Rite of Summer by Tess Bowery ~ Book Review by JJ

rite-of-summerTitle: Rite of Summer

Author: Tess Bowery

Publisher: Samhain

Cover Artist: Gabrielle Prendergast

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 06/02/2015

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: Historical


There are terrors worse than stage fright. Like falling in love.

Violinist Stephen Ashbrook is passionate about three things—his music, the excitement of life in London, and his lover, Evander Cade. It’s too bad that Evander only loves himself. A house party at their patron’s beautiful country estate seems like a chance for Stephen to remember who he is, when he’s not trying to live up to someone else’s harsh expectations.

Joshua Beaufort, a painter whose works are very much in demand among the right sort of people, has no expectations about this party at all. Until, that is, he finds out who else is on the guest list. Joshua swore off love long ago, but has been infatuated with Stephen since seeing his brilliant performance at Vauxhall. Now he has the chance to meet the object of his lust face to face—and more.

But changing an open relationship to a triad is a lot more complicated than it seems, and while Evander’s trying to climb the social ladder, Stephen’s trying to climb Joshua. When the dust settles, only two will remain standing…when they’re not flat on their backs.

My View:

A country house, three men, conniving and couplings and secrets, and quite a bit of steamy sex… This should have been a winner in all respects for me. I was sympathetic to the main characters Ashbrook and Beaufort. It was nice to encounter two characters on the edge of society having to make their own precarious way, through their talents (art and music) and dependent upon the whims of their patrons. The fact that they were not backed by wealth and title gave them a sense of vulnerability, especially in a time and society where their relationship could spell disaster and even death.

So why wasn’t I totally swept away? To be honest in parts the book was slow, and there didn’t seem to be a lot happening, then there would be some steamy sex and glimpses into the characters, and then back to very little happening.  It wasn’t badly written, it just didn’t seem to have enough pace and plot in parts.

I think if this novel could have been pared down and made tighter it would have been a more enjoyable read. However, towards the end it did pick up, and I did like the character growth and the ending. I was disappointed though to not find out more about Evander, he was a strong character.

Just as an aside my copy did have a formatting glitch. At the start of some chapters the first paragraph would take the font of the chapter heading, and text would run on in bold from the chapter heading.


Rite of Summer on Goodreads
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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