Title: Stranded with Desire
Author: Vivien Dean and Rick R. Reed
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 1, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 228
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
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.
A life and death situation has a way of clarifying what is important in life – say, your BMW or your BFF? In “Stranded With Desire” the boss Maine and his assistant Colby find themselves in the middle of the Cascade mountains after a suspicious plane crash. Maine’s initial manta is
I will do whatever it takes to see you walk away from this, and when we’re on the other side, I’ll be better. I’ll be the man you think I already am, no matter what it takes.
But as Maine and Colby work together to survive, Maine realizes being “the better man” means he has to stop ignoring his own desires in order to follow a career path and marriage dictated by his family.
Once rescued, Maine has to break the news to his fiance Helen, as well as discover who sabotaged their plane, and maybe the business as well. I appreciated how Helen is a strong and interesting character, not a characterization. The mystery element kept the story interesting, but I felt the villain of the piece was a bit too cartoonish. The ending ties everything together into a HEA, but I need a longer epilogue with some insight into Maine and Cody’s life together.
While I was initially skeptical about Dreamspinner’s Dreamspun Desires series, I like how the series presents common romance themes such as “marriage of convenience” or “office romances” but with a fresh new M/M slant. “Stranded with Desire” is a good solid story that adhered to the formula but didn’t really wow me.