Book Reviews

Suddenly, Last Summer by Michael Robert

Genre Gay / Contemporary / New Adult / Age Gap / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Bob-O-Link on 08-March-2023

Book Blurb

Trey Barnes
I professed my love for Jordy when I was seventeen. He was leaving for his last year of medical school after working another summer at my family’s Banks Lake resort in the Pacific Northwest.

Desperate for him to know how I felt even though he was my older brother’s best friend, and fearing that he wouldn’t return after that summer, I decided to take the plunge and admit my feelings while I had the chance.

As the adult in the situation, Jordy wisely chose to discount my confession as simply a teenage crush. But my last spoken words to him were that I’d wait patiently for him.

And I always kept my promises.

Jordy Hall
I’d been away from my small hometown for nearly five years. Life and a stressful medical residency had kept me busy, but I finally returned to fulfill my best-man duties for my best friend’s upcoming wedding.

His younger brother, Trey, was a sweet, sensitive kid when I left years ago. The shy, lean teenager who’d tearfully professed his love for me my last summer there had grown into a sexy, confident man. I was intrigued by what I saw, though I probably should have walked away again.

Had he actually waited for me to return? Did I hope he had? He was nine years my junior and my best friend’s little brother. But he could be so much more.

After five long years, it was suddenly last summer.

Book Review

Let’s start up-front with two salient points: I loved this wonderful book. So I feel free to risk, even as my copy was a reviewers’ early edition, to nitpick with delight. So…


Author Michael Robert has chosen a presentation replete with inserted flashbacks, each of a varying length, some but a few hours back, others set several years prior. Are they essential to plot or character elucidation? Or are they problematic? Are they revelatory – such as maybe a primary character was bitten by a vampire when just a lad, or that another is the long-lost heiress to the last Tsar? Flashbacks are tricky (and often annoying!). The jury is out as to their efficaciousness and so, dear reader, must await your ultimate opinion!


‘Suddenly, Last Summer’ opens with its two principals parting. Trey is but seventeen. Jordy is in his twenties, and off to become a doctor. But, do not worry! Even without checking the final pages (which I promptly did!), we know they are destined to be together. The plot is merely the path: the HEA is the destination! Much of the novel’s early portions are merely introductory of Trey and Jordy as they were when non-connected young men, allowing a backward view from the current time. Aside: As a perfect example of fiction, Trey is a twenty-two-year-old virgin, innocent of even the least erotic preliminaries. As an additional fillip, even Skippy, Trey’s best friend, is also sexually pure. How the winds have bent them (or failed to do so) is problematic.


‘Suddenly, Last Summer’ is a grand saga – a tale over time and crammed with fascinating people: starring are two potential but idiosyncratic lovers; one principal's egocentric ex is a serial cheat; another principal has a shallow and unpleasant brother (“arrogant, sure of himself, and warm to few people”); there is an emotionally troubled though engaging friend; we also meet a society diva who is as shallow as a puddle, loving parents, and on and on.


Trey, having expressed his love for Jordy at seventeen, spends the next five years abandoned and un-paired in a small town. “I didn’t talk about cock either because there simply weren’t any good ones around to speak of.”


Trey’s older brother, Brock, is to be wed at the family home. So all the characters are to be there, with their issues, plots and hopes. Jordy thinks, as his flight home lands: “What would I find when I returned home? Who would I find? Has Trey waited? Did I hope he had? Suddenly, last summer.” Sound syrupy and sentimental, much like a telenovela? Tune in to find out!


Off with Bob-O-Link’s Asides: As perfect people don’t like flaws to be pointed out, and as I am playing at criticism and not salesmanship, let me note – A. Except for people speaking dialectically, there is no reason for poor grammar; B. Proper usage of language may be dying, but why would the author volunteer as a pall bearer?; C. Authorial style should never maim substance and needlessly repeating facts is irritating. Who is deemed slow, the writer or the reader?


And so, tore paraphrase Red Riding Hood - Grammar, what big eyes you have:


1. “Dad had a second chance to be closer to me than him [i.e., he] and Brock had been.”


2. “Covid and its effects on business and their employees was [i.e., were] still being felt…”


3. “… and four of the men that [i.e., who] were in the larger gay group…”


4. “… if not, the trucks [i.e. truck’s] out that way.”


5. “… hair-brained…” Readers: guess the error!


Could we play this game all day?


Why is ‘Suddenly, Last Summer’ a saga? It covers an expansive time span, during which the principals are changing, maturing. The secondary characters, such as Scotty, are well-developed and play significant, if minor, roles. The villains, and we have two to hiss at, are aptly drawn. The remaining personae constitute an important and entertain chorus. The story is finely laid out, with properly varying levels of tension.


Finally, and of primary attraction for a few of us one-handed readers, the sex in ‘Suddenly, Last Summer’ is terrific, especially with the unexpected reversal of sexual roles – experienced, older Jordy is a submissive bottom to younger, sexually innocent Trey. Jordy: “I loved that he was taller and beefier than I was. Being encircled in his arms and held so firmly to him, ticked off every preference I had.” And boy do they generate heat! Rough and nasty are quite acceptable for these heroes – but so is kindness, playfulness, protective feelings, and a little simple boyish fun. Big sexual equipment is a nice plus!


As a rule, a review’s length (wordiness!) shouldn’t exceed the subject, nor delay the onset of reading enjoyment. So, put this down and immediately start to read ‘Suddenly, Last Summer.’





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author via GRRT for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 345 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 10-February-2023
Price $2.99 ebook, $12.99 paperback
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