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Summer Song

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  148 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Billy Bronner is, to all appearances, every inch the 1950s American dream: handsome, clever, captain of the high school football team, looks good enough in tight jeans that people can even forget hes Jewish. Then the new guy on the block, the enigmatic Leonard Nachman, turns his head, and over the summer Billy discovers a new world of romance and lovein a mans arms. But wh ...more
Paperback, 206 pages
Published June 4th 2010 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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I really enjoyed this book but have to agree with some of the other reviewers who said it was a little too "wordy" and certain things didn't seem appropriate for the time frame the story is set in. I found myself questioning whether a teenager in the 50's would have compared something to dental floss for instance. Those type of things disrupt the flow of the story for me and is probably one of the reasons I don't really like historical books in the first place.

I have a dear friend who could have
Mark Kendrick
Dec 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: M/M fans
Recommended to Mark by: 2010 Rainbow Awards
After perusing the winners of the 2010 Rainbow Awards, I decided to pick up this story. There's a good reason why Summer Song won in the Best Gay Coming of Age / Young Adult category. This is one sweet tale.

Billy Bronner, all-American 17 year old kid in CA, has discovered that he's not the straight boy he and everyone else has thought he was. Not after he met Len Nachman that summer. That meeting starts a whirlwind romance that, if you ask me, well-establishes that you're reading about a slice o
Dan C.
Jun 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I've read a lot of m/m fiction between reading my wife's work for Dreamspinner and doing galley proofs for them as well. This was a book I had the distinct pleasure of proofing. I can't recommend this book highly enough. The characters are well written and motivations never seem contrived. Blaydon tells an intriguing story set in 1950s California, back when LGBT was just a random set of letters that don't carry the meaning they do now. Best friends Billy and Kit are returning to high school afte ...more
Elisa Rolle
Jan 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
2010 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention (5* from at least 1 judge)
Aug 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: gay-historical
This is a rather ambitious book which works on most levels, but falls down on others, but it’s a very brave attempt and shows the author’s disregard to write within “normal” parameters.

The book is told from four points of view, Billy Bronner himself, his best friend Kit, his love interest Leonard and Kit’s girlfriend Caitlyn. They are all told in first person present, with the exception of Leonard’s which is done in the form of a diary, so is more past. I admit that this isn’t my favourite way o
I enjoyed this book way more than I think I ought to have done. It's a concept that's been done to death, I'm sure; you know - secret gay high school romance, so I'm not really sure why I was so taken with it (actually, it may have to do with me being high on some potent antihistamines, and antihistamines always make me emotional for some reason).
It's written from the first-person perspective of various characters, and this can be hit or miss, but I liked it here; getting to know the characters
Aug 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gangbang2010q4
I had some serious issues with this book as far as it supposedly being set historically in the 1950s. There were several things mentioned that just didn't fit in with the period (like the use of block scheduling), and every time I saw one, it just grated on me further. That took it down at least a couple of stars in my opinion. I loved the story itself, and I loved the characters - they were very well crafted. And I enjoyed the ending.

The writing style itself also left something to be desired fo
Don Bradshaw
I absolutely loved this amazing coming of age story. Set back in 1955 during senior year of high school we meet the four main characters, Billy, Kit, Leonard and Caitlyn. The story is told from the varying points of view of these four characters which leaves the reader with a special insight into their lives. I thoroughly enjoyed the way that Billy and Len's romance grew slowly. There was some angst due to the fact that Kit felt abandoned. The language and spirit of the year was carried perfect ...more
Trisha Harrington
At first I could not get into this story because it looked like Kit was going to be the narrator of the book. I thought his section was okay but not great. When Billy and Len started narrating the book was when I really enjoyed it. This book was really good and I fell in love with both Billy and Len over the course of this book. I'm not sure why I loved it maybe because of the year that this book was based in and I find a love for characters who defy the rules of the time. The ending was very sw ...more
Emanuela ~plastic duck~
This was a very sweet story. It takes place in the 50s, when homosexual relationships were illegal, so I've been expecting something bad to happen for pages. There's no angst in this book, it was all in my mind. I am sort of glad for it.

