Title: To See the Sun
Author: Kelly Jensen
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: August 13, 2018
Genre(s): SciFi, M/M Romance
Page Count: 295 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Survival is hard enough in the outer colonies—what chance does love have?
Life can be harsh and lonely in the outer colonies, but miner-turned-farmer Abraham Bauer is living his dream, cultivating crops that will one day turn the unforgiving world of Alkirak into paradise. He wants more, though. A companion—someone quiet like him. Someone to share his days, his bed, and his heart.
Gael Sonnen has never seen the sky, let alone the sun. He’s spent his whole life locked in the undercity beneath Zhemosen, running from one desperate situation to another. For a chance to get out, he’ll do just about anything—even travel to the far end of the galaxy as a mail-order husband. But no plan of Gael’s has ever gone smoothly, and his new start on Alkirak is no exception. Things go wrong from the moment he steps off the shuttle.
Although Gael arrives with unexpected complications, Abraham is prepared to make their relationship work—until Gael’s past catches up with them, threatening Abraham’s livelihood, the freedom Gael gave everything for, and the love neither man ever hoped to find.
I’m not the hugest fan of science fiction, but I really enjoyed this story set on Alkirak, an inhospitable half-terraformed planet with deep crevasses and poison mists. Bram is a “former miner turned farmer who [writes] poetry in his spare time” and longs for “the possibility of a family. Children. He wanted to share his life with another man. Someone quiet like him. Someone who wanted the same things.”
Gael lives a hard-scrabble existence on Zhemosen, a garden planet for the wealthy, but where the poor live in the undercity with “dark streets, bitter air, and water that tasted like sweat.” Gael is running away from his life and his past and a one-year contract on Alkirak seems like an answer to his prayers. But Gael unknowingly has a stow-away with him, and soon Bram finds himself with his new “mail order” companion and a girl who introduces herself as Aavi, Gael’s (non-existent) sister.
What follows is a sweet love story that gently unfolds as Gael learns to trust and depend on Bram and his steady and gentle soul. Aavi and Bram and Gael slowly become a family, and there is a delicious slow-burn between Bram and Gael as they bond together as friends and lovers. Their’s is a romance that grows sweeter with time and Jensen’s writing and pacing is so well done. The pacing of the entire tale feels just right, as there is an interesting amount of world-building balanced with a subplot of Gael and Aavi’s pasts catching up with them and the ending is simply perfect. I loved the depth of character development, especially of Aavi and Maia, and the world-building is so well-done. 4 stars for “To See the Sun.”
I never considered color before you, Whether gray, amber, purple, or blue. Dust was dust and sky was sky, I never thought to question why. Now here you are, with all you bring, Color and brightness, and a meaning to every thing. I didn’t really see the world before you came, Now all of it sings an echo of your name.