Title: The Station
Author: Keira Andrews
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 220 Pages
At a Glance: Fans of this author, and of the genre, will enjoy this well-written story of adventure and love in the Outback.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Two men exiled to an untamed land must capture love.
Ever since Cambridge-bound Colin Lancaster spied on stable master Patrick Callahan mastering another man, he’s longed for Patrick to do the same to him. When Patrick is caught with his pants down and threatened with death for his crime, Colin speaks up in his defense and confesses his own sinful nature. They’re soon banished to the faraway prison colony of Australia.
Patrick never asked for Colin’s help, and now he’s stuck with the pampered fool. While it’s true that being transported to Australia is a far cry from the luxury Colin is accustomed to, he’s determined to make the best of it and prove himself. Patrick learned long ago that love is a fairy tale, but he’s inexorably drawn to sweet, optimistic Colin despite himself.
From the miserable depths of a prison ship to the vast, untamed Australian outback, Colin and Patrick must rely on each other. Danger lurks everywhere, and when they unexpectedly get the chance to escape to a new life as cowboys, they’ll need each other more than ever.
This historical gay romance from Keira Andrews features an age difference, an eager virgin, hurt/comfort, and of course a happy ending.
Review: The Station is a historical novel set in a time when England was colonizing Australia with both settlers and criminals. What began as a penal colony grew to be home to intrepid Englishmen and women who desired to make their fortunes raising cattle in the Outback. The story centers on two men—one an Irishman named Patrick, who was the stable master in a wealthy household, and the other the family’s younger son, Colin, who is on the cusp of leaving for university. For years Colin has admired Patrick, at first as a boy who had a sense of hero worship for the kindhearted servant, and later with a longing borne out of an incident Colin viewed when he was sixteen years old. At that time, Colin stumbled upon Patrick and another servant having sex in the stable, and it solidified what he had feared—he desired men not women. For three years after that, Colin kept his distance and tried to forget what he had seen and how it made his body react. Unfortunately, he couldn’t deny his fantasies where Patrick took the starring role each time.
At this time in England, affections between men could mean not only public disgrace but also carried penalties up to and including hanging. One evening, Colin’s family is hosting a party prior to him leaving for Cambridge when some of the guests walk in on Patrick and another man having sex. The other man flees but Patrick is hauled before Colin’s father, who immediately calls for the constable in order to turn him over for prison—or worse. Colin hastily tries to save Patrick by declaring himself a sodomite as well. Before long the authorities arrive, and it is quickly decided that the family will be spared the shame of a trial. Instead, Patrick and Colin will be sent to Australia as convicts to serve out their sentence. At first Colin is hopeful that Patrick’s feelings for him will grow and change, but Patrick is quick to assure Colin he doesn’t believe in love and trusts no one. When the two arrive in Australia, they are essentially sold to a widow whose husband died on the journey across the ocean. The two on again/off again lovers will spend their days with the widow as her servants. Patrick hates the idea, and when Colin tries to get the older man to admit they can now be together, he refuses and a rift grows between them. Not only that, but Colin knows a secret which could bring a huge change in how he and Patrick remain in Australia—but he keeps it from his lover only to have it revealed at the wrong time.
There were many things to like about The Station, including the descriptions of the beautiful yet stark Australian outback. The relationship between Patrick and Colin was slow in developing, just as it should have been considering how they had to hide their physical attraction to one another. The age gap of nearly ten years between them also played well with Colin’s naiveté being a great foil to the caustically sarcastic ennui Patrick’s character often exhibited. There was also enough action and drama during both the ocean crossing and the establishment of the homestead to keep this story fresh and exciting. The few criticisms I have of the book overall are minor and might be considered even nitpicky. For instance, I was struck by the lack of accent in Patrick’s speech. Since the author took pains a few times to make mention of his being Irish, I assumed we would get a sampling of both accent and perhaps a few colloquialisms in his speech, but there was none, which struck me as a bit odd.
The other story element I found strange was the plotline involving the preacher on board ship. I would have thought that might develop, with us seeing the man break down and solicit Colin, as it was implied he too was gay. But when the ship pulled into port, no such thing had occurred and the reverend himself disappeared from the story. I found that rather odd, seeing as he had figured so prominently in a large portion of the book. Despite these small problems, I felt the story overall was well crafted and exciting. Yes, the conflicts, once the party reached Australia, were a bit problematic, but still those sequences were well done. If the story was a might predictable, one still could not find fault with the developing relationship between Patrick and Colin, which stayed true to itself to the end.
Author Keira Andrews offers up a grand adventure across two continents in her historical romance, The Station. Fans of hers, and of the genre, will enjoy this well-written story of adventure and love in the Outback.
You can buy The Station here:
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