Title: Stranded with Desire (Dreamspun Desires series)
Author: Vivien Dean and Rick R. Reed
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 1st 2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 228 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
When their plane crashed, their desire took flight.
CEO Maine Braxton and his invaluable assistant, Colby, don’t realize they share a deep secret: they’re in love—with each other. That secret may have never come to light but for a terrifying plane crash in the Cascade Mountains that changes everything.
In a struggle for survival, the two men brave bears, storms, and a life-threatening flood to make it out of the wilderness alive. The proximity to death makes them realize the importance of love over propriety. Confessions emerge. Passions ignite. They escape the wilds renewed and openly in love.
When they return to civilization, though, forces are already plotting to snuff out their short-lived romance and ruin everything both have worked so hard to achieve.
I admit it. I’m a fan of the boss/assistant falling in love trope. Give me a sweet story of the boss realizing his right hand man is also his heart’s desire and I’m a happy girl.
Maine Braxton is a bit of a dichotomy. He’s a powerful CEO with the world at his feet, but he’s also humble and riddled with anxiety about whether he does the right thing. One thing he’s kept hidden all his adult life is that he’s gay. Instead he pushes that aside to be the son he thinks his parents want, and the strong, straight, masculine man he thinks his company and the world require. All at the expense of his heart and soul.
Colby LaSalle has been in love with Maine for almost as long as he’s worked for him. It’s slowly killing him because he knows there’s no way his very straight boss will ever return his love.
And any man, no matter how free, out, and suitable, would not be Maine.
Maine was all he wanted.
Maine, he thought, was all he could never have.
But when their plane crashes in the mountains Colby finds out that his heart’s desire is not only possible, but there for the taking, if he can only get Maine to follow his heart too.
“I thought maybe I’d beaten this thing, you know? Sure, I couldn’t escape the thrill a firm, hairy body gives me in my dreams, but in my waking life? I could pretend. Pretend to be that guy the world perceived me as. Strong. Confident. Straight—a good catch for any woman. I pretended so long I began to wonder if what happened that summer with Eligio was some fantasy my poor starved soul had made up.
“And then you came along, and my façade crashed down around me like it was made of balsa wood or crystal or something. You came along, and I fell for you…”
I liked Colby so much, but was a little frustrated with Maine for much of the story. I also liked that there’s a bit of a mystery to the story, which spiced it up, but sometimes the pacing fell a bit flat.
While this new installment in the Dreamspun Desires series didn’t “wow” me…it had some good moments. Ultimately though, I enjoyed the story and was happy with it’s HEA ending.
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