Stan's been the responsible son, helping his parents in their business so much that he practically has no outside life. What he wants more than anything right now is just to get some time off, time away, time to hang with his friends and not worry about campers and tourists and cleaning cabins. But Bel Evans is back for the summer, for the first time in enough years that he's just now seeing how she's grown up beautifully, and the first thing she does is completely ruin his plans. Now he's stuck at home and stuck with her, but this weekend just might be a lot more interesting than either of them ever expected.
The Verdict: Stan didn't really make much of an impression on me when I was reading the other books in the series. He seemed like a nice enough guy, and I liked that he wasn't pressuring Ellie for anything she wasn't ready for back when they were dating, but other than that, he seemed more of a background character. So of course I was thrilled to find out he was getting his own novella, and I'd be able to get a better look at him!
Bel is very much a typical teenager, not exactly thrilled about her summer vacation with her parents and constantly annoyed by her younger brother. She certainly notices Stan, but she's not necessarily comfortable around him. After all, he was always her brothers' friend, too old for her, and he still refuses to call her by her nickname, so despite his looks, he's not exactly her favorite person. But after he takes a verbal shot at her because her parents are wealthy, she gets back at him by ruining any chance he had at getting the weekend off. She just didn't expect to be left in his charge with no parents in sight for three long nights.
The attraction between these two was immediately obvious, and it was kind of cute to watch them dance around it. Bel mistakes Ellie for Stan's girlfriend, though they've been broken up for at least a year, and that keeps her fighting any chemistry that flares. For his part, Stan can't figure Bel out; she's hot and cold, and he simply can't get a good read on her. But Stan's good guy persona shines through, nonetheless, especially when he takes care of a very drunk and embarrassed Bel after she runs off and acts out.
The story was sweet, and I knew it would be short, but I was so happy to have another piece of the Summer series that I jumped at the chance to buy it the day it went on sale. But I have to admit I was a little disappointed that it seemed to end within minutes of these two finally admitting they might have something worth pursuing between them and without really delving into their budding relationship at all. The novella Ringer was equally short, but it explored the characters' interactions and early relationship quite a bit more than Stan did. Ah well, it's still one of my favorites as far as series go, and it did give me enough of a peek at Max that now I'm dying to get his story. Of course, the one I really can't wait for is Ellie's and Adam's story, but these novellas should keep me occupied until then, right?