Book Review: Summer School by Tam Ames

Posted: September 14, 2013 by sidlove in 2 stars, Book Reviews, Sid's Reviews
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Reviewed by Sid Love

Summer SchoolTITLE: Summer School
AUTHOR: Tam Ames
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 143 pages
BLURB: Jeremy Decker’s recent split with his long-distance boyfriend has left him lonely with a mountain of debt. His only practical source of extra cash is to teach summer school, even if it means teaching history—not easy for an English teacher. To support him, the school hires Lucas Van Sloan, a much-younger college history student.

Lucas, with his swimmer’s physique and optimism, not to mention his determination to get what he wants, both attracts and annoys Jeremy… and what Lucas wants is Jeremy. The heat flares between them, but when Jeremy’s ex, a high-powered attorney with plenty of experience turning things his way, shows he wants Jeremy too, it threatens to snuff out the flame of passion and new love.


This author has a great potential and that she proved it with her book Down Under. I adored that story and I literally fell in love with the characters in it. So when I found out that DSP was releasing a new book from Ames, I made a grab without even checking out the blurb…

… only if I knew, I was heading on a path of disappointment.

Let me tell you what goes on in this book – Jeremy is an English teacher, who is forced to teach the subject that he hates at summer school which is History and he accepts just because it pays for his debts. Whether he would survive through this torture, is the biggest question. Lucky for him, the school has hired an assistant, who at least knows what he is doing unlike Jer.

The assistant – Lucas Van Sloan is in his early twenties, but looks way younger than his age – so much that Jeremy mistakes him for one of his summer school students the first time he walks into the class. There is an instant attraction between them and even with Jeremy’s crappy attitude, Lucas finds himself crushing over his boss. Jeremy faces a similar problem too, but it is not the only problem that engulfs him. He’s just been out of a bad relationship and the escalating heat in his apartment doesn’t help either. To help him out, Lucas invites Jer to stay with him and you can imagine what would happen when two hot, gay guys – who are extremely attracted to each other, might I add – end up under one roof, with closed doors and windows.

Yeah, a lot of humping there. But well, what’s the fun if there’s no trouble in paradise? The ex returns and the drama is soon on.

The author writes well and her choice of words impresses me a lot. Sex scenes are hot, but that was a given for me since this was from Ames. No, there was no disappointment there. My expectations that I’d get to read a good, memorable story was not fulfilled.

Firstly, the character of Jeremy Decker was awful. That guy pissed me off with his attitude so much that I didn’t feel any pity for what happened to him. I understand not everyone is perfect, but this guy never gave me a reason to side with him. Lucas, on the other hand, was an impressive character. He has a heart full of sweetness and love and I have to say this – I was giggling when he felt jealous over Jer talking to his ex. That was actually hot and cute, both at the same time.

Secondly, I felt that the author couldn’t quite catch the differences in characters’ voices – which becomes very important when you are switching POVs. There were some instances when I had no clue who was saying what and that confused me a bit.

Thirdly, the story – it was so … ordinary. This could simply be an erotica where sex happens more often than the other things. There was a lack of sweet moments and I personally didn’t find any romance blooming between the two. A couple of intimate conversations seemed forced and that was a turn-off to my reader side. And most importantly – and which I prefer the most – there was no conflict at all. I don’t know why there wasn’t any. If anyone would claim that the return of the ex was one – then I would say it was a pretty mild one. I personally love drama – I crave for it and I found it lacking over here. The author takes the easy way out, according to me and there we get a happy ending for these two boys.

I kept comparing Summer School to Tam Ames’ Down Under and that is the reason I kept going back to reading this, hoping that the book would turn out to be better after all. Sadly, it didn’t.

I can only hope the author makes good of her talent and come up with better stories. I am not letting this story be the judge of her works and will be looking forward to more. Because first impression has always been the last impression for me.

Sid rates it –

BUY LINK: Dreamspinner Press  ::  All Romance eBooks

Sid Love is the owner of The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all his reviews, click the link: SID’S REVIEWS

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