A guest review by Jenre
A sweet, fluffy and undemanding romance with the unusual setting of a summer camp.
When Astro—as his fellow counselors dub him—signed up to spend the summer at Camp Laguna, North Carolina’s premier girls’ camp, he had two goals in mind: escape the memories of his cheating ex and avoid any other romantic entanglements. Then he meets C.C., the camp’s EMT and handyman. It doesn’t take long for Astro to realize that C.C. will pose far more problems to his peace of mind than his ex ever did.
C.C. is gay, unattached, and interested. He’s also a playboy of the worst order, and Astro is all too aware that they only have nine weeks together before the summer ends. So Astro has a choice: fan the flames between them and hope he can seduce C.C. into a relationship that lasts past the end of the summer, or let the chance pass him by and protect his heart.
I read this book straight after what had been a demanding and difficult book to read. It turned out to be the perfect antidote to the previous book in that it was light, fun and romantic with an engaging hero.
The book begins with our hero, Roger, starting a new job as a ropes expert at a summer camp for girls. He’s just recently broken up with a cheating ex and his self-esteem is at a low ebb. Roger is hoping that a summer working with females, away from the temptation of other men, will give him a much needed break and a chance to recover emotionally. When he arrives at the camp he’s given a new name – Astro – and a tent mate who turns out to be the gorgeous C.C.. Astro likes C.C.’s good looks and charm, and soon they are friendly. However, after a night out Astro discovers two things: C.C. is gay like him, and he’s also a bit of a slut. Not wanting to get hurt again, Astro backs off from C.C. but finds him far too difficult to resist for long.
The book really hinges on the character of Astro, who is basically a nice guy. I felt sorry that he feels so down about himself at the beginning of the book, hating his body and putting himself down all the time, all because his ex had treated him badly. I also liked that he was a bit of a romantic guy, because some men are and I don’t think that is shown too often in m/m books. Astro has come out of a long term relationship quite badly bruised and it was in keeping with his character that he didn’t want to have a fling with someone who could possibly break his heart too. Having said that, he’s also a man who is very attracted to C.C. and knows that C.C. is attracted to him too, so I felt that it was plausible that Astro would feel the push and pull of his attraction warring with his common sense, making the first half of the book a study in temptation and resistance.
Another part which I enjoyed was the unusual setting of a girl’s summer camp. Being British, these summer camps are a complete mystery to me and always have been, ever since I was a child and read Judy Blume and Peanuts. This meant I liked the novelty of a setting which was quite unfamiliar, especially as the author has described many of the activities and events that happen at summer camp. There’s lots of emotion to be seen in the connection that Astro has to his fellow workers and to the girls he makes friends with during his time there. I felt that the author had done a good job in showing life at camp and the camaraderie of the workers along with Astro’s growing feelings for C.C. and their developing relationship.
There were a few niggles with the story. Firstly, I found that the secondary characters, being all women, tended to all blend together. We never really get a decent description of them, and they are all so similar in physique and temperament that I couldn’t separate them in my mind or given them a definite character with which to place them within the book. One exception to this is Spirit, with whom Astro finds a friendship and shares a broken heart. Their relationship was quite affecting, especially at the beginning of the book and I found it a bit of a shame that once Astro and C.C. confess their feelings and start a relationship, Astro’s friendship with Spirit is given less page space. In fact this was my second niggle, that there wasn’t really enough space in the book to concentrate on one thing in enough detail. As a result the book, even though there was lots of physical and sexual descriptions, the story skimmed over a lot of the emotional aspect of Astro and C.C.’s relationship once they had decided to give things a go. The story skips forward in time quite a lot and so I was only told of their emotional closeness rather than see those feelings develop. Fitting in all the camp life, the romance and the friendships with co-workers made the last part of the book rather compressed and a little rushed.
Despite these couple of niggles, I did enjoy Seducing C.C.. It was well written: The romance was sweet, the setting a bit different from the norm and the characters all sympathetic. If you’re in the mood for a lazy Sunday romance which won’t tax your brain, then this book would be perfect.