Title: Second Wave Summer
Author: Six de los Reyes, Tara Frejas, and Jay E. Tria
Age Range: Adult
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Anthology
All roads lead back to beachside music festival Summer Crush for another weekend of high waves, rock & roll, and the promise of summer romance.
On any given day, Michael Brian doesn’t need to do much to hit the right notes with a girl, but there’s something about this day—and something about this girl—that’s got him out of tune.
Indie filmmaker Datu puts on his dusty event videographer hat for Summer Crush. But memories of a love he let slip away resurface from every corner of this surf town. Now what he thought would be an easy job just isn’t so easy anymore.
Corporate-highflyer-on-vacation Ringo has a question to which cookie bar boss woman Kris has the answer, if only they’d stop getting in each other’s way.
Content Warnings: Explicit sexual content
Slather on some sunblock, grab a bikini and a bottle of water, and head up north to La Union for waves, beer, music, and romance. Annual beachside music festival Summer Crush is back in this anthology from Six de los Reyes, Tara Frejas, and Jay E. Tria featuring supporting characters from their books Sounds Like Summer, You Out of Nowhere, Songs of Our Breakup, Like Nobody’s Watching, and of course their first anthology, Summer Crush.
Before I delve into reviewing each individual story, let me first discuss what I liked about the book as a while. First, that cover. Isn’t it the cutest, most summery thing you’ve ever seen? That art! Those colors! So bright and pretty! Although my copy of this book is an e-ARC, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be getting me a physical copy as soon as I can.
I also adored how this book is essentially a teaser for longer, more in-depth books. It was like watching a Marvel movie – complete with an after-credits scene! (Don’t close the book once you get to the acknowledgements. Flip to the very last page! You’re welcome.) Not even the conflicts introduced in each of the individual stories are resolved, which, for me, was very cleverly done. They merely hint at the promise of what’s to come next, and leave you eager for more.
A Taste of Summer – Six de los Reyes
Rating and review: 4/5.
Michael Brian, he who is perpetually crushed on, is entranced by a girl he meets on the beach that leaves him muddled and confused – in a good way. At first, it seems like their whirlwind time together is going to be a one-night-on-the-beach kind of thing, but sometimes, summer romance can be so much more. Honestly, who wouldn’t want to get with a girl who uses “Mary Clarence” as her fake name when having flings? (I personally used names starting with the letter K, just so I wouldn’t get confused, before I met my current boyfriend back when I was still dating around.) Cute, sweet, and featuring Franklin’s shenanigans, which I adore ever so.
Rushes – Tara Frejas
Rating and review: 5/5.
I’m biased towards the Alvez boys, okay. And this short story about Datu, Pio Alvez’s older brother, hit all the right notes. Ex-girlfriend who he bonded with once more when her dog gets sick and has to be rushed to the vet (who by the way just so happens to be Max from If the Dress Fits)? Nervousness over whether or not he should text her and try to pursue this thing? A one-night stand fling rooting for Datu to get his shit together and warning him not hurt his girlfriend again? So there.
Ask Me Nicely – Jay E. Tria
Rating and review: 4/5.
Ringo and Kris from You Out of Nowhere are back, and this time, they’re on a bus to La Union instead of a train in Seoul. Ringo’s got an important question to ask Kris – it’s not what you think, but it’s just as kilig-inducing, don’t worry! It seems like the whole universe is against him finally asking Kris this question, but he finally manages not only to get it out, but also to receive the answer he wants. A sweet little snapshot of Ringo and Kris’s lives post-Korea.
Despite not having read some of the authors’ previous works (I haven’t read You Out of Nowhere and Feels Like Summer yet!), Second Wave Summer was still a great read for me because the emotion and the possibilities of more than a summer fling were so finely crafted. It felt like a universal experience – which fleeting summer love that could possibly be something more is anyway!
Can’t wait to read more from this shared universe!
Get this book here!