State troopers Ethan Brandt and Gabriel Donnelly are finally going to get their storybook wedding—sailing on an ocean liner to a castle in the English countryside! But when an Icelandic volcano scrambles flights all over the world, they must find alternate routes to the altar—separately.
Donnelly meets Sandler Birkin, a globetrotting courier who specializes in carrying rare artifacts and diplomatic pouches. He pulls a few strings to get Donnelly to the ship on time and then accompanies him across the Atlantic. Donnelly returns the favor by helping to find Sandler’s long-lost first love, Trevor Hendricks. Trevor’s controlling, homophobic parents have brought him to Europe for a radical treatment to cure him of his homosexuality—and his love for Sandler.
Brandt, meanwhile, finagles his way around the globe with the help of Kerry Mercer, a sales executive whose spirit of adventure leads her to accompany him on his improvised journey. However, sharing hotel rooms with her presents a problem for Brandt who, despite being about to marry a man, still finds her attractive.
Once Brandt and Donnelly are reunited, they band together with Kerry and Sandler to plot Trevor’s rescue. But doing so might mean missing their own wedding.
(Previous books in the series reviewed here: http://kimichanexperience.com/?s=xavier+mayne)
I am a big fan of this series, even the books that veer away from our beloved Brandt and Donnelly. Xavier Mayne is an excellent writer and I love his sense of humor and the way he subtly works in some heavier issues in and around the humor and romance.
That being said, I was a bit befuddled by this book.
It’s really long and sort of all over the place. We have our MCs and their attempts to make it to their wedding. We have Nestor and Bryce and their trip to England. There’s the courier. The truck driver. The big pharmacy issue. The sick parents. The trips down memory lane. And more. I got overwhelmed with all the storylines.
I loved the times when our boys were together. Those were the most cohesive parts of the story for me. Watching how much they love one another, that made my insides all gooey and reminded me why I love this series so much! But, I got a bit lost when we were watching other people having sex, learning about the past lives of some of the secondary characters, talking about dead lovers and past lovers and past jobs and… there was just a lot going on.
While I found their comic relief funny, I don’t know how much Nestor and Bryce brought to this storyline. I found myself a little more put off by them in a way that I never had before. I’m not sure what the “ learning about straight guy sex through romance novel” thing was with the trucker, but it rubbed me the wrong way.
I also felt like the story got a bit more preachy. I’m not sure why it bothered me, but I felt like the subtle messages weren’t so subtle this time around and it didn’t feel as smooth as previous books.
I loved the happy ending we get for Trevor, the lead in it felt too long and the recovery/celebration was too rushed.
All in all, this story just didn’t resonate with me like the others did. I’m still a big fan, and of course I’ll read the next installment
3.5 of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review