Title: The Boys of Summer
Author: Sarah Madison
Cover artist: Reese Dante
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary romance
Length: 193 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Guest review by Orion
Review summary: A very enjoyable adventure/romance.
Blurb: David McIntyre has been enjoying the heck out of his current assignment: touring the Hawaiian Islands in search of the ideal shooting locations for a series of film company projects. What’s not to like? Stunning scenery, great food, sunny beaches…and a secret crush on his hot, ex-Air Force pilot, Rick Sutton.
Everything changes when a tropical storm and engine failure force a crash landing on a deserted atoll with a WWII listening post. Rick’s injuries, and a lack of food and water, make rescue imperative, but it takes an intensely vivid dream about the war to make David see that Rick is more than just a pilot to him. Will David gather his courage to confess his feelings to Rick—before it’s too late?
Sarah Madison’s The Boys of Summer starts in what is typical M/M romance fashion. The story opens from David’s point of view as he takes to the sky in a plane piloted by Rick to scout locations for a movie. We get the obligatory musings on David’s part as he lusts after Rick, secretly snapping pictures of him as he fantasizes about getting the guy in bed. The author puts a very effective spin on this introduction, however, mixing in aspects of the plane crash from the very beginning. Right away, I was on the edge of my seat, in suspense over the coming crash even as I chuckled over details of David’s crush. From that point on, I was hooked like a hungry catfish.
The crash occurs in thrilling fashion, and from there the story becomes a struggle to survive for the two men. There is an immediate tension between them, and it simmers all the more with their steadily growing mutual attraction. They get to know each other as they explore the island and discover the abandoned military base. I’m not a fan of historical fiction or dream sequences, and I must admit that I groaned when the “flashback” to the World War II bit was introduced. It was worked so skillfully into the overall story, however, that I actually enjoyed it.
The characterizations are excellent. The author brings David and Rick to life very vividly and makes the reader care about them. Settings are used wonderfully here, becoming so vibrant that they played out like a movie in my mind as I read. That is a rare talent indeed. There are a few rough spots in the writing, which could have been smoothed over with the aid of an independent editor. But overall this is a wonderfully written and engaging piece of fiction. It provides adventure, intrigue, and yes, romance, all rolled into a very entertaining package. If you’re headed to the beach and can only take one book with you, it should be this one. Highly and delightedly recommended!
Oh, and the cover is nicely done, too. I didn’t see anything as to the identity of the cover artist, but kudos to whoever he or she is.