I really loved the first book in this series, Winter Ball. I mean I liked it so much that I gave it 5 stars and a pretty glowing review. So here's my problem I seriously like this one better. I mean way, way more and not because the first book wasn't total awesomesauce...nope, nope, nope, not even a little bit. It's more like Winter Ball was awesomesauce and Summer Lessons are super deluxe awesomesauce.
'Summer Lessons' are Mason and Terry's story and this one got me right straight in the feelz. I laughed because Mason...oh-my-god! the things that came out of his mouth. I seriously want to be his friend just so I can sit and talk with him and screen his boyfriends because his taste in men...not so good. Until Terry and as much as I adored Terry there were still issues. One of the biggest and ugliest ones being Terry's mother. Sweet merciful heavens can I get my hands on this woman? I mean seriously is there anything worse than making your kid feel like he's responsible for all that's wrong in your life? NO!!! Just hell no. You don't do this...yep, Terry's mom gives me rage.
So lets talk about better things...like Mason's brother Dane. I loved Dane. His struggle to keep his life on track was heartbreaking and uplifting because he kept trying. Yes sometimes he needed the strength and support of his family to do it but hell sometimes I need that and I'm not bipolar. I loved that he recognized and appreciated what an awesome person and brother Mason was and yes, I want a story with an epic HEA for Dane because he so deserves it. It was also really awesome to have so many of the characters from the first book back as well these guys are just a wonderful, interesting and eclectic collection of personalities.
There is so much more that I could go on and on about because this is what Amy Lane does she creates stories that draw you in and introduce you to a world of people who make you feel. Whether it's because they make you rage in anger and frustration...Terry's mom or they make you laugh and smile until your ready to burst because you know without a doubt that if this person was standing in front of you, you would want them to be your friend, your mother, your father, sister, brother, partner, lover, something but you just know that you need someone like them in your life.
Surprisingly the thing I loved the most about this book was Mason and Terry's relationship which had me doing a double take because May/December...just not my thing. But I loved how Ms Lane handled this relationship. In so many ways Terry and Mason were at different places in their lives and Mason recognized this and he knew that for as much as he wanted Terry, he needed to be the one to do the right thing, the grown up thing and step-away from the relationship but he didn't do it until he was sure that Terry was in a position to explore his new found independence and find himself.
It's the hardest thing in the world to do what's best for the person you love even if it's the total opposite of what you want for yourself but Mason did it and not only did he do that, when Terry figured out what he wanted Mason never made him feel like the fact that he'd taken some time to figure out who he was and what he wanted was bad or wrong. it was after all what Mason had encouraged him to do.
This story touched my heart and I know it's going to stay with me for a long time. I honestly have a hard time imagining that this won't be my favorite book from the series. It was all the imperfections of Mason and Terry as a couple and as individuals that ended up being perfection for me.
An ARC of 'Summer Lessons' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.