Author: C.J. Duggan
Release date: December 17th 2012
Age Group: New Adult
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It seemed only natural to nickname them the ‘Onslow Boys’. Every time they swaggered in the front door of the Onslow Hotel after a hard week’s work, their laughter was loud and genuine as they settled onto their bar stools. I peeked through the restaurant partition, a flimsy divider between my world and theirs. I couldn’t help but smile whenever I saw them, saw him ... Toby Morrison.
Quiet seventeen-year-old Tess doesn’t relish the thought of a summertime job. She wants nothing more than to forget the past haunts of high school and have fun with her best friends before the dreaded Year Twelve begins.
To Tess, summer is when everything happens: riding bikes down to the lake, watching the fireworks at the Onslow Show and water bomb fights at the sweltering Sunday markets.
How did she let her friends talk her into working?
After first-shift disasters, rude, wealthy tourists and a taunting ex-boyfriend, Tess is convinced nothing good can come of working her summer away. However, Tess finds unlikely allies in a group of locals dubbed ‘The Onslow Boys’, who are old enough to drive cars, drink beer and not worry about curfews. Tess’s summer of working expands her world with a series of first times with new friends, forbidden love and heartbreaking chaos.
All with the one boy she has never been able to forget.
It will be a summer she will always remember.Warning: sexual references and occasional course language.
The Boys of Summer is Book One in her Mature Young Adult Romance Series.
Inspiration for BOYS OF SUMMER by C. J. Dugan
It was something that has been churning in my mind since I was a little girl, even if it was something no more mapped out than a group of friends hanging lakeside over a summer. It was an idea that has manifested into an entire world and I felt that I owed it to that eleven-year-old little me to develop it into a story. I know I was eleven because I had found an old exercise book with the story plotted out in my child-like handwriting and I could seldom believe it was something that had been swimming around in my subconscious for so long. It fell perfectly in line with me doing NaNo that year (National Novel Writing Month) and that was that, in one month I smashed out the bones of ‘The Boys of Summer’ (TBoS). In writing TBoS I really wanted to capture the essence of growing up in Australia. I set it in a small fictional lake side town in the 90’s to give it a certain flavor and provide a rich setting for a coming of age story, it is an absolute labor of love.
Moon rays filtered through the windshield, giving the cabin an otherworldly glow.
Toby’s perfect teeth were illuminated when he smiled. “You know, you are the worst winner!” He shook his head. “Ever since you won the bet, you’ve been apologising. Just go with it, enjoy it, because I assure you, next time …” - he leaned closer - “… you will not be the winner.” He pulled back, smug.
I curved a brow. “Next time?”
He nodded. “I fully intend to redeem myself.”
“Want a chance to rebuild your shattered ego, do you? I bet you’re itching to fix my bike so you can be rid of me once and for all.” I shouldered him gently, teasing him as I would Adam. And then I realised what I had done; I had treated him like my friends. He looked down at his shoulder, then up at me. His eyes shadowed with untold meanings that I couldn’t read.
“What if I didn’t want to fix your bike?” he said in all seriousness.
“Why, is my company so stimulating that you can’t bear the thought of being without me?” I teased nervously.
I was aiming for light and airy, but something must have gone wrong with my delivery because Toby’s face went blank. He looked out into the lights of Onslow, ran his tongue over his bottom lip and sighed.