Title: Taming Triton (Southern Cross #2)
Author: KC Kendricks
Publisher: White Deer Books
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Length: Novella (29k words)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Aunt Lynn
Austin Michaels accepts his brother’s standing invitation for a Caribbean vacation at The Southern Cross, his island resort. Some time in the sun is just what he needs to map out a plan for his future. Maybe he’ll even meet a hot guy to share a little vacation fling, as long as the man can keep things fun.
Steve Guthrie’s secret longings have haunted him all his life. It’s time to face his questions and find the truth of who he really is. His love of the sea prompts him to take a vacation at a St. Lucia hideaway for relaxation and reflection that develops into a rowdy romp with a handsome tattooed stranger.
Now Steve’s the student in a high-stakes class of one, and to pass, he has to tame his very own Triton.
Taming Triton the second book in the Southern Cross series by KC Kendricks. The review of Book One, Netting Neptune, can be found here. The series takes place, for the most part, on St. Lucia in the Caribbean at the Southern Cross resort, and so far features SC owner Colby and his partner Theron, and their family. Also note that you could read this as a standalone. As with NN, it’s a gentle read, though fairly introspective and slightly angsty.
Told in first-person POV by protag Steve and set a few years after NN, TT opens with the narrator hanging out on the beach on St. Lucia soaking up the surroundings and eye-candy that are several good-looking men playing in the surf. Honing in on one gorgeous hunk, he is surprised when said man — Austin — approaches him to chat. Steve has thought about/lusted over men for a while now, and though he has never been with one and exploring his “dual sexuality” is one of the chief reasons he came on this vacation, he’s more than a little nervous now that a willing subject is in front of him. Reluctantly agreeing to dinner, Austin expertly seduces him, giving Steve the eye-opening experience he’s been waiting for. Things are not perfect, however, as there are a few misunderstandings, some secrets and early departures along the way, as well as about 900 miles between them when they return to their regular lives.
On a whole, I liked this well-written, again slightly predictable follow-up to the first book, though not without a few niggles.
In my review for NN, I had said that I wished the characters had a bit more development and depth, and that I hoped that we would get more in this next book. In this installment, we learn a teensy bit more about Theron and Austin’s background, something skimmed over in NN, but that’s about it, really, and I was disappointed. I found myself wondering if the first-person narration was unsuccessful as I felt it was somewhat limiting in allowing for us to get to know the other protag, though in all fairness, the meat of the story spans three days and maybe we’re only given a view of what Steve sees in that short period of time.
As I mentioned above, there is a somewhat angsty element to the story as Steve is torn between knowing that his involvement with Steve needs to be kept a holiday fling, yet unwitting falling for the other man and wanting more. Adding to that is the nervousness/excitement over his first encounters with another man, the aftereffects of the happenings later in the story and the sorrow/regret over how things were left. I appreciated his insight that the one for him could be male or female, and that he just wanted the right person, not the “politically correct gender” as I feel the same way
One last thing: there is a twelve-year age difference between the protags (Steve is thirty, Austin is forty-two) and I had hoped that would have come up at least once as it is not a small gap and could create its own issues, but it was never mentioned beyond each asking their ages. As someone who is in a similar situation, I would have expected for it to be at least mentioned.
I recommend Taming Triton to those who read Netting Neptune, are interested in the genre and/or fans of this author.