Title: Galaxies and Oceans
Author: N.R. Walker
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: June 25th 2018
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary romance
Page Count: TBC
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Seizing his one chance to escape, Ethan Hosking leaves his violent ex-boyfriend, leaves his entire life, and walks into the path of a raging bushfire. Desperate to start over, a new man named Aubrey Hobbs walks out of the fire-ravaged forest, alive and alone. With no ID and no money, nothing but his grandfather’s telescope, he goes where the Southern Cross leads him.
Patrick Carney is the resident lighthouse keeper in Hadley Cove, a small town on the remote Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia. After the tragic death of his lover four years ago, he lives a solitary life; just him, a tabby cat, the Indian and Southern Oceans, and a whole lot of loneliness. He’s content with his life until a stranger shows up in town and turns Patrick’s head.
Patrick never expected to be interested in anyone else.
Aubrey never expected to be happy.
Between Aubrey’s love of the stars and Patrick’s love of the ocean, these two fragile hearts must navigate new waters. If they can weather the storm of their pasts, they could very well have a love that eclipses everything.
The ocean was mapped out from the stars.
What would you do if you were with someone who abused you terribly? If you had no other way out than to fake your own death?
When a massive bushfire presents a not-to-missed opportunity to finally break away from his abusive boyfriend, Ethan Hosking literally walks away with only a few items of clothing, some food and water, and an old brass Broadhurst and Clarkson telescope and leather case that had been his grandfather’s. He uses the Southern Cross as his compass and eventually finds a fire trail, walking out of the fire-ravaged forest as Aubrey Hobbs, alive and alone.
“If you’re ever lost, look for the Southern Cross. The tail points south, always.”
Six months later, Aubrey has worked his way South to a small town called Hadley Cove on Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia and meets Patrick Carney, the resident lighthouse keeper.
Drawn to the isolation, to the brutality, I bummed a lift and arrived in Hadley Cove to a turbulent ocean, howling southerly wind, and dark and foreboding, low-hanging clouds.
And I felt at home.
Patrick’s still mourning the loss of his lover, Scott, and though everything about Aubrey calls to him, he’s not ready to let go of Scott yet. Aubrey isn’t ready for more either, as he can’t tell Patrick about his past, yet the two continue to be drawn to each other.
Something was happening between me and Patrick. I didn’t know what it was exactly, and I didn’t know how far I wanted it to go. I trusted him. More than I’d trusted anyone in a long time…since my pop was alive. There was an ocean of warmth in him, of protection and safety, that shone like a lighthouse beacon.
Like his lighthouse beacon.
I was excited for him to show me the lighthouse and to sit up on the top walkway with my telescope and watch the stars. But I was more excited to spend time with him. He said there’d be food and blankets and star-watching, and that right there sounded like heaven to me.
There was also the part of me that warned against getting close to anyone, but I pushed it down. I didn’t realise just how much I wanted company, even just friendship, until Patrick. He had his own past to contend with, demons that warred in his eyes every time he looked at me.
It’s very sweet the way the two cautiously move forward with developing their relationship. I loved that there’s an age gap between Patrick and Aubrey (fourteen years), and how gentle they both are with one another.
I found Galaxies and Oceans to be wildly romantic…I love how they become friends first, two broken men communicating with each other about their needs, opening up to one another, and slowly falling in love.
“The Southern Cross is what brought me here. The constellation. I followed it, here, to this island. To you.”
I blinked at this… what was it? A coincidence? A revelation? Fate?
But Aubrey’s secret is a burden bound to come out. The tension in the story comes from waiting for Aubrey’s past to catch up to him and how that will ultimately affect his future with Patrick.
My only complaint is I wanted to know more about Ethan’s past. However, when Aubrey sheds his Ethan identity, we aren’t given much, if any, insight into who he was before.
In the end though, I enjoyed this lovely, gentle romance.
Told in an alternating dual first person POV, Galaxies and Oceans is a complex, character driven, super slow burn romance with lots of hurt/comfort and a very sweet epilogue HEA.
“I will love you every minute of every day for as long as there are stars in the sky,” he said.