Review: Until September by Chris Scully
As a teenager, Archie Noblesse clawed his way out of the poverty, heartache, and abuse of the reservation and left his family behind. Desperate to shake the shadow of his past, he reinvents himself as Archer Noble, an outspoken blogger and controversial author who lives only for himself. But when his beloved sister dies, Archer is saddled with guardianship of his niece and nephew.
Elementary school teacher Ryan Eriksson is devastated when his best friend Marguerite is killed, leaving her two young children orphaned. Helping Archer with his new responsibilities eases his grief, but when Archer offers him custody of the children, Ryan’s left with an impossible choice: get the family he’s always wanted, or respect Margie’s wishes and convince Archer to give parenting—and his heritage—a chance.
To buy time, Ryan promises to stay for the summer, hoping that Archer will change his mind and fall for the kids. But Archer’s reluctant, and the growing attraction between him and Ryan complicates matters. Legal decisions must be made, and soon, before Ryan returns to school. But with hearts involved, more than just the children’s future is on the line.
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The story starts with a flashback to the funeral of Archers grandfather, set 20 years before the book takes place. And in that short prologue we get a lot of information on Archer and his childhood. Information that I found really helpful to understand who Archer was. Because when you then read the first chapter you’re confronted with a grade-A asshole. There’s no other way to put it. In those first chapters he’s not a really likable character. And I don’t think I would have continued this book hadn’t I known that there was more to him.
Archer grew up taking care and protecting his sister. And he had to put up with a lot of things a child his age shouldn’t have to deal with. He never knew what a real family was like and he worked hard so that he could escape from that place and send his sister to college so that she, one day, would have a better live. Archer doesn’t want to depend on anyone.
When his sister dies in a car accident, Archer is named guardian for her two kids. A fact he’s not happy with and he’d rather hand them over to Ryan Ericksson, their teacher and “backup guardian”.
Ryan is such a good soul. There’s really no other way to put it.
He believes that Archer just has to get to know Emma and Dillon to decide to stay with them. Which is why he agrees to stay with the three of them until school starts again in september.
This way he can show Archer how to care for his niece and nephew and maybe convince him along the way to stick around.
Ryan himself wants nothing more than to have a family of his own. And he’s so sweet and caring with Emma and Dillon. *sigh*
At first it seems like Archer and Ryan are complete opposites and I asked myself how they could possibly fall in love. Because Archer seemed so hard and unapproachable while Ryan was so kindhearted and compassionate.
But then you get to know both of them more and you realise they’re not that different after all. They both want a family but Archer is too afraid to let someone close. He built this wall around himself so no one could ever hurt him again.
And that’s also why he doesn’t let himself want a family. Archer thinks he’s not good enough, that the kids are better of without him, because he can’t raise two children.
Knowing what Archer had to go through and seeing him so hurt even after all these years broke my heart.
Archer is used to be in control but when he finds out about his sisters death and that she named him guardian for her kids, he’s lost. He doesn’t know how to handle the situation and his first instinct is to push everyone away. Good thing that Ryan doesn’t let himself be pushed away. He’s determined to make those three a family and he pushes and pushes until slowly Archers hard shell starts to crumble and my god by the end of the book he seems like a completely changed person and to see his transformation was so beautiful.
Emma and Dillon were so endearing and I really loved them both. They were typical 5/7 year olds, struggling to cope with not only the death of their dad a couple years ago but now also with their mums death. Dillon seemed to take it harder than his sister and created an imaginary friend. I loved how the author handled this situation. It made it all feel even more real.
This was my first book by this author, but definitely not my last.
Chris Scully wrote such well-drawn and fleshed-out characters who at the beginning of the book seem quite broken but as the story moves along built something beautiful together. The author really has a way with words and by the end of the book you’ll be crying and smiling at the same time. I really loved it. The chemistry between both characters but also the relationship they have with the kids.. so beautiful!
The only thing I missed a bit was that Archer and Ryan never really talk about Archers childhood. It seemed such an important part of why Archer became the person he was, that I would’ve liked to see them mention it.
But overall Until September is such a beautiful and well-written story; so touching and relatable that you can’t help but fall for these characters. Highly recommended!
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Genre: Contemporary Publisher: Riptide Publishing Review Chris Scully Until September
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