Terry's story and Nick J Russo's narration. All Mason wants is for someone to love and to love him in return. Terry is still trying to figure out his place and what his responsibilities truly are. All of Mason's frankness and blunt speaking are absolutely hilarious.