The story is written mainly from three point of views: Billy, the guy everyone admires; Kit, his best friend; Leonard, the new kid in town. There's a chapter from Kit's girlfriend, Lyn. Billy meets Leonard in the summer, while his best friend Kit is away on vacat
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-time
As I was reading this book, no matter what was happening or how good things were going, I felt there was an underlying melancholy but I cannot put my finger on any one thing that caused it. Throughout the whole book, I truly expected one of the characters to get beaten or die horrifically or for there not to be an HEA. I don't know if was my mood or the author's brilliance in portraying the uncertainty of dealing with being gay in a time when it was literally illegal (we'll go with author's bril ...more
Jul 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
I really enjoy reading books based back in the 50's because I just love reading about that time, now put in the fact it's a m-m romance makes it even better. Because back then it was taboo and those having those feelings were taught it wasn't natural. I just enjoy reading books like this and knowing that the book showed the difficulty people had back then when dealing with feelings for others. I enjoyed read the story of billy and Len. Wish there was a book about them during the years after scho ...more
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m-favorites
I could not stop reading this book! I started it way into the night, last night and read continuously until my eyes closed of their own accord around 3:45AM. I was back up at 7:30AM and hurried my kids out the door to finish this book!!

It was such a sweet and funny story! I loved it all the way through. (Even with tears at the end...Happy of course!)
Book Utopia
Aug 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Christopher “Kit” O’Reilly has been best friends with Billy Bronner for nearly thirteen years. He knows Billy better than anyone else in town, even if everyone thinks Billy walks on water. But when they start their senior year, something’s different. Kit has been gone all summer, and the Billy he comes back to is more distanced than he’d been in the past. He quickly discovers it has something to do with the new kid in school, Leonard Nachman. Billy claims they had a fight, but Kit learns the two ...more
Jan 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars.

Very enjoyable read and a very sweet YA romance. The challenge of the writing is that it's told through 4 POV, and two of them (Kit and Billy) are very similar, so it is not as distinct as it should be.

