Sunday, May 18, 2014

Review: Saugatuck Summer

Title: Saugatuck Summer (Saugatuck #1)
Author: Amelia C. Gormley
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: May 19th 2014
Source: Netgalley & Riptide Publishing


Five Stars.


Topher Carlisle is a twenty-one year old mess. He has a really bad family history of a broken home, is on the verge of losing his college scholarship, and is trying to come into his own as he stays in his best friend's summer house in Saugatuck, Michigan for the summer. Unexpected kinks get thrown into his plan when he has an affair with his best friend's straight and married father, and meets a sexy artist named Jace. Topher has to figure out who he really is and who he wants to be in the whirl of one fabulous roller-coaster ride of a summer.

To be honest, my blurb doesn't really do this book justice. The thing is filled with drama and feelings from cover to cover, and I mean that in the best and most positive way. There were times that I laughed out loud, there were times when I got really angry, and times when my heart broke for Topher. Being a 22 year old queer kid in college from a broken home, I felt that I connected to him on an emotional/mental level and it made me cling to his story from start to finish. I really admire the depth that Gormley gave to her characters without making them seem too cliche.

I'll admit to you all, I picked up this book because I used to go to Saugatuck in the summers of my youth. For me, the setting helped a lot with my enjoyment of this novel. We spent a lot of our summers up near Traverse City, Michigan, stopping at several towns along the way, and while we were there, so when Gormley mentions these towns, I've heard of them and can happily picture them in my mind. Plus, Topher's partner Jace is from Chicago like me, so the references to things like Boystown again helped me to relate to the story.

And then, of course, I have to talk about the sex. This book is the hot, steamy kind of read that is best enjoyed on the beach or by the poolside in the bright summer sun while sipping on something cold and fruity, ideally with a plastic sword of fruit wedged into it. The adult scenes were well-written and detailed without being overtly crass, which in my opinion is a hard line to toe regardless of genre of erotic romance. Another important note is that this book is not about sex. That is, there is plot and rising action and all those things, that just happens to have some intense and smoldering sex scenes peppered throughout.

This book is a fairly rare five out of five stars from me. In a nutshell, the gorgeous Michigan beach setting, the amount of drama, the hot sex scenes, and the likable, relatable characters all meld together to create one really addictive summer read. This is a book that I will need a physical copy of at some point. BUT be warned; this book contains homosexual sex, graphic language, and potential triggers for abuse. Thank you so much to Netgalley and Riptide Publishing for my chance to read this one.


  1. This is without a doubt a book that I need to read, I knew it from your reactions while you were reading it and your review just confirms it. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for it."

    1. Reactions? Whatever do you mean? -innocent grin-