Review: A Summer Without Rain by Christie Gordon

Cover Design: Christie Gordon
Photo from Gay Romance Reviews

Shannon loves Ciaran, his loyal best friend, but loving him proves to be a dangerous game.

It’s 1920 in Ireland and Shannon Sullivan finds himself in love with his best friend, Ciaran. But after a disastrous affair with a teacher that led to him being abused by the town priest, shunned by the townspeople, and abandoned by the man who’d started it all, he’s loath to let himself act on his feelings for Ciaran.

Ciaran O’Kelly only sees the good in others, including his best friend, Shannon. He doesn’t understand why everyone treats him so poorly and why Shannon feels the need to lash out or hide himself. After Ciaran’s mother suddenly dies, Shannon is the one who brings him comfort.

After the death of Ciaran’s mother, Ciaran’s father sends the boys on a journey to Dublin to bring an heirloom to Ciaran’s aunt. With the Irish war of independence in full swing, train travel is disrupted and the two must travel by horse and cart. On the journey, a drunken night in an inn starts another journey, one of discovery, awakening and peril. Can Ciaran and Shannon escape clashes with the British army, while keeping their newfound love a secret?

Shannon
Photo by Author (from Author’s website).

Trigger Warning: Because of the time and place in which this book takes place, there is quite a bit of prejudice.

This is a re-release of a previously published title of the same name. This new edition has been extensively revised into a dual point of view story (and more)

Read an interview with Shannon here.

Exclusive Excerpt for A Summer Without Rain

As he stole a peek at Ciaran, he fully digested the sight of Ciaran’s broad back stretching his underwear and exposed shoulders. His heart pattered at the way the muscles tucked into his small waist. What he’d give to run his tongue along the smooth, toned flesh. Stop it, Shannon. Desire washed over him in a torrent of need and heat rushed his groin, swelling his cock. How could he possibly take his trousers off now? Ciaran was sure to see it.

Ciaran dropped his trousers, leaving only the underwear, and took another quick glance at Shannon, his face scrunching up. He shrugged and pulled the covers down. As he positioned himself to climb into bed, he took a double take at his suitcase lying open on the floor behind the footboard. He went to it, bent over, and picked up his mother’s locket. He rubbed it between his thumb and fingers, closing his eyes, then brought it with him while he climbed into his bed. As he slid only the white sheet over him, he turned onto his side toward the wall. “Hurry up, will you?”

Shannon rested his hands on the button of his trousers. How the hell and exactly when was he supposed to take them off? His er*ction strained against the inside of his underwear.

A loud, sorrowful sob filled the room.

Is he crying again? Shannon whirled around, staring at Ciaran.

Ciaran’s shoulders shook while sobs wracked his body.

Rushing to him, Shannon sat on the edge of his bed. He placed a hand on Ciaran’s side, his heart aching for him. He had to comfort him somehow. This is impossible to watch.

Ciaran rolled onto his back, seized Shannon around the shoulders, and yanked him down into a tight embrace. “It…hurts…Shannon,” Ciaran said, through hitched breathing.

Immediate heat caught his breath. Ciaran’s muscled chest pressed sensually against Shannon’s, hardening his nipples. His senses flooded with the scent of Ciaran and the emotion of the embrace.

A few broken sobs escaped Ciaran. “Oh, Shannon, I-I could see her, the morning before she died. Sh-she made me breakfast, just like always. Why didn’t I see it? Why couldn’t I have known that it would be the last time I’d see her like that. Alive…not gray and dead.”

Shannon struggled to free himself. I have to get away from him. I don’t know what to say. I have to get away from his beautiful body. Wriggling and squirming, he shoved himself partway up, his face dangerously close to Ciaran’s, arousal swarming inside him. He gazed deeply into Ciaran’s sad, wet eyes.

Widening his eyes, Ciaran gasped.