However, it's hard not to be touched by Billy and Leonard's love for each other and it's driven not purely by hormonal needs, but wonders, curiosity and passion. The friendship between the 4 characters is also something to be celebrated and the writer did a great job letting readers fe
Jan 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, teen, smut, lgbtq
What can I say, I‘m a sucker for teen gay novels. ^_^;;; My biggest beef is, once again, POV changing without warning. I -hate- that. If you‘re going to change the POV, fine, but freaking TELL ME you‘re doing it, otherwise it‘s very confusing till it clicks in my brain that oh, this must be Y‘s POV now instead of X‘s. GAH. At least with this one it only goes with chapter changes, so after a couple of chapters, when there‘s a new one, you realize that the POV is going to change. ANYWAY. LOVED thi ...more
Jun 06, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
3,5 star. I am a bit torn. I really liked the book which is told in a sort of diary form (with flashbacks)from the three main characters. The lovers Billy and Lenny and the best friend Kit. Then suddenly out of nowhere we get a chapter from the viewpoint of Kits GF. Which was nice because it described the triangle from outside and showed she was not the nitwit we were to believe she was but still. Were did it come from?
Also I thought the end a bit messy, the viewpoints were clear throughout the
Aug 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Louise, you did good. In fact very good. This is a love story if there ever was one. I love reading the progress of these boys' love from the separate perspectives, jumping back and forth, and one can easily imagine the ramblings of these three young men figuring out all this sex and love as written by Ms. Louise. The relationship between Kit and Billy was especially endearing; who has not yearned for that kind of unconditional friendship and trust. I actually wanted more of Kit's impression of ...more
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book, it really captured the innocence of first love and the fear of doing something that not only was immoral for most of society but was also illegal. I really enjoyed the way that the perspectives changed from chapter to chapter. It was sweet seeing how the Billy and Len felt about each other and then how it was to be an observer to this blossoming relationship. I adore happy endings and this book didn't disappoint. The characters were well developed and while not everything ...more
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay-romance
I absolutely loved this book! I loved the time period (195o's). I loved the differing points of view. I enjoyed seeing this story not just through the eyes of the MCs, Billy and Leonard, but also through the eyes of Billy's best friend, Kit, and Kit's girlfriend, Caitlin. This story takes place when homosexuality is illegal, but of course, love is love, so laws couldn't stop Billy and Leonard from falling for each other. I loved all the characters, and I know that this will be a book I will want ...more
Cheap and Lazy
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, 20th-century, mm
Each character's (Kit, Billy, Len, and one scene from Caitlyn) distinctive voice made the first-person telling intimate, the thoughts and emotions vivid, while allowing me into the hearts and minds of each one. It would be impossible not feel feel sympathy, even empathy, for all of them. The story was just so ROMANTIC, without being syrupy. The love scenes were both innocent and highly erotic, full of emotion and heat. The author brought the setting to life without belaboring it. The writing is ...more
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
1.3.5 stars
2.POV was confusing at times, esp Billy
3.I don't know if this was suppose to be realistic? or a fantasy?
4. Parts of the story was distorted. We see Cat's pov where she has some unconscious knowledge of what is happening between Len and billy but then at the Prom its out in the open that she knew or maybe its me??? did I miss something??? Did Kit tell her???....Im so lost
5. It was a sweet coming of age story.
6.Kind of forced myself this morning to finish
7. Am I a bit disappointed ....
Jul 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Parts of it I really liked a lot, but something about the writing style and the three first person viewpoints kept me at a distance. (Usually first person narratives would do the opposite -- bring me closer). Oddly enough, the most emotional zing for me was when the straight friend asked why Billy needed a new best friend and was reassured. The romance was sweet, but as I said, something kept me from really connecting emotionally ...
Cody VC
Dec 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Got a sneak peek at this online, prior to publication, and loved it. As I'm very attached to that version, any review for this version would be awkwardly phrased (due to allusions, omissions, and the like) and therefore inadequate. Suffice it to say that this is a very sweet story and the author clearly cares intensely for the characters. I'm also a fan of her style - Len's diary entries can take some getting used to, but that's his own voice - Blaydon's touch for illustration is terrific.
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love On the Beach

Finding each other one summer is unexpected. Being open about it is illegal. Having friends who accept you without question is beautiful.

The format of the novel, with chapters moving between diary entries to narration by several different characters, is difficult to follow. It might takes some getting used to, but is definitely worth the effort!
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elegant writing and a beautiful story. It took me a while to get used to the use of present tense and the changing POV; also, for me the first half was a little boring but the second more than made up for it. Youthful tenderness, innocence, sexual exploration and the glee they got from it was absolutely beautiful.
Jul 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Sweet story. Entirely too wordy. It actually got on my nerves to the point I skipped a few pages several times (I actually said aloud, "Blah, blah, f***ing blah!") But it interested me enough I wanted to know the ending, which was actually worth it.
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, kindle-lendable
Sweet and funny. I just died laughing with the Catullus references--Leonard put them to good use though! The joys of a Classical education! Shifting the narrators around so much without identifying them was a little frustrating.
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Delightful read that was not the standard cookie-cutter romance. Interesting approach that I wasn't sure about initially, but it worked remarkably well in this author's capable hands.
Jun 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
I almost didn't finish this book. The way the book is written takes some getting used to, but once I got past that, I loved it.
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Louise Blaydon is a writer, specialising primarily in the m/m romance genre. Her interests are esoteric and changeable, and range from linguistic archaeology to modernist poetry; long walks in the cold to lazy drunken evenings; kicking up leaves to sleeping curled up around the cat. Louise has been writing for as long as she can remember, and penned her first half-formed m/m story at the age of ei ...more
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