A rich playboy who lives for the now, and a Veterinarian who is ruled by his past, both seek a future that allows for love.
Ashby Sterling-Haynes, the youngest son of a titled family, has had a lot of hook ups, but has never found someone worth keeping. When he meets introverted Veterinarian, Connor Lawson, he realizes this could be the man he’s been waiting for.
Connor has a painful past and no room for an entitled rich guy in his future. Ashby is everything that Connor dislikes in a man and is way too sexy to be anything but a disruption to Connor’s peaceful life.
As a fan of Scott’s Texas series, I was excited for the opportunity to review The Summer House. I was pleasantly surprised that this new series has such a different feel than Texas does. I know, Texas and England are an ocean apart (literally) and should feel different. But this is not always the case when an author writes within the same genre, which in this case is M/M Contemporary Romance. Please don’t take that as a complaint either, because I often enjoy the familiarity such a writing style provides. But in the case of The Summer House I enjoyed the difference immensely and Ashby and Connor have already taken up residence in my reading heart.
When Connor and Ashby first meet sparks fly, but not the good kind. This actually gets worse as the day progresses and culminates in one of the saddest statements I’ve read from a character in a long time “normally people hate me after they meet me, not before.” Seriously, I wanted to cry for Ash when he said that, but it’s a good thing I didn’t because I ended up needing those tears much later in the book. While initially we don’t know the particulars of why Connor detests rich entitled playboys like Ash appears to be, it’s clear from the beginning that Ash is being judged by someone else’s actions toward Connor and fair or not, Connor doesn’t let go of his dislike easily. Thankfully Ash sees something in the veterinarian that calls to him and is not easily deterred. Once Ash comes to understand that Connor’s past is coloring his perception of Ash, he decides to start with friendship. Because he and Connor find themselves spending time together because of Ash’s brother Landon entering into a relationship with Connor’s best (possibly only) friend Rachel, Ash gradually works his way past Connor’s walls. As the summer passes and the men get to know one another better and eventually succumb to their attraction, Connor feels that he owes Ash the truth about his past because he doesn’t think their relationship should be allowed to progress further without Ash knowing what he’s getting into. And I absolutely loved Ash’s reaction and how he dealt with Connor’s fears.
Watching the romance between Ash and Connor play out was oftentimes heartbreaking. Each man brings his own baggage and issues to the relationship. Despite his enviable upbringing, Ash is unhappy with his life. He’s fulfilling the role he is expected to fill in the family business while living up to a social identity he’s no longer happy with and I found his brother’s assessment as to why quite insightful. While I don’t want to ruin the read for you, I will say that Connor’s baggage was quite damaging and once I learned (and confirmed some of my suspicions), I understood why he had such a knee-jerk reaction to Ash and why it took so long for him to overcome it. Despite their obvious differences and issues, Ash and Connor complemented one another well, making The Summer House a really enjoyable read for me. I look forward to checking out the next book in the series.