He dropped his head downward, crushing his lips against Ciaran’s. As he closed his eyes and wrinkled his brows, he relished in the forbidden kiss, taking all he could from it, letting it soothe the longing in his soul.

Ciaran widened his eyes further, inside a dark veil of hair. Slowly, they closed again.

Shannon let the kiss linger, the passion inside him building. He parted his lips and brushed against Ciaran’s mouth with an insistent tongue. As Ciaran parted his lips, he drove his tongue inside, deepening the kiss. His pulse hammered in his chest. A lustful fire ravaged every part of him. He couldn’t think, didn’t want to think, just wanted to feel. He tasted the part of Ciaran he’d never had, but always craved.

Mimicking Shannon’s movements, Ciaran pressed their lips closer still, tangling his tongue with Shannon’s.

Ciaran’s kissing me back! He let out a soft moan into silky flesh. Ciaran clung to his torso, pulling him downward, a never-ending spiral into an obsession he no longer had any control over.

My thoughts

I have to admit that I spent the whole book waiting for bad things to happen and they did. It could not have happened any other way since the book takes place in a time period where homophobia is prevalent (not that very much has changed today).

Christie Gordon gives us a complicated best friends to lovers romance. Gordon covers homophobia, rape, abuse, and even death. Ciaran and Shannon become lovers pretty quickly in the story which is why I knew something bad was going to happen. Gordon gives it to us. The focus is not directly on the action when it happens so much as the aftereffects of each event. It’s a harsh look at a reality that existed then and still exists today.

“(W)hen did you start liking mint?”

Grinning at his beautiful Ciaran, Shannon said, “The day I was born.”

Loc 4781

I really like Ciaran and Shannon together. I will say that I wanted to smack Ciaran upside the head for his naivety at times. I totally got why Shannon has the attitude he does. The supporting cast is interesting. There are more evil doers than good people, but the good people rock. I would love to see Colin and Dave’s story. Plus Kelly is a hoot and I would love his story.

Gordon brings lots of heat to A Summer Without Rain. I was surprised and delighted. Very hot indeed.

A Summer Without Rain can be a tough read at times, but the story reflects the time. I will give you this spoiler alert: happily ever after. In the end this story is about love and Gordon gives us a fine love story.

I received a free copy of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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A Summer Without Rain: Where ideas from the book came from!

Christie Gordon

Photo from Goodreads

Christie Gordon started writing gay and MM romance books after finding Yaoi fanfiction by accident and falling in love with it. She’s always had stories in her head and always enjoyed writing, so she decided to try her hand at the genre and took up fiction writing classes at a local community college. She published her first MM romance book with eXtasy Books back in 2009. Christie follows her muses wherever they take her, writing a mixture of paranormal, historical and contemporary romances. She enjoys writing about men discovering themselves, overcoming obstacles and finding love in the process, along with a happy ending.

Christie’s day job is in the high-tech industry with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s in Business Administration. She currently lives in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area but has also lived in the Bay Area of California and grew up in Minnesota. She shares a home with her partner of twelve years, a musician by night and a coder by day. If she isn’t writing, she’s watching boys love dramas or creating digital artwork. She’s also a mother of two young-adult sons, whose antics keep her on her toes. Her one-eyed rescue pug is always by her side, snoring the day away.

Website * Instagram * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * TikTok * LinkedIn * Goodreads * Reviews

Further Details:

Publisher: 979-8408607570, 25 February 2022 (Orig. Pub. 2010)

Editor: Catherine Chisnall; Proofing by Becca Waldrop

Narrator:

Series: Standalone

Settings: 1920 Drimnagh and Dublin, Ireland.

Pages: 335

SC: Lesbian and Gay

Promotion materials provided by Gay Romance Reviews

Promo photo credit:

Photo by Oleg Prokopenko on <a href=”https://www.pexels.com/photo/wooden-wagons-with-hay-on-a-field-10500613/&#8221; rel=”nofollow”>Pexels.com</a>

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