Cover Image: Summer Hours

Summer Hours

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Summer Hours is an excellent read and perfect or summer vacation (also a great winter read for those days when it seems like summer is years away).  

Becc, Cal and Serra were friends through high school and college.  Becc is an aspiring journalist, Cal is a film buff, and Serra is the artist.  This story takes place during summers on the California Coast, starting with the summer after graduation and stretching through the summer ten years later when Becc drives up the California Coast to Serra's wedding.  She's travelling with a mysterious passenger and a giant piece of art for Serra's wedding gift.  

Becc has always been the hard-working, studious, good girl.  She won the Haggermaker Scholarship to Berkeley and the story includes her annual letters to Mrs. Haggermaker.  During high school, Becc escapes into films that Eric screens in his bedroom closet.  She senses that Eric wants more of a relationship but she's reluctant to take the next step when he pursues it after graduation.  An angry Eric storms off to New York early and leaves Becc at loose ends.  She hangs with Serra on the weekends and tries to break into journalism during a time when everything is going digital.  Adulthood is not what she expected and she's at loose ends until she runs into the handsome and charming Cal who is dating Eric's mother.  Becc can't deny the attraction and she pursues it over the next few years - mostly to feel something daring and exciting.  She hides it from Serra and their third roommate and of course from Eric when he joins the girls at Berkeley for a semester.  

Flash forward 10 years to a long drive up the Pacific Coast Highway stopping along the way to pick up pieces of a triptych Serra created in college.  The identity of the passenger is not obvious until half-way through the book.

Amy Mason Doan has crafted a wonderful story of growing up and trying to manage friends and family as well as work and play, etc.  Summer Hours is a great book for anyone old enough to understand the overwhelming. choices that you make in life .  The characters were real and very well-developed and the ending was EXCELLENT!!   I look forward to reading more from Doan.
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Summer Hours by Amy Mason Doan is an interesting coming of age book set in the 1990s and 2008. The characters are so dynamic, and the main character, Rebecca, is one that is easy to relate to, although her choices make things hard for her. The setting and the summer road trip make this a perfect book for a summer TBR.

Flipping between the two time periods of Rebecca’s life makes Summer Hours a book that is hard to put down. In the 1990s setting, Rebecca is just graduating from high school and navigating adulthood in her college years. Her dreams and fears are realistic and she makes some wise choices and some choices that affect the relationships she has with her friends. It is really enjoyable to read as the two timeframes converge and Rebecca takes ownership of the mistakes she has made.


There are quite a few interesting side characters in the book that make for a fun read. Serra and Maggie are such great friends for Rebecca. They are supportive, yet aren’t afraid to call her out for her actions. Also, there is a bit of a sub-plot in the book that is tied into Serra’s art that I really loved reading about.


California is a perfect setting for a summer read. There are lots of descriptions of the coast, islands, and boating. This aspect of the novel can really sweep you away and adds a romantic vibe to the plot.

Summer Hours is a novel that will add some summer excitement to your reading list this year. The time periods, characters, and setting are the ideal mix for a summer contemporary. One that I highly recommend.
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Amy Mason Doan, Author has written a memorable, thought-provoking, emotional, intense and captivating novel. There are basically two timelines in this story, one in the 1990s and the other is 2008 I appreciate the way the author weaves the two together. The Genres for this Novel are Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Romance, Coming of Age and Women’s Fiction. The author describes her characters as complex and complicated. I like that the title of this story, “Summer Hours” symbolically could stand for different things.

When summer is mentioned, beaches, vacations, swimming, sailing, watersports, hiking, picnics, and so many wonderful things come to mind. Beach parties friends, romance, fireworks, food, and drink come to mind as well. Summer is relaxing vacation time for some people. For others, it is that life goes on as with responsibilities and work. For young high school and college graduates, it is both the end and beginning of possibly a new life and direction.

Becc, and Eric have been the best of friends in California in High School in the 1990s. Becc’s dream is to be a journalist and Eric dreams of doing something with movies. Becc gets a scholarship which she needs to help make her dreams come true, and goes to Berkley. Eric has his own problems and heads in his direction. As time moves on, many things have changed. Sometimes it is a difficult journey to find what you really want and expect.

