Title: All the Way to Shore (Stories from the Shore #1)
Author: CJane Elliott
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 23, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 181
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Jonathan Vallen has never felt good enough. A gentle musician who loves to garden, he’s woefully unsuited to running Vallen Industries, the family business. When his father hires a hotshot executive, Marco Pellegrini, to save the company, Jonathan moves away and leaves his humiliation behind. A year later and forty pounds lighter, Jonathan runs into Marco on an LGBT cruise. Marco doesn’t recognize him, the sparks fly, and Jonathan pretends to be someone else for the week—Jonah Rutledge—someone good enough to be loved.
Marco Pellegrini has always been driven. He rose from poverty to the pinnacle of business success, and he’ll do anything to protect his reputation—including hiding his bisexuality. Having saved Vallen Industries, he’s weary of the rat race and ready for a more meaningful life. When Marco meets his soul mate for that new life—Jonah Rutledge—on an LGBT cruise, he prepares to stop hiding and start living.
Back on land, the romance crashes when Marco discovers his perfect man is not only a lie but the son of his boss, Frederick Vallen. Jonathan resolves to win Marco back, but Frederick takes vengeful action. Jonathan and Marco must battle their own fears as well as Frederick’s challenge to get to the future that awaits them on the horizon.
Jonathan has a musician’s heart and soul, but his domineering father has unsuccessfully forced him into the family business, Vallen Industries. When the business is on the edge of collapse, dashing, handsome, Italian hottie Marco Pellegrini is brought in to save the day. For Jonathan, it’s a wake-up call to re-evaluate his life. Jonathan barely looks up from his Hush Puppies when Marco and Jonathan debrief in a few short meetings before Jonathan leaves Vallen Industries and moves to Cape Cod.
One year later, the Hush Puppies are gone and a slender, definitely more stylish Jonathan once again meets Marco on an LGBT Caribbean cruise. The only problem is, Marco doesn’t recognize the new Jonathan, and thanks to Jonathan’s cousin Anthony, thinks his name is Jonah Rutledge. What ensues is a shipboard romance with twists and turns on its way to a beautifully done and well-deserved happy ending.
We get Jonathan’s POV throughout, and insight into Marco through his journal, as this sweet well-told romance unfolds between two men who “are it for each other.” Or as Marco ponders: “Because Jonah was everything Marco had been missing, craving without even knowing it. […] A guy who felt like home.” I liked how Marco and Jonathan work to overcome a Big Misunderstanding that might have been played for high-angst drama in another romance. This is my first CJane Elliott book and I look forward to reading more!