Title: All the Way to Shore (Stories from the Shore #1)
Author: CJane Elliott
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 23rd Nov, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, Insta-love
Page Count: 181
Reviewed by: PIU
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 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.
“All the Way to Shore” is a harlequin worthy romance which has insta-love, cute and sweet romance, a villain trying to separate the lovers, angst and gooey love. I am not a big fan of inst-love but this story felt right. The development was smooth even if it happens just in the course of three days. The angst was not over the top. It hiked up the anticipation for the reunion of the lovers. The story also touched some big issues which the people from the LGBT community face in their work life. I liked the entire package.
Jonathan Vallen loathes his job. After the death of his brother he has been forced to take up his brother’s role in his father’s company, the Vallen Industries. Jonathan fails terribly and his life is made more miserable by his homophobic father who has rarely appreciated his surviving son. Enter Marco Pellegrini. He is appointed as the new CEO of the Vallen Industries. He is bought in to transform the failing company to a profit making venture.
Jonathan is humiliated by Marco’s appointment but also relieved to be finally able to escape his life under his father’s thumb. He shifts to his cottage in Cape Cod where he indulges in his passion for music and gardening. After a year, Jonathan has changed a lot with a lean physique and a change of wardrobe, courtesy of his meddlesome but loving cousin, Anthony. Anthony takes Jonathan on a LGBT cruise to let loose and have fun but little does Jonathan that “True Love” awaits him on board.
Jonathan has always tried to live upto his father’s expectations. He is not the man his father wants him to be but the senior Vallen never once try to understand that. Jonathan has always felt himself lacking so when he meets Marco on the cruise and finds the gorgeous man attracted to him, he hides his identity from Marco. He feels that in this new persona he will not fear to get rejected like Jonathan.
Marco is a driven man who has accomplished a lot in his life. He is from a very humble background and he has fought his way through life and achieved huge success but he has never fallen in love. On the cruise he connects instantly with the shy and beautiful, Jonah Rutledge aka Jonathan Vallen. He finds himself falling in love with the sensitive man in just three blissful, life-changing days. But just as everything was going fine and dandy, Marco becomes aware of Jonah’s real identity and he feels betrayed.
What happens next is a little period of separation for the lovers but it was not angsty or full blown emotional cry-fest as you would expect. Just as Romeo said: “What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, Marco too realizes that he did meet and fall in love with the real Jonathan on the cruise despite of knowing him by a different name. His love for Jonathan remains steady in his heart and he does get his man at the end.
The exchange of gifts between the couple during their separation signifying the various moments they had experienced on board the cruise was amazingly romantic and gooey like a chocolate lava cake.
As a true harlequin villain, Jonathan’s father hatches his evil plan to separate the lovers. Marco being the knight in shining armor gets ready to settle, to protect his lover but Jonathan would not let such an injustice befall his prince. Senior Vallen’s plan comes back to bite him on his ass when Jonathan shows amazing courage in standing up to his father for Marco’s sake but also for the sake of his future. I loved the ending!!!
I loved Jonathan’s transformation from an introverted nobody to the confident and sexy man who falls in love and decides to live life out loud. The story is from both Jonathan and Marco’s POV and also through Marco’s everyday journal, which was a real nice touch.
Overall, this read is a picture perfect romance which was sweet, romantic and beautiful. I loved the MCs and their loyal sidekicks, Jonathan and Sophia (Marco’s sister) very much. If you don’t mind insta-love, then do give this book a try!!!!