I appreciate that the author discusses the importance of family, friends, self-growth, self-worth, forgiveness, love, and hope. I would highly recommend this thought-provoking novel.
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Filled with 90s references galore and a second chance at a first love, Amy Mason Doan’s Summer Hours delivers on all fronts! Told in alternating timelines between 1998 & 2008, we know Becc & Eric are estranged for the ten years in between, but we don’t know why. 

Doan artfully reveals what happened in those fateful years and tells a tale of friendship, love, mistakes and redemption leading up to a hell of an ending! This was my first book by Doan and I’ll be eager to go back and read her debut, as well as add her future books to my TBR! 

Summer Hours is a strong novel which will definitely hold its own against some of the big name authors of the summer and for good reason. This book is captivating and heartfelt and honest - all the things that I look for in a women’s fiction book! 

Thank you to Graydon House for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
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This book followed three high school friends throughout senior year and college, reunited again at one of their weddings years later. This book looks at friendship, young love, mistakes, impulse decisions, and the struggle to follow your passion. The meaning behind the story and the writing was very thoughtful and well done. It had something that everyone would be able to relate with. I had a difficult time with the amount of back and forth because the past was so predictable that I wish that it was just acknowledged, with more focus on the present wedding adventure (because I LOVED that part of the book)! Ultimately, this book was enjoyable, it kept us waiting to see all the secrets unravel to get the whole story and I loved the friendships and love that was explored, especially the ending; however this book just wasn’t for me. I do think that a lot of people will really enjoy this, because the parts that I liked, I really liked. I’ve heard a lot of really great things about this book, so hope you will take this review with a grain of salt when deciding if it’s for you or not. Special thanks to netgalley and Harlequin for this advanced readers copy in exchange for my honest review.
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I enjoyed this book very much.  It is very heartwarming and kept me up late at night until I finished it.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley Inc. for the free electronic copy.
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Summer Hours takes you back to the carefree days of college summer.  You know, the ones where your internship is ruling your life and you are still trying to figure out who you are.  In this character driven novel, you watch 3 friends go from high school seniors to the early college graduate, prefamily days.  The years where you really grow and learn.  Summer Hours touches on some deeper #metoo and women empowerment issues, but not overbearing.  I would highly recomend this book for your beach bag this summer!
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I enjoyed reading Summer Hours by Amy Mason Doan. It is a nostalgia-laced book about friendship, love, sex, and the choices one makes as one grows up. Doan uses music and movie references to heighten the feeling of being in an earlier time.

The descriptions of oceans, beaches, and the road trip up the California coast were particularly poignant as I’ve sunbathed on those beaches and driven those same roads. Summer Hours follows Rebecca, a studious “good girl” as she breaks free of her childhood and the path that she seemed to be set on: a good girl becoming a good woman. The decisions she makes during those pivotal coming-of-age years resonate through the next ten years of her life, causing ripples that she couldn’t have foreseen. The reader watches Becc mature and learn to balance her ambitions as a reporter with calls of her heart. 

In addition, Summer Hours is a very slow-burn romance that is sweeter once it finally arrives. And the final pages bring an unexpectedly, but totally appropriate, twist.
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Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin-Graydon House Books for the ARC in exchange for a review. 
I absolutely loved thus book. I did not want to stop reading it.  Perfect book to take to the beach.
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Truly a delight of a book and perfect for Summer reading. It has everything a great beach read needs, interesting characters, gorgeous settings, romance and just the right amount of angst. So grab a towel and head to the pool, beach or easy chair with this one. Definitely 5 star worthy.
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4.5 stars.

  Summer Hours by Amy Mason Doan is a heartfelt novel of friendship, secrets and love.

