Title: Honeymoon for One
Author: Keira Andrews
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 243 Pages
At a Glance: Keira Andrews took a potentially sappy love story and made it a coming out/first time experience that was realistically crafted and sweetly presented.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Betrayed the night before his wedding by the supposed boy of his dreams, Ethan Robinson escapes the devastating fallout by going on his honeymoon alone to the other side of the world. Hard of hearing and still struggling with the repercussions of being late-deafened, traveling by himself leaves him feeling painfully isolated with his raw, broken heart.
Clay Kelly never expected to be starting life over in his forties. He got hitched young, but now his wife has divorced him and remarried, his kids are grown, and he’s left his rural Outback town. In a new career driving a tour bus on Australia’s East Coast, Clay reckons he’s happy enough. He enjoys his cricket, a few beers, and a quiet life. If he’s a bit lonely, it’s not the end of the world.
Clay befriends Ethan, hoping he can cheer up the sad-eyed young man, and a crush on an unattainable straight guy is exactly the safe distraction Ethan needs. Yet as the days pass and their connection grows, long-repressed desires surface in Clay, and they are shocked to discover romance sparking. Clay is the sexy, rugged man of Ethan’s dreams, and as the clock counts down on their time together, neither wants this honeymoon to end.
Review: I feel the need to clear up something right from the get go—this is not a gay for you trope, far from it, so enter into this novel assured that there is a unique twist to this story that also makes it stand apart from many May/December romances. Author Keira Andrews delves into multiple layers when presenting these characters who may be far apart in age but are similar in emotional maturity and temperament.
When Ethan discovered that his hearing loss was not only permanent but just beginning, his world fell apart. It took more than a couple of years to pull himself out of the depression that threatened to drown him, and his best friend along with his boyfriend were there to help. Little did he realize that as they drew closer, it meant that his husband-to-be wanted more than just a monogamous relationship. Devastated by their betrayal, Ethan decides to avoid the decisions of where to now live, and facing all their friends to tell them the wedding was canceled, and opts to go on the planned honeymoon to Australia by himself.
Clear across the country, Clay Kelly is enjoying a good life—nothing stellar, a bit lonely, but overall he is happy. He’s content to drive the holiday crowd around on tour and return to the home he shares with his college-age daughter and her dog. He had an amicable divorce from his wife, despite the fact that she chose to cheat on him, and he keeps up with her and their son on a fairly regular basis. All in all, his life is okay—drab, but okay. He doesn’t want to date; despite everyone trying to fix him up with various girls, he just has no interest.
Then he meets Ethan. All Clay can think of is taking care of the lost young man who seems so sad and all alone. The guy is roughly the same age as his own kids, so surely that must be why he is so drawn to him. They strike up an easy friendship and all is just fine until Clay finds himself aroused at the thought of Ethan, and for the first time in a long time, he feels something akin to sexual attraction. But it simply can’t be, it’s wrong, so wrong these feelings he is experiencing.
What is it like when everything you have believed about yourself is suddenly torn apart, and the past comes sweeping back to blindside you? Welcome to Clay’s world. From long-buried feelings of grief, guilt and something akin to terror, Clay must face the demons of his past in order to embrace a future that is unlike anything he ever imagined. Perhaps this is why he and Ethan get along so famously, for Ethan had to do much the same thing when he discovered his hearing loss was genetic and degenerative. His life would never be the same, and he was both depressed and angry about that. But, it was the betrayal and loss of a happily-ever-after dream marriage that really cut the wind from Ethan’s sails. Clay is older, yes, but attractive and caring, Ethan feels safe with him, and that is a wonderful thing. But the trip is only a few weeks long, and the relationship, such as it is, is doomed to end…or is it?
Keira Andrews writes lovely romances. The age difference is offset by the fact that both men are emotionally challenged in this novel and find comfort in each other. The event from Clay’s past is rather horrific to read and so realistically drawn that it makes sense that it has taken him so long in life to come to grips with his sexuality. While the case could be made here for an insta-love label to be applied to this story, I rather think it was not that so much as two kindred spirits finding the one person that made them feel whole. The tenuous way in which these two came together was really very beautiful and the sex was so realistic, given that it was essentially Clay’s first sexual encounter with a man.
Honeymoon for One felt like a slow building romance even though, time-wise, it happened over a few weeks. Therein lies the genius of this writer’s abilities: Andrews took a potentially sappy love story and made it a coming out/first time experience that was realistically crafted and sweetly presented. I felt the handling of the various themes in this story was masterfully accomplished and while I struggled a bit with the beginning of the story and its overall predictability, the remainder of the novel kept me very invested and paid off in spades when it came to entertainment value.
You can buy Honeymoon for One here:
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