Review of The Summer of Us by Lily Morton
John is very good at what he does, with the exception of his failed marriage. As a lawyer, he’s used to getting things sorted for other people. He plans to take the summer to win back his ex-wife. As his annual summer trip to his villa in the south of France approaches, he finds himself extending an invitation to the one person in his small group of friends who despises him.
Matt is a self-made man with a very successful business. As a favor to a friend, he has agreed to oversee the renovation of his friends’ villa. He’s shocked to receive an invitation from John to stay with him for the summer. He’s not sure how he will survive the summer under the same roof as the arrogant, high spoken, albeit gorgeous man.
The two men agree to start over and set aside their differences to make the summer more pleasant. As a tentative friendship blooms, Matt reminds himself that John is straight and very much courting his ex-wife. John finds himself drawn to Matt on multiple levels and can’t understand why, since he’s supposed to be straight. As the summer wears on, neither man can resist the pull he feels to the other. But what will happen when events conspire against them and the summer ends? Is that all this was meant to be, just a summer fling, or was it something more?
** I would give this book 4 stars. I always love a good gay-for-you or first-time gay story. This was sweet and I enjoyed the build-up of the relationship. I especially like characters that don’t fight their new attraction. John questions himself and his attraction to Matt, but he’s fluid enough and accepting of himself to see where things lead and to let his feeling guide him. He doesn’t run and hide or cast Matt aside. And Matt is understanding enough, to let John set the pace. I did think it was a little odd that both men had a visit from their respective ex’s, even though neither was invited to John’s villa. But it made for some easy tension and good drama. I did enjoy the book, but I think I was looking for a little more, considering how much I liked Deal Maker also by Lily Morton. I think if I understand correctly, this was the first gay novel written by Morton, so perhaps her approach and development have gotten better over subsequent novels. All in all, a nice weekend read.