  In the mid 1990s, Rebecca “Becc” Reardon, Eric Logan and Serra Indrijo are best friends who are graduating from high school.  Becc has big dreams of becoming a journalist and she is the winner of a prestigious scholarship for Berkeley University. Serra is an artist and she, too, is going to college at Berkeley. Eric is struggling with his parents’ recent divorce and he leaves early for Brown University which is on the east coast.  Becc is brokenhearted over a rift between her and Eric but she remains hopeful they can resume their close friendship.  She and Serra form a tight bond with their college roommate, Maggie, but they keenly feel Eric’s absence. Despite efforts to reconnect, Becc remains on the outs with Eric and she evidently makes a fateful choice that will continue to reverberate years later.

  Fast forward to 2008 and Becc’s life has not exactly gone as she once envisioned. Seizing on an upcoming wedding, she hopes a carefully planned road trip will provide an opportunity to fix a problem she created. Nothing goes as planned and exhausted and frustrated, Becc is a lot more honest than she expected.  Will this hurt or harm her chance to mend the pain her long choices has wrought?

  Seamlessly moving back and forth in time, Summer Hours is an utterly captivating novel.  The characters are realistically and vibrantly developed. The various settings are richly detailed and serve as vivid backdrops for the unfolding story. With a wide variety of movie and music references,  Amy Mason Doan creates a perfectly nostalgic vibe that will absolutely charm readers. I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this poignant and endearing novel.
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Amy Mason Doan, I finished this book with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. This is a story that had me holding my breath as I waited for the inevitable to happen, dreading difficult bits, hoping against hope that somehow it was all going to be okay. I love books about choices and consequences, betrayal and forgiveness, and Summer Hours brilliantly captures the essence of all that and more. The heroine, Becc, finds herself adrift and restless the summer that she is 20; trying to figure out who she is—not just the person everyone thinks she should be, her future planned like a roadmap. Ten years later she heads out on a road trip with a mysterious, reluctant passenger, driving past both painful and happy memories, hoping to recapture what has been lost for too many years. I enjoyed the dual timelines which provided insight into the decisions Becc made, the girl she was, and the woman she became. This compelling book is a reader’s dream: characters with depth, weaknesses, passion; a story that is profound, riveting, heartfelt; a setting, both time and place, that adds an edge and interest to the story.
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Summer Hours by Amy Mason Doan is a beautiful, sumptuous read that will sweep you away in a multi-layered love story that spans over a decade.  This is my first taste of the writing of this author, but I readily admit that I am certainly craving more.

Rebecca Reardon is a twenty-something in 1997, a 'good girl' who aspires to one day become a serious journalist.  But when she meets the older and enigmatic Cal, she engages in a secret affair that could jeopardize not only her future career, but also her friendship with college friend Eric.  Fast forwarding to 2008, Becc and a companion are enroute to a mutual friend's wedding, and long buried secrets, regrets, and shared memories will resurface on a visually stunning journey down the Pacific Coast Highway.

This is a gorgeous novel that will sweep you up, and then hold you in its embrace.  I loved the almost lyrical quality of the writing, and was virtually lulled into the beautiful story.  A tremendous sense of nostalgia descends and, ultimately, peace is found in the decisions of the past.  This message will be relatable to so many, and I recommend it highly.

Many thanks to Amy Mason Doan, NetGalley, and Harlequin - Graydon House (U.S. & Canada) for this ARC.
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Summer Hours is told in two parts. The first is a story of three friends, Serra, Becca and Eric, who are starting their lives. They are trying to figure out who they are and what they want to be. For Serra, she wants to be an artist. Becca wants to be a journalist in a time when journalism is changing. Eric loves films and Becca. One summer fling changes everything for the three friends.

The second story occurs ten years later. Becca and her companion are trying reconnect while on a road trip to a wedding. Sharing the small confines of a car might be the only way to force both to put the past to rest and start anew.

Summer Hours is my first Amy Mason Doan novel. I was attracted by the title and cover at first. Once within its pages, I found a lovely summer read. At times sweet and others sad, the novel brings me back to my youth. I found myself understanding the characters so well. I remember trying to navigate the rough waters of adulthood. Trying to figure out who I wanted to be. In many ways the characters are so typical in their behavior and choices, but they are not boring. At the heart of the story is a romance. Another story that is bitter sweet.
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Warm and escapist. I LOVED this summery story of facing our 20something decisions as 30somethings. All of these characters felt very real to me and took me right back to my college days. The author is very good at capturing the thrilling intensity and vulnerability of the "floating years" post college, and I found that I related to the story the entire time.

