Review: Summer Stock by Vanessa North

Tabloid scandals have driven TV star Ryan Hertzog to North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where he’s hiding out doing summer stock at his cousin’s seaside theater. When a hookup with local handyman Trey Donovan results in Ryan being photographed butt naked, he vows to keep his pants on and his hands off Trey. How was he supposed to know Trey would turn out to be the summer stock set builder?

Trey isn’t looking for a relationship; he’s still recovering from the emotional fallout of an abusive marriage. But Ryan’s laughter draws him in again and again, and he’s not about to say no to fooling around.

As the summer heats up, the paparazzi catch Ryan in increasingly compromising situations. Ryan might be too much drama for a summer fling—and Trey might be just an intermission from Ryan’s Hollywood life. But if they take their cues from Shakespeare, all’s well that ends well.

Facing scandal and the possible end of his Hollywood career, Ryan Hertzog’s exiled to his cousin’s seaside theatre in North Carolina for the summer. Though he isn’t too happy about it at first, he soon realizes that getting back to his roots may be just what he needs.

Ryan’s lonely, even more so now that his best friend, Ali, is on the other side of the country. Having to keep his bisexuality under wraps makes it difficult to have lasting relationships.

Trey Donovan, a summer stock set builder, has been slowly putting himself back in the dating scene. His experiences with an abusive husband have left him wary. But he finds himself unable to resist Ryan’s laughter and sunshine.

The two don’t start off on the best foot. They have a drunken hookup, but Ryan remembers little of it and then escapes in a hurry the next morning, leaving Trey a bit offended.

But they patch things up quickly, once Trey realizes that it was a fear of his massive dog that made Ryan skedaddle the way he did.

They both know that getting involved with a co-worker probably isn’t the best idea, but the attraction between them won’t quit.

The romance between Trey and Ryan is gradual and sweet. There’s very little drama. Though the both have their pasts, and Trey is still recovering from his abusive relationship, this isn’t a particularly angsty book.

The two spend a lot of time talking, sharing bits of themselves with one another. This is one of those books where you really see the MCs fall for each other.

And the sex is scorching. Ryan and Trey have some great chemistry!

Four secondary characters play important parts in the book - Ali, West, Cora, and Mason. All were well-rounded and complex characters, but I did feel that they took up too much of the spotlight at times.

As the summer comes to an end, the two have to figure out what to do next. I thought the bumps in their relationship were entirely realistic. Obstacles and compromises are a big part of making relationships work.

The happy ever after was perfectly done. Trey and Ryan find a solution that gives them everything. Perhaps it was a bit too perfect, but I loved it.

If you’re looking for a laid-back, sweet, and sexy read, I’d definitely recommend giving ‘Summer Stock’ a try!

An ARC was provided by NetGalley.

Don't miss the Summer Stock tour stop HERE!

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