Review: Summer Lessons (Winter Ball #2) by Amy Lane

Mason Hayes’s love life has a long history of losers who don’t see that Mason’s heart is as deep and tender as his mouth is awkward. He wants kindness, he wants love—and he wants someone who thinks sex is as fantastic as he does. When Terry Jefferson first asks him out, Mason thinks it’s a fluke: Mason is too old, too boring, and too blurty to interest someone as young and hot as his friend’s soccer teammate.

The truth is much more painful: Mason and Terry are perfectly compatible, and they totally get each other, but Terry is still living with his toxic, suffocating parent and Mason doesn’t want to be a sugar daddy. Watching Terry struggle to find himself is a long lesson in patience, but Mason needs to trust that the end result will be worth it, because finally, he’s found a man worth sharing his heart with.

Mason Hayes’ tendency to blurt things out without thinking has made relationships difficult. All Mason wants is someone to laugh with, to care for, and someone who enjoys sex as much as he does. When he first meets Terry Jefferson, Mason is skeptical. Terry is much younger, and still in the closet. But the attraction between them is undeniable.

It doesn’t take long for Mason to begin falling for Terry. But Terry doesn’t want a relationship, even if Mason is the best man he’s ever met. Things are made even more complicated by Terry’s sense of duty towards his hateful and controlling mother. The two can’t be happy until Terry learns that it’s okay to love another man, and that being family doesn’t give anyone the right to stomp all over his life.

I liked Mason in Winter Ball. His foot-in-mouth disease made for hilarious moments. Mason’s funny gaffes continue in ‘Summer Lessons’, and I liked getting to know more about him. He’s a genuinely nice person, so it didn’t take any effort at all to root for him.

Terry takes a bit more getting used to. He’s unsure of himself, and his place in the world. Some of that comes down to age, but it’s more so due to the affects of his emotionally-abusive mother. Even though I could sympathize with him, there were points when I wasn’t too fond of him.

Terry plays hot-and-cold with Mason for most of the book. It hurts both himself and Mason, and it got old pretty fast.

But even so, I wanted the relationship to work out. They were just so sweet together, and clearly made each other much happier people. I liked their early dates, which involved them trying to teach each other their favourite sports. It doesn’t go so well, but it gave the two an excuse to be together more often.


Plus, the two were killer in the bedroom. Mason loves to let go in the bedroom, something that his previous lovers haven’t always appreciated. Terry has no issue with that at all, giving as good as he gets. The two definitely didn’t lack in the sexual chemistry department.

Family plays a big role in this book. Mason’s housemate is his younger bipolar brother, Dane. Working with Dane to keep his medications and environment stable is exhausting, but Mason would do anything for Dane. The bond between the brothers was really something special.

Terry’s mother is the biggest stumbling block in his life. She’s held him back from moving on, and from accepting himself. I could understand Terry’s struggle, but I honestly wouldn’t have minded if he’d left the nasty woman behind without a second thought. I really liked seeing how being with Mason gave Terry the confidence in himself that he needed to finally break free.

I wasn’t a big fan of the drama at the end of the book. I think it’s an overused plot device in MM, especially when there’s an age gap between the MCs. It felt too contrived and unnecessary, and left me a tad annoyed.

Even so, I was happy with the way things ended. The epilogue reassured me that Mason and Terry definitely have what it takes to make it in the long-run.

Overall, I enjoyed ‘Summer Lessons’. It’s not one of Amy Lane’s killer angst-fests, but there’s a good dose of angst, with some hot sex and a sweet HEA. Recommended if you’re looking for a contemporary MM romance with some feels!

Find on Dreamspinner Press or  Goodreads

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