Becc's choice to "tumble into that forbidden bed" one hot summer day made me want to yell at her for giving in to lust and betraying her worshipful best friend, but looking back at myself at her age, I want to give her a hug and tell her it will be okay.

It's romantic to the core, with a sexy slow-burn romance that builds almost unbearably until the final payoff. And what a payoff it is. Perfect. I read it in two afternoons and was sorry to get to the end.

Thank you to NetGalley and to GoodReads for the ARC.
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Boys of Summer.  This was an excellent tale (though roughly double the average length of books I read) with a dual timeline in the 90s and in 2008. In the 90s, the main characters are just beginning their lives, and in 2008 a decade has passed and they are all dealing with the events of that decade. It works extremely well and hit home quite a bit for this reader who happens to also be in his 30s. Very much recommended.
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I wanted to love this book, but I think I will settle on "like". There's nothing wrong with it, it just lacked something that would have completely taken me in. I did like the time shifting back and forth and how everything tied together in the end.  My biggest smile was the reveal of Serra's groom. Definitely worth a read.

I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I liked this so much more than I expected I would. I'd call it more "women's fiction" than straight-up romance. The main character, Rebecca, reunites with her estranged best friend Eric on the way to their third best friend Serra's wedding. The story flashes back and forth between present day and a decade before when the three friends graduated high school and went to college. I loved reading the past story of when Becc and Eric's friendship fell apart and trying to piece together how they ended up where they are ten years later. It was fun to read without knowing everything, so I won't lay it out here. The story is all Becc's, and is beautifully told. Eric is hard to read and not super likable, but we only see him filtered through Becc's perspective. Younger Becc makes some bad decisions and some perfect ones for her age and situation, and I found her really real and relatable. This comes out in early June and is a perfect summer read. Treat yourself.
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Thanks to Graydon House and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Summer Hours is scheduled for release on June 4, 2019.

This is EXACTLY the kind of women's fiction that I love to read. Light, fun, romantic, interesting but still has an actual storyline beyond just steamy make out sessions and sexy chemistry. This is the perfect summer read because it's light enough that you can enjoy it, but still has qualities that make you feel like you didn't read a glorified fan-fic-turned-novel. 

The book jumps back and forth between the Becc of today, and the Becc of 10 years ago. We know that a huge mistake back in her 20s caused a series of errors in her life, but we don't know much else, and I found myself holding my breath trying to figure out exactly WHO was sitting next to her in the passenger seat. 

The book was real, raw and emotional, and still managed to feel easy enough to read. It took me through every set of emotions, and I fell in love with all of the characters that Amy Mason Doan created. The imagery associated made me feel like I was actually there. I 10/10 recommend this to anyone who likes works of fiction that balance between real, raw and romantic - just like life.
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I enjoyed this very much. I expected it to be a frothy "beach read" and while it is romantic and the setting is certainly beach-y, it's not silly. Instead, it is a thoughtful and sensitive story. Moments of heartbreak and moments of humor, just like real life.

I especially enjoyed the long-simmering romantic tension between Rebecca and her oldest and dearest friend, Eric, as they try to navigate their tangled feelings for one another. At times I wanted to shake Rebecca for her youthful  mistakes, especially her fateful choice to sleep with the man Eric hates (and then to do it again, and again!!!) -- foolishly convincing herself that the truth won't come out. Except she's a reporter so she has to know that the truth will come out! And when[spoiler] it does, she hurts her kind friend who so clearly has adored her forever. But her decisions were always plausible throughout the book. I was invested in these characters and especially hoping these two would finally "get their timing right" as 30Something adults.

In the end, this is a truly original romantic novel with a lot to say about relationships. I read it quickly in one weekend and highly recommend it.

Thank you to the publisher and author who provided a Kindle copy in exchange for an honest review.
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