Review & Giveaway: That One Summer by C.J. Duggan (Blog Tour)

Posted January 7th, 2014 in Blog Tour, book review, Giveaway / 17 comments
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Summer Series #3

by C.J. Duggan

Publisher: Self-Published (Dec. 2013)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Format: eBook (Novel length)
Source: Free book from blog tour for honest review
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: ★★★½☆ (3.5 stars)

Loving Chris Henderson would be wrong. Diabolically disastrous. I mean, what is there about him to love? He’s moody, bossy, brooding, a control freak, and that’s on a good day … but there was one achingly obvious fact that haunted my every thought, every minute of every day …

He sure could kiss.

As the countdown to the new millennium begins, there is one thing everyone agrees on: no one wants to be in Onslow for New Year’s Eve.

So that can only mean one thing: road trip!

No longer the mousey, invisible, shy girl from years ago, Tammy Maskala is finally making up for all those lost summers. A new year with new friends, which astoundingly includes the bossy boy behind the bar, Chris Henderson.

She likes her new friends (at least most of them), so why does she secretly feel so out of place?

After chickening out on the trip, a last-minute change of heart sees Tammy racing to the Onslow Hotel, fearing she’s missed her chance for a ride. The last thing she expected to meet was a less-than-happy Onslow Boy leaning against his black panel van.

Now the countdown begins to reach the others at Point Shank before the party is over and the new year has begun. Alone in a car with only the infuriating Chris Henderson, Tammy can’t help but feel this is a disastrous start to what could have been a great adventure. But when the awkward road trip takes an unexpected turn, Tammy soon discovers that the way her traitorous heart feels about Chris is the biggest disaster of all.

Fogged up windows, moonlight swimming, bad karaoke and unearthed secrets; after this one summer nothing will ever be the same again.

At A Glance
The story was fun, but the male love interest was not my cup of tea.

The Good
I love this series. It is so addicting. I love the characters (Well, most of them) and I love the summery feel to all the books. It’s just a whole bunch of new adults getting together and having fun. This is very much a relaxing and breezy read, though there is drama. We can’t forget the glorious drama.

Tammy is very awkward. She isn’t very social and often rather bypass a good time with friends if she feels she might be uncomfortable. I didn’t like that about her at first, but then I realized I liked how she was so different from the other girls in this series. She is quiet, shy, and often stressed out but she is also caring and endearing. Her friends have to work at bringing out her wild side, but it’s so worth it when they do. Just ask Chris. Chris has always seen the hidden gem that Tammy is, but neither of them are forward enough to reveal their feelings. Which makes for an awkward but silly road trip.

Chris is a lot like Tammy. He is the responsible one, which often means no fun time for him. He takes care of the group. He is also very quite and brooding. He is in a perpetual bad mood, which was annoying, but we do see glimpses of his sweet and caring side that made my heart melt. Really, there is no one better for Chris than Tammy. They are kind of the outsiders of the group but they like it that way.

It was fun seeing all the other characters. We got an exciting update on all their relationships and they provided awesome comedic relief since Chris and Tammy are a more serious couple. The writing was great and the dialogue was cute. Can’t wait for the next book.

The Bad
I love this series but each book never makes it past 3.5 stars. Which isn’t bad but I realized every book has something missing. This time around, it was the male love interest. Chris was such a Debbie Downer. Now, to be fair, Tammy was also often a kill-joy, but Chris just didn’t seem like great boyfriend material. Many of his actions made me cringe, even if he was sweet in the end. Too little, too late.

I got bored in many places. I wanted some action. Any action! And the side story with Tess and Toby was just stupid. If Toby was that stressed out about his decision that he had to act like such an asshat, then maybe he shouldn’t have done what he did.

The Snuggly
Both Tammy and Chris threw many pity parties which left little room for their relationship to grow in the book. Mostly it was them being silent next to each other and then Tammy doubting Chris’s feelings. So very little romance for a romance book. So frustrating.

There are sexual situations but every time Chris and Tammy were going to get it on, it got interrupted. Every. Freaking. Time. So annoying.

Final Thoughts
If Chris was a little nicer and there was more romance, this would had been an amazing book. But even with how it turned out, I really enjoyed the story and most of the characters. Very recommended.  

“You made it!” she squealed, dragging me around in circles as though we were playing Ring a Ring o’ Roses.
Sean stood next to Chris, watching.
“How come you never act like that when we reunite?” Chris asked Sean in blank-faced seriousness.
Sean slapped Chris on his shoulder. “Don’t worry, mate, I assure you there’s a song in my heart.”

“You know more than anyone that I am never one to love for the sake of being in love, but I love because of you.”

“I desperately wanted to reach out to him, to bring my shaking hands up and slide them over his shoulders, to press skin to skin, drawing him near and crushing against him, like the stirrings of wave slamming into rocks.”

“Because if I’d had to choose perfect, I would have just chosen you.”
“I would choose your legs even when they’re jigging and driving me to distraction. I’d choose your face because it creases into something so amazing when you find something funny (which, incidentally, isn’t often enough for my liking).
“I’d choose the way your cheeks go red whenever you’re embarrassed, just like they are now.
“I’d choose the fact that you’re smart, kind and funny and you don’t even know it.” His eyes ticked over my face in a long, silent study. “It’s a pretty big list, but yeah. I’d choose everything about you.”

Summer Series (My Reviews):
Book #1: The Boys of Summer
Book #2: An Endless Summer
Book #3: That One Summer
Author Bio

C.J Duggan is an Australian author who lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia.

The Boys of Summer is Book One in her Mature Young Adult Romance Series.
For more on C.J and ‘The Summer Series’, visit

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


Enter to win ecopies of The Boys of Summer and An Endless Summer (Book #1 + #2 of the Summer Series). There will be one winner. Open Internationally. Details on the rafflecopter. The email you use to sign into rafflecopter is the email I will contact you with if you win.


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17 Responses to “Review & Giveaway: That One Summer by C.J. Duggan (Blog Tour)”

  1. Giselle

    Great review, doll! I like how bittersweet and airy this series sounds. Like a book you read to get away for a while, if you know what I mean. Glad you’re liking the series even though it’s not perfect. 🙂

  2. Jaclyn Canada

    Oh I love it. I’m finding it funny that you’re reading a summer read and it’s 15 degrees here :D, but you’re in Cali right so you probably have some better weather. I would want a male character that is bringing on the laughs to balance out the shy character. I have a feeling I would get annoyed with the Debbie Downers as well. Fantastic review! Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven.

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