Title: The Station (Second Edition)
Author: Keira Andrews
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: January 18, 2018
Genre(s): Historical Romance
Page Count: 204 Pages
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Ever since Cambridge-bound Colin Lancaster secretly watched stable master Patrick Callahan mastering the groundskeeper, he’s longed for Patrick to do the same to him. When Patrick is caught with his pants down and threatened with death, Colin speaks up in his defense, announcing that he, too, is guilty of “the love that dare not speak its name.” Soon they’re both condemned as convicts and shipped off to the faraway prison colony of Australia. Patrick learned long ago that love is a fairy tale and is determined that no one will scale the wall he’s built around his heart. Yet he’s inexorably drawn to the charismatic Colin despite his best efforts to keep him at bay. As their journey extends from the cramped and miserable depths of a prison ship to the vast, untamed Australian outback, Colin and Patrick must build new lives for themselves. They’ll have to tame each other to find happiness in this wild new land.
I’m generally a huge fan of Keira Andrews’ work, having loved Beyond the Sea as well as The Next Competitor and the “Kick the Darkness” series. Most recently, I enjoyed Kidnapped By the Pirate, buying into Andrews’ take on the standard “bodice ripper” romance … so I’m somewhat perplexed by my indifference to The Station.
Colin is a young man on the cusp of attending Cambridge – more his parents’ desire than his own – and will soon be expected to marry some lovely young heiress. But Colin is much more interested in the stable master Patrick, mostly because of Patrick’s steamy tryst with the groundskeeper which Colin secretly observed when he was 16, and which was instrumental in Colin realizing that he is a “sodomite,” which was a crime punishable by death or deportation in 1840’s England.
When Patrick is caught with another man, Colin saves his life by revealing that he is gay as well, and the two men are deported to Australia to serve their sentences as indentured servants. The story follows them across the ocean and across the outback as they drive a herd of cattle to a remote station. Along the way, Patrick and Colin begin a sexual relationship of convenience (according to Patrick) and true love (in Colin’s mind).
Australia’s history is so fascinating and so HUGE it’s hard to do justice in telling the life of someone deported there, as well as the way of life in the outback on a remote station. But even if the setting isn’t fully detailed and described, there needs to be an emotional component that lets the reader share in the Patrick and Colin’s experiences and I didn’t get that in The Station. Patrick’s character remains relatively unknown throughout the story, as we get Colin’s viewpoint only, and neither character seems fully developed or engaged so it is difficult to become invested in the personal aspect of this story. The potentially interesting relationship between secondary characters Emily and Robbie remains undeveloped as well.
The Station is a rare miss for me from Keira Andrews. I liked the setting and the possibility in the plot, but the lack of character development and emotional impact left me feeling unengaged. 3 stars.